What is Software Testing?

Software testing is a crucial stage in a  software development life cycle. It is a process that enables the software testing company to check whether the actual solution matches the expected requirements. It also ensures the deployed software is defect-free. The main goal of software testing is to find out missing requirements or errors in the developed system.

Basically, software testing is the ultimate solution to deliver a complete solution. To know more about this concept and see why it is known as White Box and Black Box Testing, let us go through this blog.

1. What is Software Testing?

Software testing is a very simple yet important process to find out errors in the software. The software testing process enables the testers to check whether the real outcome of the system matches the expected results or not. It also helps in finding out missing requirements and identifying defects. Basically, testing is the most important step in the software development life cycle, before deployment. Testing includes testing phase, analysis, examination, and evaluation of various aspects of the software.

The expert software testers use the combination of test automation  tools and manual testing to find out the bugs and errors  of the software. And once the test is conducted, the testers report the test results to the software development team. The main aim of the software testing team is to deliver the product just as the client has requested.

2. Why Do We Need Software Testing?

Why Do We Need Software Testing?

When the developed software is successfully accepted by the end-users, it helps businesses to grow further. And to have such successful software, it is really important that it is created with perfection and its testing process is conducted through proper methods. Basically, testing plays a very important role. And to know more about the benefits of software testing, let’s go through the below points –

2.1 Cost-Effective

Software testing comes with many benefits but the most important one is its cost-effective nature. When the software program is tested on time, the team can save a lot of money. The main reason behind it is that the software development process has a lot of stages and if the defects or bugs are caught at the very beginning, fixing them would be cheaper than finding a bug at the end of the development process or after deployment.

2.2 Customer Satisfaction

The main aim of any business is to offer a system that satisfies customers and this is why software development companies test the products perfectly. They make sure that the product offers the best user experience possible.

2.3 Product Quality

When it comes to bringing the client’s product vision into life, the development process should work as planned. And the most important part of that development procedure is to take the product through both manual and automation testing. This can help in getting the required results.

2.4 Security

The most vulnerable and sensitive part of software testing is a security concern. Therefore, the testers go through specific security testing approaches where the product is completely checked and all the risk factors can be removed.

3. Types of Software Testing

When it comes to delivering a successful project, software testing is a very important part of it. There are different types of software testing and choosing one of them for your project depends on factors like budget, project requirements, expertise, timeline, and suitability. This huge domain of testing is divided into two main parts and they are –

3.1 Functional Testing

Functional testing is known as a popular type of black-box testing and quality assurance (QA) process that builds its test cases as per the software component’s specifications. In this type of testing, the software tester checks the functions of the software by feeding them input and then verifying the output. It can be conducted when the testers want to figure out the compliance of software or component with a particular type of functional requirement.

Basically, functional testing specifies what the software solution does and because of being a type of black-box testing, it checks the software’s functionality without knowing how the internal programs of the system work. This means that testers don’t have to be aware of the software development programming languages.

In addition to this, functional testing doesn’t actually mean that the team is testing a method or a function. It means that the functionality of the entire system is being checked or we can say that it is testing program behaviour.

Some of the major types of functional testing are –

  • Integration Testing – Keeping all the moving parts of a program in sync.
  • Unit Testing – Making sure each piece of software works as it should. As the smallest part of an application that can be tested, a unit is a must.
  • Smoke – Performed at an initial stage of development phase to ensure the most important functions of the software are working correctly.
  • Localization – Verifies software behaviour, accuracy, and suitability for special region and location.
  • UAT ( User Acceptance Testing) – Performed by end-user or the client to accept the software system before it is released.
  • Interoperability

3.2 Non-Functional Testing

Another type of software testing is non-functional testing. It is a process where the software engineers check the non-functional requirements of the system. This type of testing includes checking the way a system operates. It is completely opposite to functional testing, which checks the software against functional requirements that specifies the system’s functions and components.

Some of the major types of non-functional testing are –

  • Performance – Analysing the software’s response to a variety of stressors. Performance under realistic load circumstances may be evaluated via load testing, for instance.
  • Scalability – It is a type of load testing that measures the software’s ability to scale down or up as a reaction to the increasing number of users.
  • Load Testing – It allows you to determine a system’s performance under real-life load conditions.
  • Endurance – This type of testing helps you to determine how well a software can handle prolonged usage over a long period of time.
  • Volume – It is a type of testing which tests a software with a certain amount of data. 
  • Usability Testing Process – Assessing a user’s competence in navigating a website or using a software product.

4. Software Testing Methods

Software Testing Methods

As we know software testing is the most important method of the software development cycle and there are a plethora of methods for testing. Testers will be familiar with these names like Unit testing, Functional testing, non-functional testing, automation testing, Agile testing, Acceptance testing, integration testing, regression testing, dynamic testing, stress testing and other subtypes are all examples of software testing. For each type of application problem, there are several sorts of testing. If you are a tester, you might have heard about some and worked on it, but not everyone is aware of all the many forms of testing.

Each form of testing has its own set of characteristics, benefits, and drawbacks. However, we have covered almost every form of software testing that is utilized by a software testing company  in this post. When we hear types of software testing, we only have these ones in mind that are mostly used nowadays. But when it comes to the traditional way of performing tests, there were basically only three ways of doing it. They are

  • Black-box Testing
  • White-box Testing
  • Grey box Testing

When we thought of software engineering, these were the terms working best in testing. But with time and advancement in technology, the methods have changed. Previously, there was no test automation or other ways of testing to ensure quality assurance of developed applications. Thus, the inducement of these types of testing took place. Let’s get into details on how each one works.

4.1 Black-Box Testing

Black-box testing refers to the process of testing where the tester does not have any prior knowledge of the internal workings of the application. The tester has no understanding of the system architecture and has no access to the source code. During a black-box test, a tester will often interact with the system’s user interface by giving inputs and inspecting outputs without understanding how or where the inputs and outputs came from.

Black box testing is a strong testing approach because it exercises a system end-to-end. In this type of testing a tester can imitate user activity and see if the system delivers it as what expectation is. The design of app development is to satisfy end users and their expectations to obtain an acceptable answer to their requests.

A black box test assesses all essential subsystems along the route, including the user interface/user experience, web server, and application.

Pros of Black Box testing

  • Suitable for bigger projects where knowing the code is not important
  • You can clearly see two different perspectives- the customers and the developers point of view

Cons of Black Box Testing

  • Lack of knowledge can lead to some uninvited errors and disasters
  • The test coverage is unpredictable and hence you cannot apply the software testing basics here.
  • As a Tester, you can only perform limited actions on test scenarios and test cases.

Many professionals use a combination of black box and white box testing. White box testing entails analyzing an application’s source code, architecture, and settings from the inside out. Lets see in the next segment what can white-box testing can offer.

4.2 White-Box Testing

The next type of testing is white-box testing that entails a thorough analysis and examining of the code’s from the grass root level like core logic and structure. Its other names are Glass testing or open-box testing. When a tester works under this method, they know and have complete understanding of the internal workings of the code in order to do white-box testing on an application. The tester must examine the source code to determine which unit/chunk of code is acting abnormally.

In white box testing, testers extensively examine the code and other internal components of the program. They determine all the valid and invalid inputs before comparing the outputs to the intended results and the testing definition. The software tester examines the statements and conditions, as well as the code pathways and data flows, for hidden mistakes or defect-prone components.

Although you can use white-box testing at the unit level, its implication is most common in the integration testing and regression testing. The approach allows testers to inspect pathways inside units for code flaws and other issues that might prohibit the product from performing as expected. The performance of the app is dependent on strong integration with previously tested code, lowering the likelihood of issues later on.

Pros of White Box testing

  • It quickly optimizes the code error identifying process
  • You can aim for maximum test coverage with this type of software testing

Cons of White Box Testing

  • It is difficult to learn this type of testing as the tools of debugging and analyzing are different and many.
  • There can be times when some portion of code remains untested.

4.3 Grey-Box Testing

Grey-box testing is a method of testing an application with just a rudimentary understanding of its internal workings. The grey-box method is a process of testing that uses a simple black-box methodology to test complicated systems, allowing almost anybody to complete the tests, from developers to testers to end-users.

However, in order to build test cases, an engineer must have a working understanding of the software’s internal structure, which includes documentation on data structures, architecture, and functional requirements. In contrast to black-box testing, where the tester only evaluates the application’s user interface, grey-box testing allows the tester to see design papers.

Penetration testing, end-to-end system testing, and integration testing are all typical uses for grey box testing. Interactive Security Testing tools can also be used to do grey box testing. In these IAST tools, we can use the combination of white box testing to assess static code, and tools used for black box testing when combined in IAST tools. These tools will enable developers to test effectively and apply maximum coverage to its aspects.

Pros of Grey Box testing

  • Identifying vulnerabilities is easier and faster
  • Grey-box testing allows for intelligent testing even for exceptional test scenarios for analysing data kinds, communication protocols, exceptions, and so on.

Cons of Grey Box Testing

  • Since the infrastructure of app is unknown, so the test coverage of codes becomes limited
  • The code coverage is at times partial and hence it can lead to lack of objectified performance during the testing process.

5. Software Testing Life Cycle

Software Testing Life Cycle

Software Testing Life Cycle is a process that comes with various activities that every software testing team must perform to ensure the software’s quality. There is a series of activities that must be conducted to perform Software Testing. It also specifies the type of test activities to be carried out and when would be the outcome of these test activities.

Basically, the STLC process comes with different activities and each activity of this lifecycle must be carried out in a planned manner to get the perfectly secured software. Here are the different software testing life cycle phases –

5.1 Requirement Analysis

The first step is to do a requirement Analysis. The quality assurance team must understand the requirements of the software and figure out what to test & what will be the testing requirements.

5.2 Test Planning

The next step in the software testing life cycle is test planning. Here all the software testing strategies are specified. This step is also popularly known as the Test Strategy phase. Here the test manager gets involved and specifies the testing efforts and cost required for the project.

5.3 Test Case Development

After the test planning phase, the test case development process starts. Here the testing department notes the detailed test cases and also prepares the test data. And once the test cases are ready, they are reviewed by the quality assurance lead.

5.4 Test Environment Setup

The next step is to set up an environment for tests. Here the team makes sure that they have the right testing environment which includes setting up hardware and software for testing.

5.5 Test Execution

After the testing environment is ready, the next thing to do is test execution. In this process, the testers execute the code and compare the generated results with the expected results. The analysis of the results starts from the very beginning of the execution proceeds and the test scripts are created throughout this process.

5.6 Test Cycle Closure

The last and final stage in the software testing life cycle is to close the test cycle. This process includes calling out the team members of the testing team and evaluating the entire cycle as per the quality cost, test coverage, time, and more.

6. Software Testing Best Practices

There is a standard procedure for testing software. Activities include setting up the test environment, creating test cases, scripting the tests, assessing the results, and filling defect reports.

The testing process might be lengthy. For modest projects, manual or ad hoc testing may be adequate. Nevertheless, tools are routinely employed to automate processes in bigger systems. Teams may use automated testing to try out new situations, evaluate potential differentiators such migrating components to the cloud, and receive immediate response on what does and does not work.

Testing should include not only the API but also the UI and the system as a whole. Also, it’s preferable to perform as many automated tests as possible, preferably at an early stage. The majority of companies utilise commercially available test automation tools, although some create their own. Vendor solutions, on the other hand, provide tools that help simplify crucial aspects of test management, such as:

1. Continuous testing

In order to ensure the quality of the project, the team tests each new version as it is released. This approach of testing software focuses on automated tests that are performed in tandem with the release procedure. It allows for early software validation in more realistic test settings, which enhances design and decreases risks.

2. Configuration management

Test resources and software updates to test are often managed centrally. Assets including source code, specifications, design documentation, models, test scripts, and test results are made available to teams. With the support of user authentication and audit trails, teams can easily satisfy compliance standards with little to no extra administrative work.

3. Service virtualization

There may be a lack of test environments in the beginning of a project’s development. Through the use of service virtualization, teams may decrease dependencies and begin testing earlier by simulating absent or unfinished services and systems. To test several scenarios without disrupting the live system, they may simply reuse, launch, and alter a setting.

4. Defect or bug tracking

The testing and development teams’ ability to measure and improve quality is directly tied to their ability to monitor problems. By using automated technologies, teams may monitor faults, assess their severity, and find underlying problems.

5. Metrics and reporting

Through the use of analytics and reports, teams may communicate their progress toward goals and the outcomes of any tests conducted. In order to display project measurements and results in a unified dashboard, modern software packages combine these data sources. Teams can view the whole picture in an instant and keep tabs on how test, development, and other parts of the project are interacting with one another.

7. Summary

As seen in this blog, software testing is important as it helps in finding the missing requirements and bugs from the software. Besides, using software testing basics help in improving product quality, saving a lot of money, security, and customer satisfaction. And the testing process is mainly classified into two main categories – functional testing and non-functional testing. In addition to this, there are different approaches to testing like system testing, unit testing, dynamic testing, exploratory testing, grey box testing, white-box testing, regression testing, and more. So, if the right type of testing is used for the project and the perfect software testing life cycle process is followed, any software development company can get the perfect outcome.

Itesh Sharma

Itesh Sharma is core member of Sales Department at TatvaSoft. He has got more than 6 years of experience in handling the task related to Customer Management and Project Management. Apart from his profession he also has keen interest in sharing the insight on different methodologies of software development.


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