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Why We Refactored JUnit
The Story of an Open Source Endeavor
by Bill Venners, with Matt Gerrans and Frank Sommers
January 27, 2003

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Adding Value to JUnit

JUnit is the de facto standard open-source unit test toolkit for Java. Countless organizations have written countless JUnit test cases. We realized most developers would never use Artima SuiteRunner if it meant throwing out their investment in JUnit test cases, so we needed to make sure Artima SuiteRunner added value on top of JUnit. We wanted to find ways to help JUnit users get more out of their existing JUnit test suites.

One difference between JUnit and Artima SuiteRunner is that in JUnit, the notion of results reporting is linked to the notion of running test suites. For example, to generate test results as text, you use JUnit's text runner. To generate graphical test results, you use JUnit's Swing runner. By contrast, Artima SuiteRunner separates the notion of running from that of reporting. In Artima SuiteRunner, we provide one runner that can be configured with multiple reporters. Each reporter presents customized test results: for example, a text reporter presents results as text, a graphical reporter presents results graphically.

Because JUnit links the concepts of running and reporting in the notion of a runner, we made Artima SuiteRunner a JUnit runner. You can use Artima SuiteRunner to run and report results of JUnit tests, just like you can use JUnit's text or Swing runners. The three main advantages of using SuiteRunner to run your JUnit tests are reporters, runpaths, and recipe files:

Artima SuiteRunner can help developers create unit and conformance tests, whether or not they have an existing investment in JUnit test cases.

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