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Using Batch Tests

A "batch test" in Fuego is a Fuego test that runs a series of other tests as a group. The results of the individual tests are consolidated into a list of testcase results for the batch test.

Prior to Fuego version 1.5, there was a different feature, called "testplans", which allowed users to compose sets of tests into logical groups, and run them together. The batch test system, introduced in Fuego version 1.5 replaces the testplan system.

How to make a batch test [edit section]

A batch test consists of a Fuego test that runs other tests. A Fuego batch test is similar to other Fuego tests, in that the test definition lives in fuego-core/tests/<test-name>, and it consists of a file, a spec file, a, a test.yaml file and possibly other files.

The difference is that a Fuego batch test runs other Fuego tests, as a group. The batch test has a few elements that are different from other tests.

Inside the file, a batch test must define two main elements:

  • the testplan element
  • the test_run function, with commands to run other tests

Testplan element [edit section]

The testplan element consists of data assigned to the shell variable BATCH_TESTPLAN. This variable contains lines that specify, in machine-readable form, the tests that are part of the batch job. The testplan is specified in json format, and is used to specify the attributes (such as timeout, flags, and specs) for each test. The testplan element is used by 'ftc add-jobs' to create Jenkins jobs for each sub-test that is executed by this batch test.

The BATCH_TESTPLAN variable must be defined in the file. The definition must begin with a line starting with the string 'BATCH_TESTPLAN=' and end with a line starting with the string 'END_TESTPLAN'. By convention this is defined as a shell "here document", like this example:

    "testPlanName": "foo_plan",
    "tests": [
        { "testName": "" },
        { "testName": "" }

The lines of the testplan follow the format described at Testplan_Reference. Please see that page for details about the plan fields and structure (the schema for the testplan data).

test_run function [edit section]

The other element in a batch test's is a test_run function. This function is used to actually execute the tests in the batch.

There are two functions that are available to help with this:

The body of the test_run function for a batch test usually has a few common elements:

  • setting of the FUEGO_BATCH_ID
  • execution of the sub-tests, using a call to the function run_test for each one

Here are the commands in the test_run function for the test Functional.batch_hello:

    function test_run {
        export TC_NUM=1
        export FUEGO_BATCH_ID="hello-$(allocate_next_batch_id)"
        # don't stop on test errors
        set +e
        log_this "echo \"batch_id=$FUEGO_BATCH_ID\""
        run_test Functional.hello_world
        run_test Functional.hello_world -s hello-fail
        run_test Functional.hello_world -s hello-random
        set -e

Setting the batch_id [edit section]

Fuego uses a 'batch id' to indicate that a group of test runs are related. Since a single Fuego test can be run in many different ways (e.g. from the command line or from Jenkins, triggered manually or automatically, or as part of one batch test or another), it is helpful for the run data for a test to be assigned a batch_id that can be used to generate reports or visualize data for the group of tests that are part of the batch.

A batch test should set the FUEGO_BATCH_ID for the run to a unique string for that run of the batch test. Each sub-test will store the batch id in its run.json file, and this can be used to filter run data in subsequent test operations. The Fuego system can provide a unique number, via the routine allocate_next_batch_id. By convention, the batch_id for a test is created by combining a test-specific prefix string with the number returned from allocate_next_batch_id.

In the example above, the prefix used is 'hello-', and this would be followed by a number returned by allocate_next_batch_id.

Executing sub-tests [edit section]

The run_test function is used to execute the sub-tests that are part of the batch. The other portions of the example above show setting various shell variables that are used by 'run_test', and turning off 'errexit' mode while the sub-tests are running.

In the example above, TC_NUM, TC_NAME, and DEFAULT_TIMEOUT are used for various effects. These variables are optional, and in most cases a batch test can be written without having to set them. Fuego will generate automatic strings or values for these variables if they are not defined by the batch test.

Please see the documentation for run_test for details about the environment and arguments used when calling the function.

Avoiding stopping on errors [edit section]

The example above shows use of 'set +e' and 'set -e' to control the shell's 'errexit' mode. By default, Fuego runs tests with the shell errexit mode enabled. However, a batch test should anticipate that some of its sub-tests might fail. If you want all of the tests in the batch to run, even if some of them fail, they you should use 'set +e' to disable errexit mode, and 'set -e' to re-enable it when you are done.

Of course, if you want the batch test to stop if one of the sub-tests fails, they you should control the errexit mode accordingly (for example, leaving it set during all sub-test executions, or disabling it or enabling it only during the execution of particular sub-tests).

Whether to manipulate the shell errexit mode or not depends on what the batch test is doing. If it is implementing a sequence of dependent test stages, the errexit mode should be left enabled. If a batch test is implementing a series of unrelated, independent tests, the errexit mode should be disabled and re-enabled as shown.

test output [edit section]

The run_test function logs test results in a format similar to TAP13. This consists of the test output, followed by a line starting with the batch id (inside double brackets), then "ok" or "not ok" to indicate the sub-test result, followed by the testcase number and testcase name.

A standard for this syntax is available and used by other batch tests in the system (See fuego-core/tests/Functional.batch_hello/

Preparing the system for a batch job [edit section]

In order to run a batch test from Jenkins, you need to define a Jenkins job for the batch test, and jobs for all of the sub-tests that are called by the batch test.

You can use 'ftc add-jobs' with the batch test, and Fuego will create the job for the batch test itself as well as jobs for all of its sub-tests.

It is possible to run a batch test from the command line using 'ftc run-test', without creating Jenkins jobs. However if you want to see the results of the test in the Jenkins interface, then the Jenkins test jobs need to be defined prior to running the batch test from the command line.

Executing a batch test [edit section]

A batch test is executed the same way as any other Fuego test. Once installed as a Jenkins job, you can execute it using the Jenkins interface (manually), or use Jenkins features to cause it to trigger automatically. Or, you can run the test from the command line using 'ftc run-test'.

Viewing batch test results [edit section]

You can view results from a batch test in two ways:
  • inside the Jenkins interface, or
  • using ftc to generate a report.

Jenkins batch test results tables [edit section]

Inside the Jenkins interface, a batch job will display the list of sub-tests, and the PASS/FAIL status of each one. In addition, if there is a Jenkins job associated with a particular sub-test, there will be a link in the table cell for that test run, that you can click to see that individual test's result and data in the Jenkins interface.

Generating a report [edit section]

You can view a report for a batch test, by specifying the batch_id with the 'ftc gen-report' command.

To determine the batch_id, look at the log for the batch test (testlog.txt file). Or, generate a report listing the batch_ids for the batch test, like so:

  • $ ftc gen-report --where test=batch_<name> --fields timestamp,batch_id

Select an appropriate batch_id from the list that appears, and note it for use in the next command.

Now, to see the results from the individual sub-tests in the batch, use the desired batch_id as part of a where clause, like so:

  • $ ftc gen-report --where batch_id=<batch_id>

You should see a report with all sub-test results for the batch.

Miscelaneous notes [edit section]

Timeouts [edit section]

The timeout for a batch test should be long enough for all sub-tests to complete. When a batch test is launched from Jenkins, the board on which it will run is reserved and will be unavailable for tests until the entire batch is complete. Keep this in mind when executing batch tests that call sub-tests that have a long duration.

The timeout for individual sub-tests can be specified multiple ways. First, the timeout listed in the testplan (embedded in as the BATCH_TESTPLAN variable) is the one assigned to the Jenkins job for the sub-test, when jobs are created during test installation into Jenkins. These take effect when a sub-test is run independently from the batch test.

If you want to specify a non-default timeout for a test, then you must use a --timeout argument to the run_test function, for that sub-test.

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