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A plethora of tools is available in the tech market for automated testing of Java/J2EE applications. However, for this blog, I have winnowed down the long list of Java testing tools to the most used and popular ones, based on the reviews of some Java developers I recently talked to. So, don’t feel offended if I miss out on your favorite Java testing tool, as there is no perfect tool in this world. The 8 Java testing tools/frameworks I am going to discuss in this blog are meant for unit testing or functional testing or for specific types of Java components such as view, logic and validation components.

8 Useful Tools/Frameworks for Java Testing

#1 JUnit

Without a doubt, JUnit is the most popular Java testing framework out there. The framework is open source and is widely used by Java developers for writing & executing unit test cases. JUnit has also been one of the major forces behind the adoption of test-driven development methodologies. JUnit comes as a packaged JAR (Java ARchive) library, and you can download junit.jar and hamcrest-core.jar files from GitHub before placing them in your test class path.

The Java testing framework is very simple to use, and provides annotations for test method identifications. Assertion is another exciting feature of JUnit which it uses to test the expected results. With JUnit, Java developers can quickly run unit tests and get instant results via red/green progress bar.

Although JUnit is a popular unit testing framework, it can also be used for integration and acceptance tests. So, you can easily integrate JUnit with standard IDEs, like eclipse and netbeans.

#2 JWalk

JWalk is a Java testing tool that relies on Lazy, Systematic Unit Testing. The tool performs bounded exhaustive testing of any compiled Java class, supplied by the programmer.

Although JUnit enables to frequently retest the modified code, the manually created test scripts often remain incomplete. But that’s not the case with JWalk, which operates directly on the compiled code for Java classes and uses a new lazy method for inducing the changing design of a class on the fly. Besides, fully automated checking gradually takes over manual inspection of the test report.

For systematic testing, JWalk performs exhaustive testing of the whole state-space of the object to ensure compliance with the specification. The tool is smart enough to infer the specification from hints supplied by the programmer during the testing process, and from smart assumptions made about the intended design of the code.

#3 Mockito

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Mockito, an open source framework under MIT license, is one of the most famous mocking frameworks for Java. The reason why mocking frameworks have become popular is that they improve unit tests by removing the outside dependencies, thereby giving rise to better, faster, independent unit tests. Unlike other mocking frameworks, Mockito makes it possible to verify the behavior of the system under test (SUT) without setting up expectations in advance.

The existence of a robust coupling between the test code and the SUT often makes it difficult to deal with mock objects. However, Mockito minimizes the coupling by removing the expect-run-verify pattern through elimination of the expectations specification. Therefore, Mockito paves the way for simpler test code that is easier to read and modify.

#4 TestNG

Image source: Software Testing Class

TestNG is a testing framework inspired from JUnit and NUnit, but it has more powerful and easy-to-use functionalities. TestNG was designed keeping in mind a broad testing spectrum: Unit, functional, end-to-end, integration, etc. Testers prefer TestNG over JUnit for mainly three reasons:

  • Easier understanding of annotations

  • Easier grouping of test cases

  • Enables parallel testing

Besides, various tools and plugins, like Eclipse, IDEA, Maven, etc, support TestNG. The NG means next generation. Other virtues of TestNG are flexible test configuration, support for data-driven testing, JDK functions for runtime and logging (without dependencies), code testing in a multi thread safe, etc.

#5 JwebUnit

JwebUnit is a Java framework used for functional, Regression and Integration testing of web applications. The framework provides a simple interface for writing test cases, and is a good choice for screen navigation testing.

JwebUnit uses testing frameworks like HtmlUnit and Selenium to provide a unified, simple testing interface, thereby making it possible for you to quickly test the correctness of your web applications. If you want to use the latest version of JwebUnit, i.e. 3.3, you need to have the knowledge of Java 1.7.

#6 TagUnit

Similar to JUnit, TagUnit also has test cases, test suites and tests that are written as assertions. An important distinction to JUnit is that tests are written as JSP pages, not Java classes. JSP tags are either built-in or user-defined tag elements that remove a huge burden from JSP to separate reusable components.

Java classes are used to write the functionality of Tags. If you think that using JUnit is enough to test them directly, you’re wrong. Since they are not standalone classes, a JSP needs to be converted into Servlet to call the tag classes. This is another reason why TagUnit is also called a tag library for testing custom tags within JSP pages.

# 7 HTMLUnit

HTMLUnit, an open source library and a headless browser, is written in Java and is widely used for Integration testing. JSPs are designed to run inside the web container. However, HTMLUnit is well capable of testing the View part even without the container. Using Jasper, JSPs are first manually converted to Servlet class. And since the container is not running, simulation of the request and response behavior needs to be done. For this, one needs to create Mock objects of JSPWriter, PageContext, HTTPServletRequest and HTTPServletResponse.

It won’t be right to call HtmlUnit a generic unit testing framework. It simply provides a way to simulate a browser for testing purposes.

#8 Arquillian

Image source: Geek On Java

Arquillian is an integration testing framework for Integration and Functional testing of Java. Without any exaggeration, it’s a highly innovative and extendable testing platform for JVM. Arquillian offers testers the-much-needed ease in creating automated integration, functional and acceptance tests for Java.

The tool also rids the need of creating mock objects and removes the hassles of dealing with container lifecycle and deployment. Arquillian also integrates with other testing frameworks, like JUnit 4, TestNG 5, and launches tests using existing existing IDE.

The tech market is flooded with numerous Java testing tools. However, for this blog, I have picked the ones that are mostly used by Java developers and testers. I hope the list above helps you choose a Java testing tool that best fits your needs. Always remember, there is no good or bad tool. Based on functionalities and varied requirements, a Java testing framework that is good for someone may not be so good for you. So, make your decision after assessing your project requirements and acquainting yourself with all that’s on offer by a Java testing tool.

Have you ever used a Java testing framework before? Do you want to discuss a tool that you previously used for Java testing, but it’s not being listed in the blog? Your views are vital for all our readers, please share them in the comment box below.
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According to PYPL Index (PopularitY of Programming Language) and TIOBE Index (The Importance of Being Earnest), Java is the most popular programming language world over. Since Java was introduced 20 years ago, several libraries, utilities, and programs are already available in the tech market that tout to be the best for Java development. However, before you choose a tool for your Java project, it’s paramount to know about its functionality, simplicity, flexibility, effectiveness and how suitable it is for your project. That said, I am discussing 7 popular Java tools you may find worth using to remove the complexity of your Java development project in 2017.

7 Tools for Java Developers to Add to Their Toolkit in 2017

#1 Eclipse

Eclipse, an open-source integrated development environment (IDE) and sponsored by IBM, continues to be one of the top choices among Java developers. Eclipse offers constant assistance while coding. So, instead of digging through documentation, you can complete your code through methods with ease and in quick time. Eclipse also offers tool-assisted refactoring and syntax checking, which ensures that developers write correct code while they type.

Eclipse also offers Java Development Tools (JDT) project that provides a set of plugins to empower the Eclipse platform with a full-featured Java IDE. Easy access to a wide range of plugins helps developers build all kinds of Java applications.

Besides Java, Eclipse offers support for languages, like C/C++ and PHP. Neon, the eleventh named release of Eclipse software and the latest version of Eclipse, includes content from eighty-five Eclipse projects. It brings support for high DPI monitors on Windows and Linux. Neon also provides improved editing tools, improved JavaScript and JSON tools, and support for PHP 7.

#2 NetBeans

NetBeans, an open source project and sponsored by Oracle, provides developers robust software development products (the NetBeans IDE and the NetBeans Platform) to make optimum use of Java platform for quick, easy and efficient Java development. NetBeans is recokned as the original free Java IDE. Similar to Eclipse, NetBeans also offers cross-platform support and support for various languages, like PHP, JavaFX, C/C++, JavaScript, etc. However, unlike Eclipse which is a plugin based IDE, Netbeans is a tool-based IDE and has many projects. With NetBeans, developers get the freedom of incorporating many platforms using tooling support.

Although NetBeans is not as flexible, simple and fast as Eclipse is, its default support of AWT or Swing makes it an interesting choice over Eclipse. This IDE allows developers to implement the latest Java technologies in their applications by using a gamut of features like converters, editors and code analyzers.

#3 IntelliJ IDEA 13.1

IntelliJ IDEA 13.1, a product of JetBrains, is very popular for being the most intelligent and user friendly Java IDE. The smart code completion feature of IntelliJ IDEA helps developers quickly navigate through their code. Besides, error analysis and swift fixes make the life of Java developers easy. Although features like code completion, refactoring and navigation are available with many other IDEs too, none makes coding assistance as intelligent and efficient as IntelliJ IDEA does.

IntelliJ IDEA comes to the rescue when you don’t remember class name with a static method or a constant. All you need is to type the constant name and call code completion twice. After you do that, IntelliJ IDEA brings you a list of classes containing members with the name you’re looking for. Not only this, the IDE automatically adds required import statements after you decide to use one of the variants. Owing to accessible interface and the deep code intelligence feature, IntelliJ IDEA surpassed Eclipse in popularity in 2016.

IntelliJ IDEA is available under two editions - the free Community Edition, and the subscription-based Ultimate Edition. It’s worth noting that Android Studio, an open source IDE for Android apps, is based on the open source community edition of IntelliJ IDEA. The Community Edition offers support for several Java-based languages, but not for as many languages as The Ultimate Edition does.

Languages

IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition

IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate Edition

Java

Yes

Yes

Clojure (via separate plugin)

Yes

Yes

Dart (via separate plugin)

Yes

Yes

Erlang (via separate plugin)

Yes

Yes

Go (via separate plugin)

Yes

Yes

Groovy

Yes

Yes

Haxe (via separate plugin)

Yes

Yes

Perl (via separate plugin)

Yes

Yes

Scala (via separate plugin)

Yes

Yes

XML/XSL

Yes

Yes

Kotlin

Yes

Yes

ActionScript/MXML

No

Yes

CoffeeScript

No

Yes

Haskell (via separate plugin)

Yes

Yes

HTML/XHTML/CSS

No

Yes

JavaScript

No

Yes

Lua (via separate plugin)

Yes

Yes

PHP (via separate plugin)

No

Yes

Python (via separate plugin)

Yes

Yes

Ruby/JRuby

No

Yes

SQL

No

Yes

TypeScript (via separate plugin)

No

Yes

Source: Wikipedia

For Java developers, IntelliJ IDEA is a means of advanced support for web and mobile development. The IDE supports all platforms and top frameworks, including Java EE, Spring, Android, GWT, Vaadin, Play, Grails, Hibernate, Thymeleaf, AngularJS, React, Velocity, Freemarker, Struts, Guice, JavaFX, Swing.

#4 JUnit

JUnit, an open-source framework, is the go-to tool of choice for unit testing of Java apps. Instead of writing special method name, JUnit calls for using annotations, like @Before in the place of setup method. There are many frameworks that also enable developers to write and run tests, but JUnit has become the most popular choice for unit testing as it allows to test one block of code at a time. So, there is no need to wait for the module to finish before you run a test. The ability to test and then code increases productivity and stability of program code and reduces the time for debugging.

JUnit can also integrate with build tools, like Maven and Ant, and third party extensions, like xmlUnit. JUnit also provides AWT based and Swing based graphical test reporting mechanism. Besides, the implementation of JUnitEE test framework enables JUnit tests within the application server’s container.

#5 Apache Maven


Maven, a project hosted by Apache Software Foundation, is a build automation tool, used mainly for Java projects. Maven also supports languages other than Java, such as C#, Ruby, Scala, etc. Dependency management is the best feature of Maven. Compared to its predecessor Apache Ant, Maven is far better when it comes to build actions, debugging and collaboration. However, Ant should be your preferred choice when your development project requires you to write complex, customized build scripts, since Maven mostly takes care of dependency management.

#6 Clover

Clover, bought and further developed by Atlassian, is a Java Code Coverage Analysis application. Clover is popular among Java developers for providing a way to identify untested areas in order to avoid risks to the quality of the application. Clover offers test automation functionality to streamline testing and identifies the most complex code for proper testing.

Clover also offers Test Optimization to reduce the testing time. It runs only those tests that cover the application code that was modified since the previous build. Clover provides Java and Groovy code coverage and you can integrate it with other testing frameworks too, like JUnit, TestNG and Spock.

#7 VisualVM

VisualVM is a tool for monitoring and reviewing the performance of Java applications while they are running on a Java Virtual Machine (JVM). VisualVM first organizes the JVM data and then presents data on multiple Java applications in such a way that it can be quickly viewed. It also integrates functionality from a wide range of command line tools, including JConsole, jstack, jmap, jinfo, and jstat. VisualVM makes it possible for developers to see all running java processes and analyze CPU and memory performance.

Every tool has its pros and cons, which is why it's important for Java developers to first assess their project requirements, and then choose a tool that best fits their needs. The 7 tools I have discussed above are very popular among Java developers, but based on your project requirements, other tools like Gradle, FindBugs, Mockito, JRat, etc., could also become a significant part of your Java toolkit. I hope this blog helps add improved efficiency, simplicity, speed and quality to your Java development task in 2017.

Which is your favorite Java development tool? Which feature you like the most in the Java development tool of your choice? Please share your views in the comment box below.
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Image source: Bootstrapaholic

Many developers use JavaScript, an object-oriented computer programming language, to create interactive effects within web browsers. The inclination towards using JavaScript increased even more after Node.js made entry in the tech market. For a simple reason, Node.js allowed server-side implementation of JavaScript, which was not possible earlier. In this blog, I am shedding light on MeteorJS, which is an open-source JavaScript web framework written using Node.js.


MeteorJS is a full-stack, MVC-style JavaScript framework for building websites and web/mobile applications. MeteorJS comes for free as it’s open source. As the name suggests, MeteorJS allows faster development of iOS, Android, and web applications by using JavaScript on the front and backend.

Key Features of MeteorJS

1. Offers a Full Stack Solution

MeteorJS is FULL STACK, thus offers numerous integrations, support and features right out of the box. The compatible parts of the stack come assembled in Meteor. Besides, every layer of its stack is powered by a default technology. However, if one is willing to go for alternatives, MeteorJS allows them to do so as well. For example, if Meteor’s default front-end framework Blaze is not a fit for your project, you can use React or Angular.js in its stead.


Meteor’s fully integrated stack up front lets developers expedite the development process. Also, several built-in features of MeteorJS facilitate the access to frontend libraries, Node.js based server and a command line tool.


An important point to note here is that ECMAScript 2015 is the official JavaScript of the Meteor platform and every new Meteor project now uses it by default.

2. Allows to Use a Single Language

MeteorJS simplifies the development process as requires the knowledge of only one language, i.e. JavaScript, for frontend, backend and database. Therefore, the framework removes the complexity of context switching between server language and JavaScript that requires installation and configuration of different libraries, module managers, APIs, drivers and more.

3. Real-Time Applications for both Desktop and Mobile


MeteorJS enables development of real-time applications right from setup to development to deployment. MeteorJS uses Distributed Data Protocol (or DDP) for querying and updating a server-side database. It also synchronizes such updates among clients.


The best part is that MeteorJS apps react to changes without the need of page refreshes or specific callback logic. So, whenever changes are made in the database that concern UI elements, they get reflected on your app’s UI in real-time.

4. Database Integration

FINAL - 3.0Launch-Infographic-v7-1.jpg

Image source: dandascalescu.com

MeteorJS supports MongoDB database along with Minimongo, which is a front-end representation of MongoDB. MeteorJS refreshes the data in the UI by replicating a subset of the MongoDB database as a local “Minimongo” subset. Besides, Meteor’s Mongo API allows faster reloading of pages and easier implementation of updates.

5. Allows to Build Cross-Platform Apps


Meteor’s integration with Apache Cordova allows developers to build cross-platform apps that look and function similar to native apps. Cordova is a platform for building cross-platform apps using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. In contrast to native apps, cross-platform apps require only one codebase for separate operating systems or devices, which saves a lot of time and cost for businesses.

6. Custom Package Manager

NPM modules are compatible with MeteorJS. However, developers can also use Meteor’s own custom package manager, called Atmosphere, which holds more than 10,000 packages.


With Meteor’s built-in package, developers can handle pre-processing and custom user authentication for Email, Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. Meteor also has packages that support popular frameworks like Backbone.js, Bootstrap and jQuery.

Some of the popular apps that are built using MeteorJS are as follows:


One of the seven principles of Meteor is "Simplicity equals productivity." MeteorJS is simple to learn, given it doesn’t require developers to rely on multiple languages. Any developer who has used JavaScript before will find MeteorJS easy to learn. Also, MeteorJS has a large active and supportive community. The Meteor Development Group (MDG) makes dedicated effort towards keeping Meteor updated and working well.


However, like every framework, MeteorJS has shortcomings too, like it only integrates with the MongoDB database. So, a developer who wants to use MySQL for their project will not be able to do so with Meteor as it does not support SQL databases as of now. However, there are 3rd party packages that integrate MySQL reactively with Meteor to some extent. For example, developers can use numtel:pg for reactive PostgreSQL support.


Do you think MeteorJS has the potential to become an ideal JavaScript development platform? Would you like to consider MeteorJS for your next web app or mobile app project? Please share your views in the comment box below.


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