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Pattern summary
Assign each test some kind of priority in order to be able to select easily the ones that should be run

Category
Execution

Context
Use this pattern when you may not be able to run all of the tests that you have in your automated portfolio.
Use this pattern to be selective about tests to run when something has changed.

Description
Assign each test some kind of priority, based on the criteria that are important at the time. The priority may be related to recent changes, the most critical user-facing aspects of the SUT (System Under Test), a recent change to some related system, or any other factor. The priority tests to run now may be different to the priority of the tests that you will want to run tomorrow.

You should be able to easily select subsets of tests to run, based on the priority assignment.

Implementation
  • Group all the test cases that test the same functionalities of the SUT in the same test suite. In this way you can test different parts at different times or concurrently
  • Reserve a parameter on every test case for the priority and configure your tool or TEST AUTOMATION FRAMEWORK so that you can select the priority of the test cases to be run. Common values are:
    • Critical
    • Important
    • Average
    • Minor
  • Other categories can also be used to select which tests to run using a TEST SELECTOR, such as
    • all the tests that failed last time
    • the tests for a particular function
    • Joe's tests
    • high level smoke tests

Issues addressed by this pattern
INEFFICIENT EXECUTION
INFLEXIBLE AUTOMATION

Experiences
If you have used this pattern, please add your name and a brief story of how you used this pattern: your context, what you did, and how well it worked - or how it didn't work!

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