Breadth Testing

Over the past few decades the advancement in computer and software technologies have touched the skies. The improvement in the quality and effectiveness of technologies is not only limited to our daily lives, but has also spread to various fields like education, health, agriculture, production industries and more. With this popularity and requirement of technology and its products in different industries, there has emerged a greater need of software that are exponentially advanced, have new and non-comparable features, extraordinary quality and accurate effectiveness as well as performance. These requirements are responsible for the popularity of the product in the software industry as well as help organisations reach great heights of success. Therefore, it becomes extremely necessary for software engineers to develop a product that is thoroughly tested and provides numerous advantages to their users. Testing, hence, becomes an integral part of software development process as it validates and guarantees the quality and other crucial features of the software. Breadth testing is one of the branches of testing, which is implemented in various software testing techniques to ensure that the product is developed as per the demand of the client and has perfect performance, scalability, and more.

Introduction to Breadth Testing:

During the process of software development it is essential to test the functionality of the product, so that the developers can ensure that the product is being developed as per the requirements and demands of the client as well as to validate its compatibility, scalability, reliability, security and more. Likewise, Breadth testing is a test suit that validates the full functionality of a product, however it does not test the product features in detail. It is one such software testing technique, which can be utilized by the team of knowledgeable and proficient testers to test the basic features of the software, while properly checking and verifying the functionality of the same. Moreover, breadth testing is performed simultaneously with depth testing to test the software product completely.

Breadth Testing VS Depth Testing:

Before we move on to the various testing techniques where Breadth testing is implemented, it is vital to compare it with its counterpart or companion, Depth testing. As aforementioned, a test suit that exercises the full functionality of a product, but does not test its features in detail is known as Breadth testing. Likewise, Depth testing is a software testing technique, which as the name suggests, concentrates on performing in-depth as well as detailed testing on a software product. Depth testing test the features of a product in full detail. Additionally, during the integration phase each of the feature of the software is tested exhaustively and all the defects are logged as well as captured by the team of talented testers across all parameter, whether they are functional or non-functional.

Moreover, there are several scenarios during the process of software testing, where Breadth testing takes precedence and other where Depth testing is considered more significant. However, in practice a combination of both– breadth testing and depth testing –is used. These testing techniques assist the testers in prioritizing test and in times of schedule crushes, decide on the optional use of time to pick the best areas to concentrate on. The other uses of both of these testing techniques are used

Breadth and Depth Testing in Integration Testing:

Integration testing can be done in many ways. But the two most popular ways to implement it on a software product is by Top-Down approach and Bottom-up approach. Breadth-first testing or Depth-testing can be used by the Top-Down approach. Top-Down is an incremental approach to construct program structure. Modules are integrated by moving downwards through the control hierarchy, beginning with the main control module. These modules subordinate to the main control module, which are incorporated into the structure in either a breadth first or depth first manner. In this, Depth First Integration integrates all the components on a major control path of the structure. Whereas, Breadth First Integration incorporates all components directly to subordinate at each level, while moving across the structure horizontally.

Uses of Breadth and Depth Testing:

During the software development and testing process, breadth testing and depth testing are used simultaneously to test and validate the full functionality of the software as well as to ensure that detailed testing is performed on the software. Additionally, there are several testing techniques in which both of these test suits are used for various reasons. Though, both breadth testing and depth testing are equally significant and vital in testing the quality of the software, in some situations either breadth testing or depth testing is given more importance. Therefore, following are some of the testing techniques, which use both of these test suits in various context:

  • Sanity testing: A subset of regression testing, which is performed when there is not enough time to execute testing. It is a surface level testing, where quality assurance (QA) engineer verifies that the product is working properly. In this, breadth first is usually used to test and validate the functionality of the product.
  • Functional Testing: This is a quality assurance (QA) process and a type of black box testing that bases its test cases on the specifications of the software component under test. Functional testing uses a combination of both the testing –breadth testing and depth testing – to check software’s full functionality. The main purpose of breadth testing here is to test all the features, which are then tested in detail through depth testing.
  • Automation: Test automation is the use of special software to control the execution of test and the comparison of actual with predicted outcomes. Therefore, it uses breadth and depth testing to decide whether to automate end to end testing or to test a particular feature in depth or detail.


From integration testing and functional testing to sanity testing and more, Breadth testing is used to test functionality of a software in various software testing phases. It is a testing technique that helps team of software testers in verifying the functionality of their developed product, without performing detailed testing on its features. Moreover, with the increasing demand of new and advanced software and application, the requirement of breadth as well as depth testing is increasing more and more, as proper functionality, quality, performance, effectiveness and more, are considered vital elements of a properly developed software. Hence, the importance of these two testing techniques is immense during the process of software testing and therefore they are used to rigorously to get expected results and outcomes.