During software testing, developers execute the program or application to find bugs or other defects. The process involves evaluating various relevant areas of interest, depending on the type of software and its function. In general, testing is done to ensure that systems meet design requirements and respond correctly to inputs. In addition, testing checks that systems can perform within an acceptable time frame and can be run in the intended environments.
Depending on the type of testing being done, scope may include examining code as well as executing the code in various environments and under various conditions. In general, teams seek to answer one question: Does the system do what it is supposed to? There are different methods of testing available depending on the skill sets of the team and the type of system being tested. Each has a set of advantages and disadvantages that must be evaluated before a method can be chosen and implemented.
Black Box Testing
Teams choose black box testing when they don’t have any knowledge of the interior workings of the software being tested. This means that the tester won’t know the system architecture or have access to source code. Usually, black box testing involves interacting with the user interface by providing inputs and examining outputs without knowing exactly how the system works. This type of testing is ideal for large code segments because it is efficient and code access isn’t required. Testers don’t need to know the details of implementation, programming language or operating systems. However, this means that only a select number of testing scenarios can be performed and coverage is limited. And because the tester has only limited knowledge, black box testing can be inefficient. Such test cases are also difficult to design. Also known as closed box testing, data driven testing or functional testing, this process is performed by end users, testers and developers. It can only be done through trial and error and is not suited for algorithm testing.
White Box Testing
This type of testing requires a detailed investigation of both external logic and code structure. White box testing is also known as open box or code-based testing. Unlike black box testing, the tester must know the internal workings of the code in order to carry out this type of test successfully. It requires the tester to examine the source code and identify errors. Because the tester has detailed knowledge of the source code, they can easily optimize it and extra lines of code can be removed to avoid bugs. Maximum coverage is possible during test scenario writing as well. However, because a skilled tester is required to perform white box testing, it comes with higher costs. It can be difficult to maintain this type of testing due to the specialized tools required, such as code analyzers. This type of testing is usually carried out by testers and developers and is ideal for algorithm testing. White box testing is the most exhaustive and time consuming type of software testing.
Grey Box Testing
This technique allows for testing with a limited knowledge of a system’s inner workings. In grey box testing, the more a tester knows about the domain of a system, the more complete the results will be. It is different from black box testing because it goes beyond testing the user interface and gives the tester access to both design documents and the database. This means that testers can prepare better data and scenarios when making the test plan. Grey box testing is the method of choice for many teams because it combines the benefits of white and black box testing. The source code isn’t required because the tester can use interface definition and functional specifications to run tests. According to TutorialsPoint, “Based on the limited information available, a grey-box tester can design excellent test scenarios, especially around communication protocols and data type handling.”
In grey box testing, a test is run from the user’s point of view rather than the designer’s. However, since the source code isn’t available, testers have a limited ability to check the code itself. And some program paths will go untested because it is unrealistic to test every input stream. Grey box testing is also known as translucent testing because the tester has some knowledge of the inside workings of the software. This type of testing is performed by end-users, testers and developers. It is not suited to algorithm testing but allows for data domains and internal boundaries to be tested, if they are known.
Why Testing Matters
The software testing process is important because it ensures that applications meet quality standards. It provides a clear understanding of the workings of software so that stakeholders can better understand the implementation process. Overall, the goal of QA and testing is to make sure systems achieve the desired results and are usable. When bugs and other issues are discovered, the team is able to fix them and create a better end product.
At GlowTouch, we provide intuitive, perceptive testing services. We don’t just send you error reports, we dive deep under the surface to identify underlying problems and ensure your application works as you expect. Learn more about our QA and testing services here.