[rspec-users] How to approach testing automated processing

James Byrne lists at ruby-forum.com
Sat Apr 18 19:02:57 EDT 2009

I have a requirement to fetch a data feed from our central bank and set
a variety of currency exchange rates from that feed. My question is how
does one approach behavioural driven design with autonomous automated
processing? What I started with is this:

Feature: Automatically Retrieve and Store Foreign Currency Exchange
  In order to accurately set foreign currency exchange rates daily
  The automated system
  Should automatically retrieve and store central bank exchange rates
  To Reduce Costs and Protect Revenue

  Scenario:  Retrieve Exchange Rates from the Bank of Canada RSS feed
    Given an RSS feed
    When I access the RSS feed
    Then I should see "Bank of Canada: Noon Foreign Exchange Rates"
      And I should see today's date in "yyyy-mm-dd" format

Now, while I have a pretty good idea how I am going to accomplish this,
via cron and a standalone Ruby script, I am sort of perplexed about how
I should construct the feature step definitions and how I would test
this.  I figure I just have to take as given that cron works because
that is not my code.  But how best to test that the rest works?

The automatic script will contain not much more than a list of the
external libraries a call to a methods in class that I have named
ForexCASource, loop through and map the returned array of hashes to the
corresponding CurrencyExchangeRate attributes of a new row, call #save!
and repeat until finished.

How have others handled this sort of thing?
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