Case Study – IT Software Testing

Software testing is the process of checking software, to verify that it satisfies its requirements and to detect errors. Software testing is an investigation conducted to provide the stakeholders with information about the quality of the product or service under test. Life has become dependent on software and software-based systems. Most of today’s appliances, machines, and devices are completely or at least partly controlled by software. Administrative proceedings in state agencies and industry, too, rely to a large extent on highly complex IT systems. Our strong dependency on software requires ever higher investments in quality assurance activities to enable IT systems to perform reliably. Software testing is developing toward a specialized, independent field of study and professional discipline within the computer sciences.

Within the discipline of software testing, “test management” is of particular importance. Test management comprises classical methods of project and risk management as well as knowledge of the appropriate use of well-defined test methods. With this stock-in-trade, the test manager can select and purposefully implement appropriate measures to ensure that a defined basic product quality will be achieved. In doing so, the test manager adopts an engineering approach.

Without a structured approach that accounts for these factors, its easy for testing to quickly disorganize. Testing can never completely establish the correctness of computer software. Instead, it furnishes a criticism or comparison that compares the state and behavior of the product against a specification. Computer software has continued to grow in complexity and size. Every software product has a target audience. when an organization develops or invests in a software product, it presumably must assess whether the software product will be acceptable to its end users, its target audience, its purchasers, and other stakeholders. Software testing is the process of attempting to make this assessment.

A common practice of software testing is performed by an independent group of testers after the functionality is developed before it is shipped to the customer. This practice often results in the testing phase being used as project buffer to compensate for project delays, thereby compromising the time devoted to testing. Another practice is to start software testing at the same moment the project starts and it is a continuous process until the project finishes.

Software Testing Types:

PERFORMANCE TESTING

This sort of testing is particularly useful to identify performance bottlenecks in high use applications. Performance testing generally involves an automated test suite as this allows easy simulation of a variety of normal, peak, and exceptional load conditions.

INTEGRATION TESTING

Testing in which modules are combined and tested as a group. Modules are typically code modules, individual applications, client and server applications on a network, etc. Integration Testing follows unit testing and precedes system testing.

SYSTEM TESTING

Testing conducted on a complete, integrated system to evaluate the system's compliance with its specified requirements. System testing falls within the scope of black box testing, and as such, should require no knowledge of the inner design of the code or logic.

WHITE BOX TESTING

Testing based on an analysis of internal workings and structure of a piece of software. Includes techniques such as Branch Testing and Path Testing. Also known as Structural Testing and Glass Box Testing.

COMPATIBILITY TESTING

Testing to ensure compatibility of an application or Web site with different browsers, OSs, and hardware platforms. Compatibility testing can be performed manually or can be driven by an automated functional or regression test suite.

Conclusions

Software testing is an art. Most of the testing methods and practices are not very different from 20 years ago. It is nowhere near maturity, although there are many tools and techniques available to use. Good testing also requires a tester's creativity, experience and intuition, together with proper techniques. Testing is more than just debugging. Testing is not only used to locate defects and correct them. It is also used in validation, verification process, and reliability measurement.

Testing is expensive. Automation is a good way to cut down cost and time. Testing efficiency and effectiveness is the criteria for coverage-based testing techniques.

Complete testing is infeasible. Complexity is the root of the problem. At some point, software testing has to be stopped and product has to be shipped. The stopping time can be decided by the trade-off of time and budget. Or if the reliability estimate of the software product meets requirement.

Testing may not be the most effective method to improve software quality. Alternative methods, such as inspection, and clean-room engineering, may be even better.

 
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