Software Testing Glossary
Last updated: Wednesday, 01-May-2013 09:43:28 PDT
Acceptance Testing: Testing conducted to enable a user/customer to determine whether to accept a software product. Normally performed to validate the software meets a set of agreed acceptance criteria.
Ad Hoc Testing: A testing phase where the tester tries to 'break' the system by randomly trying the system's functionality. Can include negative testing as well. See also Monkey Testing.
Agile Testing: Testing practice for projects using agile methodologies, treating development as the customer of testing and emphasizing a test-first design paradigm. See also Test Driven Development.
- Testing employing software tools which execute tests without manual intervention. Can be applied in GUI, performance, API, etc. testing.
- The use of software to control the execution of tests, the comparison of actual outcomes to predicted outcomes, the setting up of test preconditions, and other test control and test reporting functions.
Basis Set: The set of tests derived using basis path testing.
Binary Portability Testing: Testing an executable application for portability across system platforms and environments, usually for conformation to an ABI specification.
Black Box Testing: Testing based on an analysis of the specification of a piece of software without reference to its internal workings. The goal is to test how well the component conforms to the published requirements for the component.
Bottom Up Testing: An approach to integration testing where the lowest level components are tested first, then used to facilitate the testing of higher level components. The process is repeated until the component at the top of the hierarchy is tested.
Boundary Value Analysis: In boundary value analysis, test cases are generated using the extremes of the input domaini, e.g. maximum, minimum, just inside/outside boundaries, typical values, and error values. BVA is similar to Equivalence Partitioning but focuses on "corner cases".
Capture/Replay Tool: A test tool that records test input as it is sent to the software under test. The input cases stored can then be used to reproduce the test at a later time. Most commonly applied to GUI test tools.
CMM: The Capability Maturity Model for Software (CMM or SW-CMM) is a model for judging the maturity of the software processes of an organization and for identifying the key practices that are required to increase the maturity of these processes.
Code Coverage: An analysis method that determines which parts of the software have been executed (covered) by the test case suite and which parts have not been executed and therefore may require additional attention.
Code Inspection: A formal testing technique where the programmer reviews source code with a group who ask questions analyzing the program logic, analyzing the code with respect to a checklist of historically common programming errors, and analyzing its compliance with coding standards.
Code Walkthrough: A formal testing technique where source code is traced by a group with a small set of test cases, while the state of program variables is manually monitored, to analyze the programmer's logic and assumptions.
Component Testing: See Unit Testing.
Concurrency Testing: Multi-user testing geared towards determining the effects of accessing the same application code, module or database records. Identifies and measures the level of locking, deadlocking and use of single-threaded code and locking semaphores.
Context Driven Testing: The context-driven school of software testing is flavor of Agile Testing that advocates continuous and creative evaluation of testing opportunities in light of the potential information revealed and the value of that information to the organization right now.
Data Driven Testing: Testing in which the action of a test case is parameterized by externally defined data values, maintained as a file or spreadsheet. A common technique in Automated Testing.
Dynamic Testing: Testing software through executing it. See also Static Testing.
End-to-End testing: Testing a complete application environment in a situation that mimics real-world use, such as interacting with a database, using network communications, or interacting with other hardware, applications, or systems if appropriate.
Functional Testing: See also Black Box Testing.
- Testing the features and operational behavior of a product to ensure they correspond to its specifications.
- Testing that ignores the internal mechanism of a system or component and focuses solely on the outputs generated in response to selected inputs and execution conditions.
Glass Box Testing: A synonym for White Box Testing.
Inspection: A group review quality improvement process for written material. It consists of two aspects; product (document itself) improvement and process improvement (of both document production and inspection).
Integration Testing: Testing of combined parts of an application to determine if they function together correctly. Usually performed after unit and functional testing. This type of testing is especially relevant to client/server and distributed systems.
Installation Testing: Confirms that the application under test recovers from expected or unexpected events without loss of data or functionality. Events can include shortage of disk space, unexpected loss of communication, or power out conditions.
Load Testing: See Performance Testing.
Metric: A standard of measurement. Software metrics are the statistics describing the structure or content of a program. A metric should be a real objective measurement of something such as number of bugs per lines of code.
Negative Testing: Testing aimed at showing software does not work. Also known as "test to fail". See also Positive Testing.
N+1 Testing: A variation of Regression Testing. Testing conducted with multiple cycles in which errors found in test cycle N are resolved and the solution is retested in test cycle N+1. The cycles are typically repeated until the solution reaches a steady state and there are no errors. See also Regression Testing.
Performance Testing: Testing conducted to evaluate the compliance of a system or component with specified performance requirements. Often this is performed using an automated test tool to simulate large number of users. Also know as "Load Testing".
Positive Testing: Testing aimed at showing software works. Also known as "test to pass". See also Negative Testing.
Quality Audit: A systematic and independent examination to determine whether quality activities and related results comply with planned arrangements and whether these arrangements are implemented effectively and are suitable to achieve objectives.
Quality Circle: A group of individuals with related interests that meet at regular intervals to consider problems or other matters related to the quality of outputs of a process and to the correction of problems or to the improvement of quality.
Recovery Testing: Confirms that the program recovers from expected or unexpected events without loss of data or functionality. Events can include shortage of disk space, unexpected loss of communication, or power out conditions.
Release Candidate: A pre-release version, which contains the desired functionality of the final version, but which needs to be tested for bugs (which ideally should be removed before the final version is released).
Sanity Testing: Brief test of major functional elements of a piece of software to determine if its basically operational. See also Smoke Testing.
Smoke Testing: A quick-and-dirty test that the major functions of a piece of software work. Originated in the hardware testing practice of turning on a new piece of hardware for the first time and considering it a success if it does not catch on fire.
Soak Testing: Running a system at high load for a prolonged period of time. For example, running several times more transactions in an entire day (or night) than would be expected in a busy day, to identify and performance problems that appear after a large number of transactions have been executed.
Storage Testing: Testing that verifies the program under test stores data files in the correct directories and that it reserves sufficient space to prevent unexpected termination resulting from lack of space. This is external storage as opposed to internal storage.
Stress Testing: Testing conducted to evaluate a system or component at or beyond the limits of its specified requirements to determine the load under which it fails and how. Often this is performance testing using a very high level of simulated load.
Structural Testing: Testing based on an analysis of internal workings and structure of a piece of software. See also White Box Testing.
- The process of exercising software to verify that it satisfies specified requirements and to detect errors.
- The process of analyzing a software item to detect the differences between existing and required conditions (that is, bugs), and to evaluate the features of the software item (Ref. IEEE Std 829).
- The process of operating a system or component under specified conditions, observing or recording the results, and making an evaluation of some aspect of the system or component.
Test Automation: See Automated Testing.
Test Bed: An execution environment configured for testing. May consist of specific hardware, OS, network topology, configuration of the product under test, other application or system software, etc. The Test Plan for a project should enumerated the test beds(s) to be used.
- Test Case is a commonly used term for a specific test. This is usually the smallest unit of testing. A Test Case will consist of information such as requirements testing, test steps, verification steps, prerequisites, outputs, test environment, etc.
- A set of inputs, execution preconditions, and expected outcomes developed for a particular objective, such as to exercise a particular program path or to verify compliance with a specific requirement.
Test Driven Development: Testing methodology associated with Agile Programming in which every chunk of code is covered by unit tests, which must all pass all the time, in an effort to eliminate unit-level and regression bugs during development. Practitioners of TDD write a lot of tests, i.e. an equal number of lines of test code to the size of the production code.
Test Environment: The hardware and software environment in which tests will be run, and any other software with which the software under test interacts when under test including stubs and test drivers.
Test First Design: Test-first design is one of the mandatory practices of Extreme Programming (XP).It requires that programmers do not write any production code until they have first written a unit test.
Test Plan: A document describing the scope, approach, resources, and schedule of intended testing activities. It identifies test items, the features to be tested, the testing tasks, who will do each task, and any risks requiring contingency planning. Ref IEEE Std 829.
Test Procedure: A document providing detailed instructions for the execution of one or more test cases.
Test Suite: A collection of tests used to validate the behavior of a product. The scope of a Test Suite varies from organization to organization. There may be several Test Suites for a particular product for example. In most cases however a Test Suite is a high level concept, grouping together hundreds or thousands of tests related by what they are intended to test.
Thread Testing: A variation of top-down testing where the progressive integration of components follows the implementation of subsets of the requirements, as opposed to the integration of components by successively lower levels.
Top Down Testing: An approach to integration testing where the component at the top of the component hierarchy is tested first, with lower level components being simulated by stubs. Tested components are then used to test lower level components. The process is repeated until the lowest level components have been tested.
Validation: The process of evaluating software at the end of the software development process to ensure compliance with software requirements. The techniques for validation is testing, inspection and reviewing.
Verification: The process of determining whether of not the products of a given phase of the software development cycle meet the implementation steps and can be traced to the incoming objectives established during the previous phase. The techniques for verification are testing, inspection and reviewing.
Volume Testing: Testing which confirms that any values that may become large over time (such as accumulated counts, logs, and data files), can be accommodated by the program and will not cause the program to stop working or degrade its operation in any manner.
White Box Testing: Testing based on an analysis of internal workings and structure of a piece of software. Includes techniques such as Branch Testing and Path Testing. Also known as Structural Testing and Glass Box Testing. Contrast with Black Box Testing.
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