How to Use Boundary Value Analysis for Software Testing

Oct 10, 2023 | Best Practices

BVA Analysis

Human software testers don’t have the time or resources to check every single possible input and output. While automation can cover some of the legwork of testing individual values, boundary value analysis can save even more time by focusing only on either boundary in the range.

Discover more about this testing method and how it can make your software more functional while saving your team time and money.

What Is Boundary Value Analysis in Software Testing?

Boundary value analysis (BVA), or boundary value testing, is a technique in software testing that finds errors within and near ranges of different data sets. It is a form of black box testing, and it’s essential for detecting software errors around the boundaries of numeric sets. 

Even more, it’s essential for testing functionality on anything involving numeric data, including user form submissions, internal data processing, e-commerce, and more.

Benefits of Using BVA for Black Box Testing

Reduces Total Number of Test Cases

Boundary value analysis allows software testers to test a range of numbers where errors are most likely, rather than individual values. In turn, this breaks down the workload into more manageable chunks.

BVA also has quality assurance benefits. Because there are fewer individual test cases, you won’t have to worry as much about deviation or overflow errors that you might otherwise miss due to a massive workload.

Saves Time and Resources

Since errors are more likely to occur at the range’s boundaries, gauging the health of these numbers can point to the rest of the range being healthy as well.

If you’re using tools with automated boundary value testing capabilities like Ranorex DesignWise, you can save even more time in the testing process—without sacrificing quality.

Ensures Reliability and Accuracy

Like other types of black box testing, BVA is essential for making sure your application is reliable and accurate. It makes sure the application processes only correct data submissions.

This also makes the application easier for clients and users to use without running into constant errors.

Difference Between Equivalence Partitioning and Boundary Value Analysis

Boundary value analysis and equivalence partitioning are both black box testing tools. Developers and testers often use them together to test two different aspects of software functionality and reduce the risk of errors.

Equivalence partitioning separates ranges of data into different equivalence classes, which are separated into groups that are deemed either valid or invalid. 

For example, if a university scholarship program only accepts test scores between 70–85 percent, numbers within that range are valid. However, if someone submits a score of 69 or lower, the application will not accept the score.

BVA involves testing the numbers at or just beyond the boundaries of that range of numbers to make sure the application knows how to handle both valid and invalid numbers correctly. In our scholarship application example, this would include testing the input for 69 percent and 86 percent, in addition to the ends of the 70–85 percent range. In that situation, anything outside the range would return an error message.

Boundary Value Analysis Testing Examples

These are just a few examples of the common use cases where BVA testing can be a helpful part of the software testing process.

Input Boxes Accepting Numbers Between 1–100

This applies to virtually any range of numbers, both negative and positive, including integers and decimals. 

No matter how large or small of a numeric range your application uses, boundary value analysis ensures it gives the correct responses both inside and outside of the ranges. For example, if you establish your boundaries as 1 and 50, BVA helps you ensure your application gives the correct outputs for 0, 51, or any other numbers outside the set range.

Character Limit Boundaries

Suppose you are creating software for a client that requires written answers for job applications, but they need all responses to be between 100 and 500 characters. With BVA testing, you can determine if the application returns an error for submissions that have 99 characters or fewer, or 501 characters or more, to make sure it’s functioning.

Donation Amounts

If you’re creating an application that accepts monetary donations, BVA allows you to ensure that the system only accepts donations within a certain range. For example, if there are reward tiers for your donation event, this allows donors to receive the correct reward for the amount that they donated to their favorite cause, without donating an incorrect amount.

Random Number Generators

Suppose you’ve built a random number generator to output digits between 1 and 1,000. BVA allows you to test the values of 0 and 1, and 10,000 and 10,001, to make sure the generator is performing as intended. In turn,

Automating Software Testing with Ranorex

While software testers can conduct boundary value analysis manually, this process is easy to automate—especially with automated black box testing software from Ranorex. 

Our software includes powerful tools that help testers implement a range of tests across multiple devices and browser types. In turn, this allows them to focus on addressing more intricate issues with the software, detect more bugs before deployment, and overall release a higher-quality product faster.

Start Your Free Trial

Ready to ensure a seamless experience for your software users? Begin your free trial of Ranorex DesignWise today to build effective, automated tests for boundary value analysis and other black box tests that will make your product even more valuable.

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