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Published by: M_Computer on Nov 13, 2011
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A vieweror monitortest tool allows you to see details of the software’s operation that you
wouldn’t normally be able to see. In Chapter 7,“Testing the Software with X-Ray Glasses,”
you learned how code coverage analyzers provide a means for you to see what lines of code
are executed,what functions are run,and what code paths are followed when you run your
tests. A code coverage analyzer is an example of a viewing tool. Most code coverage analyzers
are invasive tools because they need to be compiled and linked into the program to access the
information they provide.

Figure 14.1 shows an example of another type of viewer—a communications analyzer(or
comm analyzer,for short). This tool allows you to see the raw protocol datamoving across a
network or other communications cable. It simply taps into the line,pulls off the data as it
passes by,and displays it on another computer. If you’re testing such a system,you could enter
a test case on Computer #1,confirm that the resulting communications data is correct on
Computer #3,and check that the appropriate results occurred on Computer #2. You might also
use this system to investigate why a bug occurs. By looking at the data pulled off the wire,you
could determine if the problem lies in creating the data (Computer #1) or interpreting the data
(Computer #2). This type of system is non-invasive to the software.

19 1983-7 CH14 10/12/00 2:19 PM Page 222

FIGURE 14.1

A communications analyzer provides a view into the raw data being transferred between two systems.

Thecode debuggers that come with most compilers are also considered viewers because they
allow programmers or white-box testers to view internal variable values and program states.
Anything that lets you see into the system and look at data that the average user wouldn’t be
able to see can be classified as a viewer test tool.

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