SoftwareTesting is an important phase of software development life cycle. The software testing involves testing various real-life scenarios and matching the actual result with the expected result. It ensures that the developed software serves the intended purpose. Software is tested with the intention of finding bugs. This helps in ensuring the stability of the product.
The software testing can be done manually or with the help of tools. There are different types of software testing methodologies adopted based on requirements. They can be segregated based on nature of testing and testing levels. Some of the testing methodologies used are described below.
Nature of Testing
- Manual Testing – Manual testing is performed by the human to test the application. In this, the users enter the pre-documented scenarios and record their observations. Manual testing is one of the most commonly used testing methodologies but is time consuming and less effective.
- Automation testing – In automation testing, special testing software are used to test and compare the results. With this, certain repetitive task can be performed. Automation testing helps in increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of software testing.
Various automation testing tools are available in the market. Automation Testing Tool playback pre-recorded and predefined course of actions and compare the results with the expected result and report the success or failure to an engineer. Automation testing tools are often expensive and difficult to implement, however they provide a quick return on investment (ROI).
Type of Testing Levels
- Unit testing – Unit testing involves testing of individual software units or components. This type of testing is normally done by the developer who is writing the specific code. It does not verify the functionality of overall application software. It however ensures that building blocks of the software are functioning as expected.
- Functional Testing – Functional Testing is performed to verify that a software functions as per the defined functional specifications. It is more like a black box testing where knowledge of internal structure is not needed. In functional testing, software tester validates and ensures that all specified requirements of the client have been incorporated or not.
- Integration Testing – Integration testing is used to test the interface between the software modules. In Integration Testing, individual modules are combined and tested as a whole. This testing is done after unit testing. Integration testing can also be viewed as an extension of unit testing.
- System Testing – System testing is an end-to-end testing that tests an integrated system to verify that it meets the client requirements.
Recently, a lot of desktop based applications have transitioned to mobile. The testing basics do not differ in this case. However, mobile testing provides more challenges primarily because of:
Multiple Devices – Desktop applications are targeted towards specific OS and browsers. However testing of mobile applications working on all type of devices (Smartphone, Tablets and Phablets) supplied by major brands (various models from Samsung, Sony, Nokia, HTC, Apple etc) and on all the platforms (iOS, Android, Windows, BlackBerry etc) is challenging.
Varying screen sizes and limited space – screen size vary with different mobiles. Moreover limited screen size poses another challenge for mobile application testing as large number of options can not be given on a single screen.
Dependency on emulator – As large numbers of devices exist in the market, procuring all devices is a cumbersome task. One has to rely on emulators and simulator. However, they are still not true representations of the devices and actual experience may vary.
Dependency on network/carriers and backward compatibility also adds another level of complexity.
Hence Mobile application testing is an altogether different and challenging task.
For software testing and mobile testing, companies have two options:
Hire a Tester – A dedicated tester can be hired for testing an application. The pre-requisite for hiring a tester is that the person should have subject knowledge of the domain and the knowledge of testing tools. The tester can be part of specific project team or be part of centralized testing team.
Outsourcing testing service providers – Software testing and mobile testing is such an important task that some of the companies provide dedicated software testing services. The testing activities can be outsourced to testing service providers who own the responsibility to test applications. The reason for outsourcing can be two– unavailability of good software testers or to have an independent and unbiased testing from an independent vendor.
For software and mobile testing clients also have two options:
Onsite Testing Service – Onsite Testing involves testing at the client location. The advantage is the users have first hand information and there are no chances of communication gap. However the cost of testing could be more due to high cost of resources.
Offshore Testing Service– In offshore testing service the testing is done by an offshore team. Offshore Testing team cost less than setting up the entire QA team onsite.