what is a software testing life cycle

17 / 04 / 19

Software testing is an important part of software development. The software testing process involves all stages of the development life cycle.

The Software Testing Life Cycle is part of the software life cycle and the tests must be synchronized with each other. Testing design and development can be as challenging and time-consuming as developing a software product itself. If you do not perform testing along with the first software releases, many problems will be found at later stages of development. Often, as a result, product release is postponed due to the long period of error correction for the program, which practically negates the benefits of iterative development. Testing and product release should be synchronized with each other. Software design and development can be equally complex. If many design faults are discovered in later stages of development, release of the product is often drawn out because of the long period of error correction programs needed, that have virtually no advantages of iterative development.

The Software Testing Life Cycle includes the following phases:

  • Requirement Analysis
  • Test Planning
  • Test Case Development
  • Environment Setup
  • Test Execution
  • Test Cycle Closure

Requirement Analysis

During this phase, the QA team analyze the requirements from the client. This phase helps to determine the scope of testing. The QA team can communicate with the client if some requirements are not testable or are incorrect.

Test Planning

The following points need to be approved at this stage. The team develops a Test Plan. The Test Plan includes:

  • Definition of test requirements
  • Risk assessment
  • Definition of resources
  • Creating schedules/sequences
  • Developing a test plan

The testing strategy is approved at this stage.

Test Case Development

When the Test Plan is ready, the QA Team initiates the development of test cases. (The Testing Team also prepares test automation scripts, if required.) A test case includes specific input, preconditions, a set of execution steps and the expected result. The test case’s goal is to find defects and covers most of the scenarios on the system under the test. If the QA engineer is familiar with the system, he can write better test cases.

Environment Setup

The Test Environment consists of elements that support test execution with software, hardware and network configured. The configuration must mimic the production environment in order to uncover any environment/configuration related issues. We need to analyze the environment setup requirements and prepare a list of software and hardware requirements for setup.

Test Execution

This is a process of executing the code and comparing the expected and actual results.

Activities for Test Execution:

  • System integration testing
  • Defect reporting
  • Defect mapping
  • Re-testing
  • Regression testing

The entry criteria of this phase are the completion of the Test Plan and the Test Cases Development phase, and the test data should also be ready. The exit criteria require the successful validation of all Test Cases. Defects should be closed or deferred, and the test case execution and defect summary report should be ready.

Test Cycle Closure

Test Closure is a document that gives a summary of all the tests conducted during the software development life cycle. It also gives a detailed analysis of the bugs removed and errors found.

This phase formally announces the closure of the test. The QA-team provides detailed analysis and presents test metrics to the client.

Now that you know about the software testing life cycle, you understand what you are paying for and what value it brings to your company.

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