Software Testing Types

Written by on November 1, 2019 in Sci-Tech, Technology with 0 Comments

By Karen Anthony

Software testing is an important part of the software development process. When the software is developed, you cannot say it’s complete. You also need to test it in order to ensure that it works properly. You need to perform software tests during the development process and after the software is developed to ensure that it is both functional and is free of security vulnerabilities. The security part of the testing is so important that some companies, for example, take a step further and hires a penetration testing consultant from companies such as Bishop Fox to help identify security vulnerabilities that may exist within their web application. The method that is commonly used to test and identify the security vulnerabilities of a web application is called web application penetration testing.

When you test software thoroughly, you can be sure that it will work properly for your client and will solve the problems of your customers, meaning you will be free from worries.

On the other hand, if you deliver a software project to your client or if you launch your software application without testing, it may not work as per the expectations of your customer. It may fail and may cause serious problems.

There are different kinds of software testing. Performing just one type of software testing is not sufficient. You need to perform various kinds of software tests.

For this post, we’ll take a look at different types of software testing.

Very broadly speaking, there are two types of software testing — functional testing and non-functional testing. There are also other types of software testing known as maintenance testing and automation testing.

Functional testing

Functional testing is a well-known kind of testing in which you test whether the software or a part of some code in the software gives correct results or not. It tests the functional aspects of a system. So, when you’re performing a functional test, you’re actually testing the functionality of the software.

Performing functional testing manually is easy while it’s difficult to run functional tests using tools but you have to use tools when necessary. Software tools for executing functional tests will make your testing work a lot easier.

Some popular functional testing tools are JUnit, Watir, SoapUI, Selenium, etc.

There are different types of functional testing, such as black-box testing, white box testing, unit testing, end-to-end testing, integration testing, sanity testing, smoke testing, regression testing, interface testing, acceptance testing, and so on.

Non-functional testing

Non-functional testing involves the testing of the non-functional aspects of a software application. Using non-functional tests, you can test the performance, security, usability, and so on.

It’s easy to perform non-functional tests using tools. But if you attempt to perform such tests manually, it will be a difficult task for you. So it’s always recommended to do non-functional tests using software tools.

In non-functional testing, whether the software is working or not is not tested. Rather, how well the software is working is tested, and many other aspects of the software are tested.

There are many types of non-functional testing, such as security testing, usability testing, performance testing, volume testing, reliability testing, failover testing, load testing, disaster recovery testing, compatibility testing, scalability testing, stress testing, reliability testing, internationalization testing, localization testing, efficiency testing, endurance testing, maintainability testing, compliance testing, and so on.

So, generally, you have to perform functional testing during the development and after the development of the software. And you have to perform non-functional testing after the development process is complete, although there are exceptions to this rule.

Unit testing

When you test each unit of the source code of your software project, this kind of testing is known as unit testing. Each unit of code should be tested separately to check if they work properly. Each unit of code can be just a few lines of code, a function, a procedure, or a module.

Unit testing is a kind of functional testing.

Once you’re sure that each unit of your software project is working fine, you have to perform integration testing on your software.

In this type of testing, as source code is tested, only coders can run this type of test, meaning testers with no programming knowledge will not be able to run this kind of test.

You have to spend a huge amount of time in performing unit tests as you need to test each and every unit of your code. Unit Testing plays an important role in software development.

Integration testing

When the units of code are integrated, you need to check whether the code works properly after the integration. This kind of testing is known as integration testing. This type of testing is important because it’s not sufficient that the units of code work separately, you also have to make sure that the integrated portions of the code work without any issues.

Like unit testing, integration testing is also a kind of functional testing.

When compared to unit testing, you have to spend less time performing integration testing.

End-to-end testing

In end-to-end testing, it is checked whether the whole software works or not. You need to see whether the entire software with all its modules and functions work together or not.

When compared to the unit and integration testing, you have to spend even less time doing this kind of testing. So you have to perform fewer end-to-end tests.

Just like the unit and integration testing, end-end testing is also a kind of functional testing.

Ad hoc testing

When you test your software in an ad hoc manner, this kind of testing is known as ad hoc testing. Ad hoc testing is performed without using any test cases, plans, and documentation.

You may think this kind of testing cannot fix the issues in your software. But there are cases when systematic testing may fail but ad hoc testing will successfully be able to find and fix errors.

Anyone who is working on the project can perform this kind of testing as technical or coding knowledge is not required for running an ad hoc test.

User Interface testing

Using user interface testing, you can test whether the user interface of the software has been designed in accordance with the clients’ requirements and whether the UIs look good or not.

Through UI tests, you can detect issues in your software’s UI and fix them. Thus, you can enhance the UIs of your software application.

Performance testing

Performance testing is carried out to check whether the performance of the developed software is good enough or not. By executing performance tests, you can improve the performance of the software.

It’s hard to do performance testing manually. So you have to use tools to check whether the software works properly or not. There are many useful software performance testing tools, using which you cannot just find performance issues, but also significantly increase the performance of your app by fixing those issues.

Compatibility testing

Compatibility testing involves the testing of the software's compatibility with the environment on which the software runs. For example, you can consider checking if your software works on a certain operating system. For instance, if you have built a desktop application, you can check if it’s working fine on Windows 7. If you have built a web application, you can check if your app works well on all modern web browsers. This kind of testing is known as compatibility testing.

By running compatibility testing, you can ensure that all of your target customers can use your software on their operating systems or browsers without any problem.

Backward compatibility testing

Backward compatibility testing is a kind of testing in which you test the backward compatibility of software. For example, if you have built a Windows software especially for Windows 10, you can check if it works well on older versions of Windows such as Windows XP and Windows 7. By performing this test, you can ensure that people who are using older versions of a certain environment can use your software without any issues.

Browser compatibility testing

If you want to know whether your website or web app will work smoothly on any web browser, you have to perform browser compatibility testing. Your website or web app should work on all major web browsers so that everyone can access your site. So if you do not perform this test, you may lose visitors because a large number of people may not be able to access your site if it’s not compatible with the web browser they’re using.

Some famous browser compatibility testing tools are Turbo Browser Sandbox, Browsera, Browsershots,, and so on.

Acceptance testing

Acceptance testing, also known as user acceptance testing, is a kind of software testing that is not performed by the software developers or testers. Rather, it is done by the client. After the software is entirely complete, your client will check if it can be accepted or not. He/she will check if the software has been developed according to his/her requirements or not. During the acceptance testing, your client will tell you what changes you have to make if the software doesn’t meet your client’s expectations.

Alpha testing

Alpha and beta testing are among the most important types of software testing. Alpha testing is nothing but a simple testing type that involves the checking of all errors after the software is complete. This kind of testing can be performed by the developers or testers at the place where the development is being carried out. It is done in a virtual environment that is similar to the real environment. You have to perform alpha testing on your software to ensure that your software is completely error-free. So before you hand it to your client or before launching it, you need to carry out alpha testing.

Beta testing

Beta testing is done right after alpha testing. This kind of testing is executed by real customers or users in the real environment before the software is launched to ensure that there are no errors in the software. So before the product launch, you have to release your software to a limited number of people if you want to perform beta testing. After receiving feedback from your users, you have to make changes in the software so that the software becomes error-free. After this testing is done, the software is made public.

Load testing

Load testing involves the testing of how much load a system can take. This is one type of performance testing. Load testing lets you know the capacity of a software application. There are many great load testing tools that you can use for this kind of performance testing. Some of them are WebLoad, JMeter, and LoadRunner.

White-box testing

White box testing is a kind of functional testing performed by developers. This kind of testing is carried out by those who have great knowledge of programming. So anyone who will perform this kind of testing must know how the software works and the internal structure of the software. This kind of testing is used to check the functionality of a software application.

Black box testing

Black box testing is also a kind of functional testing just like white box testing. But it’s performed by the QA team. It’s done by those who have no knowledge of programming. So the QA team will perform black-box testing by just using the developed software for a while, without taking a look at the source code or the database. Like white box testing, this kind of testing is also used to check the functionality of the software.

Recovery testing

Recovery testing involves the checking of whether the developed software can quickly recover from crashes. Your software can crash anytime regardless of how well you develop it. You don’t know when it will happen. And when it will happen, if the software cannot quickly come back to the normal flow of execution, your users will get disappointed with your software. So you need to perform recovering testing to ensure that your software will recover from crashes very quickly.

API testing

API testing is a code-level software testing performed by the QA team. The fact that makes API testing different from unit testing is that API testing is done by the QA team while programmers perform unit testing. There are various online tutorials where you can learn API testing.

Final thoughts

There are many other types of software testing such as sanity testing, regression testing, reliability testing, security testing, scalability testing, usability testing, agile testing, and so on. In many cases, you can get an idea about a testing type by just seeing the name of it. For instance, anyone can guess that security testing is used to check the security of software. Similarly, reliability testing is performed to check the reliability of the software.

Author Bio: Karen Anthony is a Business Tech Analyst. She is very responsible for her job. She loves to share her knowledge and experience with her friends and colleagues.

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