When it comes to testing, there are many types. We will not be able to cover each and every one of them. However, we will take a look at what is testing and the types of testing that are fundamental during the process of delivering quality software or application:
Different Types of Software Testing
Manual Software Testing
Manual testing is carried out by a tester manually without the use of any kind of automation tool. It can identify visible and hidden defects. This kind of software testing often involves the testers trying the software from the perspective of the end-users. It is among the most fundamental testing processes, and the strategies can range from being fully scripted test cases to high-level guides for exploratory testing sessions.
For newly developed software, manual testing is mandatory before automated testing. Manual testing may require great effort and time, but the result will be bug-free software. Manual testers will require the understanding of manual testing techniques and need not have any automated testing skills. Several sophisticated tools are available but a simple and flexible one to try out is Testpad.
Automation Testing of Software
Automation testing involves the use of special automation tools and requires a huge investment of money and resources. It is among the types of testing that aim to minimize manual test cases. Here, testers handle test scripts and return the result automatically. Test suites are recorded by using tools, and these can be played again by the testers as per the requirement. No human intervention is required for automation testing. Some popular automation tools are QTP/UFT and Selenium.
Check out the key differences between Manual Testing and Software Testing in our comparison guide, Manual Testing vs Automation testing.
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Types of Manual Testing
There are three types of testing approaches:
- White-box Testing
- Black-box Testing
- Grey-box Testing
White-box testing is also known as structural testing, glass-box testing, transparent-box testing, or clear-box testing. This kind of testing is executed at the unit level and is based on the internal code structure. The test cases are designed based on the internal perspective of the system and programming skills such as code statements, conditions, branches, paths, etc.
Black-box testing is also known as behavioral testing, specification-based testing, or input-output testing. It is a testing method where testers, without looking at the internal code structure, test the functionality of the software. The tests are based on the requirements and functionality alone. The internal system design is not taken into consideration.
Black-box testing is again divided into two different types of testing: Functional Testing and Non-Functional Testing.
Functional testing focuses only on the output to verify the functionality of the software and how it fares against the specified requirements. This testing does not involve looking at the actual code. Each function is given a value, and then, the output is determined and verified with the expected value.
Types of Functional Testing
Function Testing has three types of testing viz- unit testing, integration testing and system testing.
Unit testing involves a developer separately testing each and every unit of an application. Each source code module is tested in the developer’s environment. This testing is also known as module testing or component testing. Unit testing reduces the cost of bug fixes since the diagnosis is done at an early phase of the development life cycle.
Integration testing, also known as I&T testing or string testing, involves the testing of the connectivity or transfer of data between unit-tested modules. This type of testing includes the top-down approach, the bottom-up approach, and the sandwich approach.
Integration testing is divided into Incremental Integration Testing and Non-Incremental Integration Testing.
- Incremental Integration Testing: Incremental integration testing is a form of testing in which a module is tested before being merged with another module. The integration is then tested before adding another module or component.
- Non-Incremental Integration Testing/ Big Bang Method: For integrated testing, this non-incremental technique is referred to as a big band approach. Non-incremental integration, in which all components are merged ahead of time and the complete programme is tested, is sometimes attempted.
Also known as end-to-end scenario testing (E2E testing,) system testing is a type of black-box testing that is done on a fully integrated application. Every input in the application is thoroughly verified for the desired output. System testing is the testing of a user’s experiences with the application.
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Every organization has a separate team for this kind of testing called the non-functional testing (NFT) team or the performance team. Here, the testing is done for non-functional parameters such as stress testing, load testing, recovery testing, volume, security, accountability, etc. These parameters are, however, never tested without first executing functional testing. The main objective is to know whether the software’s response time is as per the requirement as it plays a crucial role in customer satisfaction.
Non-functional Testing Types
1. Performance Testing: Performance testing examines the functionality of software components. These tests uncover flaws in software architecture and design.
2. Usability Testing: Non-functional testing includes usability testing as one of the testing methods. Usability testing is all about ensuring that the software is simple to use for the consumers.
3. Compatibility Testing: Customer satisfaction is ensured by compatibility testing, which is also non-functional testing. Its purpose is to see if your software program or product can run in a variety of browsers, databases, hardware, operating systems, mobile devices, and networks.
Grey-box testing, as you may have already guessed, is the combination of both white-box and black-box testing. The testers will have access to design documents and internal coding for the purpose of designing test cases. The testing process here is executed at a functionality level.
Grey-box testing is good at diagnosing context-specific errors of web systems and pays attention to all the layers of any complex system. This helps increase testing coverage. Grey-box testing is primarily implemented in penetration testing and integration testing.
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Types of Automation Testing Methods
Here are some other Types of Software Testing Methods:
Sanity testing is a type of software testing that is done after receiving a software build with minor code or feature modifications to ensure that the defects have been resolved and that no new issues have arisen as a result of the changes. The objective is to see if the proposed feature performs as intended.
Regression testing is a sort of software testing used to ensure that a recent program or code modification hasn’t broken current functionalities. Regression Testing is just a complete or partial re-execution of previously performed test cases to confirm that current functionality is working properly. This testing ensures that new code modifications do not have unintended consequences for current functionality. It guarantees that the old code continues to function after the most recent code modifications have been made.
Acceptance testing is further split into alpha, beta, and gamma testing. It is executed to obtain customer sign-off to take the delivery and payment process forward. The main objective is to check and verify the system’s compliance with the specified requirements for delivery to end-users.
Exploratory testing is a sort of software testing in which testers assess the system on the fly rather than creating test cases in advance. Before starting the exam, they could jot down some suggestions for what to test. Exploratory testing places a greater emphasis on testing as a “thinking” activity.
Exploratory Testing is a type of testing that is commonly employed in Agile models and focuses on discovery, exploration, and learning. It highlights the individual tester’s own independence and responsibility.
Ad hoc testing is a sort of unstructured or informal software testing that seeks to interrupt the testing process in order to uncover potential faults or mistakes per feasibility. Ad hoc testing is a type of testing that is done at random and is typically an unplanned activity that does not use any documentation or test design methodologies to construct test cases.
Globalization testing is a kind of software testing that ensures that a system or software application can work regardless of the geographical or cultural location in which it is used. It guarantees that the app may be used everywhere in the globe and that all language texts are accepted.
Static testing or verification is the testing method of checking files and documents to ensure the development of the right product according to the specified design, test cases, test plans, etc. Static testing involves activities such as inspection, static analysis, peer review, walk-throughs, etc.
It is crucial to execute static testing because the errors diagnosed during this phase make it cost-effective from the project’s perspective.
Dynamic testing or validation is the process of testing the actual product through the tests done on the software application. Various parameters, including CPU and memory usage, response time, and the overall performance of the software, are tested and reviewed. The dynamic behavior of the code is examined through this testing technique.
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7 Principles of Software Testing
- Testing shows the presence of defects: The objective is to identify as many bugs as possible.
- Exhaustive testing is not possible: Careful planning and assessment of the testing process will save one from testing every single line of code.
- Early testing saves time and money: Fixing issues early is an easier and cheaper option than doing the same toward the end of the product’s life cycle.
- Defects cluster together: Testing should be focused on those areas of the software that usually have the most issues.
- Beware of the pesticide paradox: It is important to update testing techniques to help prevent the pesticide paradox.
- Testing is context-dependent: The testing that is carried out depends on the context of the software or systems.
- The absence of errors is a fallacy: If a system does not fulfill the specified requirements, then no matter how many errors are found and fixed, it will still be unusable.
Applying these principles effectively helps to improve the quality of the overall testing strategy and achieve optimum efficiency.
Benefits of Software Testing
- Cost-effective development: As discussed already, early testing saves both time and cost.
- Product improvement: Diagnosing and amending the errors after proper testing can be time-consuming but is a way for product improvement.
- Quality: Software testing helps to keep in check the following in a system or software:
- Client confidence: For forging long-term relationships with clients, making software testing a clear priority is incredibly important.
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Apart from this list, there are numerous other types of software testing and their subcategories. This blog has covered the overall methods, approaches, and levels that are involved in the testing process. However, always remember, it is not necessary to do all available types of testing for every project.
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