Utilizing your .NET Project's Automated Acceptance Tests on Crystal Reports - Part 1
page 1 of 7
Published: 19 May 2008
In this first part of the series, Eric shows how to use automated acceptance testing against Crystal Reports using the object model. After providing the requirements, he examines how to utilize automated acceptance tests with reports along with sample code to validate the report. He concludes the article by providing a structure of the report settings.
by Eric Landes
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As agile development methods become more accepted in the development world, I have wondered the best way to incorporate agile methods on the reporting side of projects.  Face it, reporting is often the forgotten step-child of most projects. 

Agile has many practices, including Stories, Planning Poker, daily standups, team rooms, continuous integration and more. How and can we incorporate reports in these practices? 

Some of these questions have easy answers. For instance, we can turn a request for a report into a story. And most teams worth their salt can score those stories in their Planning Poker sessions.  We can discuss the reports in our daily standups, and ask for help on these reports in our team rooms.

The practice that is vital to most of the projects I have worked on is Automated Customer Acceptance tests. Automated Customer Acceptance Tests constitute our customer requirements document. The customers create or are highly engaged in creating these tests. They also get to see the tests turn green or red when the backend code is executed against the tests. If the tests are not green, the customers and developers know something is wrong. Combine this with live demos every week of the software using these methods, and the customers develop faith and trust in the development process.

These acceptance tests represent executable requirements. Executable requirements make for a highly maintainable software project. Your continuous integration constantly runs all of your automated tests when team members check in source and this verifies that the new changes have not broken the software. In this series of articles, we will investigate how to include your automated acceptance tests against Crystal Reports.

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