by Rachael Ray
These testing methods should be mandatory for any software
Software testing is the art of investigating a software in a systematic fashion so as to find deep-rooted defects in it. In addition to that, software testing also checks the quality and correctness of the software. After the errors are identified, it becomes easier to develop a bug-free and user-friendly software.
Now, as you know, even a small defect can cause the entire software to crash. If a software crashes, it can cause a great deal of damage. Proper testing methods can prevent this.
The testing process can identify any defect, bug or error. It is best to introduce software testing right from the initial phase of the software development cycle. All the successful software development companies adhere to this. They consider testing to be an important part of the development cycle. Also, automated testing is gaining popularity over manual testing. Automated testing is quicker and more accurate as compared to manual testing.
But, before we move any further, there are three software test cases which you should know about:
- Black box testing—In this method of testing, the user/tester does not have any working knowledge of the internal structure of the software. It verifies the functionality of the software. Black box testing is particularly beneficial because the black box testers find the bugs which cannot be traced during the program execution. The testing methods used in black box testing are boundary value analysis, equivalence partitioning, model-based testing, all pairs testing and fuzz testing among others.
- White box testing — In white box testing, the user/tester has professional knowledge of algorithms and the structure of the test software. Testing methods used are mutation testing methods, Application Programming Interface, static testing, code statements, code branches, paths and conditions. It is generally performed by software developers.
- Grey box testing — In this method, the user/tester can access the internal algorithms and data structures to design test cases. Grey box testing is somewhat similar to black box testing. If your software requires the joint output of two or more models, this type of integration testing is deployed.
Now, that you have a clear understanding of these terms, let’s move on to the various types of software testing.
The 4 mandatory testing methods your software should undergo
Well, there are many types of testing which software companies use. Each testing type has its own features, advantages, and disadvantages. But, out of all the testing methods, there are four mandatory testing methods which are crucial to your software development process.
1. Alpha testing
Alpha testing is done when the software is almost 60–80% complete. There is no fixed testing cycle. Each cycle might go up to two weeks. Alpha testing involves both black box and white box testing.
Generally, alpha testing is used for off-the-shelf software development and is done before beta testing.
There are two phases of alpha testing:
- Phase 1: The in-house development team tests the software. The testing is done with the help of debugging software and hardware-based debuggers.
- Phase 2: The QA team handles the testing and puts the software to the test in an environment which is quite similar to its intended use. So, an in-house virtual user environment is created for alpha testing.
So, alpha testing is a type of acceptance testing which is conducted to identify the bugs before the product is released in the market. It is possible to make minor changes as a result of alpha testing.
2. Beta testing
Beta testing is also known as pre-release testing. It is the second step of testing which is performed before the app is released commercially to the public. Typically, the beta version of the software is released to a limited number of users.
Beta testing involves only one or two cycles with each test cycle lasting around three to six weeks. Beta testing ensures that there are no major fails in the software, and also gives developers an idea of whether it satisfies the business requirements from the end user’s perspective.
There are two versions of beta testing:
- Open beta version: the software is open for a wide audience. Anyone who is interested can report bugs and also suggest additional features to improve the final version of the software.
- Closed beta version: The software is released to a selected group of end-users and is by invitation only.
The biggest advantage of beta testing is that the percentage of product failure is greatly reduced because the software is validated by the customer.
3. Backend testing
Backend testing or database testing takes place on the server side. The databases used are MYSQL, DB2, Oracle, SQL and so on. If database testing is not done, it can result in serious complications like deadlock, loss of data and disk corruption. Database testing includes the following processes:
- Avoiding data duplication
- Verifying keys and indexes
- Validating Schema tables
- Database server approvals
Also, keep in mind that backend testing is extremely different than black box testing. Backend testing gives total control over the algorithm in the software. It also allows debugging through log files.
4. GUI testing
The main aim of Graphical User Interface testing is to approve the GUI as per the demands and needs of the client.
The user’s first impression will be the design and appearance of the application or software. If it does not appeal to them, they will never come back to the application or software. This is where GUI testing comes into play.
It involves validating user interface aspects like the main menu, icon, toolbar, dialogue boxes, menu bar, windows and many more. The most popular GUI testing tools are Selenium, Cucumber, SilkTest, QTP and TestComplete.
Software development and software testing go hand in hand. No matter how well your software has been developed, testing is inevitable. Software testing checks the reliability of the software, removes underlying bugs, makes the software more user-friendly, and ensures that the final product is in line with the client’s requirements.
Software testing will save you a lot of money, and the end product will be exactly in line with your requirements. And so no software development project is complete without testing.