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Introduction to WCF Testing Strategies

Visual Studio 2010

Applies to: Windows Communication Foundation

Published: June 2011

Author: Alex Culp

This topic contains the following sections.

There are a number of different approaches that can ensure the quality of WCF services. This article describes some effective testing strategies. When used together, these strategies will help to deliver high-quality services.

Typically, software maintenance accounts for 40 to 80 percent of software lifecycle costs. This means that, on average, 60 percent of a project's costs are spent to maintain the software after it goes into production. This statistic does not take into account the cost of possible losses in revenue or productivity if the software fails. To make your project the exception to the rule, the best approach is to invest in quality early on. Advance planning makes it easier to upgrade software and not break existing features. Similarly, the earlier you identify problems, the less it costs to resolve the issues.

Management support is crucial if you want to institute the best practices that this article discusses. All too often, when faced with deadlines and concerns about time to market, quality is sacrificed in order to ship the software. If tests are not ready before the software is released, it is unlikely that they will be written after the release. The strategies proposed here do increase the cost of development, but only to reduce the maintenance costs that are the real reason so many projects are expensive. Management must be persuaded to make an up-front investment.