Software testing plays an important role in ensuring the quality and reliability of software applications. It involves evaluating a system or a component to identify any defects, errors or deviations from the expected behaviour. Testing is performed through various approaches and techniques, collectively known as software testing methodologies. These methodologies encompass different types of software testing, each serving a unique purpose in the software development life cycle. In this blog, we will explore some of the fundamental types of software testing, their principles and how they contribute to delivering robust and user-friendly software solutions.
Software development and product development involve the process of coding, code design, code development, and the most important one, software evaluation. This QA testing process includes module-level and product-level testing and also evaluation of the whole unit. There are different types of software testing. The two main categories are Functional and Non-Functional testing. Other types of testing include manual, automated and system testing.
Software testing is an investigation conducted to provide participants with information about the quality of a software product or service under test. Software testing can also provide an objective and independent view of the software to allow businesses to identify and understand the risks of using the software.
Principleification Programs of Software Testing
Software development requires thorough testing to ensure quality. But effectively organizing the testing process can be difficult, as always. To overcome this challenge it is essential to assess methods and guidelines to ensure developers are following best practices and adhering to the seven fundamental principles of testing programs.
The International Software Testing Qualification Board (ISTQB) outlines the principles of software testing:
Testing reveals the existence of defects rather than confirming their absence
Engineers conduct software testing to identify and fix bugs before release, but it doesn’t guarantee a completely error-free program. Teams need to manage customer expectations and understand that testing reveals flaws, not their absence. A comprehensive testing strategy with detailed plans, reporting, analytics and release schedules can reassure clients and highlight areas for evaluation. Continuous testing and supervision post-production are crucial. Anticipating future issues, such as load testing for increased traffic, can prevent complications.
It is not possible to conduct testing that covers all possible scenarios
Achieving complete test coverage, including all possible combinations of variables and preconditions, is practically impossible and inefficient. However, through risk assessment and test planning, it is possible to prioritize and test critical features effectively. With careful planning and review, test coverage can be sufficient to instil trust in the program without testing every single line of code.
Testing at an early stage leads to time and cost savings
Early software testing is vital throughout the application lifecycle. It includes testing specifications before coding begins, which is more cost-effective and easier to fix than addressing issues later on. Testing should be seen as an ongoing activity, providing rapid feedback loops and embracing Agile principles. Testers play a crucial role as information suppliers, helping teams overcome obstacles and avoid errors. Testing early helps prevent errors from occurring in the first place.
Defects tend to occur in groups or clusters
Specific software units or components often contain the majority of bugs and operational errors. Testing should prioritize these areas based on the observed prevalence of defects. The 80:20 Pareto principle suggests that 20% of the code is responsible for 80% of the problems. Complex systems, external dependencies, legacy code, and frequently modified components are more susceptible to defect clustering. Identifying and addressing problems in one area can lead to the discovery of additional issues. Testing should focus on these high-risk areas by considering complexity, dependencies and frequent modifications.
It is important to be aware of the pesticide paradox
To avoid the pesticide paradox, it is essential to regularly review and update testing procedures. Employing multiple testing methodologies, procedures and approaches concurrently can help overcome this issue.
The effectiveness of testing depends on the specific context
Testing approaches vary significantly based on the specific context and purpose like testing an e-commerce site, an API service, or a database monitoring application. The testing strategy should align with the specific system or software being tested.
The idea of complete error absence is misleading
The last but not the least principle of software testing is software usability and meeting user needs is crucial for success regardless of the number of flaws or errors. Even if the software is relatively problem-free, if it lacks usability and fails to fulfill business objectives, it is considered a failure.
Different Types of Software Testing
The types of software testing are bifurcated into two main types i.e. Manual Testing and Automation Testing. Let’s understand both thoroughly.
It is one of the main types of software testing. It is a process in which the software gets tested manually to ensure the quality of the software for which exclusive test cases are written and tested for their pass or failure status. There are many types of manual testing & the most common are smoke testing, unit testing, functional testing and sanity testing.
Classification of Manual Testing
Manual testing is further classified into three types i.e. White Box Testing, Black Box Testing and Grey Box Testing. Let’s understand these three in brief.
White Box Testing
White box testing is a type of testing technique that examines the internal structure, code and logic of an application. It involves understanding the internal workings to design test cases and verify the accuracy of the software implementation.
Black Box Testing
The black box is a type of testing methodology where testers do not need to be able to decrypt or encrypt the software & they are not required to know the coding or internal structure of the software. The main focus of the black box testing method is to ensure operational or functional requirements.
Types of Black Box Testing
Software testing tells us what the system does and is used to determine how each software application behaves according to the software requirements specification document. This type of QA test helps to check if the actual output follows the desired result & testers need not have to look at the source code of the application.
Types of Functional Testing
Now, that we understood what is functional testing, let’s understand the types of functional testing:
It is a preliminary type of functional testing performed by engineers which focuses on a small software design called a unit. Tests were performed on one scalp or a group of related units to test their effectiveness and functionality. In Unit testing, a sample input is used and observed for the corresponding output view.
Integration testing is a type of functional testing approach that evaluates the interaction and cooperation between different components or modules of an application. It focuses on verifying the integration of these components to ensure they function correctly together as a unified system.
This type of testing is a QA test that incorporates several testing methods used to validate all software in terms of software, hardware, and networks. It usually evaluates a fully integrated software product and specializes in end-to-end system specifications.
It revolves around determining how well a system works under various conditions. It refers to various other forms of software testing & some of the most common testing methods are performance, load, stress, security and compatibility testing.
Types of Non-Functional Testing
Since we know there are types of testing, Non-functional testing is one of the types. In non-functional testing, it assesses software attributes beyond functionality. It covers performance, usability, security, reliability, and scalability. These tests uncover potential issues that impact quality and user experience. Here are common types of non-functional testing to ensure software effectiveness.
It is one of the non-functional testing types that is used to test product readiness under the impact of heavy loads. It is done with conscientious testing procedures to determine the software’s responsiveness, reliability, and steadiness under varying user loads. It gets attained by measuring response times, output, and application usage levels under test.
Types of Performance Testing
Performance testing evaluates the responsiveness, scalability, stability and resource usage of software applications under various conditions. It helps identify bottlenecks and performance issues, ensuring optimal performance. Here are some common types of performance testing used to validate software performance.
It is a vital type of software testing methodology used to verify the ability of the system to manage the expected number of tasks. It also ensures system/application behaviour under normal and high load conditions.
This test of software testing method executes to validate the behaviour of the system when the load rises above its design expectations.
Scalability testing assesses how well a software system can accommodate increasing workloads, user loads and data volumes while maintaining performance and efficiency. It helps determine if the system can scale up effectively as demand grows, ensuring a seamless user experience.
Stability testing is a type of testing which evaluates the reliability and robustness of a software system under prolonged usage or stress conditions. It aims to identify any potential stability issues like memory leaks or crashes, ensuring the system can consistently perform without interruptions or failures over an extended period of time.
Usability testing is a core test that can’t get disregarded as it determines whether a particular type of software testing system will be able to meet its purpose. The usability testing quickly determines the strengths and weaknesses of the system and assesses the overall usability of the product.
Compatibility testing ensures that a software application functions as intended across different platforms, operating systems, browsers, devices and network environments. It verifies that the software is compatible with various configurations, allowing users to access and use the application seamlessly regardless of their chosen environment.
Grey Box Testing
Grey box testing is a mix of both black box and white box testing elements. Testers have partial knowledge of the internal workings of the software, allowing them to design test cases based on the system’s architecture and code structure while still focusing on the system’s external behaviour and functionality.
It has governed the testing field as many open sources and paid automation testing tools are used to find the flaws and bugs. The software-automated testing process involves the creation of test scripts, the use of these test scripts and the entry of bugs in the software to control the crashes.
What are the Important Functional Testing Types?
Below is the list of some of the functional testing types:
This is yet another type of functional testing method performed by software testers. This type of test helps to ensure that the software or application under test is ready or stable for further testing. If the software is well constructed and fully functional, the testers accept the build and continue to perform the software testing process.
It is an effective testing methodology used to validate new additional tasks and get performed before detailed functional testing gets done. This testing method commences as soon as the build is approved to check whether the code changes introduced are working as expected.
Regression testing involves retesting modified or updated software to ensure that existing functionalities work correctly and that no new issues or defects are introduced. It helps verify that changes in one part of the software do not negatively impact other areas, ensuring overall system stability and reliability.
User Acceptance Testing
User Acceptance Testing (UAT) involves testing a software system by end-users to ensure that it meets their specific requirements and functions as intended in their real-world environment. It serves as a final validation before deployment, allowing users to confirm if the software meets their needs and is ready for production use.
Exploratory testing is a type of functional testing which has a dynamic approach where testers simultaneously learn, design and execute tests. It emphasizes creativity, intuition and the tester’s domain knowledge to uncover defects and understand system behaviour. Testers explore the software ad-hoc, adapting their testing based on immediate feedback and observations during the testing process.
It is a type of testing which refers to a spontaneous and unplanned testing approach where testers execute test cases without following a predefined test plan. It involves exploring the software system randomly and informally to identify defects, issues, or unexpected behaviours that may not be covered by formal test cases. Ad hoc testing is often used to supplement other testing methods and uncover unforeseen problems.
Security testing is a type of software testing which is conducted to assess the robustness of a software system against potential threats and vulnerabilities. It involves evaluating the system’s ability to protect data, prevent unauthorized access, ensure compliance with security standards and detect and mitigate security risks thus safeguarding the integrity and confidentiality of the system.
Globalization testing evaluates the software’s ability to function correctly and effectively across different regions, languages and cultures. It verifies if the application can handle diverse date and time formats, character encodings, currency symbols and language translations, ensuring its compatibility and usability in a global context.
What Are The Key Non-functional Software Testing Types?
It is a method of non-functional testing type and is used to test product readiness under the impact of heavy loads. It is done with conscientious testing procedures to determine the software’s responsiveness, reliability, and steadiness under varying user loads. It gets attained by measuring response times, output, and application usage levels under test.
Load testing is a type of non-functional testing that measures the software’s performance under specific anticipated or simulated user loads. It assesses the system’s ability to handle the expected concurrent user activity, data volumes, and transaction rates, identifying performance bottlenecks, response times, and resource utilization to ensure optimal system scalability and stability.
Stress testing is a non-functional testing type that evaluates the software’s behaviour and performance under extreme conditions beyond its normal operational capacity. It involves subjecting the system to high user loads, excessive data volumes, or limited system resources to identify any weaknesses, bottlenecks, or failures. The goal is to determine the software’s stability, responsiveness, and recovery capabilities, ensuring it can handle unexpected or peak loads without crashing or compromising its functionality. By pushing the system to its limits, stress testing helps uncover potential issues and allows for necessary optimizations and improvements to enhance the software’s overall performance and reliability.
Usability testing is a core test that can’t get disregarded as it determines whether a particular software system will be able to meet its purpose. The usability testing quickly determines the strengths and weaknesses of the system and assesses the overall usability of the product.
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