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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
Unit Testing
3.
Unit Testing Tools
4.
Embedded C/C++ Unit Testing Basics
5.
Getting Started with Embedded C/C++ Unit Testing Basics
6.
Approaches
6.1.
Stubs and Drivers
6.2.
Mocks and Fakes
7.
Minimal Unit Test
7.1.
Example
7.2.
Explanation
8.
Unit Testing Best Practices
9.
Advantages of Unit Testing
10.
Disadvantages of Unit Testing
11.
Frequently Asked Questions
11.1.
Explain Unit Testing.
11.2.
Name the approaches to Embedded C/C++ Unit Testing.
11.3.
What is Minimal Unit Testing?
12.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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Embedded C/C++ Unit Testing Basics

Author Sagar Mishra
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Introduction

When we talk about a language that is beginner-friendly, the only language that comes to mind is C/C++. Both languages are different and have a vast set of topics in it. One of them is Embedded C/C++ Unit Testing Basics.

Embedded C/C++ Unit Testing Basics

This blog will discuss the topic of Embedded C/C++ Unit Testing Basics in detail. So, let's not waste time here. We will start with the definition of Unit Testing.

Unit Testing

Unit Testing is a type of software testing that tests the software components. The test checks all the upcoming failure cases, code paths and argument bonds. One important point here is this testing does not need any set of rules or predefined structure. This means that it is language-independent. Users can use any language to perform unit testing.

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Unit Testing Tools

There are many tools that can help you to perform unit testing. Let's check out some of them below.

  • EMMA
     
  • JMockit
     
  • PHPUnit
     
  • Junit
     
  • NUnit
     

We are now clear with the Unit Testing and its tools. Now let's discuss the Embedded System.

Embedded C/C++ Unit Testing Basics

The method of validating the functionality of individual code units by creating test cases is called Embedded C/C++ unit testing basics. We use them to detect and fix the issues in the code at an early stage. Doing so can reduce the developer's efforts at the final step.

There are many methods using which we can do the Embedded C/C++ unit testing. But there are a few similarities between all the methods. 

The first similarity is test driver writes codes to give the runnable environment to the provided values. The next similarity is the system generates a test suite that contains all the test cases that need to be checked. The test driver later runs all the test suites.

Getting Started with Embedded C/C++ Unit Testing Basics

The steps of embedded unit testing are quite complex for the new user. But with a perfect plan, you can do well in embedded unit testing. Let's have a look at the points that need to keep in mind while doing the embedded unit testing.

  • First, you have to select the framework that suits your project. You have to choose this precisely so you do not face any issues later.
     
  • The next thing is that you have to write codes that are testable. Also, ensure that the code you write is simple and modular.
     
  • You have to do a setup of CI (Continuous Integration), which is a server. This server will help you to run your tests.
     
  • The last and basic thing in embedded unit testing is to write the test cases as much as can. The more test cases you write, the more errors you get. Fix those errors and move to the next stage.

Approaches

We will now discuss two important approaches to Embedded C/C++ Unit Testing Basics. 

Stubs and Drivers

The first approach is known as "stubs and drivers". As you can see, there are two things, the first is stubs, and the other is drivers. So, the stubs are used to remove the external dependencies from the target code. Stubs help the code to be tested in isolated conditions. The work of drivers is to give the input values to the target code.

Mocks and Fakes

The second approach is known as "mocks and fakes". Mocks are a bit complex in nature. They just not only provide responses, but they also track from where the method is called and verifies whether it is correctly called or not. 

Minimal Unit Test

Minimal unit testing can be defined as testing a minor function in a code or, you can say, the smallest group of functions that are closely related to each other. Minimal unit testing does not depend on external data, so it is a self-contained type of testing. This helps the code to run in any environment.

Example

Let's take an example for better understanding.

public class MyNinjaTest {
  @Test
  public void testClass() {
    NinjaTest ninjaTest = new NinjaTest();
    assertEquals(expected, ninjaTest.testMethod());
  }
}

Explanation

In the above example,

  • The testMethod() method is the method that we are testing in this example under the class MyNinjaTest.
     
  • We created an instance of NinjaTest inside the testClass() method.
     
  • The condition "result is equal to the expected output" is checked by the assertEquals() method.

Unit Testing Best Practices

Let's now discuss some of the best practices for using unit testing.

  • You should test a single code at a time.
     
  • While making any minor changes in the code, make sure you do the same in the unit test code to avoid any failures.
     
  • The naming conventions should be clear in the unit testing.
     
  • Before moving to the next stage, you should cross-check whether the errors are solved.
     
  • Always remember, the more code you write without testing, the more code you have to check while the unit testing.

Advantages of Unit Testing

The advantages of unit testing are as follows:

  • The unit testing is very helpful in understanding the basics of the unit API.
     
  • We can test multiple parts of projects at a time because of the modular nature of the unit testing.
     
  • The unit testing allows the user to make changes in codes for later dates as well. The process of doing this is you have to write all the methods, so whenever you face any issues, you can directly fix that from the module.

Disadvantages of Unit Testing

The disadvantages of unit testing are as follows:

  • Unit testing can not catch all the errors even if all execution paths are given.
     
  • It is difficult to hold the mocking dependencies.
     
  • The code must free the spaces after being tested. Then this can turn into a memory leak issue.
     
  • If the tested code is not handled or resolved properly, then this also can create problems like deadlock.
     
  • The less option of frameworks is also an issue in the unit testing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Explain Unit Testing.

Unit Testing is a type of software testing that tests the software components. The test checks all the upcoming failure cases, code paths and argument bonds.

Name the approaches to Embedded C/C++ Unit Testing.

The two important approaches to Embedded C/C++ Unit Testing are "Stubs and Drivers" and "Mocks and Fakes".

What is Minimal Unit Testing?

Minimal unit testing can be defined as testing a minor function in a code or, you can say, the smallest group of functions that are closely related to each other. 

Conclusion

This article discusses the topic of Embedded C/C++ Unit Testing Basics. In detail, we have seen the definition of unit testing, its tools, and embedded C/C++ unit testing basics. Along with this, we have seen how we can start with embedded unit testing, approaches, and many more.

We hope this blog has helped you enhance your knowledge of Embedded C/C++ Unit Testing Basics. If you want to learn more, then check out our articles.

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