Friday, October 31, 2008

Testing Methodologies

Acceptance Testing
Testing the system with the intent of confirming readiness of the product and customer acceptance. Acceptance testing, which is a black box testing, will give the client the opportunity to verify the system functionality and usability prior to the system being moved to production. The acceptance test will be the responsibility of the client; however, it will be conducted with full support from the project team. The Test Team will work with the client to develop the acceptance criteria.

Ad Hoc Testing
Testing without a formal test plan or outside of a test plan. With some projects this type of testing is carried out as an adjunct to formal testing. If carried out by a skilled tester, it can often find problems that are not caught in regular testing. Sometimes, if testing occurs very late in the development cycle, this will be the only kind of testing that can be performed. Sometimes ad hoc testing is referred to as exploratory testing.

Alpha Testing
Testing after code is mostly complete or contains most of the functionality and prior to users being involved. Sometimes a select group of users are involved. More often this testing will be performed in-house or by an outside testing firm in close cooperation with the software engineering department.

Automated Testing
Software testing that utilizes a variety of tools to automate the testing process and when the importance of having a person manually testing is diminished. Automated testing still requires a skilled quality assurance professional with knowledge of the automation tool and the software being tested to set up the tests.

Beta Testing
Testing after the product is code complete. Betas are often widely distributed or even distributed to the public at large in hopes that they will buy the final product when it is released.

Black Box Testing
Testing software without any knowledge of the inner workings, structure or language of the module being tested. Black box tests, as most other kinds of tests, must be written from a definitive source document, such as a specification or requirements document.

Compatibility Testing
Testing used to determine whether other system software components such as browsers, utilities, and competing software will conflict with the software being tested.

Configuration Testing
Testing to determine how well the product works with a broad range of hardware/peripheral equipment configurations as well as on different operating systems and software.

End-to-End Testing
Similar to system testing, the 'macro' end of the test scale involves testing of a complete application environment in a situation that mimics real-world use, such as interacting with a database, using network communications, or interacting with other hardware, applications, or systems if appropriate.

Functional Testing
Testing two or more modules together with the intent of finding defects, demonstrating that defects are not present, verifying that the module performs its intended functions as stated in the specification and establishing confidence that a program does what it is supposed to do.

Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V)
The process of exercising software with the intent of ensuring that the software system meets its requirements and user expectations and doesn't fail in an unacceptable manner. The individual or group doing this work is not part of the group or organization that developed the software. A term often applied to government work or where the government regulates the products, as in medical devices.

Installation Testing
Testing with the intent of determining if the product will install on a variety of platforms and how easily it installs. Testing full, partial, or upgrade install/uninstall processes. The installation test for a release will be conducted with the objective of demonstrating production readiness. This test is conducted after the application has been migrated to the client's site. It will encompass the inventory of configuration items (performed by the application's System Administration) and evaluation of data readiness, as well as dynamic tests focused on basic system functionality. When necessary, a sanity test will be performed following the installation testing.

Integration Testing
Testing two or more modules or functions together with the intent of finding interface defects between the modules or functions. Testing completed at as a part of unit or functional testing, and sometimes, becomes its own standalone test phase. On a larger level, integration testing can involve a putting together of groups of modules and functions with the goal of completing and verifying that the system meets the system requirements. (see system testing)

Load Testing
Testing with the intent of determining how well the product handles competition for system resources. The competition may come in the form of network traffic, CPU utilization or memory allocation.

Parallel/Audit Testing
Testing where the user reconciles the output of the new system to the output of the current system to verify the new system performs the operations correctly.

Performance Testing
Testing with the intent of determining how quickly a product handles a variety of events. Automated test tools geared specifically to test and fine-tune performance are used most often for this type of testing.

Pilot Testing
Testing that involves the users just before actual release to ensure that users become familiar with the release contents and ultimately accept it. Often is considered a Move-to-Production activity for ERP releases or a beta test for commercial products. Typically involves many users, is conducted over a short period of time and is tightly controlled. (see beta testing)

Recovery/Error Testing
Testing how well a system recovers from crashes, hardware failures, or other catastrophic problems.

Regression Testing
Testing with the intent of determining if bug fixes have been successful and have not created any new problems. Also, this type of testing is done to ensure that no degradation of baseline functionality has occurred.

Sanity Testing
Sanity testing will be performed whenever cursory testing is sufficient to prove the application is functioning according to specifications. This level of testing is a subset of regression testing. It will normally include a set of core tests of basic GUI functionality to demonstrate connectivity to the database, application servers, printers, etc.

Security Testing
Testing of database and network software in order to keep company data and resources secure from mistaken/accidental users, hackers, and other malevolent attackers.

Software Testing
The process of exercising software with the intent of ensuring that the software system meets its requirements and user expectations and doesn't fail in an unacceptable manner. The organization and management of individuals or groups doing this work is not relevant. This term is often applied to commercial products such as internet applications. (contrast with independent verification and validation)

Stress Testing
Testing with the intent of determining how well a product performs when a load is placed on the system resources that nears and then exceeds capacity.

System Integration Testing
Testing a specific hardware/software installation. This is typically performed on a COTS (commercial off the shelf) system or any other system comprised of disparent parts where custom configurations and/or unique installations are the norm.

Unit Testing
Unit Testing is the first level of dynamic testing and is first the responsibility of the developers and then of the testers. Unit testing is performed after the expected test results are met or differences are explainable / acceptable.

Usability Testing
Testing for 'user-friendliness'. Clearly this is subjective and will depend on the targeted end-user or customer. User interviews, surveys, video recording of user sessions, and other techniques can be used. Programmers and testers are usually not appropriate as usability testers.

White Box Testing
Testing in which the software tester has knowledge of the inner workings, structure and language of the software, or at least its purpose.

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