Software testing as a part of a comprehensive quality assurance strategy, is a dictating factor that directly influences the digital transformation and digitalization of businesses worldwide.
Be it software or hardware; unless your digital offering proves to perform and function as expected and evokes a significant level of customer satisfaction, it is bound to lose its place amongst the crowd.
Software testing and quality assurance — Are they the same?
The terms software testing and quality assurance are often used interchangeably, but do they really mean the same?
Software testing is a subset of the more extensive quality assurance process, which ultimately is a mandatory stage in the software development lifecycle.
Quality assurance is a set of activities performed to ensure quality control. In contrast, software testing involves the execution of pre-planned, scripted tests that are ultimately used to validate the software developed against specifications and customer requirements.
To this day, we have project owners questioning the need for extensive software testing and suggesting reducing costs and efforts that go into software testing with a view to market the product faster.
This is a grave sin, by all means, first of all because, a poorly tested product is grounds for faulty performance and functionality and delivers poor customer experience.
Before delving deeper into understanding the need for and importance of good quality software testing services, let us first understand a few software testing basics.
What is software testing?
Software testing is a process in which an application is tested according to the technical requirements and other specifications laid down by stakeholders. Software testing aims to validate the code and interface of an application to check its performance, functionality, and security. These three parameters determine the efficiency of the application, therefore making software testing a necessary step before the deployment or delivery of the said software.
Software testing is more than just finding defects. A well-tested software ensures stability, reliability, responsiveness and a delightful user experience.
The need for comprehensive software testing services:
Software testing is not an option that can be evaluated or debated upon. It is an implication for every developer to test their software product or SaaS app before releasing it into the market.
Here are the main need-based objectives of software testing:
● To make sure that software is continually defect-free and superior in quality.
● To deliver an enhanced customer experience.
● To reduce maintenance and operational costs.
● To enforce constant improvement in the product.
● To ensure the product reaches the market at optimal cost and minimal timeframe.
● To increase productivity and efficiency.
● To help enterprises stay competitive and achieve the best ROI.
Every software must undergo several layers of testing to validate its efficiency
Types of Software testing services:
Software testing branches out into various testing types, all of which are necessary to ensure optimum quality. Before understanding all of these testing types, you must know that tests can be performed both manually and through automation.
In Manual testing, software testers manually execute the test cases without using automation tools. They exploit the application from end-user POV to find as many defects as possible within the shortest time frame.
The defects are then collated into a bug report for developers to review and fix. However, manual testing is time-consuming and requires considerable investment and effort.
In Test Automation, an automation tool executes pre-scripted test cases. As a result, automation eases and simplifies the testing process and increases its efficiency.
Software testing is broadly classified into two types — functional and non-functional testing.
In functional tests, testers validate the functional requirements of applications. The focus is on reviewing the expected outcomes. Thus, the internal parts of the software are ignored in functional tests. Under functional testing, we have:
• Unit testing– The smallest part of the application is independently tested for operational correctness.
• Integration testing– Individual parts of the software are clubbed and tested as a group.
• Sanity testing– Determines if changes to the app, i.e., the proposed/added functionalities work as expected.
• System testing– Carried out on a completely integrated system to check if the system is compliant with corresponding requirements.
• Regression testing– Done after every code change, update and improvement to see the impact of the changes on the functionality.
• Smoke testing– Also called build verification test, confidence test, and build acceptance test, it exposes simple failures that can result in severe outcomes like derailing a prospective software release.
• Interface testing– It checks if two different software systems are communicating correctly. The interface means the connection between two components. E.g., APIs, web services, etc.
• Beta or acceptance testing– Software is rolled out in the real environment is tested by actual end-users.
In non-functional testing, testers measure attributes such as readiness, response times and throughput to check if they are fast enough to meet the business requirements.
Under functional testing, we have:
• Performance testing– Evaluating responsiveness and stability of the application under different parameters to check for stability, speed, robustness, reliability and application size.
• Stress testing– Thorough and deliberate tests are forced to determine how stable an application can be under extreme conditions beyond standard operational capacity. This is mainly to determine the breaking point of the system.
• Load testing– Testing the capability of multi-user systems such as servers and websites when subjected to heavy load, due to multiple users using the system at once.
• Localization testing– Testing software behavior in multiple locations and regions to determine its compatibility with different networks and check its suitability for different geographical areas.
• Volume testing– Testing the capability of applications when subjected to vast volumes of data.
• Security testing– Testing for hidden vulnerabilities to protect the application data and resources from malicious activities and unauthorized usage. This is one of the most critical tests to protect the system and ensure safety.
• Compatibility testing– Testing the software to ensure it works seamlessly across various browsers, operating systems, hardware and mobile devices, networks and databases.
• Recovery testing– Testing an application’s ability to recover from crashes and hardware failures by forcing failure on the software.
• Install testing– Also called implementation testing, it is performed to ensure that the software has been correctly installed.
• Reliability testing– Testing the ability of software to function under various environmental conditions to find flaws in the software design and functionality.
• Usability testing– Testing the system by representative users trying to interact with the system by accomplishing specific tasks.
• Compliance testing– Testing to determine if the software system meets specified regulations and standards laid down by its respective industry.
What happens when you skip software testing?
Software testing is an integral part of the software development process, and therefore it would be unwise to skip it. There could be several disastrous consequences of ignoring software testing:
● A severe breach in security that threatens data loss and brand reputation.
● Faulty UX leading to loss of customer confidence in the product and loss of brand value.
● Non-compliance with industry standards and governmental regulations resulting in the product being rejected for commercial use.
The importance of a reliable software testing services provider
In the absence of dependable software testing services, developers often fail to plan or execute a rigorous quality assurance strategy. Before the software is released to the end customer, it must be 99.99% free from glitches, errors and defects.
Bad customer experiences are detrimental to organizational growth and brand reputation, especially in today’s competitive landscape. Thus, to make the final product superior in quality, the role of an experienced software testing services provider cannot be undermined.
Choosing the right one like Qualitest, can make a world of difference.