Time Simulator: Automate Virtual Clock Changes While Testing | Temporal Testing: Test the Future Now
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Temporal Testing: Test the Future Now

Temporal Testing: Test the Future Now

Test the Future Now Before it is too Late

A time simulator software tool will let you travel your test environment to any date in the future to analyze its logic in real conditions. Time simulator virtualizes the system clock by splitting your computer clock into multiple virtual clocks, while keeping your original computer time intact. With these virtual clocks, you are then free to simulate, at will, how a program will behave in the future. This new technology opens up to automation testing, which the older manual process could not do. By writing scripts that call the temporal manipulation tool, you can cut down your temporal testing from weeks to days.

 

What is Temporal Testing?

Temporal testing is one aspect of dynamic program analysis; the field of expertise where programmers examine how a program will run under a variety of different conditions. One of the most difficult variables to nail down is figuring out how a program will perform days, weeks, and years into the future. If you put valuable time and resources into a program, you don’t want its value to decay over time, making updates more difficult. Therefore, knowing the future behavior of a program is essential. This is particularly true if an application, such as ERP / SAP, manipulates many dates that will trigger all kinds of events, such as manufacturing or financial activities.

For the past decades, temporal testing had to be done manually by changing the system clock and running the same program over and over. When a whole testing environment has to be stopped then restarted to allow for the system clock changes, this can delay a project by months. Because of a lack of time, temporal testing is often rarely carried out to the full extent needed to make sure that the program will work as well at all critical dates.

After all, a company only has so much testing workforce. This has led to mistakes with future runs not being spotted in time and program updates causing problems with the original code of the program. Indeed, any miscalculation, especially related to finances, can end up becoming very costly so swiftly traveling to the future to test an application’s logic in real conditions is an absolute must.

 

How Does Time Virtualization Differ From Temporal Testing?

In many ways, the ability to conduct time simulations virtually has been a Godsend to programmers. It differs from temporal testing in many respects, mainly that instead of manual testing, it creates the automatic virtualization of time, or in other words, the program does the work for you.

It splits the system clock into many different clocks, enabling you to run your program under each time simulation. That way, you can spot future errors without manually changing the clock. Software package, such as Time Simulator and Time Machine, which has the added advantage of allowing you to keep the accurate default clock running on your computer to avoid network security or logging issues when looking back at program files in the future.

The biggest perk of automatic time virtualization is, as mentioned above, the ability to keep your computer running at an accurate time even after running a simulation. This is critical for businesses, particularly in the realm of emails. If your computer is running in the future, and you send an email, many email clients will log the email as spam, and your important email may never be read by the customer, or you may not receive their emails due to computer glitches. Since Time Simulator splits the clock into many parts, you avoid the major flaw which occurs in manual temporal testing.

It is clear that manual testing works if you need to test one small aspect of a simple program, but for complex applications, temporal testing is simply the only convenient and time-efficient way enough to thoroughly test your program. Time virtualization cuts down on program testing times and makes it much easier to examine your program’s future performance.

 

Resources:

http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~evans/pubs/issre04.pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_testing

http://www.networkworld.com/article/2263867/lan-wan/security-implications-of-the-humble-computer-clock.html

http://time-simulator.com

 

 

This article is related to temporal software testing and automated system clocks, if you need further information, please contact us.

 

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