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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Validation and verification explained

There is typically a lot of confusion about what the terms of validation and verification mean with respect to software testing. Both of these are valid terms, used in the context of software testing, but mean different things. If you are looking for a one-line definition of both:

Verification is about building the product right.
Validation is about building the right product.

Together, these 2 activities ensure that the testing process is complete and the software product that is built is correct and meets all the user requirements. Some more details of these terms:

- Ensure that the process being used is correct and is being followed. The review of interim work steps and interim deliverables during a project to ensure they are acceptable. To determine if the system is consistent, adheres to standards, uses reliable techniques and prudent practices, and performs the selected functions in the correct manner.
- Low level activity.
- Performed during development on key artifacts, like walkthroughs, reviews and inspections, mentor feedback, training, checklists and standards.

- To ensure that the product meets all the specifications and requirements. Determining if the system complies with the requirements and performs functions for which it is intended and meets the organization’s goals and user needs. It is traditional and is performed at the end of the project.
- High level activity
- Determination of correctness of the final software product by a development project with respect to the user needs and requirements

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