Test Suite

What is Test Suite?

Also known as “validation suite,” a test suite is a collection of various test cases that are intended to test a software product or its specific functionality/feature, once the software development is accomplished.

Additionally, these can also be termed as a container for test cases, as it incorporates detailed information and goals for every test case, with complete details about the system configuration, which required at the time of testing. The test cases defined by the test suites consists of various stages and offer overview for every test.

Moreover, a test suite also has several stages, which helps define the current status of the testing process, such as active, in-progress, and completed.

Features of Test Suite:

Test suites offers various advantages to the team of testers as well as the organization they are working for. Therefore, to offer you a better insight into its qualities, mentioned below are some of its important features:

  • Test suites are created after test plan.
  • It includes a number of tests and test cases.
  • Describes the goals and objective of test cases.
  • It has test parameters, such as application, environment, version, etc.
  • One can create test suites on the basis of the test cycle as well as the test scope.
  • It consists of various types of tests, such as functional or non-functional.
  • Test suite helps increase the productivity of testing by providing a means to rapidly test and review the software under test (SUT).
  • It can be used for various automated tools like jUnit, Selenium, etc.

A Test-Suite Diagram

Test plan is sub-categorized into test suites and these test suites may further be subdivided into number of test cases. This overall study of test suites and test cases provides a better test plan.

Types of Test Suites

Typically, test suites are divided into two types, with distinct functioning. These also describe the importance as well as the usability of test suite in software testing life cycle. Hence, the type of test suites are:

  1. Abstract Test Suite: The abstract test suite is a part of model-based testing, that can be defined as a collection of abstract test cases, which are taken from a high-level model of the system under test (SUT). These cannot be used directly by the team on the software, as they remain constantly at the high-level and lack concrete details about the software and the environment.
  2. Executable Test Suite: Executable test suite is the second type of test suite, which is derived from abstract test cases. It provides the basic, low-level information that is required to execute a test suite program. This type of test suite works on a sufficiently detailed level and it correctly communicates with the software under test. Moreover, it has a test harness that interfaces the executable test suite with the software under test (SUT).

Test Suite Template:

Since the importance of test suite is immense in Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), it is vital for software testers to follow a standardized template to create test suite and define the various aspects covered by it.

These templates can either be predefined or can be created by the team as per the requirements of their project. Hence, to help you with the process, here is a sample of test suite template.

  • Test Suite Summary: As suggested by the title, this section of the template consists of a detailed summary of the test suite. It might also include categories of test suites, to further improve the comprehensiveness of the test suite.
  • Test Suite Design: Again, this section offers details about the design of the test suite, along with various suggestions to enhance the quality and coverage of the testing.
  • Formal Review: Once the test suite summary and design are defined, the team performs a formal review, which helps organizations in making their business processes conform to standards and regulations of the industry.
  • Pre-condition & Post-condition: These define and check the various requirements that are needed to be fulfilled before and after executing test suite.
  • Expected Results: Here, the team defines the conditions that are required to be fulfilled for a test suite to be considered successful. These expected results are then compared with the actual result to further validate the success of a test suite.
  • Risk Assessment/Analysis: The team finally identifies and analyzes the various risks associated with the test suite, which can impact the process of testing and hinder the team to get expected outcomes.
  • Test Cases: This section of the template consists of test cases and their associated test environment, which are then executed by the team to validate various aspects of the software under test (SUT).
  • Documents & Reports: Includes all the documents and reports that are either associated or attached with test suites, such as screenshots, reports, execution recorde, and other important material.

Example of Test Suite:

To help you better understand the significance of test suite, following is an example that aptly reflects its importance during software testing.

An application has some metrics:

Current version: 2.2

Previous version 2.1 has 500 test cases.

For version 2.2, there are 300 test cases to test the new functionality.

Therefore, the current test case has: 500+ 300 = 800 test cases, including regression testing and new functionality.

Thus, Test suites can generate several test cases for each different requirement.

Differences Between Test Suite, Test Plan, Test Case, & Test Scenario.

Since the importance of test suite is not known by software testers, they usually use it with other testing components like test case, test plan, test scenario, etc. Therefore, to help you understand its relevance, here is a detailed comparison:

Test Case Test Scenarios Test Case Test Scenarios
1. Test plan is a document that defines the scope, objective, and strategy of testing. 1. Prepared after test plan, test suite consists of a collection of test cases. 1. Test case is an important document that consists of various crucial details about testing. 1. Test scenarios or test condition is any functionality of the software that can be tested.
2. It is of three types, level specific, type specific, master test plan. 2. It is of two types, abstract and executable test suites. 2. These are of two types, formal test cases and informal test case. 2. It is performed from the perspective of the end users.
3. It follows a standardized template, which offers details about the testing process. 3. Test suites define the objective and goal of test cases that are intended to test the software product. 3. It defines a set of conditions that help verify the compliance of the software with specified functionality. 3. It defines the various operations that are performed by the team on the software product.
4. It is derived from Product Description, Software Requirement Specifications (SRS), or Use Case Document. 4. Separate test suites offer great advantages to team and it created testing to be hassle free, flexible, agile. 4. These are derived from the test scenarios and are designed on the basis of Software Requirement Specification (SRS). 4. They are derived from the use cases and they ensure complete test coverage.


Though test suites are an integral part of testing life cycle, they are usually overlooked by novice as well as experienced software testers, as they do not understand its importance and therefore, use it interchangeably with test case, test plan, test scenario, etc. However, test suites are vital for testing and without them, it will be impossible for the team to implement thorough software testing.