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Sunday, March 4, 2012

What is meant by test bed and test data?

Software testing is loaded with so many concepts and terms that sometimes it gets so confusing that one is not able to decide what a concept means. To carry out effective software testing, one needs to be thorough with all sorts of terms related to it like test bed, test data, test logs, test environment, test cases and etc.

Here in this article we are going to discuss regarding two significant terms namely test bed and test data.


- Test bed can be thought of as platform on which the experimentations are carried out for development of large projects.
- Test beds are developed so that any amount and kind of rigorous as well as replicable and transparent testing of the computational tools, scientific theories as well as new technologies can be carried out on it.
- The term test bed usually denotes a development environment.
- These types of development environment are shielded or kept safe from the hazards of real and live testing i.e., testing in a production environment.
- The development environment provided by the test bed is ideal for carrying out testing on an isolated module which can be a library, functionality, feature or class.
- Isolated testing of some modules is very much required during the usual testing.
- It is not necessary that a test bed should be implemented only for the purpose of maintaining security during the testing schedule.
- A test bed serves as a proof for a new module or concept that it has been tested in isolation and later will be added to the software system or application.
- A skeleton framework or replica of the actual framework is set all around the module in order to make it behave like it has already been installed in the software system or application.
- For an application to be tested, the test bed should be composed of both hardware and software components.
- Test environment is another name for test bed.
- The term test bed is a less familiar one and is rarely used.
- These days online test beds are also available where the public can test the HTML or CSS code that they have created and want to test for the outcomes.

A typical test bed includes the below mentioned components:

1. Hardware
2. Software and
3. Networking components


- Test data is the data that has been exclusively designed to be used an input for the test cases for software testing.
- Sometimes data might be used for some comparison purpose.
- Other times it might be used to check how the program behaves to unusual types of data.
- There are many approached for producing test data.
- Some are highly systematic and focussed; some are more informal while some others are automated.
- Test data generation forms an extremely important part of the whole software development life cycle.
- Nowadays test data generation has become a less intensive task as there are many automated data generation tools available.

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