Adhoc Testing vs Exploratory Testing

Exploratory and adhoc testing. The terms may seem synonymous when seen from the point of view of the functions they perform. Our aim through this article is to elucidate the differences between these two forms of software testing. But before that, let's have a brief introduction of the two.

Adhoc Testing

As the name suggests adhoc testing is a form of impromptu testing done without any form of pre meditated planning to quickly assess the viability of a software product without the use and need of any documentation. Quite informal in nature, adhoc testing is performed by testers well versed with the working of the application, without the need to employ any subtle techniques in design to come up with test cases.

Exploratory Testing

Is a form of software testing approach which asks questions of a software pertaining to what it can and can't do. The approach is focused on minimum of planning and maximum of test case execution. With this form of testing the tester learns never seen before aspects of the software and enhances his own creativity generating new designs and test cases.

Let's have a look at some of the chief differences between the two.

Sl.No. Adhoc Testing Exploratory Testing
1. The testers employed for adhoc testing are well versed with the working of the application. The testers get to know of the functionalities of the software gradually.
2. It's an informal method of testing a software product. Exploratory form of testing is quite formal in nature.
3. Testing under ad hoc approach proceeds without any basic need for any specified documentation. As opposed to adhoc testing, documentation of test cases is mandatory in exploratory testing.
4. The aim under the adhoc approach in testing is focused on enhancing the quality of the software product. Exploratory testing objectives revolves around knowing, exploring and learning about the functionalities of an application.
5. It is a form of negative testing. It is a form of positive testing.
6. Being informal in nature, adhoc testing enables the freedom of not requiring to obey a particular pattern in workflow. Exploratory testing starts from chief objectives and involves strictly sticking to a particular sequence of working from the beginning to the end.
7. Adhoc testing doesn't bother itself much with the difficulties encountered in the test cases. It'd rather focuses on the routine execution of these test cases. Professionals in Exploratory testing relishes savour the challenge of finding out new difficulties in test cases and concern themselves with the task of sorting them out.
8. This approach is more in line with improving the product quality. Indirectly exploratory testing helps in overall development of the IT product.