Computers, software programs, and information technology tools and services have become an integral part of our lives. From personal communication and transportation to conduct of business and commercial activities, there is virtually no aspect of modern society that does not involve information technology. In such a scenario, a malfunctioning or buggy software application can have a significant impact on our personal and professional activities. This is why software testing has become an integral and important component of the development process.
Software testing refers to the process of ensuring the application does what it was designed to do in an efficient and functional manner. Even program that does not have any bugs requires testing to ensure that it achieves its ultimate objective as specified by the client. The testing process ensures that the software program does not cause unintended consequences like system crashes, along with making sure the ultimate purpose of the design and development process is fulfilled by the program.
Importance of Software Testing
With computer programs and smartphone applications becoming more and more complicated, rigorous and efficient testing is integral to create a satisfactory end-user experience. In the past, a faulty or buggy software application would have merely resulted in waste of the user’s time, effort, and money.
With computer chips and applications being used to create driver less automobiles and connected houses, bugs and other complications may lead to car crashes, domestic accidents, thefts, and many other issues.
From the developer’s point of view, effective testing is the only way to maintain confidence of end users in information technology tools and services. A fancy program that does not work or works in an inefficient manner is unlikely to enjoy credibility amongst software users.
Types of Software Testing
Since testing is intended to ensure the program complies with its specifications, there are different types of tests that can be done at different stages of the development process. Given below are some common types of software testing services offered by software development companies:
a. Black Box and White Box Testing
Blackbox tests ignore the internal design of the system and focus solely on the functionality requirements. The latter option, also known as glass box testing, covers the code, branches, paths, conditions, and other aspects and facets of the program.
b. Incremental Testing
As the name suggests, this is a continuous testing strategy where each new module or functionality that is added to the program is tested separately. This ensures the software is tested in an incremental manner throughout the development process.
c. Integration Testing
This test is done to ensure all integrated modules of the program function according to the design specifications. This testing may include multiple modules of a single program, a combination of applications working together or even client and server applications distributed over a network.
d. Functional Testing
Like blackbox testing, functional software testing techniques focus on ensuring the program provides the output as required by the end-user. The internal modules are considered suitable and effective as long as the final output is a satisfactory.
e. End to End Testing
This testing process involves assessment of the application’s functioning in a real-world environment. These tests are necessary to ensure a program that functions properly in isolation does not create systemic issues when interacting with databases, hardware, and software applications.
f. Regression Testing
This testing method is utilized to assess the impact of a change or modification in a specific module or subsystem on the overall performance of the application. The entire program is checked after every modification that is made to its components.
g. Acceptance Testing
These tests are done by the customers or end-users before accepting delivery of the finished product. This is done with primary emphasis on determining whether the requirements of the ultimate end-user of the program are being fulfilled by the program.
Apart from the types mentioned above, various applications of software testing cover the design, development, and release of the program. Further, advanced tests may be required to assess the performance of the program on the Internet or on mobile devices.