QA tester, automation specialist, automation systems engineer — these are just a few of the names for a test automation engineer. No matter what their title may be, they're essential to the software development life cycle, so here's a look at what they do. Markets and...
Software testing evaluates a new application to ensure it operates as intended once it hits production. Setting up a test plan for software helps prevent bugs, lower development costs, and improve application performance. People depend heavily on software and applications in today’s digital environment, so reliability is one of the most important qualities.
Verification and validation in software testing are vital to ensuring that developers use best practices for building software. The goal is to avoid application crashes at a critical junction and ensure they keep working to the user’s benefit. Let’s look at verification vs. validation testing and how they impact the final product.
What Is Verification Testing?
In verification testing, the software engineering team will review the documents for constructing the software or application. The goal is to ensure that the developer tasked with the project adheres to all outlined requirements. The code logic should align with the project documentation regardless of the programming language.
The verification methods used during this phase vary depending on the project scope and complexity of the software application.
Application verification testing includes the following:
- Verifying requirements: The project team confirms that all items in the requirement document are correct based on input from the business. Customers should be able to make any changes or remove previously requested items. The development team should receive a final signoff from all relevant stakeholders to ensure the final deliverable meets their needs.
- Verifying designs: The test team should review the software design, including layouts and prototypes. Do the logical database models cover all relevant fields to handle data passing back and forth between the application? Is the customer happy with the user-friendliness of the proposed interface? There should be a unified consensus on the validity of the design documents before proceeding.
- Verifying code logic: The test team reviews the code to ensure it’s complete and consistent. They should also check the source code and related artifacts, like the physical database design, and ensure they match the requirements specifications.
After the testing team confirms that all of the above meet the required standards, the verification process begins:
- Planning: The testing team goes over the relationships between different requirements, then defines all tasks that need to be completed during verification and the following schedule. Resources are assigned responsibility for other tasks, including demonstrating how well various components function, reviews for quality assurance, or identifying and cataloging potential defects.
- Execution: The resources execute their assigned tasks and document the verification testing results.
- Reporting: All results collected during verification testing get compiled into reports. The team also verifies if the solution is capable of functioning as intended.
What Is Validation Testing?
Software validation involves reviewing an application at different phases of development to ensure it adheres to the requirements. If the document calls for a web page with a live chat feature, then that’s what the developer should build. If something is missing or doesn’t fit the client’s request, it should be identified and corrected so that the right product gets delivered.
The validation process is essential because it keeps the development team from going too far off track. Documents should be checked frequently, including requirements and database table diagrams. Constant document reviews help developers find missed features to include or contradictory requests to resolve with the client.
The validation process encompasses the following steps:
1. Design review
Here, the testing team outlines all end-user business requirements. They then create a validation testing plan to address each item before confirming the software is production-ready. Development teams can then receive approval from upper management before testing.
2. Installation review
The testing team attempts to install the application according to the validation testing plan. The goal is to ensure that the installation process and all necessary system hardware adhere to the design specifications. In addition, testers confirm that the test environment functions similarly to the eventual production environment.
3. Operational review
Testers put the product through various testing scenarios to ensure it meets the defined user specifications. The goal is to review all available functionality to determine if the software operates as the customer requested. Software teams rely on the validation testing plan to make sure the testing environment is suited to mapping out the scenarios documented in the requirements. That way, they can ensure that the final deliverable is satisfactory and capable of meeting the client’s needs.
4. Performance review
Performance testing shows that the software can function how the business needs it to in real-world conditions. Clients can conduct beta testing themselves to get a feel for the product and whether it’s been developed based on their requirements. An external set of eyes helps spot bugs and defects that the development team may have missed.
5. Production readiness review
Once all other phases of the validation process are complete, the product is designated as production-ready. That means the development team can move forward with releasing the software to a production environment. Any defects discovered after a production release are addressed via software updates.
Why Is Verification and Validation Testing Performed?
Verification and validation testing help ensure that the end software product meets the client’s needs as outlined in their requirements. Many companies use automation software to handle the more mundane testing tasks. Below are some of the main reasons to employ software verification and validation testing.
Reduce Defects in the Actual Product
If a new piece of software doesn’t function as intended upon release, the initial reception can be hurt. Businesses can feel more confident that the application will work without bugs if they’ve put it through the rigorous test cases outlined in the verification and validation process.
Ensure the Design Matches Specifications
The last thing a development team wants is to make a client unhappy because the delivered product doesn’t match what they requested. Regularly checking the requirements during verification and validation helps ensure that developers don’t miss critical functional and design requests noted in the documentation.
Notable Differences Between Verification and Validation Tests
Verification and validation testing occur at different phases of the software development cycle. For example, most verification checks happen before the developer finishes building the software. That helps project teams catch errors before they make their way to production, where they become more expensive to fix.
Validation checks typically happen after the software is built and awaiting integration testing and a production release. The validation process determines the usability of an application in its current state. Testers view the product through a user’s eyes and try to identify problems with how the software functions and any missing features. Validation testing typically can’t happen until a product passes the verification process.
When To Choose Verification
Verification testing should happen before and during the build phase. Developers should have all documentation necessary to start constructing the application. They should base the code on the specifications and confirm that they use logic that fits the user’s needs. That includes frequent code reviews and walking through any completed code to receive feedback from peers.
When To Choose Validation
Software validation testing should happen once the development team finishes developing the product. The goal is to give the client the product they were expecting. Testers work to ensure that the application’s output is correct using validation methods like:
- White box testing: White box testing goes over the internal software code. Testers must understand the code logic and look for issues like security holes and broken functions. Some use analysis algorithms to find issues. You can perform white box testing at different levels of software development to verify the flow of application code.
- Black box testing: Black box testing, or behavioral testing, looks only at how the software functions externally. Nothing is known about the internals of the application. Testers look for discrepancies in how the software functions versus what the client requested.
The Benefits of Verification
Verification is a checkpoint for different phases of the development process. Testing teams ensure that the evolving product continues to comply with the client’s needs based on design and technical documentation. It’s easier and cheaper to spot issues before they reach later stages of the software life cycle. That means testing teams have fewer defects to resolve during systems or unit testing.
The Benefits of Validation
Validation testing helps development teams ensure that the work fulfills stakeholders’ expectations. It also gives them a final chance to address any defects or mismatches between the application and the requirements. The software is more reliable and less likely to crash because an error wasn’t caught before a production release.
Satisfy Software Product Requirements With the Right Testing Approach
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