5 Essentials Things of Testing

A software product is tested, immediately after its development, so as to ensure its quality before the market release. Testing phase acts as a gateway for the software product, where it is scanned, filtered and enhanced to achieve the desired level of quality, before its delivery or release.

However, a software testing phase, itself consists of multiple stages and involves lots of efforts, dedication and time to sincerely test a product. But, did you know that a complete testing process lies on five pillars or may be called five essentials. These 5 essentials together are accountable for the whole testing process. It is almost non-feasible to carry out the effective and fruitful testing of a product, in the absence of any of these 5 essentials.

The five essentials of testing are:

  • Test Strategy.
  • Test Plan.
  • Test Cases.
  • Test Data.
  • Test Environment.

So, let's go through each of these and understand the reasons for calling them the essentials of testing.

Test Strategy

It is essential to plan out some sort of strategy to carry out a particular task or process, in a planned and defined manner. Similarly, a testing process needs a robust test strategy, to define and create approaches to carry out the testing process, in a systematic manner.

A test strategy defines a testing phase in the software development life cycle(SDLC). Basically, it is used to define the overall structure of a testing process, and generally includes scope and objective, risk analysis and mitigation plan, Roles and responsibilities to be allocated, project cost and deadlines. A test strategy is based on the business requirements

Test Plan

Test plan deals and focuses on the actual testing activities, to be executed. It is used to describe the design of a testing phase, and accordingly, and simultaneously planning the resources and efforts, to be required, in order to carry out testing.

It, usually, comprises of test data items, functionalities and features to be tested, test environment, testing techniques, "entry, exit and acceptance criteria", test schedules, etc.

A test plan is based on the software requirement specification(SRS).

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Test Cases

A test case is a documented artifact, which involves certain actions or sequence of events, to test a particular functionality or feature of a software product against the specified requirement and specification. It mainly contains following items:

  • Test Case ID
  • Functionality or feature, to be tested
  • Test Scenario
  • Test Data
  • Test Environment details
  • Steps for the execution
  • Expected Outcome
  • Actual Result
  • Pass/Fail
  • Comments or attachments(if any)

Test Data

It is a specific type of data, being used in the execution of the tests. These are specially identified for their usage in testing the functionality of a software application. It is mainly used to verify the outcomes of the result, produced from the test execution. These data may be imported from the development team or may be generated with the help of the automation tools.

Test Environment

A test environment gives the platform to the testers, to carry out the execution of the tests over a software product. It is specifically build to simulate the real world condition and environment, to evaluate the functionality, behaviour and response of the system from the users perspective. It is created by integrating the hardware and software, with the necessary network configuration and settings.

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The above stated 5 essentials almost constitute the whole testing process. It is preferred that the fresher or the novice, who are new to the testing field, may go through these 5 essentials of the testing, in detail, to make a strong grip in the testing domain, in the initial stage of their career.

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