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Testing the Middleware Implementation

Interactive TV software, whether it is the middleware implementation or the applications which run on top of the middleware, has become quite sophisticated and complex. It is clear that these software implementations should be submitted to thorough quality assurance testing.

With open industry standards, such as OCAP, where many vendors have written the middleware according to the API specification, it is essential that we can test for consistency of these implementations against the specification. We need to undertake such testing so that we can gain a high level of assurance that all available applications will run without modification on all OCAP receivers. API conformance testing of the receiver is therefore a necessity.

In the case of OCAP, the official conformance testing (also known as certification testing) of receivers is performed by CableLabs. OCAP ATE Host is the standard test environment used to CableLabs to deliver the conformance tests to receivers under test.

Testing the Applications

Application conformance also needs to be considered. If applications use features outside the API set of the standard, so-called "native features", then there is no assurance that these applications will run on all receivers which have been tested to be conformant to the middleware specification. To ensure full interoperability of available applications we clearly need to test the applications for consistency to the API specification as well.

It is the role of the XAV application validator to perform this testing.

There is already a wide variety of OCAP and ETV applications available. The consumer requires a high level of confidence that these applications will always run successfully (and without change) on any of the available receivers claiming conformance to this particular iTV standard.

More Information

OCAP ATE Host - a test platform for the execution of the OCAP conformance tests.

Testing Glossary - many of the conformance testing terms explained.

Specification Review - the importance of specification review.

Support and Maintenance - typical support service available for test suites developed by UniSoft.

Development Methodology - UniSoft's development style for conformance test suites.

Test assertions - test assertion example.

Conformance Test Development - basic techniques for conformance test development.