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Software testing is the act of examining the artifacts and the behavior of the software under test by validation and verification. Software testing can also provide an objective, independent view of the software to allow the business to appreciate and understand the risks of software implementation. Test techniques include, but are not necessarily limited to:
Every software product has a target audience. For example, the audience for video game software is completely different from banking software. Therefore, when an organization develops or otherwise invests in a software product, it can assess whether the software product will be acceptable to its end users, its target audience, its purchasers, and other stakeholders. Software testing assists in making this assessment.
Software testing can be done by dedicated software testers; until the 1980s, the term "software tester" was used generally, but later it was also seen as a separate profession. Regarding the periods and the different goals in software testing, different roles have been established, such as test manager, test lead, test analyst, test designer, tester, automation developer, and test administrator. Software testing can also be performed by non-dedicated software testers.
There are many approaches available in software testing. Reviews, walkthroughs, or inspections are referred to as static testing, whereas executing programmed code with a given set of test cases is referred to as dynamic testing.
Passive testing means verifying the system behavior without any interaction with the software product. Contrary to active testing, testers do not provide any test data but look at system logs and traces. They mine for patterns and specific behavior in order to make some kind of decisions. This is related to offline runtime verification and log analysis.
Code coverage tools can evaluate the completeness of a test suite that was created with any method, including black-box testing. This allows the software team to examine parts of a system that are rarely tested and ensures that the most important function points have been tested. Code coverage as a software metric can be reported as a percentage for:
Black-box testing (also known as functional testing) treats the software as a "black box," examining functionality without any knowledge of internal implementation, without seeing the source code. The testers are only aware of what the software is supposed to do, not how it does it. Black-box testing methods include: equivalence partitioning, boundary value analysis, all-pairs testing, state transition tables, decision table testing, fuzz testing, model-based testing, use case testing, exploratory testing, and specification-based testing.
Specification-based testing aims to test the functionality of software according to the applicable requirements. This level of testing usually requires thorough test cases to be provided to the tester, who then can simply verify that for a given input, the output value (or behavior), either "is" or "is not" the same as the expected value specified in the test case.Test cases are built around specifications and requirements, i.e., what the application is supposed to do. It uses external descriptions of the software, including specifications, requirements, and designs to derive test cases. These tests can be functional or non-functional, though usually functional.
This method of test can be applied to all levels of software testing: unit, integration, system and acceptance. It typically comprises most if not all testing at higher levels, but can also dominate unit testing as well.
The aim of visual testing is to provide developers with the ability to examine what was happening at the point of software failure by presenting the data in such a way that the developer can easily find the information she or he requires, and the information is expressed clearly.
Ad hoc testing and exploratory testing are important methodologies for checking software integrity, because they require less preparation time to implement, while the important bugs can be found quickly. In ad hoc testing, where testing takes place in an improvised, impromptu way, the ability of the tester(s) to base testing off documented methods and then improvise variations of those tests can result in more rigorous examination of defect fixes. However, unless strict documentation of the procedures are maintained, one of the limits of ad hoc testing is lack of repeatability.
By knowing the underlying concepts of how the software works, the tester makes better-informed testing choices while testing the software from outside. Typically, a grey-box tester will be permitted to set up an isolated testing environment with activities such as seeding a database. The tester can observe the state of the product being tested after performing certain actions such as executing SQL statements against the database and then executing queries to ensure that the expected changes have been reflected. Grey-box testing implements intelligent test scenarios, based on limited information. This will particularly apply to data type handling, exception handling, and so on.
Broadly speaking, there are at least three levels of testing: unit testing, integration testing, and system testing. However, a fourth level, acceptance testing, may be included by developers. This may be in the form of operational acceptance testing or be simple end-user (beta) testing, testing to ensure the software meets functional expectations. Based on the ISTQB Certified Test Foundation Level syllabus, test levels includes those four levels, and the fourth level is named acceptance testing. Tests are frequently grouped into one of these levels by where they are added in the software development process, or by the level of specificity of the test.
These types of tests are usually written by developers as they work on code (white-box style), to ensure that the specific function is working as expected. One function might have multiple tests, to catch corner cases or other branches in the code. Unit testing alone cannot verify the functionality of a piece of software, but rather is used to ensure that the building blocks of the software work independently from each other.
Unit testing is a software development process that involves a synchronized application of a broad spectrum of defect prevention and detection strategies in order to reduce software development risks, time, and costs. It is performed by the software developer or engineer during the construction phase of the software development life cycle. Unit testing aims to eliminate construction errors before code is promoted to additional testing; this strategy is intended to increase the quality of the resulting software as well as the efficiency of the overall development process.
Depending on the organization's expectations for software development, unit testing might include static code analysis, data-flow analysis, metrics analysis, peer code reviews, code coverage analysis and other software testing practices.
Integration testing is any type of software testing that seeks to verify the interfaces between components against a software design. Software components may be integrated in an iterative way or all together ("big bang"). Normally the former is considered a better practice since it allows interface issues to be located more quickly and fixed.
Integration testing works to expose defects in the interfaces and interaction between integrated components (modules). Progressively larger groups of tested software components corresponding to elements of the architectural design are integrated and tested until the software works as a system.
Operational acceptance is used to conduct operational readiness (pre-release) of a product, service or system as part of a quality management system. OAT is a common type of non-functional software testing, used mainly in software development and software maintenance projects. This type of testing focuses on the operational readiness of the system to be supported, or to become part of the production environment. Hence, it is also known as operational readiness testing (ORT) or Operations readiness and assurance (OR&A) testing. Functional testing within OAT is limited to those tests that are required to verify the non-functional aspects of the system.
In addition, the software testing should ensure that the portability of the system, as well as working as expected, does not also damage or partially corrupt its operating environment or cause other processes within that environment to become inoperative.
Contractual acceptance testing is performed based on the contract's acceptance criteria defined during the agreement of the contract, while regulatory acceptance testing is performed based on the relevant regulations to the software product. Both of these two testings can be performed by users or independent testers. Regulation acceptance testing sometimes involves the regulatory agencies auditing the test results.
Most software systems have installation procedures that are needed before they can be used for their main purpose. Testing these procedures to achieve an installed software system that may be used is known as installation testing.
Smoke testing consists of minimal attempts to operate the software, designed to determine whether there are any basic problems that will prevent it from working at all. Such tests can be used as build verification test.
Regression testing focuses on finding defects after a major code change has occurred. Specifically, it seeks to uncover software regressions, as degraded or lost features, including old bugs that have come back. Such regressions occur whenever software functionality that was previously working correctly, stops working as intended. Typically, regressions occur as an unintended consequence of program changes, when the newly developed part of the software collides with the previously existing code. Regression testing is typically the largest test effort in commercial software development, due to checking numerous details in prior software features, and even new software can be developed while using some old test cases to test parts of the new design to ensure prior functionality is still supported. 2b1af7f3a8