Jul 25, 2012
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WHAT DO WE TEST?

First, test what’s important. Focus on the core functionality—the parts that are critical or popular—before looking at the ‘nice to have’ features. Concentrate on the application’s capabilities in common usage situations before going on to unlikely situations. For example, if the application retrieves data and performance is important, test reasonable queries with a normal load on the server before going on to unlikely ones at peak usage times. It’s worth saying again: focus on what’s important. Good business requirements will tell you what’s important.

The value of software testing is that it goes far beyond testing the underlying code. It also examines the functional behavior of the application. Behavior is a function of the code, but it doesn’t always follow that if the behavior is “bad” then the code is bad. It’s entirely possible that the code is solid but the requirements were inaccurately or incompletely collected and c mmunicated. It’s entirely possible that the application can be doing exactly what we’re telling it to do but we’re not telling it to do the right thing. A comprehensive testing regime examines all components associated with the application. Even more, testing provides an opportunity to validate and verify things like the assumptions that went into the requirements, the appropriateness of the systems that the application is to run on, and the manuals and documentation that accompany the application. More likely though, unless your organization does true “software engineering” ,the focus will be on the functionality and reliability of application itself.

Testing can involve some or all of the following factors. The more, the better.
♦ Business requirements
♦ Functional design requirements
♦ Technical design requirements
♦ Regulatory requirements
♦ Programmer code
♦ Systems administration standards and restrictions
♦ Corporate standards
♦ ♦ Hardware configuration
♦ Language differences

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