Unit testing

Software testing method by which individual units of source code are validated

During development, a software developer may code criteria, or results that are known to be good, into the test to verify the unit's correctness. During test case execution, frameworks log tests that fail any criterion and report them in a summary. For this, the most commonly used approach is test - function - expected value.

In this case the unit tests, having been written first, act as a design document specifying the form and behaviour of a desired solution, but not the implementation details, which are left for the programmer. Following the "do the simplest thing that could possibly work" practice, the easiest solution that will make the test pass is shown below.

Using unit-tests as a design specification has one significant advantage over other design methods: The design document (the unit-tests themselves) can itself be used to verify the implementation. The tests will never pass unless the developer implements a solution according to the design.

Extreme programming uses the creation of unit tests for test-driven development. The developer writes a unit test that exposes either a software requirement or a defect. This test will fail because either the requirement isn't implemented yet, or because it intentionally exposes a defect in the existing code. Then, the developer writes the simplest code to make the test, along with other tests, pass.

Unit testing frameworks are most often third-party products that are not distributed as part of the compiler suite. They help simplify the process of unit testing, having been developed for a wide variety of languages.

Some languages do not have built-in unit-testing support but have established unit testing libraries or frameworks. These languages include: