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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

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

Some of the formal approaches used for exploratory testing are:

- Identify the break points
Break points are the situations where the system starts behaving abnormally. It does not give the output it is supposed to give. So, by identifying such situations also, testing can be done. Use boundary values or invariance for finding the break points of the application. In most of the cases, it is observed that system would work for normal inputs and outputs. Try to give input that might be the ideal situation or the worse situation. By trying to identify the extreme conditions or the breakpoints would help the tester to uncover the hidden bugs. Such cases might not be covered in the normal scripted testing. hence, this helps in finding the bugs which might not be covered in normal testing.

- Check the UI against Windows Interface etc standards
The exploratory testing can be performed by identifying the user interface standards. There are set standards laid down for the user interfaces that need to be developed. These user standards are nothing but the look and feel aspects of the interfaces, the user interacts with. The user should be comfortable with any of the screens that he or she is working on. These aspects help the end user to accept the system faster. By identifying the user standards, define an approach to test because the application developed should be user friendly for the user's usage.

- Identify expected results
The tester should know what he is testing for and expected output for the given input. Until and unless, the aim of the testing is not known, there is no use of the testing that is done because the tester may not succeed in distinguishing the real error and normal work-flow. The tester needs to analyze what is the expected output for the scenario he is testing.

- Identify the interfaces with other interfaces/external applications
In the age of component development and maximum re-usability, developers try to pick up the already developed components and integrate them. In some cases, it would help the tester explore the areas where the components are coupled. The output of one component should be correctly sent to other component. Hence, such scenarios or work-flows need to be identified and explored more. There may be external interfaces, like the application is integrated with another application for the data. In such cases, focus should be more on the interface between the two applications.

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