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Monday, November 8, 2010

What are some of the formal approaches used for exploratory testing?

Some of the formal approaches used for exploratory testing are:

- Identify the domain
The exploratory testing can be performed by identifying the application domain. If the tester has good knowledge of domain, the it would be easier to test the system without having any test cases. If the tester were well aware of the domain, it would help analyzing the system faster and better. His knowledge would help in identifying the various workflows that usually exist in the domain. He would also be able to decide what are the different scenarios and which are most critical for that system. Hence, he can focus his testing depending on the scenarios required. If a QA lead is trying to assign the tester to a task, it is advisable that the tester identifies the person who has the domain knowledge of that testing for exploratory testing.

- Identify the purpose
Another approach to exploratory testing is by identifying the purpose of the system i.e. What is that system used for. Thus, by identifying the primary and secondary functions for the system, testing can be done where more focus and effort can be given to primary functions as as compared to secondary functions.

- Identify the workflows
Identifying the workflows for testing any system without any scripted test cases can be considered as one of the best approaches used. The workflows are nothing but a visual representation of the scenarios as the system would behave for any given input. The workflows can be simple flow charts or data flow diagrams or something like state diagrams, use cases, models etc. The workflows will also help to identify the scope for that scenario. The workflows would help the tester to keep track of the scenarios for testing. It is suggested that the tester navigates through the application before he starts exploring. It helps the tester in identifying the various possible workflows and issues any found which he is comfortable can be discussed with the concerned team.

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