Please note that the @should annotation and the corresponding Eclipse plugin are no longer supported. This page is kept out of historical interest.

Simple JUnit testing usually means writing one large test for each method. However, when a test breaks, its often very difficult to debug, fix, or know if it should be removed.

Enter Behavior Driven Development (BDD). However, our current situation prevents us from jumping all the way to full BDD.

Enter Dan North's introduction to BDD. The first several points about sentence styled test names and its ability to keep tests simple really are what we want to adopt:

The Problem

  1. Test driven development is hard.
  2. We have a large number of existing methods that do not have tests
  3. We potentially have a large number of developers that have a small amount of time to be able to donate

Our Solution

Introducing the "@should" javadoc annotation. Each api method will get one or more @should annotations that simply state a behavior of that method that needs testing:

The four examples above would become unit tests named (given the method was findPatient):

See ourĀ Conventions for using @should annotations page for more detail on how @should annotations should be phrased.

Eclipse Plugin To Make It Easy

Typing out the format for each @should annotation and each junit test is tedious. We created an eclipse plugin that will create the unit test and annotation to match a given @should annotation.

Generate Test Case Plugin


In /src/api/org/openmrs/somepackage/

package org.openmrs.somepackage;

public class SomeObject {

  * (Descriptive text)
  * @param x (descriptive text)
  * @return (descriptive text)
  * *@should get name as written by user with spaces*
  public y methodName(x) {
    // do stuff

In /test/api/org/openmrs/somepackage/

package org.openmrs.somepackage;

public class SomeObjectTest {

  * @see \{@link SomeObject#methodName()\}
  * @verifies get name as written by user with spaces
  public void methodName_shouldGetNameAsWrittenByUserWithSpaces() throws Exception \{
    //TODO auto-generated"Not yet implemented");