Configure the IDT state machine - Amazon IoT Greengrass
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Configure the IDT state machine

A state machine is a construct that controls the test suite execution flow. It determines the starting state of a test suite, manages state transitions based on user-defined rules, and continues to transition through those states until it reaches the end state.

If your test suite doesn't include a user-defined state machine, IDT will generate a state machine for you. The default state machine performs the following functions:

  • Provides test runners with the ability to select and run specific test groups, instead of the entire test suite.

  • If specific test groups are not selected, runs every test group in the test suite in a random order.

  • Generates reports and prints a console summary that shows the test results for each test group and test case.

The state machine for an IDT test suite must meet the following criteria:

  • Each state corresponds to an action for IDT to take, such as to run a test group or product a report file.

  • Transitioning to a state executes the action associated with the state.

  • Each state defines the transition rule for the next state.

  • The end state must be either Succeed or Fail.

State machine format

You can use the following template to configure your own <custom-test-suite-folder>/suite/state_machine.json file:

{ "Comment": "<description>", "StartAt": "<state-name>", "States": { "<state-name>": { "Type": "<state-type>", // Additional state configuration } // Required states "Succeed": { "Type": "Succeed" }, "Fail": { "Type": "Fail" } } }

All fields that contain values are required as described here:

Comment

A description of the state machine.

StartAt

The name of the state at which IDT starts running the test suite. The value of StartAt must be set to one of the states listed in the States object.

States

An object that maps user-defined state names to valid IDT states. Each States.state-name object contains the definition of a valid state mapped to the state-name.

The States object must include the Succeed and Fail states. For information about valid states, see Valid states and state definitions.

Valid states and state definitions

This section describes the state definitions of all of the valid states that can be used in the IDT state machine. Some of the following states support configurations at the test case level. However, we recommend that you configure state transition rules at the test group level instead of the test case level unless absolutely necessary.

RunTask

The RunTask state runs test cases from a test group defined in the test suite.

{ "Type": "RunTask", "Next": "<state-name>", "TestGroup": "<group-id>", "TestCases": [ "<test-id>" ], "ResultVar": "<result-name>" }

All fields that contain values are required as described here:

Next

The name of the state to transition to after executing the actions in the current state.

TestGroup

Optional. The ID of the test group to run. If this value is not specified, then IDT runs the test group that the test runner selects.

TestCases

Optional. An array of test case IDs from the group specified in TestGroup. Based on the values of TestGroup and TestCases, IDT determines the test execution behavior as follows:

  • When both TestGroup and TestCases are specified, IDT runs the specified test cases from the test group.

  • When TestCases are specified but TestGroup is not specified, IDT runs the specified test cases.

  • When TestGroup is specified, but TestCases is not specified, IDT runs all of the test cases within the specified test group.

  • When neither TestGroup or TestCases is specified, IDT runs all test cases from the test group that the test runner selects from the IDT CLI. To enable group selection for test runners, you must include both RunTask and Choice states in your statemachine.json file. For an example of how this works, see Example state machine: Run user-selected test groups.

    For more information about enabling IDT CLI commands for test runners, see Enable IDT CLI commands.

ResultVar

The name of the context variable to set with the results of the test run. Do not specify this value if you did not specify a value for TestGroup. IDT sets the value of the variable that you define in ResultVar to true or false based on the following:

  • If the variable name is of the form text_text_passed, then the value is set to whether all tests in the first test group passed or were skipped.

  • In all other cases, the value is set to whether all tests in all test groups passed or were skipped.

Typically, you will use RunTask state to specify a test group ID without specifying individual test case IDs, so that IDT will run all of the test cases in the specified test group. All test cases that are run by this state run in parallel, in a random order. However, if all of the test cases require a device to run, and only a single device is available, then the test cases will run sequentially instead.

Error handling

If any of the specified test groups or test case IDs are not valid, then this state issues the RunTaskError execution error. If the state encounters an execution error, then it also sets the hasExecutionError variable in the state machine context to true.

Choice

The Choice state lets you dynamically set the next state to transition to based on user-defined conditions.

{ "Type": "Choice", "Default": "<state-name>", "FallthroughOnError": true | false, "Choices": [ { "Expression": "<expression>", "Next": "<state-name>" } ] }

All fields that contain values are required as described here:

Default

The default state to transition to if none of the expressions defined in Choices can be evaluated to true.

FallthroughOnError

Optional. Specifies the behavior when the state encounters an error in evaluating expressions. Set to true if you want to skip an expression if the evaluation results in an error. If no expressions match, then the state machine transitions to the Default state. If the FallthroughOnError value is not specified, it defaults to false.

Choices

An array of expressions and states to determine which state to transition to after executing the actions in the current state.

Choices.Expression

An expression string that evaluates to a boolean value. If the expression evaluates to true, then the state machine transitions to the state defined in Choices.Next. Expression strings retrieve values from the state machine context and then perform operations on them to arrive at a boolean value. For information about accesing the state machine context, see State machine context.

Choices.Next

The name of the state to transition to if the expression defined in Choices.Expression evaluates to true.

Error handling

The Choice state can require error handling in the following cases:

  • Some variables in the choice expressions don’t exist in the state machine context.

  • The result of an expression is not a boolean value.

  • The result of a JSON lookup is not a string, number, or boolean.

You cannot use a Catch block to handle errors in this state. If you want to stop executing the state machine when it encounters an error, you must set FallthroughOnError to false. However, we recommend that you set FallthroughOnError to true, and depending on your use case, do one of the following:

  • If a variable you are accessing is expected to not exist in some cases, then use the value of Default and additional Choices blocks to specify the next state.

  • If a variable that you are accessing should always exist, then set the Default state to Fail.

Parallel

The Parallel state lets you define and run new state machines in parallel with each other.

{ "Type": "Parallel", "Next": "<state-name>", "Branches": [ <state-machine-definition> ] }

All fields that contain values are required as described here:

Next

The name of the state to transition to after executing the actions in the current state.

Branches

An array of state machine definitions to run. Each state machine definition must contain its own StartAt, Succeed, and Fail states. The state machine definitions in this array cannot reference states outside of their own definition.

Note

Because each branch state machine shares the same state machine context, setting variables in one branch and then reading those variables from another branch might result in unexpected behavior.

The Parallel state moves to the next state only after it runs all of the branch state machines. Each state that requires a device will wait to run until the device is available. If multiple devices are available, this state runs test cases from multiple groups in parallel. If enough devices are not available, then test cases will run sequentially. Because test cases are run in a random order when they run in parallel, different devices might be used to run tests from the same test group.

Error handling

Make sure that both the branch state machine and the parent state machine transition to the Fail state to handle execution errors.

Because branch state machines do not transmit execution errors to the parent state machine, you cannot use a Catch block to handle execution errors in branch state machines. Instead, use the hasExecutionErrors value in the shared state machine context. For an example of how this works, see Example state machine: Run two test groups in parallel.

AddProductFeatures

The AddProductFeatures state lets you add product features to the awsiotdevicetester_report.xml file generated by IDT.

A product feature is user-defined information about specific criteria that a device might meet. For example, the MQTT product feature can designate that the device publishes MQTT messages properly. In the report, product features are set as supported, not-supported, or a custom value, based on whether specified tests passed.

Note

The AddProductFeatures state does not generate reports by itself. This state must transition to the Report state to generate reports.

{ "Type": "Parallel", "Next": "<state-name>", "Features": [ { "Feature": "<feature-name>", "Groups": [ "<group-id>" ], "OneOfGroups": [ "<group-id>" ], "TestCases": [ "<test-id>" ], "IsRequired": true | false, "ExecutionMethods": [ "<execution-method>" ] } ] }

All fields that contain values are required as described here:

Next

The name of the state to transition to after executing the actions in the current state.

Features

An array of product features to show in the awsiotdevicetester_report.xml file.

Feature

The name of the feature

FeatureValue

Optional. The custom value to use in the report instead of supported. If this value is not specified, then based on test results, the feature value is set to supported or not-supported.

If you use a custom value for FeatureValue, you can test the same feature with different conditions, and IDT concatenates the feature values for the supported conditions. For example, the following excerpt shows the MyFeature feature with two separate feature values:

... { "Feature": "MyFeature", "FeatureValue": "first-feature-supported", "Groups": ["first-feature-group"] }, { "Feature": "MyFeature", "FeatureValue": "second-feature-supported", "Groups": ["second-feature-group"] }, ...

If both test groups pass, then the feature value is set to first-feature-supported, second-feature-supported.

Groups

Optional. An array of test group IDs. All tests within each specified test group must pass for the feature to be supported.

OneOfGroups

Optional. An array of test group IDs. All tests within at least one of the specified test groups must pass for the feature to be supported.

TestCases

Optional. An array of test case IDs. If you specify this value, then the following apply:

  • All of the specified test cases must pass for the feature to be supported.

  • Groups must contain only one test group ID.

  • OneOfGroups must not be specified.

IsRequired

Optional. Set to false to mark this feature as an optional feature in the report. The default value is true.

ExecutionMethods

Optional. An array of execution methods that match the protocol value specified in the device.json file. If this value is specified, then test runners must specify a protocol value that matches one of the values in this array to include the feature in the report. If this value is not specified, then the feature will always be included in the report.

To use the AddProductFeatures state, you must set the value of ResultVar in the RunTask state to one of the following values:

  • If you specified individual test case IDs, then set ResultVar to group-id_test-id_passed.

  • If you did not specify individual test case IDs, then set ResultVar to group-id_passed.

The AddProductFeatures state checks for test results in the following manner:

  • If you did not specify any test case IDs, then the result for each test group is determined from the value of the group-id_passed variable in the state machine context.

  • If you did specify test case IDs, then the result for each of the tests is determined from the value of the group-id_test-id_passed variable in the state machine context.

Error handling

If a group ID provided in this state is not a valid group ID, then this state results in the AddProductFeaturesError execution error. If the state encounters an execution error, then it also sets the hasExecutionErrors variable in the state machine context to true.

Report

The Report state generates the suite-name_Report.xml and awsiotdevicetester_report.xml files. This state also streams the report to the console.

{ "Type": "Report", "Next": "<state-name>" }

All fields that contain values are required as described here:

Next

The name of the state to transition to after executing the actions in the current state.

You should always transition to the Report state towards the end of the test execution flow so that test runners can view test results. Typically, the next state after this state is Succeed.

Error handling

If this state encounters issues with generating the reports, then it issues the ReportError execution error.

LogMessage

The LogMessage state generates the test_manager.log file and streams the log message to the console.

{ "Type": "LogMessage", "Next": "<state-name>" "Level": "info | warn | error" "Message": "<message>" }

All fields that contain values are required as described here:

Next

The name of the state to transition to after executing the actions in the current state.

Level

The error level at which to create the log message. If you specify a level that is not valid, this state generates an error message and discards it.

Message

The message to log.

SelectGroup

The SelectGroup state updates the state machine context to indicate which groups are selected. The values set by this state are used by any subsequent Choice states.

{ "Type": "SelectGroup", "Next": "<state-name>" "TestGroups": [ <group-id>" ] }

All fields that contain values are required as described here:

Next

The name of the state to transition to after executing the actions in the current state.

TestGroups

An array of test groups that will be marked as selected. For each test group ID in this array, the group-id_selected variable is set to true in the context. Make sure that you provide valid test group IDs because IDT does not validate whether the specified groups exist.

Fail

The Fail state indicates that the state machine did not execute correctly. This is an end state for the state machine, and each state machine definition must include this state.

{ "Type": "Fail" }

Succeed

The Succeed state indicates that the state machine executed correctly. This is an end state for the state machine, and each state machine definition must include this state.

{ "Type": "Succeed" }

State machine context

The state machine context is a read-only JSON document that contains data that is available to the state machine during execution. The state machine context is accessible only from the state machine, and contains information that determines the test flow. For example, you can use information configured by test runners in the userdata.json file to determine whether a specific test is required to run.

The state machine context uses the following format:

{ "pool": { <device-json-pool-element> }, "userData": { <userdata-json-content> }, "config": { <config-json-content> }, "suiteFailed": true | false, "specificTestGroups": [ "<group-id>" ], "specificTestCases": [ "<test-id>" ], "hasExecutionErrors": true }
pool

Information about the device pool selected for the test run. For a selected device pool, this information is retrieved from the corresponding top-level device pool array element defined in the device.json file.

userData

Information in the userdata.json file.

config

Information pin the config.json file.

suiteFailed

The value is set to false when the state machine starts. If a test group fails in a RunTask state, then this value is set to true for the remaining duration of the state machine execution.

specificTestGroups

If the test runner selects specific test groups to run instead of the entire test suite, this key is created and contains the list of specific test group IDs.

specificTestCases

If the test runner selects specific test cases to run instead of the entire test suite, this key is created and contains the list of specific test case IDs.

hasExecutionErrors

Does not exit when the state machine starts. If any state encounters an execution errors, this variable is created and set to true for the remaining duration of the state machine execution.

You can query the context using JSONPath notation. The syntax for JSONPath queries in state definitions is {{$.query}}. You can use JSONPath queries as placeholder strings within some states. IDT replaces the placeholder strings with the value of the evaluated JSONPath query from the context. You can use placeholders for the following values:

  • The TestCases value in RunTask states.

  • The Expression value Choice state.

When you access data from the state machine context, make sure the following conditions are met:

  • Your JSON paths must begin with $.

  • Each value must evaluate to a string, a number, or a boolean.

For more information about using JSONPath notation to access data from the context, see Use the IDT context.

Execution errors

Execution errors are errors in the state machine definition that the state machine encounters when executing a state. IDT logs information about each error in the test_manager.log file and streams the log message to the console.

You can use the following methods to handle execution errors:

Catch

To use Catch, add the following to your state definition:

"Catch": [ { "ErrorEquals": [ "<error-type>" ] "Next": "<state-name>" } ]

All fields that contain values are required as described here:

Catch.ErrorEquals

An array of the error types to catch. If an execution error matches one of the specified values, then the state machine transitions to the state specified in Catch.Next. See each state definition for information about the type of error it produces.

Catch.Next

The next state to transition to if the current state encounters an execution error that matches one of the values specified in Catch.ErrorEquals .

Catch blocks are handled sequentially until one matches. If the no errors match the ones listed in the Catch blocks, then the state machines continues to execute. Because execution errors are a result of incorrect state definitions, we recommend that you transition to the Fail state when a state encounters an execution error.

hasExecutionError

When some states encounter execution errors, in addition to issuing the error, they also set the hasExecutionError value to true in the state machine context. You can use this value to detect when an error occurs, and then use a Choice state to transition the state machine to the Fail state.

This method has the following characteristics.

  • The state machine does not start with any value assigned to hasExecutionError, and this value is not available until a particular state sets it. This means that you must explicitly set the FallthroughOnError to false for the Choice states that access this value to prevent the state machine from stopping if no execution errors occur.

  • Once it is set to true, hasExecutionError is never set to false or removed from the context. This means that this value is useful only the first time that it is set to true, and for all subsequent states, it does not provide a meaningful value.

  • The hasExecutionError value is shared with all branch state machines in the Parallel state, which can result in unexpected results depending on the order in which it is accessed.

Because of these characteristics, we do not recommend that you use this method if you can use a Catch block instead.

Example state machines

This section provides some example state machine configurations.

Example state machine: Run a single test group

This state machine:

  • Runs the test group with id GroupA, which must be present in the suite in a group.json file.

  • Checks for execution errors and transitions to Fail if any are found.

  • Generates a report and transitions to Succeed if there are no errors, and Fail otherwise.

{ "Comment": "Runs a single group and then generates a report.", "StartAt": "RunGroupA", "States": { "RunGroupA": { "Type": "RunTask", "Next": "Report", "TestGroup": "GroupA", "Catch": [ { "ErrorEquals": [ "RunTaskError" ], "Next": "Fail" } ] }, "Report": { "Type": "Report", "Next": "Succeed", "Catch": [ { "ErrorEquals": [ "ReportError" ], "Next": "Fail" } ] }, "Succeed": { "Type": "Succeed" }, "Fail": { "Type": "Fail" } } }

Example state machine: Run user-selected test groups

This state machine:

  • Checks if the test runner selected specific test groups. The state machine does not check for specific test cases because test runners cannot select test cases without also selecting a test group.

  • If test groups are selected:

    • Runs the test cases within the selected test groups. To do so, the state machine does not explicitly specify any test groups or test cases in the RunTask state.

    • Generates a report after running all tests and exits.

  • If test groups are not selected:

    • Runs tests in test group GroupA.

    • Generates reports and exits.

{ "Comment": "Runs specific groups if the test runner chose to do that, otherwise runs GroupA.", "StartAt": "SpecificGroupsCheck", "States": { "SpecificGroupsCheck": { "Type": "Choice", "Default": "RunGroupA", "FallthroughOnError": true, "Choices": [ { "Expression": "{{$.specificTestGroups[0]}} != ''", "Next": "RunSpecificGroups" } ] }, "RunSpecificGroups": { "Type": "RunTask", "Next": "Report", "Catch": [ { "ErrorEquals": [ "RunTaskError" ], "Next": "Fail" } ] }, "RunGroupA": { "Type": "RunTask", "Next": "Report", "TestGroup": "GroupA", "Catch": [ { "ErrorEquals": [ "RunTaskError" ], "Next": "Fail" } ] }, "Report": { "Type": "Report", "Next": "Succeed", "Catch": [ { "ErrorEquals": [ "ReportError" ], "Next": "Fail" } ] }, "Succeed": { "Type": "Succeed" }, "Fail": { "Type": "Fail" } } }

Example state machine: Run a single test group with product features

This state machine:

  • Runs the test group GroupA.

  • Checks for execution errors and transitions to Fail if any are found.

  • Adds the FeatureThatDependsOnGroupA feature to the awsiotdevicetester_report.xml file:

    • If GroupA passes, the feature is set to supported.

    • The feature is not marked optional in the report.

  • Generates a report and transitions to Succeed if there are no errors, and Fail otherwise

{ "Comment": "Runs GroupA and adds product features based on GroupA", "StartAt": "RunGroupA", "States": { "RunGroupA": { "Type": "RunTask", "Next": "AddProductFeatures", "TestGroup": "GroupA", "ResultVar": "GroupA_passed", "Catch": [ { "ErrorEquals": [ "RunTaskError" ], "Next": "Fail" } ] }, "AddProductFeatures": { "Type": "AddProductFeatures", "Next": "Report", "Features": [ { "Feature": "FeatureThatDependsOnGroupA", "Groups": [ "GroupA" ], "IsRequired": true } ] }, "Report": { "Type": "Report", "Next": "Succeed", "Catch": [ { "ErrorEquals": [ "ReportError" ], "Next": "Fail" } ] }, "Succeed": { "Type": "Succeed" }, "Fail": { "Type": "Fail" } } }

Example state machine: Run two test groups in parallel

This state machine:

  • Runs the GroupA and GroupB test groups in parallel. The ResultVar variables stored in the context by the RunTask states in the branch state machines by are available to the AddProductFeatures state.

  • Checks for execution errors and transitions to Fail if any are found. This state machine does not use a Catch block because that method does not detect execution errors in branch state machines.

  • Adds features to the awsiotdevicetester_report.xml file based on the groups that pass

    • If GroupA passes, the feature is set to supported.

    • The feature is not marked optional in the report.

  • Generates a report and transitions to Succeed if there are no errors, and Fail otherwise

If two devices are configured in the device pool, both GroupA and GroupB can run at the same time. However, if either GroupA or GroupB has multiple tests in it, then both devices may be allocated to those tests. If only one device is configured, the test groups will run sequentially.

{ "Comment": "Runs GroupA and GroupB in parallel", "StartAt": "RunGroupAAndB", "States": { "RunGroupAAndB": { "Type": "Parallel", "Next": "CheckForErrors", "Branches": [ { "Comment": "Run GroupA state machine", "StartAt": "RunGroupA", "States": { "RunGroupA": { "Type": "RunTask", "Next": "Succeed", "TestGroup": "GroupA", "ResultVar": "GroupA_passed", "Catch": [ { "ErrorEquals": [ "RunTaskError" ], "Next": "Fail" } ] }, "Succeed": { "Type": "Succeed" }, "Fail": { "Type": "Fail" } } }, { "Comment": "Run GroupB state machine", "StartAt": "RunGroupB", "States": { "RunGroupA": { "Type": "RunTask", "Next": "Succeed", "TestGroup": "GroupB", "ResultVar": "GroupB_passed", "Catch": [ { "ErrorEquals": [ "RunTaskError" ], "Next": "Fail" } ] }, "Succeed": { "Type": "Succeed" }, "Fail": { "Type": "Fail" } } } ] }, "CheckForErrors": { "Type": "Choice", "Default": "AddProductFeatures", "FallthroughOnError": true, "Choices": [ { "Expression": "{{$.hasExecutionErrors}} == true", "Next": "Fail" } ] }, "AddProductFeatures": { "Type": "AddProductFeatures", "Next": "Report", "Features": [ { "Feature": "FeatureThatDependsOnGroupA", "Groups": [ "GroupA" ], "IsRequired": true }, { "Feature": "FeatureThatDependsOnGroupB", "Groups": [ "GroupB" ], "IsRequired": true } ] }, "Report": { "Type": "Report", "Next": "Succeed", "Catch": [ { "ErrorEquals": [ "ReportError" ], "Next": "Fail" } ] }, "Succeed": { "Type": "Succeed" }, "Fail": { "Type": "Fail" } } }