This second part of the two-part article continues to describe the successful introduction of a proven methodology for quality assurance on the development side according to the principle “Very Early testing” with ERiC (ELSTER Rich Client) by showing in detail how the VET method was introduced to the ERiC project, done by mgm technology partners with Alexander von Helmersen of the Bayerisches Landesamt für Steuern and their teams.
Dr. Martin Varendorff
This two-part article describes the successful introduction of a proven methodology for quality assurance on the development side according to the principle “Very Early Testing” with ERiC (ELSTER Rich Client), a project done by mgm technology partners together with the Bavarian Tax Administration (Bayerisches Landesamt für Steuern) and their teams. Within the framework of ELSTER  all software producers are provided with the library ERiC by the German tax authorities and it is embedded in all commercial and governmental software to file tax reports. It validates, compresses and encrypts tax data for the communication with the tax authorities. More than 100 million tax reports are filed via ERiC every year. Due to tax legislation ERiC development must meet rigid requirements.
The article’s first part describes the very efficient QA method of “Very early Testing”. Its second part shows in detail the introduction of the method to the ERiC project.
The previous part discussed why a unit test for a class should be written by the developer of that class, and why a functional test should be created by an independent tester. This posting argues that functional tests should not be part of the build process of the product, but instead should be developed and executed separately. For this, I give guidelines for setting up an independent validation system.
Over the past few years I have noticed that the distinction between functional tests and unit tests has blurred in a lot of projects. I think that using the features of modern testing frameworks like JUnit and TestNG to push functional tests into unit tests is the wrong approach, because it shifts the focus of the test from the test perspective to the development perspective. In this blog post, I explain in detail how I have come to this conclusion.