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PERENNIAL Validation SuitesTM


Background
Since 1986, Perennial, Inc. has developed commercial off-the-shelf test suites for compilers and operating systems. We were the first company in the world to offer commercial test suites for C and C++ compilers, as well as UNIX and BSD operating systems. A test suite, as it is used here, refers to an integrated collection of test programs for a common purpose. Since the test methodology used is validation testing, the products are collectively named PERENNIAL Validation SuitesTM

PERENNIAL Validation Suites are used throughout the world by organizations dedicated to the principle of bringing quality products to market. We provide free Technical Support and Update Service to new licensees for 12 months and renewal of that service on a yearly basis. 

PERENNIAL Validation Suites for C, C-Freestanding, C++, Embedded C++, and are used to test the conformance of compilers, translators and interpreters to the specifications that define those languages. In the case of C, C-Freestanding, and C++, the specifications are ANSI and ISO/IEC standards. For Embedded C++, the specification is a tailored version of the ISO/IEC C++ standard developed by the Embedded C++ Technical Committee. The current offerings of PERENNIAL Validation Suites are:

ACVS - ANSI/ISO/FIPS 160 C Validation Suite
CVSA - Latest ISO C Validation Suite
CVSA-Freestanding - Latest ISO C Validation Suite for freestanding/embedded environments
C++VS - ISO C++ Validation Suite
EC++VS - Embedded C++ Validation Suite

All PERENNIAL Validation Suites incorporate a common design; a common set of features; and a common development methodology. 

Design
PERENNIAL Validation Suites are designed to be compatible with all UNIX/UNIX-like, or MS Windows environments in use today. They are structured in a hierarchical manner with clean divisions between the test programs and the test suite driver and reporting mechanisms. All of the test code is structured in a hierarchy that conforms to the specification being tested. The installation, set up, and running of the suites is the same for each. Likewise, the reporting mechanisms, audit trail, and analysis of the test results are also the same. The common design makes it easier for the user to install and run multiple test suites. 

Features
PERENNIAL Validation Suites contain the following common features: 

- Common design, organization, look and feel,
- Assertion based test methodology,
- Support testing for embedded, hosted, native, and simulated environments,
- Automated installation process,
- Automated execution process,
- Automated report generation,
- Supports intermediate compilation,
- Extendable. Easy to add additional user developed tests,
- Excellent customer support.
 

Development Methodology
PERENNIAL Validation Suites are developed using assertion based methodology in a clean room environment. 

Assertions are created by identifying all of the conformance requirements within the language specification. Doing so requires a knowledgeable and careful reading of the specification, with a keen understanding of the language, and the terminology used to specify the language. The assertion developer must understand the exact meaning of, and differences between, shall, can, may, should, implementation defined, undefined, unspecified, etc.; and the impact a conformance requirement in one section of the specification has on other conformance requirements elsewhere. Assertions are developed for each portion of the specification based on the conformance requirements. Next, portable test cases are developed from the assertions. Test cases that are testing a common element are usually grouped into a single test program. Every test case can be traced to an assertion and a conformance requirement from the specification.

A clean room environment is one where the test suite development is based entirely on the specifications that define the language rather than observed behavior of a particular compiler. 

The development methodology used for PERENNIAL Validation Suites conforms to standards and practices that have long been used and approved by organizations conducting certification and branding programs for international and national standards.

 

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