Home > Articles > Programming > Java

Extreme Programming with Ant: The First Iteration

Walk through a first iteration with an example team. You will witness the firstunit test, JUnit hooked into the Ant build process, and other attributes that are vital to the process. You will also be introduced to the use of CVS as the version control system and will conclude with the development of a simple deployment target to handle file creation.
This chapter is from the book

In This Chapter

  • Benefits of Automated Testing

  • Benefits of Integrating Testing into Ant

  • Types of Automated Testing

  • What Is Unit Testing?

  • Test First Design

  • JUnit

  • Version-Control Systems

  • CVS Access and Logins

  • Basic Deployment

Ant can play an important role in testing. By integrating testing into the build and deployment process, it becomes easier to implement and enforce ease-of-use considerations and compliance with testing standards. Development teams will see a marked improvement in quality and can more easily stick to delivery schedules. Ant plays a key role in merging the testing process with the build process, to provide a seamless integration of the often-divergent processes.


Networks Byte Design, Inc., has embarked on a project to implement eMarket, their new e-commerce solution for sales and marketing. The core project team has been assembled and is developing the product using XP. So far, the eMarket project team has collected user stories written by the customer, decided on a high-level architecture, and implemented spikes to reduce the risks associated with the technical design decisions. Sandy, the project leader, schedules a release planning meeting between the development team and the customer to sort out the user stories in order to create a release plan.

At the meeting, the developers listen to the customer present each story. The development team divides into smaller groups and assigns a point value to each story to indicate its expected difficulty. During the meeting, some user stories are torn up and rewritten, some are discarded entirely, and a few new stories are added.

The development team returns the stories to the customer with their initial estimates and anticipated velocity. After seeing the estimates, the customer begins to define the priorities. The customer determines the order in which the stories should be implemented, based on the business value and time required to complete the story. The result of the meeting is that the first release plan is developed, which was created to get the stories with the highest business value completed first.

The customer has selected the stories that she wants to have completed in the first iteration, and puts them at the top of the stack of all the stories. The developers and customer go over the user stories, and the development team discusses the technical aspects of the stories and the tasks that need to be completed. Finally, the developers sign up for tasks for this iteration.

Sandy is concerned with the customer's uncertainty about requirements related to workflow and usability. She directs the team to focus on the user interface so that the customer can have an early look at the proposed design and workflow.

Michael, the lead developer, decides that for the first iteration, they will use dummy business objects that have their interfaces developed as needed, but will just return hard-coded data for the time being. The real implementation of the business objects will occur in later iterations.

Having completed the first release plan and iteration plan, the group begins work on the first iteration, which is to begin implementing the Web interface and mocking up the business objects. Each pair of developers will write a unit test that tests the functionality that they are about to implement. That is followed by the required class implementation. As new functionality is added to each class, the unit test is first modified before adding the new functionality to the class. The developers must run their unit tests each time they build their code. To do this efficiently, they need to modify the buildfile to handle unit testing. JUnit, a free open-source tool that integrates easily with Ant, is selected as the team's unit-testing tool.

The expense of fixing a bug also generally increases as you move along the development cycle. A bug caught during development is less expensive to fix than a bug caught during testing. The cost rises dramatically when a bug must be fixed in a product that has already shipped. The sooner bugs can be detected and fixed, the less money they cost to fix.

Testing is an important aspect of every development project. Unless the software can meet the minimal standards for usability, reliability, performance, requirements, and overall quality, it might never make it to a production system. All the work spent in planning, design, and coding will go to waste if the intended audience never uses the system.

With all the emphasis on testing, it would seem that the various forms of testing would be a major aspect of most software-development projects. Unfortunately, many projects start out with good intentions but rarely follow through with those plans. Most people agree on the importance that testing should play in the project, but testing often is conducted toward the end of the project, when the schedule for testing becomes severely compacted, sometimes to the point of becoming ineffective.

To attempt to combat this trend, newer development methodologies, such as XP, emphasize testing early and often in the process. Many of the techniques for testing in these methodologies are not new; they are simply changes in the frequency and schedule of testing procedures. Emphasis is placed on unit testing, in which developers test the smallest components of the system. These new concepts are not miracle cures or silver-bullet solutions, but they can help ensure that the software being developed has been designed and coded with testing in mind.

Benefits of Automated Testing

Automated testing brings a number of benefits. For one, the tests are repeatable. When a test is created, it can be run each time the testing process is launched. Automating testing reduces the fatigue of performing testing manually, which leads to more consistent results. Also, because the tests are automated, they're easy to run, which means that they will be run more often. As new bugs are discovered and fixed, tests can be added to check for those bugs, to ensure that they aren't reintroduced. This increases the overall completeness of testing.

Automating the testing process can be as beneficial as automating the build process. The testing process is based on the concept of being repeatable, which requires an automated or, at the very least, well-documented process. Some of the benefits of automated testing are that it

  • Is a repeatable process

  • Uses a consistent approach

  • Follows a documented process

  • Frees up developer-hours for more profitable tasks

  • Is expandable and flexible, with changes in code propagated to the testing procedure faster and more efficiently

  • Negates the fatigue factor as development deadlines approach because automated tests will eliminate the stress and workload of manual testing on developers

Some drawbacks are worth mentioning, of course. Some features don't easily lend themselves to automated testing. For example, sometimes automation-testing software can be used to test complex GUI applications, but often these applications must be tested by hand.

Automated testing is not a panacea for all problems, but it can contribute to an efficient and effective software development process. Integrating a testing tool into Ant that wasn't designed to be executed from Ant can require additional work. This can be accomplished by extending Ant, using BSF scripting, or using the <exec> task to launch another tool. If the test will be run frequently, the effort is worth the benefits gained in ease of testing.

Because it's a repeatable process, automated testing achieves an important part of the testing process by making it possible to conduct regression testing, to retest the same scenario again. How many bugs reported by testing teams cannot be duplicated by the developers? How many bugs are fixed, yet the tests that are run to check the fixes are insufficient or different from the original tests? These are the types of issues that regression testing helps address, and this is why the benefit of repeatable tests is so high.

Consistency issues are easiest to observe in teams with multiple testers and developers, but even a single tester would rarely conduct the same tests the same way each time. Automating the process maintains consistency from one run of the test to the next, regardless of how much time passes between the two runs of the tests or who is executing the tests.

The best kind of documentation is documentation that does not have to be written and yet is guaranteed to be correct. In a nutshell, that is a description of a self-documenting system. The goal is to create readable code. When the programmer clearly defines the testing goals for the test, someone who comes along later can easily understand the purpose of the test. This documentation does not have to be written; it is a beneficial side effect. The code is guaranteed to be correct because the tests have been executed under certain conditions and passed. Basically, tests should be as self-documenting as possible. Most developers don't like to comment the code that's going into the product. They're even less likely to comment the unit tests that accompany the product code because they know that the unit-test code won't go into the product. By developing readable code, the need to heavily comment the unit tests is greatly reduced.

By automating the testing process, the computer will usually execute the testing process in less time than it takes a tester to perform manually. Although the code will take the same time to execute, the prep time and interpretation of the results will be quicker with the automated process. Also, because this is a repeatable test, the automated approach becomes even more beneficial when the tests must be run multiple times. People get tired of conducting the same tests repeatedly, and will make mistakes, but the automated processes run consistently each time. Again, manual testing has its place; the advantage of automated testing is that it can easily catch many of the problems before manual testing even begins.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020