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Thursday, May 5, 2011

What are some of the problems when doing Black Box Testing ?

Black Box testing is one of the significant methods of doing testing, especially in cases where the tester is not really supposed to know details about the internals of the application (code, API's, etc), and instead is mainly worried about the inputs or outputs. The tester will have a set of valid and invalid inputs, and corresponding outputs based on these inputs. This removed the need for testers who need to know the code (which would typically mean the developers who actually wrote the code need not be involved in the testing process). In addition, Black Box testing tends to replicate the process followed by the end users, and will help in reproducing the problems faced by the end users.
However, there are certain problems that are found during the Black Box testing, and people involved in Black Box testing should be fully aware of some of these challenges:
- Black Box testing almost is never able to cover all the areas of the application, since the number of combinations of input variables can be pretty huge
- There is a cost involved in the development and testing process, whereby the earlier you find the problem, the better it is. So code review is cheaper, unit testing is more expensive, and actual black box testing is more expensive - teams need to ensure that they have factored this as part of their planning
- Testers are dependent on the language of the test cases to ensure that test cases are comprehensive. If the exact requirement stated in the test case is not clear, then there is a chance that future testers could miss some of the input-output cases; it is clear from a number of examples that converting specifications to test cases in terms of languages can lead to errors and missed situations
- In some cases, Black Box testing can never be enough, you need to employ a combination of Black Box testing and White Box testing

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