Complex test data setup in Fitnesse

I am creating functional specifications using Fitnesse for one of my systems. The system is a typical messaging system following the request/response pattern. Writing Fitnesse for this kind of system is straight forward and falls nicely into the BuildOperateCheck pattern. The only problem is that some types of requests are really really complex which could contain up to a few hundred different data fields. It is obviously not practical to setup all these fields in one table row using the ColumnFixture. I am thinking about how to deal with it.

One approach is to identify a small set of data fields that we will focus on testing on each page and create a fixture table that deals with only that small set of data. For the rest of the fields, we just assign some default values.

It is a reasonable assumption. Because on each Fitnesse page we usually test a specific requirement that most likely only involves several variables. For example, if I am designing a online book purchase system which is very complicated. But one of the requirement is to identify the tax rate. The tax rate are identified by the customer's postal code and county. Thus I only need to include "postal code" and "county" in my fixture table and I will be able to test that requirement.

In some rare cases, even that small set of data does not fit well in one table. In that situation, I managed to use multiple tables to collect the data for building a single request. It takes a little extra work but it makes the page more readable.

Fitnesse and coding convention

I have recently started to use Fitnesse to document the requirements of two of my projects. It is a wonderful tool that not only makes writing requirement more fun, but also makes the process works. Many of us are used to hundreds of pages of requirement document that only satisfies the "process police" but does little help to developers. The requirements written in Fitnesse is live and up to date. It just works!

But there is one thing I am scratching my head now which is the coding convention used by Fitnesse. For many fixtures, such as RowFixture, the convention is to match the column name to a public member variable in the fixture class. The traditional getter and setter approach is not supported here.

Many people oppose the idea of getter and setter and consider them evil. I am ok to either approaches. But the problem is the coding convention adopted by my organization is to have each member variable prefixed by the "m" and all member variables should be accessed through getters and setters. I cannot find a way to reconcile this problem. I won't be a problem to make a special case for this, but I really hope Fitnesse can support both approaches.