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Friday, October 8, 2010

What are the limitations and tools used for white box testing ?

In white box testing, exhaustive testing of a code presents certain logistical problems. Even for small programs, the number of possible logical paths can be very large. For example, a hundred line C program which contains tow nested loops executing 1 to 20 times depending upon some initial input after some basic data declaration. Inside the interior loop, four if-then-else constructs are requires. Then there are approximately 10^14 logical paths that are to be exercised to test the program exhaustively which means that a magic test processor developing a single test case, execute it and evaluate results in one millisecond would require 3170 years working continuously for this exhaustive testing which is certainly impractical. Exhaustive WBT is impossible for large software systems. But that does not mean WBT should be considered as impractical. Limited WBT in which a limited number of important logical paths are selected and exercised and important data structures are probed for validity, is both practical. It is suggested that white and black box testing techniques can be coupled to provide an approach that validates the software interface selectively ensuring the correction of internal working of the software.

Tools used for white box testing are :
Few test automation tool vendors offer white box testing tools which:
- Provide run-time error and memory leak detection.
- Record the exact amount of time the application spends in any given block of code for the purpose of finding inefficient code bottlenecks.
- Pinpoint areas of application that have and have not been executed.

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