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Test Case Specification


After successfully achieving software testing objectives, the team starts preparing several reports and documents that are delivered to the client after the culmination of the testing process. During this stage these documents and reports are created by the team, which include details about the testing process, its techniques, methods, test data, test environment, test suite, etc. Test Case Specification document, which is the last document published by the testing team is a vital part of these deliverables and is mainly developed by the organization responsible for formally testing the software product or application. Therefore, to help you understand the importance, format and specification of this document, we have curated this article on Test Case Specification.

What are Test Case Specifications?

One of the deliverables offered to the client, test case specification is a document that delivers a detailed summary of what scenarios will be tested in a software during the software testing life cycle (STLC). This document specifies the main objective of a specific test and identifies the required inputs as well as expected results/outputs. Moreover, it acts as a guide for executing the procedure of testing and outline the pass & fail criteria for determining acceptance. Test case specification is among those documents, whose format is set by IEEE Standard for Software & System Test Document (829-1998). With the assistance of test case specification document one can verify the quality of the numerous test cases created during the software testing phase.

Format for Test Case Specifications:

Developed by the organization that is responsible for formal testing of the software, the test case specification document needs to be prepared separately for each unit to ensure its effectivity and to help build a proper and efficient test plan. Therefore, the format that is used for creating this document is:

  • Objectives: The purpose of testing the software is defined here in detail. Relevant and crucial information, which can make the process understandable for the reader is mainly included in this section of the format.
  • Preconditions: The items and documents that were required before executing a particular test case is mentioned with proper evidence and records. Moreover, it describes the features and conditions required for testing. Other important details included here are:
    • Requirement Specification.
    • Detail Design Specification.
    • User Guides.
    • Operations Manual.
    • System Design Specifications.
  • Input Specifications: Once the preconditions are defined, the team works together to identify all the inputs that are required for executing the test cases. These can vary on the basis of the level the test case is written for.
  • Output Specification: These include all outputs that are required to verify the test case such as data, tables, human actions, conditions, files, timings, etc.
  • Post Conditions: Here, the team defines the the various environment requirements stated by the team after the process of testing. Moreover, the team identifies the any special requirements and constraints on the test cases. It consists of details like:
    • Hardware: configuration and limitations.
    • Software: System, operating system, tools, etc.
    • Procedural Requirements: Special setup, output location & identification, operations interventions, etc.
    • Others: Mix of applications, facilities, trainings, among other things.
  • Intercase Dependencies: Finally the team identifies any requirements or prerequisites test cases. Here, the test cases are documented with references other requirements and specifications. To ensure the quality of these test cases the team identifies follow on test cases.

Conclusion:

Being one of the deliverables offered to the client after the development of the software, it is vital for test case specification document to be prepared properly with accurate and complete information about the various executed test cases and scenarios. Moreover, to validate the quality of the whole process, the team provides authorized and approved documents, which further help them improve the effectiveness of the whole report. Hence, with the assistance of this report, software testers can easily define the specifications of testing as well as the process of testing to the client.