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Test import markup

Hi everyone,

I work in the test software industry (or at least that's one way to
describe my work), and I was curious if there was a good standard
interchange format (preferable-ly xml, but not necessarily) for test
cases. A common need among my customers is to import test cases from
an old format to a new one. I realize that expected inputs and
expected outputs can be expressed in a csv (although often not neatly,
especially once you start suspending some of the variables, so I
wouldn't mind a format that just covered that use case), but is there
a format for advanced test case features like stubbing functions,
creating data dictionaries, etc.

My company has an internal format which is pretty nicely structured,
but it is optimized for our environment and designed to incorporate
the most amount of data possible (so that customers can
extract/generate their information). The use case here is interchange
(as well as development of standardized utilities). I realize in a way
standardization undermines my company (if customers can interchange,
they can interchange out of our format), but I think it makes sense in
terms of making life easier for doing better tests faster and creating
safer code (my company works with safety-critical software, so safe
code in our cases is often literally a matter of life or death). While
I speak only as an individual, I can say that if people can point me
to a good standard or a vendor-neutral standards body for this sort of
thing, I would push for my company to offer some degree of compliance
with that.

John Thomas

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