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Etherstack Lightweight Integrated Test Environment (ELITE)

Test support is as important to a protocol stack as the software itself, because it brings thousands of lines of code together as a working whole. Lack of test support can mean the effort to achieve working radio equipment costs as much again - or more - than the stack implementation itself.

In addition to verifying stack implementation, automated testing is essential for rapid identification of issues during field testing and for version control as your product is updated.

ELITE is Etherstack's proprietary automated functional test tool. It allows testing of Etherstack protocol stacks in a desktop host simulation environment and on the integration target using the same test suite.

ELITE provides:

  • Library of test scripts for each protocol stack to verify correctness.
  • A framework for injection and interception of signals at any interface (SAP) point in the protocol stack for thorough unit, layer and stack testing.
  • Command-line interface that allows automated execution of sets of individual tests or the entire defined test suite. Full transcripts of each test are saved to disk, and a summary of test results is printed.
  • Non-intrusive collection and replay of target execution data
  • Etherstack TraceViewer (ESTV) tool for visual analysis of test and execution data.

Etherstack Stream Formatter

At the core of ELITE is Etherstack's Stream Formatter, which converts between text and target-specific binary message formats. It performs this translation using a 'dictionary' created at compile time. This results in a compact transfer format suitable for limited-bandwidth debug channels.

The translated text format is both human-readable and machine-parseable. This allows:

  • Text-format test scripts.
  • Execution trace visualization and analysis using Etherstack TraceViewer (ESTV).
  • Timing and memory profiling and analysis using extraction and collation scripts.
  • Ad-hoc trace analysis using standard scripting tools (Perl, Python, TCL) during software maintenance activities.

Etherstack Test Scripts

Etherstack test scripts consist of steps that inject a stimulus and check the responses, using functions provided by the ELITE framework to minimize clutter. Scripts take advantage of TCL language facilities - for example, to implement complex decision logic based on observed output, to read externally-generated physical layer test vectors from a file, or to invoke an external application to perform specialised analysis on collected output.

ELITE's command-line interface allows individual tests, selected subsets of tests, or the entire defined test suite to be executed. Full transcripts of each test are saved to disk, and a summary of results printed. Pre- and post-test hooks allow custom actions to be performed at key points in the testing process and each individual test can be repeated with specified parameter variations.

The ELITE test scripting framework is easily incorporated into an automated build-and-test environment.