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Exhaustive Testing


"Exhaustive testing is a test approach in which all possible data combinations are used testing. Exploratory testing includes implicit data combinations present in the state of the software/ data at the start of testing."

It is a very long and tedious method of testing. In this method all the types of inputs are given to the software to check the outputs. Through this method of testing every code is verified. The test may be exhausting but it is the most practical and reliable method. This way software's endurance is verified as well as the ability of the software to work in extreme conditions.

Exhaustive testing is only implacable for small projects. In the complex projects this method would be a disaster as it requires a lot of time and cost. Hence, this method is not reliable for large projects. Exhaustive testing is the process of testing for absolutely everything just to make sure that the product can't be destroyed or crashed by some random happenings. Once, software passes the test it is the most perfect and robust for its application.

It exposes the bugs so that it can be fixed later. The testers apply every permutations and combinations to determine the defects or bugs in a software application. It is said that exhaustive testing is impossible due to its heavy investment in time and money. Other testing is practically easy and possible and it can be applied in all types of project. The sooner the work gets completed, highly productive is the software considered. One can't predict that particular software will run the way it is expected on every situation. It is close to impossible to jot down every aspect that software can go through in the future. The advancement in the technology has made it more difficult.

However, it is difficult to evaluate-

  • All possible inputs
  • The logic paths within the application
  • Sequence of workplace
  • Speeds of execution
  • Prediction of all possible users
  • Prediction of all type of bugs that may occur in the future.

Though, exhaustive testing is impossible, there are few things that can be taken care of while evaluation.

  • Sometimes, software can't be evaluated on every platform. This option reduces the number of potential for the product, but it makes developing and testing easier.
  • It is true that you can't test everything but with exhaustive testing you can test the software more than any other testing methods. The pros and cons of the defects and bugs are evaluated and test cases are built accordingly.
  • Exhaustive testing simplifies the design. It leaves out the complicate features. The customers may be unsatisfied, but the product is efficient and effective. These days, everything is turned out to be customer oriented. Customer satisfaction is must; people may leave behind the quality of the product.
  • You can detect the bugs and may leave the bugs that really don't matter. May be the customers don’t even mind those bugs in the software. Risk analysis should be done in order to identify the kind of risk a defect may carry.

Tips that may be useful while exhaustive testing-

  • You should have a documented requirement so that you can base your test cases. Your efficient test cases will lead you to an efficient build product.
  • One should write their test cases in a concrete language. Unclear steps may cause confusion while testing the software. It is easier to test the software when you have a guideline set in your hand.
  • Your test results should be clearly written so that you can read the output and input results for further use. It may be used in other testing methods or defect tracking methods.
  • Review of each test case should be done by the tester. It should not be assumed that the software is perfectly correct and complete in all respect. A review should be properly after the test to be assured in all respect.

This is all about exhaustive testing which is regarded as pointless and impossible. There are disadvantages and advantages of every single thing that exists. Exhaustive testing has fewer but essential perks that can be applied on small projects to yield better software.