What is Software Testing Methodology?
Testing methodologies in software engineering are testing strategies, approaches or methods used to test a specific product to ensure its usability. It makes sure that product works in accordance with given specifications and has no side effects when used outside the design parameters. Software testing methodologies encompass everything from unit testing to integration testing and specialized form of testing like security or performance testing.
Why Software Testing Methodologies are important?
- It manages your project requirements, test cases, bugs, issues in a single integrated environment, with full traceability throughout the testing lifecycle.
- It a complete testing solution that includes requirements management, test case designs, release management, defect tracking etc from day one.
- It is a highly intuitive testing approach that provides a complete picture of the software product and health status.
- It is able to leverage your current technology investments with many automated testing solutions and third-party defects management systems.
Functional vs Non-functional Testing Methodologies
The objective of testing methodologies in the development process is to make sure that software can successfully operate in multiple environments across different platforms. It is further broken down into functional and non-functional testing.
Functional testing involves application testing against business requirements that includes multiple test types designed to guarantee each part of the software behave in the same way as expected by the users. The software application can also be tested by utilizing use-cases by business analysts or the design team. Here are the testing methods that come under functional testing.
Non-functional testing methods incorporate different test types focused on the operational aspects of a piece of software. These are:
The key to releasing high-quality software can be easily adopted by end-users by building a robust testing framework that implements both functional and nonfunctional software testing methodologies.
Read: What Is The Average Salary Of A Software Test Engineer?
- It is the beginning level of testing that is usually performed by the Developers in a test-driven environment write and run test cases before software is passed over to the testing team.
- Unit testing makes sure that individual components of software at the code level are working perfectly for which purpose they are designed to.
- Unit testing can be done either manually or it can be automated. The automation process speed-up the delivery cycles and expands the test coverage too.
- Unit testing makes the debugging easy because bugs are detected much earlier and easy to fix by the testing team.
- Once each unit is tested thoroughly, it is integrated with other units to create modules or components that are designed to perform specific activities or tasks.
- The different software units are generally tested together to ensure whole segments of an application behave as expected.
- The integration testing makes sure that interaction among different software units is seamless.
- It can be performed by developers or users both based on requirements.
- Integration testing is a combination of manual tests and automated functional units.
- Integration tests are usually framed by user scenarios like logging to an application, accessing files and more.
- System testing is the black box testing method used to evaluate the integrated system as a whole and ensures it meets all specific requirements.
- In the case of system testing, the functionality of the product is tested end-to-end and it is usually performed by the testing team, not by the development team.
- System testing is performed before pushing the software product into production.
- Acceptance testing is the last phase of the functional testing to assess the final piece of software for delivery.
- It makes sure that the product is in compliance with the original business criteria and meets the end user needs completely.
- It performs testing internally and externally. It means the product is given into the hands of users for beta testing and it is tested by the quality team too.
- Beta testing is key to getting potential feedback from users and address them before the final product delivery.
Performance testing is the non-functional testing technique used to determine how an application will behave under different conditions. The goal is to check the stability of a product in real-life situations. The performance testing is broken down into four pieces ahead.
- In the case of load testing, your software product, website, or application is tested under heavy loads to ensure its load handling capacity.
- The stress testing explains how a software product will behave under the maximum load conditions. It helps you to identify the failure points of an application.
- The endurance or soak testing is used to analyze the behavior of an application under simulated load for a longer time span. The biggest advantage of using endurance testing is that it helps to find memory leaks.
- Spike testing is used to check how an application system will behave if load increases or decreases suddenly.
With the increase of cyber attacks and cloud platforms, there is an emergency need for securing the data that is stored within software programs. It is a non-functional type of testing that ensures either a software system is protected or not.
- The goal of security testing is finding loopholes and security risks in the system.
- It helps to prevent unauthorized access and loss of information by probing the application for weaknesses.
- It majorly works on six security principles as given below.
- It is the non-functional testing technique used to check the product usability from the end-user perspective.
- It is often performed during the acceptance or system testing stages.
- it is used to determine either visible design or aesthetics of an application meet the intended workflow for multiple processes.
- It is used by the team to review separate functions or the system as a whole.
- It is used to check how a piece of software will work in different environments.
- It is used to check the compatibility of a product for various platforms, operating systems, browsers etc.
- It makes sure that the functionality of the product is consistently supported across any environment that can be utilized by the user.
Software Development Methodologies
Since Software Testing is an integral part of any Development Methodology, many companies use the term Development Methodologies & Testing Methodologies colloquially. Hence Testing Methodologies could also refer to Waterfall, Agile and other QA models as against the above definition of Testing Methodologies. Discussion on various testing types does not add value to the readers. Hence, we will discuss the different development models.
Since software development and software testing are integrated together, many Companies use development methodologies and testing methodologies colloquially. Hence development could refer as waterfall, iterative, V Model, RAD, Spiral, and Agile methodologies. Here we will discuss each of them in brief.
1). Waterfall Model
In the waterfall model, the progress of software development is checked through different phases like requirement phase, analysis, or design phase etc. The next phase begins only when the earlier phase is completed. The first phase in the waterfall model is the requirement phase where project details are clearly defined in advance before we start with software testing. In this phase, the test team brainstorms the scope of testing, testing objectives, testing strategies etc.
Read: What Is The Difference Between Test Plan and Test Strategy?
2). Iterative Model
In this model, a bog complex project is divided into small chunks and each part is subjected to multiple iterations of the waterfall model. At the end of each iteration, a new module is added or the existing module is enhanced. Later, modules are integrated together into the software architecture and the entire system is tested together.
The feedback for each iteration is quickly available incorporated to the next cycle. The total testing time can be reduced for future iteration by the experience gained from past iterations.
3). Agile Methodology
An agile model uses an iterative and incremental approach together. It breaks up the product into small incremental units to provide iterations. Further, each iteration involves steps like requirements, design, coding, testing etc. This approach allows continuous interaction with customers, collects feedback, and improves the current build at regular time intervals. Here are the reasons why should you adopt the agile methodology for your software project.
- It is considered as the most realistic approach to software development.
- It promotes teamwork by regulating interactions among team members.
- It eliminates mismatch between test cases and requirements.
- It is rapid and needs a minimum number of resources.
- It is good for rapidly changing requirements.
- It is easy to manage when compared to other development phases.
4). V Model
V model is an extension of the waterfall model where development work is done in a sequential manner. It is also named as the verification or validation model. It includes testing phases directly associated with every single phase of the development cycle. It is more beneficial and cost-efficient when compared to the waterfall model because testing is performed side by side instead of completing it at the end.
5). RAD Model
It is a type of incremental model where components are developed in parallel. It is a rapid approach that accelerates deployment and provides feedback. The multiple phases in the RAD model include business modeling, data modeling, process modeling, application generation, testing etc. The highlighting benefits of the model include progress measurement, reduced development cycles, enhanced reusability, quick feedback, and reviews.
6). Spiral Model
The spiral model incorporates iterative development approach and waterfall approach together. It is similar to the incremental model with more focus on risk analysis. The different phases of Spiral model includes planning phase, Risk analysis, Evaluation, and Engineering phase etc.
Which Software Methodology to Choose?
There are tons of testing and development methodologies available that are designed for a specific purpose with its own merits and demerits. The selection of a software methodology depends on multiple factors like nature of the project, what are the client requirements, project schedule etc. In some cases, testing and development goes side by side while other includes testing during later phases when the build is ready.
Read: List of Top 12 Software Performance Testing Tools to Help You The Most!
Setting up Software Testing Methodologies
Testing methodologies are not used just for the sake of code testing but they are used for other purposes too. Here is how to set up the testing methodologies in software engineering.
- Scheduling: Realistic scheduling is key to implement testing methodology successfully that it should meet the requirements of each member in the team.
- Define deliverables: The project deliverables should be well defined to keep all members of the team on the same page.
- Test Approach: Once you are done with scheduling and project deliverables are defined well without any ambiguity, the next step is formulating the right test approach.
- Reporting: Transparency is given the high importance to implement any testing methodology without failure. This step will dictate the effectiveness of the test approach and changed required for setting up the testing methodology successfully.
As software apps get complex when intertwined with a large number of modules, platforms, or devices that need to be get tested regularly, it is necessary to adopt a robust testing methodology to make sure that software products being developed are fully tested, meet necessary requirements and successfully operate in all anticipated environments with the needed usability or security.
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