What Is the Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC)?

May 25, 2023 | Test Automation Insights

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One of the most critical parts of the software development process is software testing. Software testing serves several purposes, but it primarily seeks to ensure that the software being developed meets the requirements of the stakeholders and is high quality. To accomplish this, developers can follow the software testing life cycle (STLC), a systematic approach to software testing that follows a series of steps to thoroughly test an application before it is released.

What Is STLC?

STLC is a series of steps that software developers follow to test software. This process includes planning, preparation, execution, and reporting of tests. The primary goal of the software testing life cycle is to ensure that software is functioning at its best and that it is in line with the requirements set out by the development team. STLC is used by these teams to proceed through adequate testing before an application is released.

Software Development Life Cycle vs. Software Testing Life Cycle

While the software testing life cycle falls within the scope of the software development life cycle (SDLC), SDLC describes the overarching process of developing software. This process includes planning, design, development, testing, and maintenance. Thus, STLC is an integral part of SDLC, as it allows it to proceed on through the rest of the development cycle. 

STLC Phases

1. Requirement Analysis Phase

In the first phase in the process, the requirements of the software are analyzed by the testing team. They review the requirements of the development team and the stakeholders involved and ensure that they are, in fact, testable. In this stage, the testing team also identifies the testing scope, which allows the features that will be tested to be defined.

2. Test Planning Phase

This is the phase where the testing team will develop a plan for the testing process. The test plan includes several components:

  • Testing approach
  • Testing scope
  • Test environment
  • Testing schedule

The test plan, once completed, is then reviewed by all stakeholders to be approved and ensure that it meets all the requirements set out. 

3. Test Case Development Phase

In this stage of the software testing life cycle, the test cases are developed. Test cases are based on the requirements and the testing plan. The testing team also creates test data, which is then used to test the application. Test case development involves creating user scenarios to define possible actions that a user may take. These test cases are meant to anticipate possible issues that may arise in both extreme cases of user activity and in typical use case scenarios.

4. Environment Setup Phase

This is the phase where the actual testing environment is developed. The test environment includes the hardware, software, and other resources required to test the software. 

Testing environments can be difficult to manually set up, which is why tools like Ranorex Studio can be so valuable. Along with streamlining the test environment setup process by providing users with a record-and-replay functionality to keep coding at a minimum, Ranorex Studio allows developers to create a testing environment that can be kept separate from test cases, allowing it to be used and reused as necessary. 

5. Test Execution Phase

In this phase, the testing team will execute the test cases in the testing environment. They then report on any defects noted during testing, which are tracked and resolved by the development team. Once these defects have been repaired, the testing team can also perform regression testing, which ensures that the rest of the application has not been affected by the change.

6. Cycle Closure Phase

The cycle closure phase is the final phase of the STLC. This is the part of the testing process where a test closure report is prepared by the testing team. The report summarizes the results of the testing, including the number of defects found as well as the severity of these defects. It also covers the level of test coverage that was achieved and the status of the test objectives after testing was completed. The report can also include recommendations for testing in the future as well as improvements that can be made to the testing process.

Software Testing Strategies

To ensure that the STLC process is successful, software development teams should follow some software testing strategies, which include:

  • Defining clear and testable requirements: Be sure that you define clear requirements before you begin testing to ensure that you can more readily assess whether testing was successful.
  • Creating a comprehensive test plan: Your testing plan should be thorough to ensure that you are not excluding a critical component that may need testing. 
  • Developing clear and concise test cases: Test cases should be easy to follow and comprehensive. The best way to keep track of these test cases is to utilize Ranorex Studio, which allows you to save test cases apart from testing environments.
  • Using a variety of testing techniques: Don’t limit yourself to a singular type of testing, and be sure to expand the variety of testing you perform to be as inclusive of all possible scenarios.
  • Performing thorough regression testing: Regression testing allows you to assess whether changes implemented as a result of testing impacted other aspects of the application negatively. 

Using Ranorex in the STLC Process

Ranorex is an automated testing tool that can be used in the STLC process. It can help with test case development, test execution, and defect reporting. Ranorex can also be used to perform regression testing, which is an important part of the STLC process.

  • Test case development: Ranorex provides an easy-to-use interface for creating automated tests, which can save time and increase efficiency during the test case development phase.
  • Test execution: With Ranorex, tests can be executed automatically, allowing the testing team to focus on other tasks. 
  • Defect reporting: Ranorex can capture screenshots and videos during test runs, which can be used to provide visual evidence of defects. 
  • Regression testing: Ranorex supports regression testing by allowing tests to be run automatically on different versions of the software, making it easy to identify and fix regression defects.

Start a Free Trial of Ranorex

If you are ready to make Ranorex a part of your STLC process, contact us today and start your free trial of Ranorex Studio.

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