Software testing is a broad spectrum of processes to verify, substantiate, and certify that software or an application meets the technical and user requirements.
Software testing is an integral part of the SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle). The SDLC has different modules – requirement gathering, design, development, testing, and implementation (release). The developed software is not deployed or implemented unless it goes through rigorous testing. The testers involved in SDLC of a software or an application aim at –
Finding errors or discrepancies in the existing software.
Finding different ways to improve the software in terms of efficiency, accuracy, and usability.
Measuring if the software meets the functionality, performance, and security as specified in the design module.
The errors or discrepancies are referred to as software defects. These are documented and reported to the developers to be fixed. This process ensures that the software meets all the set requirements and functions as expected, the product owners feel confident to release the software to its users. A few key benefits of software testing are –
It reduces the overall cost of the software project. If the bugs are caught during the early stage of software testing, it would cost less to fix the defects.
It ensures a safe and secure software that satisfies the trust of its users. It helps in removing risks and problems before it reaches its customers.
It validates that the software delivered to the customers meets all their expectations and works as expected.
Why perform software testing?
Software testing is a fundamental process of creating reliable and user-friendly software/applications. There are various advantages for a company to invest resources in developing their own software, and that is something every business should evaluate on its own terms. Therefore, it is important to have dedicated teams working on ensuring unbiased, effective, and high-quality software. With dedicated software testing you can –
- Identify defects
- Gain customer confidence
- Check software adaptability
- Avoid extra costs
- Optimize business
By including software testing in your project development, the outcome i.e. the software/application becomes error-free and performs as expected. The user experience is enhanced, and maintenance costs are cut down.
The right approach to test a software
Software Testing is a process on its own also known as STLC (Software Testing Life Cycle). It is always a good idea to synchronize the development and testing processes to deploy the best software/application to your customers. STLC includes the following modules –
- Requirement Analysis
- Test Planning
- Test case development
- Test Environment setup
- Test Execution
- Test Cycle closure
Types of software testing
It is imperative that software or an application meets the set functional and non-functional requirements. This helps categorize testing as –
Functional – The tester will verify and validate all the functionalities like usability, security, and integration as specified in the requirements document.
Non-Functional Testing – The tester verifies the performance and behavior of the software/application.
Testing is performed for all layers of a software or an application –
Unit Testing – verifies if software components fulfill functionalities or not.
Integration Testing – checks the data and process flow between modules.
System Testing – evaluates both functional and non-functional features of the software or application.
Acceptance Testing – checks the usability of the software or application as specified in the Requirements module.
Testing all the layers of a software or an application provides objective and independent information of the functionalities and quality of the software/ application to its owners.
Black Box Testing Black Box testing is a software testing methodology, wherein a tester bases the test cases on the functionality of the software/application rather than focusing on the design, internal structure, and implementation of the software/application that is being tested. Black box testing helps in determining –
Incorrect or missing functions
Errors or invalid access to the database
Initialization and termination errors
Black Box testing methodology is applicable to the following layers of software/application –
Advantages of black-box testing are –
It is done from a user’s point of view and will help in exposing discrepancies in the specifications.
The testers need not have programming expertise.
The testing is performed by an independent team and the results are objective.
The test cases are designed in sync with the specifications.
We perform Black Box testing to verify the overall functionality of the software/application. This testing approach prioritizes a user’s perspective and gives you a broader picture of the software.
The Test designs for black-box testing need to be iterative and are created considering the specification of the requirements module to check the accuracy of the software’s functionality. The test scenarios and test designs are created from working descriptions of the software as provided by other teams. The test designs include positive test scenarios to replicate expected results, and adverse test scenarios by taking invalid input values to determine the output. These results are documented and provided as feedback by the testing team. The errors and defects are reported to the developers. Once the bugs are fixed, the testing team performs the test again to verify the changes.
Black box testing helps bridge the gaps in functionality, usability, and security. It provides quality assurance and mitigates the risk of software failures at the user’s end.