Software Testing Techniques

GUPTA, Gagan       Posted by GUPTA, Gagan
      Published: June 15, 2021

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Software testing techniques help in designing better solutions. While exhaustive testing is not possible, the testing techniques help in reducing the total number of test cases to be executed by increasing test coverage. They help to identify test conditions that are otherwise difficult to recognize. Though there are several types of testing techniques available, we shall focus on Black box testing and White box testing techniques only.

Black Box Testing Techniques

Black box testing is a type of software testing, which checks for the functionality of a software or an application without knowing the design, internal components, or structure of an application to be tested. The black box testing method is mainly used to find missing functions, performance errors, initialization errors, and errors while accessing the external database.
The testing techniques of black-box testing include:

Equivalence Partitioning

In equivalence partitioning, the input data of an application to be tested into equal partitions also known as groups. Inputs to the application are divided into groups that are expected to exhibit similar behavior. This technique ensures to cover each partition at least once. The key goal is to complete the test coverage and to lessen duplication.

Partition system inputs and outputs into 'equivalence sets' . If input is a 5-digit integer between 10,000 and 99,999, equivalence partitions are < 10,000, 10,000 - 99, 999 and > 10, 000

Boundary Value Analysis

In boundary value analysis is a technique used in which the testing of an application is done using the boundary values. In this technique, the test data chosen lie along the data extremes. Boundary values include maximum, minimum, just inside/outside boundaries, typical values, and error values. The idea is that, if a systems works correctly for these special values then it will work correctly for all values in between.

Choose test cases at the boundary of these sets : 00000, 09999, 10000, 99999, 10001

Cause-effect Graph

In this type of testing technique, causes are the inputs of a program and effects as the outputs of the program. Here, a graphical representation is used to show the relationship between the input and output and the factors that impact the outcome.

Decision Table based testing

Test cases are designed with the combination of inputs that contain logical conditions. In the entry decision table. It consists of four areas called the condition stub, the condition entry (TC1, TC2 etc,.), the action stub, and the action entry. Each column of the table is a rule that specifies the conditions under which the actions named in the action stub will take place. Where 1 is True and 0 is false, and X is a condition that is not applicable or irrelevant.

Error Guessing

The error guessing testing method utilizes the skills and experience of the tester to detect errors when tools fail to do. The technique is heavily based on the experience where the test analysts use their experience to guess the problematic part of the testing application. A deep understanding of the system under test, is implicit here, knowledge of typical implementation errors, combined with previous experience of the system, forms the very basis of this type of testing. This technique is highly cost effective, but requires an expert to design and perform the tests.

State Transition

In State Transition technique changes in input conditions change the state of the System Under Test. This testing technique allows the tester to test the behavior of an SUT. The tester can perform this action by entering various input conditions in a sequence. In State transition technique, the testing team provides positive as well as negative input test values for evaluating the system behavior.

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Software Testing Techniques
Software Testing Techniques

White Box Testing Techniques

White box testing is a method that tests internal programming structures of an application. This testing is based on the low-level design document. It focuses on verifying the flow of inputs and outputs through the application, improving the usability and designs.

Statement Coverage

A "Statement" is nothing but the line of code or instruction for the computer to understand and act accordingly. This type of testing is done to check whether all the statements are executed at least once and to test every line is executed or not with 100 % code coverage. Statement coverage also called as code coverage. In this technique, all programming statements are applied with a minimal number of tests.

Branch Coverage

'Branch' in a programming language is like the 'IF statements'. An IF statement has two branches: True and False. If there is more than one condition to be executed, then we go for decision coverage condition. It executes all the combinations of conditions and outcomes in each decision. In this type of technique, all branches shall be tested by running them a sequence of tests.

Path coverage:

This type of testing is done to check every condition in the code is executed or not and to check the 100 % condition coverage. All paths including statements and branches are tested using this technique.

Loop Testing

These strategies relate to testing single loops, concatenated loops, and nested loops. Independent and dependent code loops and values are tested by this approach. In the loop testing, we will test the loops such as while, for, and do-while, etc. and also check for ending condition if working correctly and if the size of the conditions is enough.

Data Flow Testing (DFT)

In this approach you track the specific variables through each possible calculation, thus defining the set of intermediate paths through the code.DFT tends to reflect dependencies but it is mainly through sequences of data manipulation. In short, each data variable is tracked and its use is verified. This approach tends to uncover bugs like variables used but not initialize, or declared but not used, and so on.

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Advantages of Using Testing Techniques

The advantages of the use of test design techniques are many fold:

- Possibility to easily reproduce a test.
- Increasing the probability of finding defects.
- Easier long term maintenance of the system and test automation.
- Objective approach to the process of testing.
- Reducing the total cost of testing.
- Better end-user experience.
- Faster release and deployment cycles.
- Bring quality into the process and end product.
- Systematic and continuous feedback to the Developers.
- Increases the total efficiency of the team.


A good test is one that has a high probability of finding an as yet undiscovered error, and a successful test is one that uncovers an as yet undiscovered error. Generally the Black and White Box methods are sometimes inseparable, but can almost always discussed separately. Testing technique specifies the strategy used in testing to select input test cases and analyze test results. Different techniques reveal different quality aspects of a software system. These techniques are widely used in practice. "The act of designing tests is one of the most effective bug preventers known," which extended the definition of testing to error prevention as well as error detection activities.

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