Software Testing Methodologies: Which One To Choose?
By Ramesh Lal
Software testing refers to a series of tests used to measure the quality and performance of a software product. Each and every software testing methodology assists in evaluating disparate components of the software, ranging from basic functionality to advanced components. Software testing rounds are important to ensure the end-product meets the agreed-upon specifications, which is a necessity for client satisfaction. For the software development company, software testing also produces a record of all issues that can be used for training demonstrations and encouraging reliability and trust.
To go in depth, following are the different types of Software Testing Methodologies:
Types of Software Testing Methodologies
Functional testing methodologies involve systemwide testing of methods and functions to ensure functional capabilities of the software. In layman terms, they test the various elements of the software independent of its source code and test each every function by assigning appropriate inputs and observing outputs. There can only be two results in functional testing methodologies, which are whether the software succeeds at executing its proposed functions or not. Functional testing rounds are repeated till the desired functional is proven.
Methodologies falling under functional testing are:
Non Functional Testing
This type of testing is conducted to test all non-functional aspects of the software. The methodologies under non-functional testing are highly-subjective in nature and can be performed as per the discretion of the client or the software development company. The main purpose of non functional testing is to ensure quality, performance, speed and reliability. The testing depends on both front-end and back-end elements of the software and also emphasizes on overall user-interface and user-experience.
Methodologies falling under non-functional testing are:
Difference Between Functional and Non Functional Testing
While the testing criteria in functional methods is clearly defined, i.e, features and specifications asked by the client, non-functional testing, on the other hand, is pretty ambiguous. It checks the behavioural response of the software and is evaluated by the quality assurance team to ensure whether the software applications are up to the mark.
An example of functional testing is checking whether a message box opens on a click, whereas the same for non-functional testing is if the message box instantly opens and is easy to find on the screen.
Different Software Testing Methodologies
In this blog, we have covered some key software testing methodologies that are used on a wide level across the world:
In this type of testing, every unit of the source code is tested in isolation against its expected performance to validate the usability of the software. The unit can be a method, function, class or module but is expected to be a very small part of the source code. The smaller a unit is, the better the test results.
Example: Testing the working of login button, back button or any other single function.
Sanity testing is conducted to ensure functionality after resolving minor bugs and errors or introducing new elements. This is done to ensure the rationality of the software before it is moved to aggressive testing rounds like integrity and regression testing.
Example: Testing the login button after instantiating username and password variables.
Smoke testing is short and simple testing of all critical features of the software without going into depth. It is usually performed along with the sanity test and conveys to the quality assurance team whether the software is ready for further testing. In brief, if the software fails at performing key functionalities, then it is not ready to go into a full fledged testing phase.
Example: If the software has two primary features and ten secondary features, then the former should work before the latter is moved on to any testing phase.
Regression testing is conducted to eliminate errors that may arrive in a code after introducing major changes in the software. It also assists in assuring that the previously resolved bugs do not reappear. Regression testing is done against various test cases and is useful while releasing new versions or making updates.
Example: Testing after combining two relations in the database.
In contrast to unit testing, integration testing measures the logical integrity of different units. In this type of testing, multiple modules, classes, or functions are grouped together and tested. The main purpose of integration testing is to bring out any flaws in the source code that may arrive at the time of interaction. Integration testing is more helpful when the different pieces of the source code are developed by different programmers or the entire software is too complex.
Example: Testing of an ‘add to cart’ button in synchronization to the shopping cart.
Localization testing is performed to evaluate the quality and compatibility of a software in respect to a particular region. This primarily includes testing the software in UI, content and linguistic test cases. If the software is too complex, then the hardware and software capabilities of that region are also considered in localization.
Example: Testing of the dial-in codes and currency.
Quite the reverse, globalization is used to ensure whether the software is suitable for an international release or in different regions and cultures. It involves the testing of UI, content and software linguistics to ensure that the software is easily understood by all target regions.
Example: Testing of multilingual features
Sometimes software applications are required to be used alongside other applications. Interoperability testing ensures smooth interaction between two different software. It includes the testing of co-related functions, interaction algorithms, and end-to-end communication. Interoperability is necessary when you aim to offer third-party integrations or have external application import/export features.
Example: Importing files from another software.
Usability Testing involves UI/UX testing with the help of the early adopters. The adopters provide their inputs on the overall usability of the software, such as how easy it is to navigate through and if they face any problem in performing a desired function. This feedback is recorded by the quality assurance team and used to improve the UI/UX of the software.
Example: Testing how easy it is to complete a transaction on the software
Performance testing is conducted to test the various non-functional attributes of the software like speed, scalability and reliability. It is divided into the following test types:
Load Testing: Conducted to measure how the software behaves when dealing with high user load. It usually involves checking the performance of the database and application server.
Stress Testing: Involves the testing of the software under extreme user load to find its maximum load handling capacity.
Soak Testing: Conducted to confirm how long the software can perform under extreme load before facing errors like memory leak.
Spike Testing: Conducted to ascertain the software’s performance in case of a sudden spike in the number of users.
Volume Testing: Involves the testing of the software with varying volumes of data in the database.
Scalability Testing: Involves the testing of how the software adapts to an increased user load.
Compliance testing ensures whether the software meets the required industry standards. It involves testing of specific features or pieces of code that may violate a prescribed standard. Sometimes, compliance testing may require the complete removal of a feature(s) from the software.
Example: Verification of access rights and documentation.
Portability testing involves the testing of ease while migrating the software from one environment to another. This includes moving one database version to another, changing the software operating system or testing the compatibility gap between two different browsers.
Example: Moving the software from Windows 8 to Windows 10
Ad-hoc testing is performed without proper documentation and planning. It does not have any specific use cases and is primarily done on the tester’s instincts. In brief, it is not performed in a systematic manner and is carried out for testing various technical issues that went undetected by the previous series of tests. Performing Ad-hoc testing requires a quality assurance executive to have ample experience.
Example: Testing for some particular mistakes that arrived in other projects developed by the same team.
Manual Testing vs Automated Testing
Software development companies can carry out testing in two ways. These are manual testing and automated testing. In manual testing, each test case is executed explicitly by an executive and ldocumented accordingly. On the other hand, a readymade script runs tests and test cases on the software and logs results.
Best Practices for Software Testing
All the aforementioned types of software testing may not be required on all projects. Conducting them all also means a huge waste of resources. Thus, below are some best practices that your software development company can follow for efficient and cost-effective testing:
Perform Mid-Development Ad-hoc Testing
Ad-hoc testing assists in resolving the most error-prone areas and can be conducted without a proper plan. Thus, there’s no need to wait for the completion of the development process. A senior developer can carry out ad-hoc testing mid-development at regular intervals to ensure the development of a quality software. This software testing practice also assists in cost reduction.
Preplanning of Tests
Depending on the software requirements, type of software, its key functionalities and targeted industry, a software development company can identify the required testing phases beforehand and plan various test cases. This assists in saving the testing time.
Preparing a Test Strategy
Testing with a proper strategy is more efficient as it helps you follow a systematic approach and improve your testing skills in the long run. Most test strategies include
The scope of testing
Testing measurement and metrics
Communication and status reporting
Defect reporting and tracking
Test execution schedule
Preparing Test Scripts
A reliable software testing approach is an amalgamation of both manual and automated testing. In some scenarios, such as regression testing, automating the testing process with the help of a script is wise, and time and cost efficient. It eliminates the repetitive tasks for the quality assurance team and does not require manual assistance. Thus, preparing the necessary test scripts for various tests can help you streamline the entire testing process.
FATbit Technologies is a renowned name in the software development industry that produces highly-functional software development for the eCommerce industry. All its solutions undergo rigorous testing phases to ensure smooth business operations. As a single bug or error can lead to great financial loss to its clients, FATbit ensures that all technical errors are thoroughly removed by its QA executives. For double assurance, FATBit also provides 1-year of free technical support to all its clients. Visit here to find more info about FATbit.