The Software Testing Process: What Needs To Done

By: Carl Formby

When software is developed, there are many tests involved from the start of the development to the final release to the public. If you are in the software developing business, it is important that you know how to ensure your software is properly tested before release and free of problems which could in turn cause problems for potential customers.

Software is a major commodity in the world and with so many different packages being developed competition is very stiff. This makes it even more important that you make sure your software is reliable, functional and secure. One of the most important tests your software needs to pass before it can be released to the public, especially if the software provides a business function, is security testing. With all the cracking, hacking and viruses going on in the world, especially in large businesses, it is very important that all software be properly protected from intrusions from outside.

Another way to ensure that your software is properly tested before release is to make sure that it goes through the entire software testing cycle from the alpha to the beta testing stages, using verification (is the software made right?) and validation (is this the right software that is ordered?) methods of testing. There needs to be testing of the individual software units—a process called unit testing—to assure that each unit is operating correctly. When they are put together to create a larger entity, they are once again tested to make sure they continue to operate and function as a whole and individually. Integration tests should always be performed on the software at this point. Don't assume because the units performed well individually that they will perform well when joined together.

If a problem is encountered after the software has been already successfully tested, once the problem has been corrected be sure to run a regression test to make sure the software continues to function as it did before the correction. Often, this is when you will find a malfunction. Performance testing is done to ensure your software performs in the manner in which it was designed to perform. Functional testing is done to ensure that each separate function of the software works independently as well as a group. More information on the role of functional testing is available at http://www.softwaretestworld.com.

Compatibility and usability should also be tested before release of the software. It is important that the software be tested fully for loadability and traffic flow. Nothing will give you a unhappy customer quicker than a piece of software that moves too slowly to function correctly.

When the software has been successfully tested with all the important tests, put it in the beta state where other customers can try the software out to make sure it has no issues or bugs. If it does, this is your opportunity to fix the software so it is satisfactory before final release.

As you can see, the software testing process is a complex and time-consuming affair. However it is essential to ensure that any software you release does the job that the customer expects it to do. By bearing in mind the points mentioned above you stand a much better chance of releasing a software package which functions properly and provides you with a satisfied customer.

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