Software testing is the process used to measure the quality of developed computer software. Usually, quality is constrained to such topics as correctness, completeness, security, but can also include more technical requirements as described under the ISO standard, such as capability, reliability, efficiency, portability, maintainability, compatibility, and usability. Testing is a process of technical investigation, performed on behalf of stakeholders, that is intended to reveal quality-related information about the product with respect to the context in which it is intended to operate.
Today, software has grown in complexity and size. The software product developed by a developer is according to the System Requirement Specification. Every software product has a target audience.
There are many approaches to software testing, but effective testing of complex products is essentially a process of investigation, not merely a matter of creating and following routine procedure.
Software Testing Axioms
- It is impossible to test a program completely.
- Software testing is risk based exercise.
- Testing can't show that bugs dont exist.
- The more bugs you find, the more bugs there are.
- Not all the bugs you find will be fixed.
- Product specifications are never final.
Levels of testing
- Unit testing tests the minimal software component, or module. Each unit (basic component) of the software is tested to verify that the detailed design for the unit has been correctly implemented. In an Object-oriented environment, this is usually at the class level, and the minimal unit tests include the constructors and destructors.
- Integration testing exposes defects in the interfaces and interaction between integrated components (modules). Progressively larger groups of tested software components corresponding to elements of the architectural design are integrated and tested until the software works as a system.
- Functional testing tests at any level (class, module, interface, or system) for proper functionality as defined in the specification.
- System testing tests a completely integrated system to verify that it meets its requirements.
- System integration testing verifies that a system is integrated to any external or third party systems defined in the system requirements.
- Acceptance testing can be conducted by the end-user, customer, or client to validate whether or not to accept the product. Acceptance testing may be performed as part of the hand-off process between any two phases of development. See also Development stage
Alpha testing is simulated or actual operational testing by potential users/customers or an independent test team at the developers' site. Alpha testing is often employed for off-the-shelf software as a form of internal acceptance testing, before the software goes to beta testing.
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.
Not all errors or defects reported must be fixed by a software development team. Some may be caused by errors in configuring the test software to match the development or production environment. Some defects can be handled by a workaround in the production environment. Others might be deferred to future releases of the software, or the deficiency might be accepted by the business users.
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