With more demand than ever for software solutions, developers across the world are facing both unprecedented profit potential and stress. Given the rate at which technology continues to change, deadlines and project time frames are shorter than ever. Apps and software solutions that take long periods of time to reach the market risk being obsolete by the time they launch.
As such, more pressure than ever is on the shoulders of developers and software companies to deliver fully functional solutions in short periods of time. Despite advancements in software development, one area still requires full and undivided attention: software testing.
Let’s examine the different types of software functional testing that developers use to ensure successful, functional products reach consumers.
What Is Functional Testing?
Strictly speaking, functional testing is used to determine whether software will perform as expected given its requirements and specifications. This relates to the most basic elements of software solutions, rather than aesthetic concerns or user experience.
Software testing services like Global App Testing provide an array of functional testing solutions that improve testing efficiency and speed for developers. In addition to these services, they also provide options for agile testing, exploratory testing, manual testing, and QA testing.
One of the latter forms of functional testing, integration testing refers to ensuring all originally separate elements of software are functioning as intended after being integrated. This can refer to elements such as code modules but may also deal with various client and server applications as well.
In contrast with integration testing, unit testing often begins early in the software development process. This is conducted on individual modules or elements, ensuring that their internal or stand-alone processes are performing as intended. This tends to be handled by programmers and will often involve both careful inspection and knowledge of the code used to create the unit(s).
Generally following integration testing, the functional testing process known as system testing is where the final (or near-final) software solution itself is tested to ensure it is functioning as intended. Whereas integration testing often focuses on merely the software elements being integrated properly, system testing incorporates the use of hardware as well to verify that the software will operate under real-world parameters.
There are undoubtedly hundreds or thousands of individual project tasks in each major software development project. Along the way, one form of testing – regression testing – helps verify that any changes made to the software itself have not caused functional problems throughout the project. Generally, regression testing may be performed after each major update within an assigned task group to verify that all programmers and developers are aware of any emerging software issues. Many forms of regression testing can be conducted via automated solutions, making the process one of the easier forms of functional testing.
While developers and programmers generally rely on coding and programming experience to build software, end users need a functional, simple and (often) graphic interface in order to use it. This is why interface testing is another crucial part of the software testing process. Often known as Graphical User Interface (GUI) testing, this aspect verifies that design elements such as navigational elements, clickable assets, display fields and text are optimised for each operating system. This may involve customising key elements such as resolution and/or using responsive design, as well as ensuring consistent performance across one or more devices, operating systems and/or resolutions.
Beta testing is often the first opportunity end-users receive to experiment with software, help find bugs and ultimately improve the software experience. Beta testing generally involves a preliminary release of software (which may be available for free or at cost) that permits developers to see how the software functions among a mass audience of customers who will ultimately use the fully-released product. This is a prime method through which software developers find otherwise unknown bugs and fix them prior to full release.
There is so much testing in the software development process, you sometimes need a test to see if it’s ready to test! Sanity testing is often the first major threshold where multiple units or elements will be tested in conjunction with each other as part of the eventual software package itself. Sanity testing involves assessing whether the project is currently functional enough to merit testing; if it is still loaded with bugs and crashing, for example, then it does not yet pass the sanity test.
Last but not least, no functional testing process would be complete without smoke testing. While it may seem very similar to sanity testing, there are key differences: learn about them here.
In smoke testing, teams verify that new builds or versions of software actually meet compatibility and functionality thresholds for deployment. If the team discovers that too many bugs or flaws exist with the build to deploy it, they will reject the deployment and sent it back to testing and development teams for further work.
Many don’t know just how much work goes into the process of testing and developing software. Nevertheless, these crucial components of functional testing help ensure very piece of quality software on the market works professionally, reliably and offers a great user experience.