What Are the Different Software Testing Types?
Software testing is a crucial part of the development and pre-launch process of any software development project. To identify bugs in the system, discover compatibility issues, and improve user experience, different software testing types need to be run depending on the situation.
Though there are hundreds of different software testing types, they all boil down to two methods of testing: manual software testing and automation software testing.
On one hand, manual software testing is done in person by browsing through the application or interacting with the APIs and the software itself using the appropriate tools. This software testing method is quite expensive as it requires the tester to set up an environment and execute the tests manually. As higher costs are involved in manual testing, many companies are outsourcing software testing processes to reduce costs.
On the other side, automated tests are performed by a machine that executes a pre-written script. Automated tests can vary quite a lot in regards to complexity and cost, which is where outsourcing software development projects and testing comes in handy.
Though manual software testing is more reliable, the quality of your automated software tests is highly dependent on how well the scripts are written.
Different Software Testing Types
Here are some of the most popular and widely used software testing types:
This type of software testing is often conducted to verify if the software meets a set of necessary requirements. To conduct this test, you need to have the entire application up and running so that the software testers can mirror all possible user behaviors, keep track of how the system is running, and reject certain changes if a set of goals aren’t met.
Black box testing
This kind of software testing method is used to verify the functional aspect of the software without implementing any specific knowledge of the application’s code or internal structure. As black box testing is mainly based on requirements and functionality, it is often conducted by QA teams.
This kind of software testing mirrors the behavior of a user with the software in its complete form. End-to-end testing is used to verify a number of different user flows and ensure that they work as expected.
End-to-end testing can be anything from loading a web page to logging in. On the more advanced side of things, end-to-end testing can test online payments, email verification notifications, and more.
This type of software testing is extremely useful. The only downside is that it is quite expensive to perform and can be quite difficult to maintain when automated.
Before launching software for the first time or after a new development, it is essential that you run a few end-to-end tests to ensure optimal functionality while relying on lower-end software testing types such as unit and integration tests to identify any breaking changes.
Functional testing is a quality assurance process that ignores all internal components/structures of the application and solely focuses on the output given by the input, which has been fed to the application.
The goal of exploratory testing is to conduct a thorough exploration of the application and find any defects that exist within the software. This is quite a complex testing type, and because of that, you must keep track of all the different exploratory tests you have conducted so that no repetitions are made.
The sole purpose of running integration tests for your software is to confirm that the different modules and services utilized by your software work well together. One pretty common example of integration testing is when software is tested for its compatibility with a database. Generally speaking, this kind of test can be quite pricey to run as it requires a number of parts of your application to be up and running.
Load tests fall under the performance category of software testing, which focuses on calculating how much load your software can handle before it begins to drop in performance. Running load tests is important because you will get to understand what kind of capacity your application can handle.
This kind of test focuses on the non-functional aspects of your software like its performance, security, usability, and reliability. Non-functional tests are conducted after all functional tests are finalized.
Non-functional tests are great because they allow you to improve the quality of your software to a great extent. While functional tests create a solid and working structure for the software, non-functional tests act more like a polish to the application.
This test is often automated as running it manually can be quite complex, impractical, or even impossible to get measurable and accurate results.
Performance-related software testing is conducted to check the behavior of the software when it is put under significant pressure. As this form of software testing is non-functional, you can understand the reliability, availability, and stability of the platform under different circumstances.
As an example, you can run a performance test to observe the response time of the platform against a high number of requests, which will allow you to see how the system performs under pressure.
This type of test is quite expensive in nature, but it is of fundamental importance as it will help you to better understand how and if your software will be affected by the implementation of new changes before they go live.
Prior to making any changes in regards to any module, function, or component in your software, you need to first identify whether or not the whole system can function properly after the modifications are done. Testing your entire system for potential faults in a “safe” environment is a great way of spotting errors prior to launching the software.
As it is generally quite difficult to cover the entire application during regression testing, automation software testing tools are often used.
The main objective of sanity testing is to determine whether the application or software is ready for more rigorous testing. If an application crashes during its initial use, then the system is obviously not stable enough for any further testing.
This kind of testing often saves a lot of money and resources by showing early on that the application is not ready for more in-depth testing.
The security of your software or application should always be your highest priority. Leaked user data can land you in very hot waters, which isn’t an ideal scenario to be in. This is why security testing is vital to any software.
Security tests ensure that your application remains safe by exploring any potential weak spots within your system and strengthening them to prevent any security breaches.
Negative testing is often conducted by performing using false or invalid data to confirm that the system deals with false or invalid inputs as it is expected.
Smoke testing refers to checking the basic functionality of your application and ensuring that all major features of your platform operate as they should. This type of software testing is quite cheap to execute and doesn’t require an extensive amount of time or manpower.
Smoke tests are especially useful right after a new development has been made to determine whether or not you can run more expensive software testing or check if your application is running properly in its newly deployed environment.
Stress testing is another capacity measuring strategy for determining how and when the software will fail by stressing it beyond its specifications. To stress-test a particular software or application, you need to put it under heavy load to push pushing through a large number of complex database queries, continuous inputs, overloading the storage capacity, and more.
Running unit tests is usually one of the simpler software tests that you can run. Unit testing is also quite affordable as it can be automated and run quite quickly by a continuous integration server. Such tests often consist of testing the individual methods and functionality of the different classes, modules, or components utilized by your software.
Also known as glass box testing, white-box testing focuses more on the knowledge regarding the internal logic of the software’s code. This kind of software testing is quite complex as it covers a wide spectrum of branches, paths, conditions, and statements within the code of the app.
Running your software through a series of different testing types is of fundamental importance when it comes to assuring the quality of operations of your application.
By running a number of tests at every stage of the software development process, you will save a lot of time and resources by spotting faults, defects, and bugs in the system early on, which if missed, can cause expensive complications and delays down the development line.
As every software or application is different in nature, the number and the different types of software testing you need to run will vary greatly.