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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What are different objectives of software testing?

None of the processes in the world are carried out without a purpose. Every kind of software testing has got some objectives. This article discusses such objectives only.
Software testing has got several objectives. Objectives are decided on the basis of the expectations of the software developers.

- Software testing is expected to distinguish between the validations of the software system and defects present in the software system.
- It is necessary to describe the principles on which the software works and processes the data.
- It is also important for us to know the principles of different kinds of testing.
- Before creating the tests cases for testing one should decide for a proper strategy to follow so as to achieve the desired objectives.
- The tester should understand the characteristics and behavior of the tools that are being used for the test automation.
- Before testing any software system, the tester should know the problems that can cause the system to fail. Failures should be known otherwise it will be difficult to prevent the potential harm.
- When the software developer pens down the objectives of the testing, he should keep in mind the requirements of the customers.
- Apart from the requirements it is also necessary to keep knowledge about the non requirements of the users.

Both these requirements and non requirements form a major an important part of the objectives of testing. In fact, we can say that 95 % of the objectives of the testing are based on the requirements and non requirements of the user.

There is one more kind of requirements called the missing requirements.
- Missing requirements are the requirements that are needed but they are absent form both the customer’s requirements list and non requirements list.
- Only the software developer or the tester can figure out the missing requirements.
- These missing requirements also form a small part of the objectives of the testing.
- There are some requirements needed for the software system but they are almost impossible to implement.

Below mentioned are the objectives of software testing clearly and in detail:
- To check whether the system is working as required or not.
- To prove that the software system is free of any errors.
- To certify that the particular software system is correct to the best knowledge of the programmer and the tester.
- To certify that the software can be used without any fear of losing data or damage.

For achieving the objectives, testing can be done in following two ways:

Negative testing
- This testing tests for the abnormal or negative operations in the software system.
- This is carried out by using illegal or invalid data.
- In negative testing, the tester intentionally tries to make the things go wrong and checks what happens then.
- Based on the observation, improvement is made further. It checks if the program crashes or not, if the program does any unexpected thing?, whether the software system successfully achieves the target or not?

Positive testing
- In this kind of testing, the software system is operated normally with correct data input values.
- Proper test cases are used.
- This testing methodology includes testing of system software at the boundaries of the program.
- This is done to determine the correctness of the program. Actual result and the expected result is compared and it is determined whether or not the program is behaving normally?,results coincide with the expected results?, software system is still functioning properly or not?

Not to much surprise, the negative testing has got a positive side. It checks out all the flaws, errors and the discrepancies before they show up in the front of the user. After all, a testing is regarded good only if it fails the software system.

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