Provide a simple unit testing framework focused on server side java
code which tries to cover all J2EE component models and potentially
other type of components.
Allow fine-grained continuous testing of all files making up
an application: source code but also meta-data files (such as
deployment descriptors, etc) through an in-container approach.
Integration work is costly and Cactus tries to spread this load
by doing it during development in an automated way.
Medium terms goals and ideas
The short term goals for Cactus are to continue providing and improving
support for J2EE unit testing. More specifically the following areas
are being considered and researched:
Integrate Cactus with JUnit4, which will allow
to write annotation-based test-cases,
Add support for testing Java Portlets and/or Web-services
Add support for Servlet API 2.5/JSP 2.2 (by using
Tomcat 5/Resin 3.x),
Provide a full servlet container test suite a la Watchdog using Cactus.,
Performance unit testing: Add performance extensions to be able to
test each single method in performance.
More tutorial on AspectJ testing. Potentially add a Cactus Aspect
extension to allow writing test cases as Aspects (this may allow to
remove the need for Cactus redirectors).
Add EJB Redirectors to be able to unit test Session Beans, Entity
Beans and MessageDriven Beans
Decouple the Cactus framework into the core and its "plugins". This
means to publish a public API and a public SPI. The SPI would allow
to support plugin for testing different type of components (Servlet,
Entity EJB, Struts Actions, etc).
Long term vision
The Future of Component Unit Testing
We believe unit testing server side components is going to get harder
and harder in the future, unless something is done about it!
Even now, depending on the specifications
for a given component model it is more or less easy. Sometimes it is
even not feasible to test all kind of code.
We believe that we will see more and more components in the future.
By components we mean pieces of code that execute in a container.
The container will provide more and more services for the components
(like transactions, security, life cycle, persistence, interfaces
- like web services -, logging, ...). The consequences will be:
testing strategies that are not in-container, like Mock Objects
will still very useful but will provide less added value in
ensuring that the code behaves ok. Indeed, as the components will
rely more and more on the container's services, the confidence that
the tests will run well when deployed will decrease and the need
for a solution that ensures the code will run correctly in its
environment will increase,
it will become more and more difficult to offer an in-container
unit testing framework that lives outside the container.
Long term goals for Cactus
Consequently to the above predictions, there are 2 long term goals
Continue with the in-container approach as much as possible. It is
a best try effort in order to provide tests in which you can have
a good confidence,
However, we believe the only satisfactory and long term solution
is to include (unit) testing APIs as part of the container
specifications. This could be done in the form of a SPI
(Service Provider Interface) against which a generic unit testing
framework could be plugged, thus leaving the implementation details
to an external framework and only providing maybe a generic
and simple implementation. Thus, one goal of Cactus is to help
specify needed container API/SPI for unit testing,
an additional service of the container: a "unit-testing service"
(in addition to the existing Security, Transaction, Life Cycle, ...
Services). The ultimate
goal will be reached when this new API/SPI is accepted and become
a de jure standard. It would then be time to think about
integrating it into the Servlet Specifications
(or other components -like EJBs -
specifications). Agreed, this far-streched at the current time
but it is the Cactus vision!
Cactus is an open source project where everyone is free to participate
(and even encouraged). Thus, we'd really like to have your opinions on
the subject of Cactus future.
How do you view the future of Cactus?
Do you like the goals and vision defined above?
Please send all answers to the
Cactus mailing list