A test case is a detailed procedure that fully tests a feature or an aspect of a feature. While the test plan describes what to test, a test case describes how to perform a test. General development of test cases for each test is required. As a tester, the best way to determine the compliance of the software to requirements is by designing test cases that provide a thorough test of a unit. Various test case design techniques enable the tester to develop effective test cases. Besides, implementing the design techniques, every tester needs to keep in mind the general guidelines that will aid in test case designs.

General Guidelines

The main purpose of the test case is to run the test in the simplest way possible. There are a lot many suitable techniques to write effective test cases such as Specification derived tests, Equivalence partitioning.

The major concentration of the test case should be on the positive testing i.e. the test case should always show what the software is intended to do. Major suitable techniques are Specification derived tests, Equivalence partitioning, and State-transition testing.

The existing test cases should be enhanced and test cases should be designed to show that the software does not do anything that is not specified i.e. negative testing. The accepted suitable techniques to test the positive and negative scenarios are Error guessing, boundary value analysis, Internal boundary value testing, and State-transition testing.

Wherever and whenever required, test cases should be designed to address issues such as performance, safety requirements, and security requirements. The suitable techniques are: Specification derived tests.

The test cases can then be added to the unit test specification t achieve specific test coverage activities. Once coverage tests have been designed, the test procedure can be developed and the tests can be executed. The suitable techniques are- Branch testing, Condition testing, Data definition-use testing, and State-transition testing.

Test Case- Sample

How the test case is depicted varies between organizations. The test case templates are mainly in the form of a table. The table is generally a 5 column table comprised of identifying the items being tested, the features to be tested, the testing tasks to be performed, the personnel responsible for the tasks, and mainly the risks associated with this plan.

Outline of the test plan:

A test plan can have the following structure:

  • Test plan identifier- A unique identifier to identify the test plan.
  • Introduction- The summarized software items and features to be tested and the need for them to be included.
  • Test items- Identify the test items, their transmittal media, and their impact.
  • Feature to be tested.
  • Features not to be tested.
  • The approach used for testing.
  • Items pass/fail criteria.
  • Suspension criteria and resumption requirements.
  • Testing deliverables.
  • Testing tasks.
  • Environmental needs
  • Responsibilities
  • Staffing and training needs
  • Schedule
  • Risks and contingencies
  • Approvals

The Test Planning process

What is a Test Strategy? What are its components?

Test Policy- A document that symbolizes the organization’s philosophy towards software testing.

Test Strategy- A document defining all the test phases to be performed and the testing within those phases for a program. It defines the process to be followed. This process sets the standards, documents, activities, etc. which should be followed for each project.

For example- If a product is given for testing, it is better to use black-box testing or white-box testing, and if decided to use both, when to apply and in which part of the software. All these details should be specified in the test plan strategy.

Project Test plan- This is a document that defines the test phases that are to be performed and the testing within the phases for a particular project.

A Test Strategy should cover more than one project and should address the major issues. The major approach to testing is to test the high-risk areas first, then plan for testing, plan how to improve the process based on the previous testing, the environment/data used, the test management- Configuration management, problem management the metrics followed, whether the tests will be automated and if yes, with the help of what tools the testing stages, the testing methods, the post-testing reviews, and templates.

The Test planning needs to start as soon as the project requirements are gathered. The first document that needs to be produced is the Test Strategy/Testing approach that sets the high-level approach for testing and covers all the other elements mentioned.

Conclusion:

Once all these approaches are understood and followed properly a detailed test plan can be written. Usually, test plans are written in different styles. Writing test plans may vary from project to project in the same organization. Test plans and test cases are an essential part of a Software tester to write and perform all the necessary tests. Both the positive and negative test cases have their own impact and are equally important to understand the given scenario completely.

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