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Combining usage-based and model-based testing for service-oriented architectures in the industrial practice


Usage-based testing focuses quality assurance on highly used parts of the software. The basis for this are usage profiles based on which test cases are generated. There are two fundamental approaches in usage-based testing for deriving usage profiles: either the system under test (SUT) is observed during its operation and from the obtained usage data a usage profile is automatically inferred, or a usage profile is modeled by hand within a model-based testing (MBT) approach. In this article, we propose a third and combined approach, where we automatically infer a usage profile and create a test data repository from usage data. Then, we create representations of the generated tests and test data in the test model from an MBT approach. The test model enables us to generate executable Testing and Test Control Notation version 3 (TTCN-3) and thereby allows us to automate the test execution. Together with industrial partners, we adopted this approach in two pilot studies. Our findings show that usage-based testing can be applied in practice and greatly helps with the automation of tests. Moreover, we found that even if usage-based testing is not of interest, the incorporation of usage data can ease the application of MBT.

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  2. Please note that this does not have to be the case in synchronous communication if a service internally sends a request to another service before responding to the client.


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This work was done in the context of the “Model and Inference Driven-Automated testing of Services architectures” (MIDAS) European project (project number 318786). We would like to thank Testing Technologies for their support in terms of licensing as well as feedback to support requests regarding TTworkbench; Fraunhofer FOKUS for the creation and maintenance of the MIDAS DSL and TTCN-3 generation; and our pilot partners from ITAINNOVA and Dedalus S.p.A. for their support in conducting the pilot studies.

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Correspondence to Steffen Herbold.

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Herbold, S., Harms, P. & Grabowski, J. Combining usage-based and model-based testing for service-oriented architectures in the industrial practice. Int J Softw Tools Technol Transfer 19, 309–324 (2017).

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  • Usage-based testing
  • Model-based testing
  • Usage monitoring
  • Web service testing
  • TTCN-3