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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What is meant by entry and exit criterion in software testing?

There is always a certain reason, condition, or basis for doing something. One cannot perform a function just like that. The action or the task performed has to have some justification that why it was done. Certain type of criterion is employed in every phase of testing. Mostly they are employed in dynamic and static testing.

The testing criteria have been defined in to 4 types based on the testing phases in which they are employed. These 4 types of criteria have been discussed below:

- Entry criteria
We all know that this is the initial and starting phase of any testing methodology.
- Suspension criteria
Suspension criteria comes in to the play when in a phase the testing is halted so as to get the documentation is send to the development team for verification.

- Re- suspension criteria
Re- suspension criteria are employed when there changes to be made in the documentation as indicated by the development team after the verification.

- Exit criteria
This is the last phase of any testing methodology. The testing is declared complete when these criteria are met.

- Entry criteria as we mentioned above is encountered at the starting phase of any testing methodology.
- It is a kind of document that is needed for starting the testing process.
- It contains all the necessary conditions that have to be met before a testing is commenced.
- Usually the entry criteria are placed in the “approach to test” section of the test plan.
- For every step in the testing strategy some criteria are stated so there is no wasting of time and testing takes place efficiently.
- There are so many factors to be considered while deciding the criteria.

There are 3 main aspects of entry criteria that have to be considered:

1. Approved Test Plan
- The test plan has to be developed long back before the testing starts.
- Before you commence the testing, you need to get your test plan approved by all the stake holders.
- All the possible risks are identified at this stage.

2. Availability of Resources
- The testing is carried out in a proper testing environment rather than a normal user environment.
- Resources like trained professionals with good testing skills, testing environment, test input data and paper work set up should be available before the testing starts.

3. Developed Tests
- All the test cases and scripts need to be developed before the commencement of the testing and must be verified by the stake holders.

Now coming to the exit criteria, it is the criteria which are required to end a test cycle. Exit criteria include:

1. Deadlines for the completion of the testing.
2. Completion of test cases with some minimum passing percentage.
3. Depletion of the test budget.
4. Specific level to be attained by the code coverage, functionality coverage and requirements coverage.
5. Reduction in the number of bugs below a certain level.
6. The end of the testing period of alpha and beta testing.

- Entry and exit criteria hold a great importance in the whole testing process.
- Without any entry or exit criteria you will not know when to start or end the testing or when the testing is complete.
- Entry and exit criteria save much of our efforts.
- Apart from this, the entry and exit criteria also increase the knowledge of the tester about the application.
- With the help of these criteria you can quickly move up to the different phases of the test cycle without unnecessarily wasting your time and efforts on one thing.

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