The main objective of functional testing is to determine whether a particular software performs what it was designed to do.
To begin with, software is driven by business requirements, which is the main reason for their development. Functional testing satisfies these business requirements as a group and individually as well. It is important for functional requirements to be testable. This type of testing takes high priority in the development life-cycle.
Functional testing can be implemented right from the beginning of a software development life-cycle since requirements are created from the start. The earlier that questions are answered the better the progress in the development life-cycle. Black box testing is based on the external behavior of the software without the need for knowledge of the programming code. Security testing is a typical example of this type of testing where the software is tested for functions related to threats from hackers, viruses, and more. The tester only knows the inputs and the expected outcome. The tester does not know the flow of how the program arrives at the output. In addition, a functional tester does not require any knowledge except the specifications.
Black box testing has its set of pros and cons. The major advantage is that it is an unbiased form of testing since the designer and tester are independent and have no relation during the process. The test is conducted from the end-users’ viewpoint, which is most important. In addition, the tester does not require having specific programming knowledge. One of the drawbacks is that a few program paths may go untested since it may not be possible to test every input stream due to time constraints.
White box testing uses program codes to examine outputs. In this type of testing, the tester is aware of what the program is supposed to. The tester can determine when a program deviates from its intended goal. The testing can validate security functionality and uncover any vulnerabilities in the software. It is best to perform white box testing during the unit testing phase although it can be performed at any time during the software development life cycle. A test needs to think like an attacker to create tests that exploit the software. In addition, testers need to have knowledge of the different tools and techniques available.
Automated Functional Testing
Functional testing is conducted to ensure that a software meets all of its specified requirements in a project life-cycle. Automated functional testing is the process of creating automated test scripts from manual functional tests for software applications. Automated testing uses software designed to monitor software testing, a function that was conducted manually prior to automation. Manual testing as an independent type of testing has its set of risks, with a number of costs associated with it. Most software applications have an extended life span where several patches need to be added to the system. Through automated functional testing, developers can ensure that regression testing is completed in a timely and cost effective manner with the minimum errors.
Testing engineers are responsible for developing automated functional testing processes. These engineers have the requisite skills in testing. This type of testing ensures that functional requirements of a software application are complete and accurate. The main benefit in automated functional testing is that the test program can be reused. The process involves the creation of scripts by testing engineers that are used to complete the desired functional test. Each test is created individually and combined together to create an complete test suite. The results are delivered to the managers to enable validation in real-time, which increases the effectiveness of the software development process. Automated functional testing cannot replace the logical thinking and evaluation of humans, however, it can be used to test repetitive procedures. This type of testing is most effective in combination with other types of testing.
Often, the testing phase of a software can take long than the production phase which can take its toll on the testing team if only manual tests tools were used. Automated functional testing tools save plenty of time in detecting particular errors, defects, or bugs in a program. Depending on the nature of the software being developed, it could take from a few hours to months for manual testing to be accomplished as compared to automated testing which can be accomplished in less than half the time.
Automated software test tools function as virtual testers that explore every program function that is not possible by a human tester. The testing tools take note of every aspect of the program that is functioning as well as not in working order. The results are analyzed by a programmer and necessary corrections are made. The process can be repeated once the corrections are done.
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