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Monday, December 26, 2011

What are different characteristics of baseline testing?

Most of us don’t know what is a baseline actually? So let us first clear up what does it actually means?

Generally a baseline is defined as a line that forms the base for any construction or for measurement, comparisons or calculations. In the context of engineering and science it refers to the point of reference. Other tests like load tests, stress tests, resilience tests; baseline tests also form a very essential and important part of the performance testing.

It’s a very crucial part of a good software system or application.

Baseline testing is very famous for improving the overall performance of the software system. It has been found that the baseline testing identifies nearly 85 percent of the software system or application issues.

Baseline testing also helps a great deal in solving most of the problems that are discovered. A majority of the issues are solved through baseline testing.

The whole implementation and idea of how the baseline testing should be performed should be clear in the mind of the software tester. He should know that why the baseline testing is being done?

Some questions ?
- What is the baseline testing referring to in the software system or application?
- How the baseline testing is to be carried out or what is the test plan?
- How the baseline tests are to be executed?
- How this baseline testing differs from performance testing?

Advantages of Baseline Testing
- The main advantage here is that a large amount of time is saved by baseline testing.
- Actually it saves the time overhead.
- If we look at the whole scenario, the performance testing is the most time consuming process and complex also. Often the software testers or developers are not able to spare that much time for carrying out the performance testing very efficiently. So usually what some testers do is that they reduce the number of baseline tests. But the fact is that the baseline testing only saves much of the time.
- Reducing the number of baseline tests causes potential errors and bugs which in turn consume more time later in getting identified and corrected.
- Baseline testing is where most of the time can be saved.
- A performance testing plan must compulsorily include baseline testing and load testing. If more time is there endurance testing, volume testing and stress testing should also be included.

The testers or the developers should have a clear and good understanding of the testing that is to be performed.
- Baseline is usually performed for each script with 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 30 and at the most 50 users to check the baselines.
- This is done typically for determining the response times. Generally baseline tests are carried out for each individual script that is a part of the load testing and any identified problem is immediately isolated.
- To get good and useful results the baseline tests should be executed at least for 20- 30 minutes.
- In baseline testing the test data is not lost when a test run fails and the data can be prepared for the next test quickly.
- Baseline testing reduces the time consumption of load testing also.
- Baseline testing should be properly monitored. Improper monitoring requires repetition of tests which is again wastage of time.
- Expecting meaningful results without proper monitoring is meaning less. Time over time baseline testing has proved itself to be a very important part of performance testing.
- Baseline testing shows the improvement of the software system or application when the problems and errors are fixed.
- Baseline testing should be done carefully without adhering to any shortcuts. By the time you begin the load testing, your software system will already be performing well.

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