Black box Testing

AD-HOC TESTING

This type of testing is done without any formal Test Plan or Test Case creation. Ad-hoc testing helps in deciding the scope and duration of the various other testing and it also helps testers in learning the application prior starting with any other testing. It is the least formal method of testing.

One of the best uses of ad hoc testing is for discovery. Reading the requirements or specifications (if they exist) rarely gives you a good sense of how a program actually behaves. Even the user documentation may not capture the “look and feel” of a program. Ad hoc testing can find holes in your test strategy, and can expose relationships between subsystems that would otherwise not be apparent. In this way, it serves as a tool for checking the completeness of your testing. Missing cases can be found and added to your testing arsenal. Finding new tests in this way can also be a sign that you should perform root cause analysis.

Ask yourself or your test team, “What other tests of this class should we be running?” Defects found while doing ad hoc testing are often examples of entire classes of forgotten test cases. Another use for ad hoc testing is to determine the priorities for your other testing activities. In our example program, Panorama may allow the user to sort photographs that are being displayed. If ad hoc testing shows this to work well, the formal testing of this feature might be deferred until the problematic areas are completed. On the other hand, if ad hoc testing of this sorting photograph feature uncovers problems, then the formal testing might receive a higher priority.


BETA TESTING

In this type of testing, the software is distributed as a beta version to the users and users test the application at their sites. As the users explore the software, in case if any exception/defect occurs that is reported to the developers. Beta testing comes after alpha testing. Versions of the software, known as beta versions, are released to a limited audience outside of the company.

The software is released to groups of people so that further testing can ensure the product has few faults or bugs. Sometimes, beta versions are made available to the open public to increase the feedback field to a maximal number of future users.


LOAD TESTING

The application is tested against heavy loads or inputs such as testing of web sites in order to find out at what point the web-site/application fails or at what point its performance degrades. Load testing operates at a predefined load level, usually the highest load that the system can accept while still functioning properly.

Note that load testing does not aim to break the system by overwhelming it, but instead tries to keep the system constantly humming like a well-oiled machine.In the context of load testing, extreme importance should be given of having large datasets available for testing. Bugs simply do not surface unless you deal with very large entities such thousands of users in repositories such as LDAP/NIS/Active Directory; thousands of mail server mailboxes, multi-gigabyte tables in databases, deep file/directory hierarchies on file systems, etc. Testers obviously need automated tools to generate these large data sets, but fortunately any good scripting language worth its salt will do the job.


STRESS TESTING

The application is tested against heavy load such as complex numerical values, large number of inputs, large number of queries etc. which checks for the stress/load the applications can withstand. Stress testing deals with the quality of the application in the environment.

The idea is to create an environment more demanding of the application than the application would experience under normal work loads. This is the hardest and most complex category of testing to accomplish and it requires a joint effort from all teams. A test environment is established with many testing stations. At each station, a script is exercising the system. These scripts are usually based on the regression suite. More and more stations are added, all simultaneous hammering on the system, until the system breaks. The system is repaired and the stress test is repeated until a level of stress is reached that is higher than expected to be present at a customer site.


FUNCTIONAL TESTING

In this type of testing, the software is tested for the functional requirements. The tests are written in order to check if the application behaves as expected. Although functional testing is often done toward the end of the development cycle, it can—and should, —be started much earlier. Individual components and processes can be tested early on, even before it’s possible to do functional testing on the entire system.

Functional testing covers how well the system executes the functions it is supposed to execute—including user commands, data manipulation, searches and business processes, user screens, and integrations. Functional testing covers the obvious surface type of functions, as well as the back-end operations (such as security and how upgrades affect the system).


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