Having been around for so long in the software development world, it comes as no surprise that Java still stands today as one of the most popular and most used programming languages in the business world. Last year, it was the preferred choice for enterprises and, after the rapid growth of Python due to data science trends, still stands among the Top 3 in 2020.
Regardless of how the market evolves in the following months, there’s no doubt that Java will always have a reserved spot in the heart of every back-end developer. Its platform independence, ease of use, security, and massive libraries have made it an ideal tool for developing scalable enterprise applications.
That said, there are a few unit testing frameworks that have stood out for developing large-scale software projects. In recent years, I’ve seen these frameworks being used by companies from almost every industry, especially when Java development services have come into play. Why? Perhaps because having a strong back-end infrastructure is a must, regardless of what you do in business.
And, for those unaware, a Java framework is a massive collection of packages that supply pre-written code that incorporates a series of libraries, compilers, modules, functions, tools, and APIs. As a business leader, you don’t need to know what each does, but you’ll probably need to know which ones will be best for your next project.
As its name suggests, JBehave is particularly designed to support Behavior-Driven Development (BDD). This feature alone has made it one of the best Java testing frameworks throughout the last decade. What’s more, JBehave’s BDD also takes elements from Test-Driven Development (TDD) and Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD), rounding off its capabilities to test complex enterprise software.
How is all of this beneficial to your company? Well, for one, this type of BDD structure allows for superior product specifications, meaning that your Java application can implement detailed reasoning and intuitive processes along the way. JBehave also uses a semi-formal language, which facilitates integration between different development teams by establishing a domain vocabulary feature and forcing consistency.
Furthermore, JBehave benefits stakeholders beyond project managers, as it facilitates better transparency between Quality Assurance teams and the rest of the company. Keep in mind, however, that using JBehave implies that your team has the tools and channels required to communicate constantly and keep up with the high level of productivity you’ll need to make the most of JBehave.
In the end, using JBehave for Java development will yield similar workflows to using other more general frameworks like Serenity (which we’ll discuss later). But if your goal is to output automated behavior tests in the most efficient way possible, then I’d recommend using both. You wouldn’t be the first one to do it, trust me.
There are three things that the most experienced Java developers are always trying to improve: the programming speed between sprints, the execution of developer-side testing, and the quality of the Java code. JUnit, an award-winning open-source regression testing framework, was born with the whole purpose to tackle these three axes.
JUnit’s unique design allows Java developers to script and implement repealed test cases and is frequently used to incrementally test small pieces of the application’s code. JUnit offers a series of features, including test suites, fixtures, classes, and test runners. And, thanks to its support for Java 8 features, it can be used for both integration and unit testing.
What does that mean for you? First and foremost, using JUnit can be of great help when starting complex projects, as its incremental testing formula is perfect for detecting bugs in the earliest stages of development. This way, your development team can have an easier time guaranteeing the reliability of the program as it progresses.
Similarly, a project with minimal anomalies also brings its own benefits. The code will be easier to read even after several iterations, augmenting the confidence of the team to deal with and scrutinize any glitches that may appear. Finally, keep in mind that while JUnit provides support for integration with almost all major IDEs (including Eclipse, NetBeans, Maven, and more), it isn’t capable of implementing its own dependency tests. You will need TestNG for that.
Serenity, formerly known by its less-catchy name Thucydides, is one of the most used open-source Java testing frameworks today. Just like JBehave, it’s a BDD framework designed to assist Java developers in writing clean, manageable, and structural acceptance criteria. And, just like JUnit, Serenity works very well with IDE tools like Eclipse and Maven.
At the enterprise level, Serenity is often used with Selenium WebDriver and JUnit to provide comprehensive data on test results and to implement business-readable formatted reports for each test. In real-world cases, most Java developers prefer Serenity whenever the project calls for automated testing cases in REST services.
But Serenity has another feature that’s perhaps what has drawn in most of its community: with Serenity, users no longer have to maintain or build their own automated frameworks. This makes writing reports a simple, effective, and very informative task and leads programmers to write superior QA automation scenarios.
And, if that wasn’t enough, Serenity is also known for its advanced integration capabilities with many other Java-like technologies and even project management tools like Jira. If you’re looking for speed, then Serenity is probably the right choice for backend software development in Java.
When it comes to backend development in Java, using testing frameworks is a must. The three mentioned above will play a major role in almost every enterprise-level project out there, but you’ll still want to take into account other popular frameworks for more specific purposes. Frameworks like TestNG, Selenide, Gauge, Geb, and Spock come to mind.
In any case, you’ll want to have the right-sized team and the right onboard talent to carry out an operation of this complexity. For that, outsourcing Java development is always an option—and a great one at that. Happy testing!