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Module Testing


In order to develop a software with impeccable features, quality, and functionality, it is crucial for software engineers to implement rigorous and thorough testing during the early stages of software development. Moreover, testers should concentrate on testing even the smallest components of the software to validate its effectiveness as well as performance. One such testing technique that assists them in verifying the quality of individual features of the software is module testing, which will be discussed in detail below.

Defining Module:

In a software product, a unit is the smallest component that is tested by software testers. These have set of specification, which help build the expected functionality and performance of the software. It is when these units are combined and integrated together that a module is formed, which is a fully formed component of a coherent code that can be tested by executing some functional signatures with numerous stimuli. These modules are a major part of the software and are tested via module testing.

What is Module Testing?

A type of white box testing technique, module testing is a process of testing individual components, classes, subroutines, subprograms, or procedures in a program. This type of software testing is mainly carried out by a group of software testers, who are focused on testing software components in isolation. Also known as component and program testing, module testing increases the probability of detecting and rectifying defects as small portions of the software are tested separately, which allows thorough examination of the program.

The objective of module testing is not to validate the functionality or performance of the software, but to find and rectify defects and errors in the software, which further improves the quality of the whole software.

Reasons for Module Testing:

As modules are an integral part of a software program, testing them becomes extremely important for defining the qualities and effectiveness of the software. Apart from testing modules, module testing is also implemented by the team to test different components of the software separately. Other reasons for module testing are:

  • It is a way of managing combined elements of the software.
  • The aim is not to test the functionality of these modules, but to find defects and bugs in the software.
  • Helps manage the complexity of software testing.
  • As it supports parallel testing, various modules can be tested simultaneously.

Process of Module Testing:

Similar to any software testing process, the procedure of module testing also follows a set path, wherein the team works together to find as many defects as possible. With its goal to identify majority of bugs and errors in the system, module testing is executed by the team of testers with the assistance of the following process.

  • Test Planning: The first stage of the process is the test planning, wherein the objective and strategies of testing are decided along with any other important resources required for test execution. Moreover, the team is assigned their specific roles during this phase.
  • Test Data Development: During this stage of the process, the team works together to prepare various test data, which make the process of test execution possible. Here, the team develops positive and negative test data, test scripts, test cases, and more that are used to get accurate test results.
  • Test Execution & Monitoring: The third and the most important stage of the process, here the test is finally executed with the assistance of stubs and drivers. During this stage, the team test the components separately while constantly monitoring the whole process and identifying any displacement or irregularity in it.
  • Test Evaluation: During this last stage of the process, the team evaluates and compares the actual result with the expected result and report any difference or discrepancy among the two to the concerned individual.

Module Testing Strategies:

During the process of module testing, the team follows a strategy that helps them execute the test effectively and allows them to get accurate and precise results. By following the module testing strategy, the testers can simplify the process testing as well as increase the probability of finding defects. Hence, the module testing strategy is:

  • Design Test Case: While designing test cases for the process, the team should consider two important factors- module specifications and its source code.
  • Analysis: Once the test case are designed, the module logic is analyzed by the team using white box techniques or methods. Moreover, these test cases are then supplemented by black box methods to the module specifications.
  • Integration of Modules for Testing: Finally, the team uses increment and non-incremental methods to test the integrated as well as individual modules.

Challenges in Module Testing:

While implementing module testing, the team of testers can encounter several challenges, which can complicate the process of testing and inhibit them from getting expected results. Here is list of various challenges encountered by the team during module testing.

  • Non-incremental testing requires extra efforts and time.
  • To ensure proper testing and evaluation, the team will have to develop drivers as well as stubs.
  • Adept knowledge of code is required.
  • Miscommunication and misunderstanding among team members doubles the testing efforts.
  • The tests often require debugging, which is again challenging & time consuming.

Things to Consider while Performing Module Testing:

To ensure that the process of module testing is executed without any major issue as well as to avoid various challenges encountered by the team during the process of testing, it is important for module testers to consider the following points, which are:

  • Review the process of testing and the test cases regularly.
  • Avoid confusion discrepancies and their source.
  • To increase the speed of testing, testers can use automated testing tools.
  • The variables that do not require changes should be examined by the team.
  • Reuse test cases to make the process cost effective.
  • Ensure proper communication among team members as well as constant monitoring.

Difference Between Module Testing & Unit Testing:

For new software testers, differentiating module testing from unit testing has always been a huge hassle. Several times testers consider them to be same, which further impacts their testing skills. Therefore, to avoid such a confusion here is a comparison between module and unit testing.

Unit Testing:

Unit testing, in computer programming, is a software testing technique wherein individual units of the source code are tested to validate their accuracy as well as usefulness. Performed by the development team, this type of software testing is extremely important and it offers testers various advantages, some of which are:

  • It helps find problems and defects early during the software development life cycle.
  • Unit testing facilitates changes in the software as well as the code of the software.
  • Helps simplify the process of integration.
  • It isolates a unit and then tests its correctness.
  • This type of software tested can be automated or executed manually.

Module Testing:

As modules are a combination of various units, the focus of modules testing is to test components and units of the software separately as well as simultaneously. Module testing consists of units integrated into a module that perform a specific function. This process of testing likely requires less testing infrastructure and resources, such as test stubs and harnesses. Other qualities that differentiate it from unit testing are mentioned above.

Conclusion

Executed by the team of testers, the process of module testing is extremely important as it allows testers to test individual subprograms and units. During module testing, the components can be tested simultaneously as it supports parallel testing, which further increases the speed of testing and helps the team prevent excessive expenditure of time and efforts. Moreover, with the assistance of module testing, the defects in the software can be tracked and rectified easily and more efficiently as it tests the software in small groups.