Software Testing Methods: Their Advantages and Disadvantages

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man using a keyboard and checking the software

Software testing ensures that the product software delivered contains all the requirements and meets the demands of users. It’s a process where different types of testing and test case management tool are used to ensure a reliable product.

The following are five different methods of software testing:

Black Box Testing

In black box testing, the testers check the functionalities of the programs and system without the knowledge of the internal structure of the system.

Advantages

  • Everyone can conduct it as it does not require special knowledge of the programming language.
  • Can be conducted in isolation without being interrupted by the developer’s biases.
  • Helps to identify discrepancies in the specifications.
  • Great for testing large systems.
  • Test cases can be designed quickly as soon as the completion of functional specifications.

Disadvantages

  • Hard to design a test case when functional specifications are vague and contradictory.
  • Impossible to identify all inputs and thus always a chance of unidentified paths.
  • High chance of repeating the test that has been already conducted.
  • Difficult to identify all trick inputs.

White Box Testing

In the white box testing method, the testers check the internal code structure of the system and can see the internal system code. It enhances the security and improves the design & usability of the application.

Advantages

  • Helps code optimization by identifying the errors.
  • Makes test case automation simple.
  • Conducts deep testing and covers almost all code paths.
  • Testing can be conducted early.

Disadvantages

  • It can be costly and quite complex.
  • White box testing done by developers generally produces errors.
  • It is not as detailed as the black-box testing technique.
  • Requires in-depth knowledge of programming and implementation.
  • It’s a time-consuming process.

Grey Box Testing

Grey box testing is a type of testing which is conducted based on partial knowledge of the fundamental design and the implementation of the system. It is a combination of black box testing and white box testing methods and is mainly used to conduct penetrated testing and integrating testing.

Advantages

  • Being the combination of black and white box testing, it provides benefits of both the techniques
  • Doesn’t require a source code that helps to keep the source code safe and secure from disruptive changes.
  • Reduces the chances of disagreements among testers and developers as it keeps them separate
  • Helpful in fixing the issues instantly as the testers are able to change the partially available code for checking results.

Disadvantages

  • Testers don’t have code source access making it difficult to get whole code path coverage and ultimately losing major vulnerabilities.
  • Does not support algorithm testing since it’s not possible to access the complete logic of algorithms
  • Running the test in black box testing can cause redundancy if the developer has already executed the test case.
  • Not a suitable testing method for distributed systems.

Agile Testing

Agile testing is a method of software testing which aims to find errors and defects within the context of agile software development and get feedback to develop a faster and better project.

girl guiding a team

Advantages

  • Time and cost-efficient.
  • Needs comparatively less documentation.
  • You can get regular feedback from the users.
  • Issues can be determined early by daily meetings.

Disadvantages

  • Less document means a detailed one which can take the testing team a lot of time to configure.
  • More chances of introduction of regression bugs since bugs are fixed.
  • Due to early result requirements, the testing team does not develop a powerful and consistent testing system.

Ad-Hoc Testing

Ad-Hoc or random testing is conducted randomly without any planning or documentation. It is one of the most informal methods of software testing.

Advantages

  • Helps to identify the errors that might usually go unnoticed during formal testing.
  • Does not require planning as structured testing and saves a lot of time.
  • Here, testers can freely explore the application, depending on their own knowledge and understanding.
  • It does not require test cases and testers & developers can easily test the app themselves.

Disadvantages

  • It does not follow a particular test case and is not documented.
  • No documentation makes it hard to regenerate the errors for testers.
  • Invalid errors are generally reported since testers can develop invalid test cases sometimes.
  • It doesn’t ensure the finding of all the errors, test results solely depend on the knowledge and skills of testers.

Thanks for reading about methods of software testing. We hope the information was helpful to you.