Generate new tests based on a template

It can be a tedious work to create a test-suite. Just for your information, the creation of a test suite to check the structure of a cube with 500 measures and 40 dimensions quickly lead to a test-suite with more than 2500 tests! When writing these kind of test you’ll quickly understand that there is a lot of repetition in the xml. It’s a clue that we can automatize or at least assist to the creation of such a test-suite.

To achieve this, there is tool named Genbi provided with NBi releases since version 1.1. The basic behaviour of this tool is to generate fragments of xml based on a template and a CSV file containing the values variables used by the template.
Genbi - Whole screen.png

Prepare your CSV

For this sample, we’ll suppose that you’ve a cube with two dimensions named “Finance” and “Operation”. The first dimension will have three dimensions “Date”, “Customer” and “Invoice”, the second one will have “Date”, “Customer” and “Task”. We’ll create a CSV with two columns named “perspective” and “dimension”. Then, we’ll create one row by perspective and dimension. The final result will be:
Save your file with a CSV extension. When your file is ready, you can open it with Genbi. For this click on the button named “Open CSV …” and select your file.
Select a CSV file.png

Tune your CSV

Genbi has filled a table and displayed the content of your CSV file.
Columns - Manipulations.png
When your CSV file is opened in Genbi it’s possible to update it.

The most important feature is to be able to rename the headers of your column (By default the value is the first line of your CSV). The names of your column header are really important because they will be used later in the generation process. The headers must match with the name of the variables that are in used in the template.

You can also add, remove or update rows directly in the table displayed in Genbi. You can also remove a column from the CSV. Note that all the changes applied at this moment are not persisted in your CSV file.

Select your template

You can open a template from the list of templates provided by Genbi or open an external file.
Open Template.png
The template contains the xml of the test to generate with placeholder for the value of each variables. The placeholder are defined as the name of the variable surrounded by the symbol “$”. As a sample the following template will replace the word $perspective$ by the name of your perspective (Finance) and the word $dimension$ by the name of your dimension (Customer). Then we’ll restart this process for the next lines in your CSV.
<test name="$dimension$ of $perspective$"/>
Will be transformed into the following 6 tests.
<test name="Customer of Finance"/>
<test name="Date of Finance"/>
<test name="Invoice of Finance"/>
<test name="Customer of Operation"/>
<test name="Date of Operation"/>
<test name="Task of Operation"/>
It's possible to edit the template and save your edited version in an external file to use it again later.
Template - Manipulations.png

Automatic variables

As discussed above, you can use the variables corresponding to the columns defined in your column header is the name of your variable and each correspond to a set of values for your variables. There are also a few intrinsic variables available
  • user: return the login of the user currently connected when generating these tests
  • now : return the date and time of the test generation
  • time : return the time of the test generation
  • today : return the date of the test generation
  • uid : return an integer starting at 1 and increment for each test


To generate your tests, just click on the button generate.

Valid tests

Before generating your tests, Genbi will check that they are valid from a syntax point of view. If your test is not syntactically valid, Genbi will complain that it can’t serialize your test. If your template make usage of un undefined variable, Genbi will also complain.

Other generation features

  • The undo button will allow you to remove all the tests generated during your last attempt to generate tests.
  • The button clear will completely clear all your tests
  • The button save allow you to persist your tests into a test-suite file (nbits).
  • Double clicking on a test will open a new window where you’ll be able to check the resulting test.
  • Left click on a test will let you delete this test.

Use grouping option

The features described above are really nice if you want to generate a test where you haven’t a variable representing a set (multiple values). By example, the assertion named “subsetOf” requires that you’ve a set of value on which you’ll perform your test.
You can achieve this by using the Use grouping option. This will transform your table into a kind of tree view where the first columns will define your test and your last column will define the set of values. It means that using the CSV described above we'll generate 2 tests (2 distinct values in first column), each of them with a set of three values (last column).

Using the grouping option and the following template:
<test name="$dimension; separator=", "$ of $perspective$">
The generation will result into the following 2 tests.
<test name="Customer, Date, Invoice of Finance"/>
<test name="Customer, Date, Task of Operation"/>

It's also possible to use elements of the grammar of StringTemplate as functions or conditionals.

<test name="All dimensions in perspective '$perspective$' are a subset of these $length(dimension)$ elements">
	<description>Verify that all the dimensions visible through the perspective '$perspective$' are in the following list of $length(dimension)$ expected dimensions: $dimension; separator=", "$.</description>
	<edition author="$username$" created="$now$"/>
			<dimensions perspective="$perspective$"/>
			<item>$dimension; separator="</item>

will result into

<test name="All dimensions in perspective 'Finance' are a subset of these 3 elements">
	<description>Verify that all the dimensions visible through the perspective 'Finance' are in the following list of 3 expected dimensions: Customer, Date, Invoice.</description>
	<edition author="Myself" created="2013-04-27T14:40:12"/>
			<dimensions perspective="Finance"/>

<test name="All dimensions in perspective 'Operation' are a subset of these 3 elements">
	<description>Verify that all the dimensions visible through the perspective 'Finance' are in the following list of 3 expected dimensions: Customer, Date, Task.</description>
	<edition author="Myself" created="2013-04-27T14:40:12"/>
			<dimensions perspective="Operation"/>

Edit your settings

It's also possible to edit the settings of your test-suite. In version 1.1, it's possible to do this for Default values but not for Reference (will come later).
Settings - Manipulations.png

Save your tests suite

When all your tests are ready, you can save them into a new test-suite by clicking on "Save as ..." button.
Save Test Suite.png

Last edited Apr 27, 2013 at 1:00 PM by Seddryck, version 4


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