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SigTest User's Guide
Version 3.0
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This guide describes how to install and run the SigTest collection of tools. This collection includes the Signature Test tool and the API Coverage tool. Signature Test tool includes utilities used to develop signature test components that can be used to compare API test signatures. API Coverage tool is used to estimate the test coverage a test suite provides for an implementation of a specified API.


For simplicity, this user's guide refers to the test harness as the JavaTest harness. Note that the open source version of the harness, called JT harness, can be used in its place. The JT harness software can be downloaded from:

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Who Should Use This Guide

This guide is for developers of quality assurance test suites and developers of compatibility test suites — TCKs for a Java platform API as part of the Java Community Process (JCP) program.

Before You Read This Guide

Before reading this guide, it is best to be familiar with the Java programming language. A good resource for the Java programming language is the Oracle Technical Network web site, located at


Web URLs provided are subject to change.

How This Guide Is Organized

Introduction describes the SigTest collection of tools.

Part I describes how you can use the Signature Test tool to easily compare the signatures of two different implementations of the same API.

Part II describes how you can use the API Coverage tool to estimate the test coverage a test suite provides for an implementation of a specified API.

Part III describes how you can use the API Check tool to track API changes and roughly check for source and binary compatibility.

Part IV contains an appendix that includes step-by-step examples that show how to use Signature Test tool.

Related Documentation

For details about the Java programming language, see the specifications at and the many Java programming texts.

Typographic Conventions

Typeface Meaning Examples


The names of commands, files, and directories, or on-screen computer output

Edit your .login file.

Use ls -a to list all files.

% You have mail.


Book titles, new words or terms, words to be emphasized

Command-line variable or placeholder. Replace with a real name or value

Read Chapter 6 in the User's Guide.

These are called class options.

You must be superuser to do this.

To delete a file, type rm filename.

SigTest-DirectoryFoot 1 

\ or î

A backslash at the end of a line indicates that a long code line has been broken in two on a UNIX® system, typically to improve legibility in code. The caret character (î) indicates this on a Microsoft Windows system.

java classname \


java classname î


Indented code or command line

Indicates a wrapped continuation from a previous line with no carriage return or return character in the actual code.

java classname


Footnote 1 The top-most SigTest Tool collection installation directory is referred to as SigTest-Directory throughout the SigTest Tool collection documentation.