Real Time Testing

What is meant by the term "Real Time Testing"?

In the field of software testing, real time testing refers to the process of testing the real time software product or system i.e. the system is constrained by some specific time limits to perform and complete the job. Air Traffic Control and space navigation system, may be seen as the examples of real time system, i.e. they responses in real time.

Generally, it involves, testing of the software product in its running/operational mode to evaluate its capability, to execute and finish a particular in a given stipulated time. The chief purpose behind the real time testing is to drastically minimize the probability of software’s failure in real time environment at the user site. It is done to ensure that all the bugs and defects have been removed or fixed before its delivery to the client or user.

Difficulties in Real time testing

First of all, real time systems are associated with the time-constraints as such testing the system endorsed with the deadlines and real-time responses may seems to be a tedious & complex job. Moreover, the results being generated by the real time systems are non –predictable and have non-deterministic outcomes as such conventional methods may not prove to be effective to test the real time systems. Further, analyzing and testing the real time systems may be carried out in various ways as such it would not recommendable to rely on one strategy or approach, i.e. it would need exhaustive type of testing to evaluate the real time system and thereby, may prove to be a time-consuming and expensive process.

How to do it?

Real time testing technique follow a simple and basic strategy to execute the testing task, as described below:

  • Task Testing
  • Involves the implementation and usage of conventional static techniques to discover errors and flaws in the programming code such as syntax error. It, usually, overlooks the behavorial aspect of the software product along with the sequence of the action as it does not faces the time constraint.

  • Behavioral Testing
  • The simulated real environment is being created based on the design model with the help of automated tools to study the behaviour of the system under the impact of external forces.

  • Intertask Testing
  • After getting through the task of revealing errors in code and behavorial aspect of the system, time-constraints are being introduced through intertask testing.

  • System Testing
  • Testing the completely integrated system as a single whole system to explore the defects & issues occurred during the integration process and in the interfaces of the integrated software and hardware.


    Below mentioned are some of the testing tools to perform testing on real time systems.

    • Messange Sequence Chart (MSC)
    • Specification and Description Language (SDL)
    • Testing and Test Control Notation (TTCN)
    • TTCN-3