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Test Log


Test artifacts and deliverables are an integral part of software testing life cycle. From enabling knowledge transfer and sharing experiences with various team members, management, and clients for improvement, to reducing ambiguity and distractions, test artifacts offer various benefits to the testing team. Test log, a type of test artifact, is created during test execution and provides detailed information regarding the success of each test performed to validate the quality, performance, & functionality of the software. Therefore, let’s understand the significance of this test artifact- test log -with the assistance of the following discussion.

What is Test Log?

Test log is one of the crucial test artifact prepared during the process of testing. It provides a detailed summary of the overall test run and indicates the passed and failed tests. Additionally, test log also contains details and information about various test operations, including the source of issues and the reasons for failed operations. The focus of this report/document is to enable post execution diagnosis of failures and defects in the software.

Testers play an extremely vital role in creating test logs, which should be created whenever test are executed or possibly when test scripts are implemented by the team. Moreover, apart from offering information about various tests, test log also includes images of the test application, links to files, and other various entries.

Components of a Test Log:

The numerous test logs created after every test execution should have a series of entries that accurately present the trail for various aspects related to the executed test and offer comprehensive and relevant information regarding it. Other components included in a test log are:

  • It should include the date and time of when the event, failure, or any other important issue occurred.
  • Offer a brief description of the event logged.
  • There should be some indication of the status of various events observed by the team.
  • Also, additional contextual details and information should be provided, wherever required and relevant.
  • Provide details related to any anomalies and errors detected.

Test Log Template:

To ensure that accurate information and relevant details, related to test execution, is inculcated in the test log, the team of testers follows a standardized template that allows them to properly record an event and manage details. This template is standardized by IEEE Standard 829-1998 and is used universally. The template followed for test log report is stated below:

  • Test Log Identifier: This is a distinctive company allocated number, that offers assistance in identifying the test log, its level, and the level of the software it is related to. This number usually acts as a short name of the test log. Apart from the number, it also includes the version date and version number of the log.
  • Description: Once a unique identifier is allocated to the software, the team offers a detailed description of the various items being testing and any supporting reference material. Other details included here are:
    • Date and time.
    • Executed by.
    • Environment.
    • Case specifications.
    • Procedural specifications.
  • Activity & Event Entries: In this section of the report, the team defines the various activities performed by them as well as the multifarious event entries, which are used for test execution. This portion is further divided into five parts, which are:
    • Execution Description: Offers information about the procedure executed, the individuals present during the testing activities, and the reasons for their presence during the process of testing.
    • Procedure Results: Here, all the relevant information is logged for each execution along with results status.
    • Environmental Information: In this section, any changes or substitutions from the requested environment is provided by the team.
    • Anomalous Events: The events are recorded before and after the occurrence of anomalies and errors.
    • Incident Report: At the end of the test log, any variances and difference in the output are reported.

Roles of Software Testers:

As stated earlier, software testers have an extremely important role in creating an effective and detailed test log report. Therefore, mentioned below are the various activities performed by the testers:

  • Ensure accurate recording of the observed outcome of each test executed in the test cycle.
  • Validate that the test logs are uniquely and accurately identified and stored against the correct test cycle or test run.
  • They constantly monitor the occurrence of various anomalies and errors in the test log as well as the software that should be included in the test log.
  • Finally, the testing team takes appropriate recovery and reporting actions, wherever required.

Advantages of Test Log:

Though, creating test log is usually considered to be a time consuming activity, yet it is one of the most important and beneficial activity. It allows the team to track various testing activities and enables them to rectify various issues in the software. Few of the other benefits of test log are:

  • Enables the team to monitor test execution activities.
  • Helps get necessary information regarding the failed operations.
  • Provides overall test run summary.
  • Indicates passed and failed tests.
  • Allows team to take appropriate recovery and reporting actions.

From the above discussion, we can conclude that test log report is crucial for validating the quality and effectiveness of testing. It provides relevant and accurate data that helps the team test various components of the software and debug their software application thoroughly. Hence, by creating test logs whenever test are executed or test scripts are implemented, the team can improve the effectiveness of the software.