Automated Workflow Testing and Validation

Automate testing, save time, and catch errors early.

knime_icons_rz View workflow on KNIME Hub

The Challenge

Once a workflow enters production it’s very important to regularly make sure that it’s still doing what it’s supposed to do. This is particularly true when something in the environment changes, e.g. installing a new version of KNIME or making other updates. Doing this manually for many workflows is time consuming and prone to errors. Automating these tests saves a lot of time, helps catch problems early, and avoids errors by systematically checking the workflow(s).

knime_icons_rz Our Solution

Workflows can be tested with the KNIME Testing Framework. Users can easily compare the generated result of a workflow with the expected results (the "golden table”) using the Table Difference Checker node. To run the test automatically, find the required workflow in the KNIME Explorer, right click, and select “Run as workflow test”. This will display a report, which contains information about any nodes that failed - including the Table Difference Checker that fails if the results differ. This workflow enables automated testing without editing or requiring the workflow to be saved with loaded test data. This functionality is contained in the blue boxes (in the workflow). Reference input data is loaded and compared with the golden table if the user does not make any changes to the configuration of the Table Reader. If everything is working as it should, the “Run tests if necessary” component will switch to the executed state. If there are problems, this node will report an error, which will be visible in the report if this workflow is run as a test.

Why KNIME Software

The KNIME Testing Framework, openly available with KNIME Analytics Platform, makes it possible to automatically ensure that workflows are doing what they are supposed to be doing. The Table Difference Checker node allows users to easily compare current results to a golden table. It is straightforward to test multiple workflows at once, saving time and helping to detect problems early. With KNIME Server execution of these tests can be scheduled, allowing the process to be fully automated.

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