Types of Software Testing and When to Use Them
Obviously, software testing is an important process to be performed before your software reaches market. It is always better to do software testing along with software development so that the defects can be detected and corrected at the earliest point possible.
Here is a list of the different types of software testing and when it is necessary to use them:
Unit refers to any full feature to a button that is a part of software. We can ensure that software works as a whole only after we test and ensure that each unit of the software works well. It is usually performed while new parts of the code base are reviewed.
Unit testing is a form of white-box testing where the internal structure and working of the software is tested. Therefore, those who perform unit testing must have an intimate knowledge of the code due to which non-technical teams are not advised.
If unit testing is about testing individual units of software, integration testing is one level higher. It refers to testing performed to check how different units work together. The more units your software has, the more test cases you need to create.
During integration testing, two software tools—“stubs” and “drivers”—are used. Stubs are the replica of codes that are used for testing when the codes are not ready. Drivers are the replica of calling modules that are temporarily used and provide the same results as the original modules. Drivers are far more complex than stubs and are also used in case the software wants to interact with an external system.
System testing is usually performed after the completion of unit and integration testing. It is performed to ensure that the software complies with the specified requirements. System testing is a vast area. Here, it is broken down in the form of a checklist that software testers can put to use while performing system testing:
Usability testing: Is the user interface intuitive and easy to use/navigate?
Documentation testing: Does the system guide/tutorial clearly explain the working of the features as in real world?
Functional testing: Does every feature function as mentioned in the documentation?
Inter-operability testing: Does the software work well with third party systems like different operating systems (OSs), browsers, plug-ins, payment options, etc.?
Performance testing: Does the software perform smoothly even after using too many resources, under load, or on poor networks, etc.?
Stress testing: How much strain can the software handle before it crashes?
Load testing: Can the software handle large amounts of strain?
Regression testing: Do old features stop working when new features are added?
Compliance testing: Does the software comply with the local user regulators like HIPAA?
Security testing: Does the software have any security risks?
Recoverability testing: How effectively can the software recover after it crashes?
User Acceptance Testing (Alpha/Beta Testing)
After unit testing, integration testing and system testing are completed, the next step is user acceptance testing. You have detected large errors and defects by now and have done your best to eradicate them. However, there are some bugs that only the users can detect. This is where user acceptance testing becomes essential. After all, you are developing the software for the users.
In user acceptance testing, you will have a group of real users use the finished product and provide you with feedback. You can then use the feedback to make necessary changes in the software before you send it off to the market.