Artform NO. 1


Testing Use Cases


Modelling an Activity Diagram (UML) is the most pragmatic way to prepare testing Use Cases. An Activity Diagram gives good insight in all possible scenarios of the Use Case. The Activity Diagram supports desktop testing and gives also the possibility to negociate about the scenarios to be tested.

fig.1 Fragment of an Activity Diagram

A nice way creating standarized test cases from an Activity Diagram is the use of the Process Cycle Test(PCT).

Process Cycle Test

The aim of the process cycle test (PCT) is to check whether the automated part of the information system fits within the administrative organization (AO) procedures, paying particular attention to the interfaces between the automated processes and the manual procedures. It is assumed here that the automated processes in themselves work in accordance with the specifications. The PCT verifies whether the automated processes and the manual procedures match each other. This should provide answers to the following questions:

  • Do the automated processes provide sufficient information in order to perform all manual procedures?
  • Does the output of the manual procedures provide sufficient data in order to start all automated processes?
  • Do employees have sufficient authorization to perform the procedures?

The Process Cycle Test is a technique that is applied in particular to the testing of the quality characteristic of Suitability (integration between the administrative organization and the automated information system). The test basis should contain structured information on the required system behavior in the form of paths and decision points. The process cycle test digresses on a number of points from most other test design techniques:

  • The process cycle test is not a design test, but a structure test: the test cases issue from the structure of the procedure flow and not from the design specifications.
  • The predicted result in the process cycle test is simple: the physical test case should be executable. This checks implicitly that the individual actions can be carried out. In contrast to other test design techniques, no explicit prediction is made of the result, and so this does not have to be checked.
When the various steps are specified, a distinction is made between the in-depth PCT and a 'normal' PCT. The selection between the two is made on the basis of the importance of suitability of the quality characteristic in the test strategy. The difference between the two tests can be reduced to the difference in test measure.

Procedure of the Process Cycle Test

The steps to be taken in order to arrive at a specification for a process cycle test include:

1. Establishing path combinations. 1. Establishing/data entry path combinations.
2. Choice for test measure: normal/in-depth?
COVER generates test cases
3. Establishing paths. (test measure 1 and 2).
4. Specifying test cases.
5. Establishing the initial data set. 2. Establishing the initial data set.
6. Assembling the test script. 3. Assembling the test script.