'Volume Testing' refers to the testing of program applications, wherein the software is subjected to high volumes of data. The term first found its elucidation in 'Glenford Meyers’ The Arts of Software Testing, 1979, who defines Volume Testing as “Subjecting the program to profound quantity of data. The purpose of volume testing is to illustrate that the program cannot handle the volume of data precise in its objectives”.
Also known as Flood Testing, Volume Testing belongs to a group of non-functional tests (volume, load and stress) that are performed to analyse the system performance by increasing the volume of data. This volume can be in general terms, the size of the database or it could be the size of a file interface that is being tested in volume. For example, if you want to test an application with a specific size of database, you need to expand the database to that size and then test the application’s performance on it. Furthermore, volume testing can also be used to test the site behaviour when there are more than 10,000 laptops available under the 'laptops' category.
Why to conduct Volume Testing?
Flood/ Volume testing aims to check and validate a few parameters as well as provides several benefits. Following are some of the reasons and advantages of opting for Volume testing.
- Identify the Volume of Software: As suggested by its name, Volume testing helps in identifying the capacity of the system or application. It provides us information on whether the software or the program is normal or of heavy volume.
- Test and Analyse High Volumes of Data: Volume Testing is conducted when the storage requirements and capabilities of the system or a program are needed to be tested. It assists in identifying and the tuning issues preventing a system from reaching required service level agreements (SLA) or volumetric targets. Therefore, Volume testing provides in-depth performance services and tuning services.
- Detect and Minimize Errors: Volume testing minimizes the risks associated with performance degradation, possible breakdowns or failures under loads that are caused by the increase of data in the database. It promptly discovers performance problems in the system’s operability, localizes the “bottlenecks” and provides recommendation to resolve all errors.
- Get Reliable Information and Deliverables: From information about changes in the system performance with increased data volumes within the parameters of the IT system response speed, to analysis of the “bottlenecks” in the system operation and recommendation for improvements in the architecture and infrastructure of the system, the Volume testing report provides a detailed information after the testing to help you get the best results.
- System Response Time is Verified:
The time lag between the system receiving the data and the time taken to display the results is known as the system response time. Nowadays, when time is of utmost importance it is essential to keep the time lag at its least. Volume Testing provides makes sure of this and provides quick service. It measures the response time of the system when the data input is very large.
- Check for Data Loss: Another major purpose of Volume Testing is to ensure that all the data entered for the purpose of the test is considered and not lost. This allows correct judgment of system performance without causing any harm to the data.
- Check If the Data is Stored Properly: Volume Testing makes sure that the data is stored appropriately and is in the correct location, as only when the data is stored correctly can the display results be reliable and accurate.
Procedures for Volume Testing:
- Test Management Document Creation.
- Perform a Volume Analysis.
- Create a testing plan.
- Comparison of different performance testing tools.
- Finalized performance testing tool procurement should be done.
- Implementation of performance tool in the organization.
- Building test labs.
- Development of framework.
- Test scenarios are defined .
- Develop test scripts based on scenarios .
- Execute test scripts.
- Test report is created.
Key Features of Volume Testing:
The key features or the characteristics of Volume Testing are as follows::
- Data is Used in Increments As Development Proceeds:During the inception of the software development the data is compact and small in size as compared to in successive stage of software development. As the complete software or program starts getting build, the volume of the data also increases. This is done to make sure that the most mature application or software will be able to handle a greater influx in volume.
- Data is Auto Generated:As the requirement of the data is in excessive volumes, it is more or less generated automatically. This auto generation of high amount of data assists in preventing surfeit expenditure and makes the testing cost effective.
- Data Does Not Need Be Logical: Since the aim of the testing is to ensure and check the performance of the software or the application, irregularities and even illogical data inputs do not interfere with the testing and can be used to increase its volume.
- Software Performance Deteriorates As Data Increases: As the data influx increases over a period of time it has been noticed that the performance of the software or the application can declines or deteriorates.
Hence, it is extremely critical to ensure the performance of the system. It needs to be efficient and effective without compromising the quality of the output. By using Volume Testing one can put the system under the stress by increasing the data load drastically and can easily as well as efficiently pinpoint the areas that require utmost attention. Volume Testing makes for a more reliable, cost effective and efficient software. Therefore, Volume or Flood testing is immensely important.