What is Backend Testing? Pros and Cons

Web App Testing

Friday February 22, 2019

With the increasing complexity of the front-end applications, backend testing is becoming complex.

Testing only the front end will not suffice in providing the customers with the best experience, and hence backend testing becomes very important

backend testing

What is the Backend Testing?

The process ensures that your application works fine at the server-side and it assures the quality of the database.

The data that we enter in the front-end, is finally stored at the backend, using one of the many available databases like MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, etc.

Assuring that the data we enter is properly and timely stored and retrieved from the database is done by backend testing. 

Types of backend testing

  • Structural testing deals with metadata. In the structural backend, testing involves testing of objects that cannot be used by the users directly like Tables, Keys, Columns, Schema, Indexes, Functions, Triggers, etc.
  • Functional testing tests how the data is mapped between the backend and front-end. For eg. Considering an e-commerce website, if we ask for the price of any product, the front-end should map with the correct table and return the valid data.
  • Non-functional testing can be seen as a performance, load, and stress testing where the testers test the performance of the database for unexpected loads. Security testing is also a part of non-functional testing.

Backend testing tools categories:

#1) Interfaces: interfaces are those that allow you to execute your queries for the database like TOAD, PHPMyAdmin, etc.

#2) DB load and performance benchmarking tools like SLOB, hammerDB, etc.

Importance of Backend Testing

Data is an important aspect of all computer applications. Most of the applications are loaded with a huge amount of data.

If you own a data hefty software, testing backend becomes very vital for you. Assuring that data is properly stored and retrieved when required is very important to assure the best quality of your product.

Not only that, data security, accuracy, integrity, etc. are also major concerns of all the software.

Failing in either your software can fail miserably in the market. the process also prevents complications like data corruption, deadlock, data loss, etc.

Pros of Backend Testing

1.    Helps you test databases, servers, and API.

2.    It detects bugs at an early stage thus reducing the cost of fixing them.

3.    Help you test your application more comprehensively, providing you complete control over the test coverage.

4.    Evade deadlock and data loss issues.

5.    Enhances the system’s functional constancy and sturdiness.

6.    Enhances data quality.

Cons of Backend Testing

•    To conduct manual backend testing you are required to have deep database knowledge.

•    It can add to your organizational cost.

Backend Testing Validation Mechanism:

Backend Testing includes validating Keys and Indexes, Sequence testing, data integrity testing, Stored procedures testing, Database server validations, Functions testing, Performance check, Database tables, Triggers, etc.

Skills Required For Backend Testing:

Being a backend tester, you should have a good knowledge of database concepts like normalization and SQL queries for backend testing.

Backend Testing Elements:

Depending upon the features of your application, backend testing may include many communication protocols, network configurations, databases, servers, etc. 

Backend Database Testing

The database is an important part of your application. Seamless interaction between the GUI and the database is very important for the proper working of your application.

Any kind of discrepancies can cause performance bottlenecks and security issues. Hence Backend database testing is the most important. 

How to do Backend Testing?

The process is no different from other types of testing and follows more or less the same procedure

•   Prepare a testing strategy, test plan, test cases, and set up an environment.

•    Execute test plans.

•    Calculate the results.

•   Validate the results with anticipated results and the business requirements.

•    Report any defects or any issues.

For example, if we consider a train ticket booking website, it asks users to create their profile and also uses various online payment methods to book train tickets.

These websites use backend testing to assure the highest security and efficient working. The process ensures that profile information like name, address, payment method, etc. are stored in their designated database tables and no information is missed.

A proper test should be carried out to ensure that the data are timely and correctly retrieved. For all the monetary transactions, ACID properties should be properly tested. 

Common practices while performing backend testing

  • Test early, it helps reducing fixing cost considerably
  • Focus on test coverage to test the system thoroughly.
  • Try to keep yourself at bay with issues like deadlock and data loss.
  • Focus on the application’s functional stability and robustness.

Backend Testing Tools:

Here are some of the tools used for the process

•    Data Factory

•    Data Generator

•    Test Data Generator

•    AETG

•    TurboData

How to deal with common mistakes in backend testing:

While performing the process, many testers generally make a few mistakes to reduce the testing cost. Dealing with such issues is very important. Here is how 

  1. Inadequate testing approach

it is not very easy and requires good knowledge of databases. if your team is not very skilled and efficient they might end up doing only black-box testing, which can lead to inadequate coverage and can leave many bugs undetected.

Hence always rely on an experienced and skill backend tester who has a good knowledge of databases and can accurately cover the test cases and can also perform white box testing.

So, your solution is easy to hire an experienced backend tester.

  1. Depending on simulated data

To save time and efforts, testers many times depend on simulated data for testing, this can lead to many bugs being unidentified. Hence it is always advised to use more realistic data, which can save you a lot of cost of finding bugs at a later stage and fixing them.

  1. Randomly picking up automation tools

Companies many times pick up any automation tool without realizing the cost it can incur in the future. To save costs they many times pick free tools that might not be suitable for their testing requirements. Such scenarios can lead to unrealized costs at the later stages. Hence it is advisable to make a wise choice of your automation tool.

  1. Poor communication

Communication is an important factor while conducting backend testing. There should be an open and free flow of communication between the team so that testers have a clear picture of what changes and additions are made to the database. Poor communication can lead to testers missing on many test cases that could have evolved with the changes in the database, hence leading to inadequate testing.

Challenges in backend testing

  • Testing scope

Testing backend involves databases that many times are very vast. Getting a clear insight into these databases and gathering requirements to build test cases can be a daunting task especially when databases are very big.

  • Short test database

When an application is passed on to the testers for testing, the data in the database is generally very small. It is sufficient only to execute the application. Hence it becomes a challenge for the testers to test the application.

  • Changes in database structure

Changes in databases are very frequent. But it throws a big challenge to the testers testing the application. Supposedly they have prepared the test cases and are executing their test as per their designed test plan and test cases and in the midway, there occurs a database change, it can create many challenges for the tester. So with every structural change in the database, the testers have to modify their test cases to ensure proper testing. Not only that they will also have to rework on the test data.

  • Running multiple test cases simultaneously

Another big challenge in the process is that you cannot run multiple test cases simultaneously as it can decrease the performance of your application and can underrate its performance.

  • Complex test plans

It’s is a complex task having to deal with complex databases. Hence, involving complex test plans. It should be ensured to keep test plans as simple as you can.

  • Good understanding of SQL

The process requires you to have a good understanding of SQL, which can help in proper and accurate testing.


Through backend testing, you can check the ACID properties, schema, etc. The most astounding feature of back end testing is that you don’t require the help of a GUI. You can directly inject data to the database with the help of a browser.

Database testing also helps in testing the business logic of an app. If you wish to know more about why your app needs and how it’s beneficial from a business perspective you can talk to us.



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