Testing with SharePoint
I've been learning a lot about SharePoint over the past 9 months, the project I am working on is to bring a non-profit health community onto SharePoint and increase the offerings the non-profit has and to expand the social networking. My work is revolving around testing the conversion of the site, making sure that what we end up with is going to be equivalent with what is currently in place. It's interesting work and I've had some interesting tasks over the past few months. Some of the more difficult work has been dealing with SharePoint and its eccentricities in order to assure that what we end up with is what was asked for.
Web Parts are like little applications that SharePoint uses to do all kinds of work, this could be anything from displaying a document library to a search result. While they are like little applications Web Parts are quite different and aren't very testable on their own, I haven't seen much on them regarding Unit Testing yet and with their reliance on SharePoint data its probably not that easy. Mostly the plan is to test the Web Parts in an exploratory fashion, when they are ready and added to pages they will be used and abused to put them through their paces. Not the way I'd like to do it, but I am also pulling some information from the Microsoft page on how to test Web Parts.
Automation with SharePoint is kind of tough, not that its difficult to work with, but the page layouts and Web Parts don't always make things run smooth. Web Parts can update like Ajax driven pages will, some of the ID's given by SharePoint for page elements can also be cryptic or dynamic. It's not impossible, I have done tests with Selenium, Fitnium and Fitnesse after some time to work out the issues in calling page elements. It just seems to take more time than it should.
The Social Networking aspects make things a little hard to automate everything, it would be nice to free myself up for other work but that's more a dream than a reality. Testing Discussion Groups, Comments and Ratings means eyes need to be on the page as things are done in order to verify that SharePoint responds properly.
When trying to find errors there are two important places to look:
- ULS Logs - Get the Microsoft ULS Log Viewer, if there is something happening real time, this is the place to see it happen. Access to the SharePoint server under test is required to get this to work though.
- Event Log - the Event Log is where alot of the captured errors go, if the Developers have not set this up in the code they should otherwise you lose and important resource.
I'll be putting in more links to some of the material I have captured over the past few months.