Vijaya Upadya, Microsoft
Most testers are familiar with record/playback testing. A variation of this approach is log playback testing. Instead of explicitly recording the user actions using a recorder, this technique simply relies on the information in the log file produced by the system under test to play back the scenario. This is extremely useful for reproducing issues reported by customers which are typically hard to reproduce otherwise due to lack of detailed repro steps. This approach also lends itself well to creating data driven tests and can be used to augment the existing test automation.
Testing and investigating failures in a non-deterministic software system can be very costly and painful. In most cases the only source of information to know what code path got exercised are the log files produced by the application. This paper talks about how the information in log files can be used to playback the sequence of actions to test specific code paths and also reproduce bugs. We will look at exploring an extension of this approach and how log files can be used as a source for data driven testing by simply varying the sequencing of actions that are played back. This paper illustrates the technique using real a world example. Finally the paper discusses the benefits and how it can be applied to different test domains.