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Software Testing Standards


'Standards' define a set of protocols/rules/procedures based upon which an organisation carries out their defined goals. Software testing has got its own set of standards, layed down by ISO(International Standards Organisation) and IEEE, adherence to which is important in realisation of pre-defined objectives.

There is a new software testing standard that has emerged, which is the joint effort of members of over twenty countries and the inputs by the members of IEEE. That standard is - ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119.

ISO 29119 states "The purpose of the ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119 series of software testing standards is to define an internationally-agreed to set of standards for software testing that can be used by any organization when performing any form of software testing ".

The standard recognizes the dynamic nature of software development, with many organisations indulged in agile methodologies, development of personal computers and embedded systems, mobile applications etc. The advent of such things act as an influential factor for increasing demand for software testing.

ISO 29119 has a series of standards. Now let's look at the various software testing standards. Following is a list of some of the new set of standards.

  • ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119-1 -This forms the core of the ISO-29119 set of standards as it tells us about the concepts and definition necessary to understand and adopt other standards that comes under ISO29119 series. This standard gives us information about the definitions and descriptions of software testing concepts, also ways to apply processes, documents and technique.
  • ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119-2 - This standard follows a risk management approach. It basically defines a general process model for software testing, that can be used in any Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).
  • ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119-3 - It stresses on documentation. It provides a set of templates which are quite standardised and stable in nature to cover the entire software testing life cycle. The templates can be customized depending on an organisation's requirements. The basic test documentations could be
    • Organisational Test Documentation - Test policy, test strategy
    • Project Test Documentation - Project test plan, test project completion report
    • Test Level Documentation - Test plan, test specification, test results, anomaly reports, level test status report, test level completion report.
  • ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119-4 - This standard defines design strategies/techniques that can be applied in organisations and SDLC models. It will define names for test techniques to be used in functional and structural testing. Each technique intends to define details such as – test conditions, test coverage, test cases(inputs, environment and output).
  • ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119-5 - This standard supports keyword driven testing. It is an international standard and is yet to be published.

Conclusion :

ISO/IEEE/IEC29119 standard for software testing is a widely accepted standard. It acts as a blueprint for carrying out software testing activities. These software testing standards do set a benchmark, and if accepted by organisations, they shall prove to be a turning point in the way organisation's work at present. It is revolutionary that these standards are a refinement of traditional approaches and shall help a great deal in building a completely new era of software testing.