Software testing as a means of optimizing applications: What mix is just right for finding bugs and optimizing?
Through software testing you can find problems in programs or check functionality. Testing is an important help to improve the reliability as well as to guarantee the functions. Testing methods are used in a wide variety of projects in the field of web and software development.
It is important to use the right methods and strategies for software testing. It makes sense to approach testing in a targeted manner and with a clear plan. Then you will get meaningful data.
Which methods exist for software testing?
There are different approaches to software testing. The methods each offer specific advantages and are suitable for certain scenarios. Essentially, the test types can be classified into the following four classes:
- Unit tests/module tests
- Integration tests
- Smoke tests
- Manual testing
Unit and module tests
Unit and module tests are usually part of individual platform or software development. The aim of these tests is to check the functions of a component in all details. Thus, it is a quality and functional test. Usually, the test routines are already designed during the development of the module. If necessary, they are also programmed individually. Before a new module is implemented into the overall system or goes live, these unit and module tests are programmed.
Module tests are often an integral part of the implementation in agile software development. This ensures the quality of the individual modules even before they are rolled out.
The unit and module tests are usually part of the individual platform or software development. The aim of these tests is to check the functions of a component in all details. It is therefore a quality and function test. Usually, the test routines are already designed during the development of the module. If necessary, they are also programmed individually. Before a new module is implemented in the overall system or goes live, these unit and module tests are programmed.
In the early phase, it is also important to determine how the integration into existing systems will succeed. Valuable conclusions can be drawn from integration tests.
For this reason, an integration test in most cases consists of a large number of individual test sequences.
We use smoketests to check whether functions and services are implemented as desired or planned. There are two times when smoketests make sense. One is the moment before the launch of a new application or website. Then, smoketests help to finally check the availability of the overall platform once again.
Secondly, smoketests are carried out during operation. The aim here is to check that functions are permanently available. For example, the unnoticed failure of a component on the web server or of an external script can render functions unavailable.
For this purpose, we also use software to automate testing processes. For example, we use Ghost Inspector to continuously check the availability of functions on websites. This ensures that all functions on your site or applications run reliably.
Another software that we use is Uptime Robot. This is a tool that permanently tests the availability of your site. If your site is not available, then the tool reports this immediately. This way we always know that your site is online, or can quickly intervene if there is a problem.
Manual tests belong to the more complex test variants. On the other hand, these software tests deliver results that you can't get with other tests. Manual tests are an important component to increase the quality of a platform.
The focus here is, among other things, the UI & UX Design. Through manual tests you learn how normal users experience your site. This will help you find problems, errors or simply complicated as well as illogical processes.
The right mix
So what is the right mix for testing software? From our point of view, it depends very much on the project. Website projects usually have fewer functions than web applications, which have to map entire business processes. Therefore, website projects require less test automation and test development effort than web applications.
It is important to us that all business-critical processes in an application or on a website are secured by clever tests. For example, the shopping cart in a web store must function properly, otherwise our customer's sales will be lost. For these business critical rules we implement UnitTests or Behat-Tests. More about Behat tests can be found in our blogpost "Test Automation".
Since the business-critical processes differ from project to project, it is difficult to reuse the tests. But also for this we have tools, like Ghostinspector, where we can rewrite tests with relatively little effort and then reuse them. So we can provide cost-effective testing.
What advantages does software testing bring you?
Software testing pursues different goals. Accordingly, you benefit from such tests at different levels. In modern IT environments, it is very risky to put new software or platforms into operation without testing. This is mainly due to the dependency on digital systems. If just one component in a system does not function as desired, this can have a negative impact on a number of processes.
The central advantage of such software tests is therefore quality assurance. A targeted test strategy ensures that a wide range of potential problems are identified before they enter productive use.
Another advantage of testing is improvements to the user interface that we can achieve in this way. This is achieved with manual tests, where users directly use the functions on the platform. Problems with the UX and the UI then become apparent.
These are the key benefits you gain from software testing:
- Quality assurance
- Functional testing
- UI improvement & UX
The automation of test sequences also has very specific advantages. For example, automated test procedures check the configured sequences with a high frequency. On the one hand, this is helpful for checking the permanent accessibility of functions.
On the other hand, this is also very cost-efficient. Automated functional testing is thus one of the low-cost options, but at the same time provides valuable results to increase reliability.
Software Testing at cloudtec: What we offer you at
You get online platforms and software from us that work reliably. Therefore, it is even more important that your applications work exactly as required. With software testing, we ensure exactly that and achieve a high level of quality.
Our offer includes smoketests, unit testing as well as manual tests with individual setups. Thus, in consultation with you, we find exactly the tests that are necessary for your systems. The goal is not to test as much as possible, but to choose the right tools for the desired results. We support you with our experience in software testing. For our smoketests we use software like Ghost Inspector or Uptime Robot.
With unit testing, we perform automated tests of the modules in addition to our software and web development. This way we control and ensure the quality of the developed components. We also develop our own tests to create the appropriate test sequences for your business-relevant functions.
We make it a point to integrate you in the testing phase. No one knows the requirements better than you. This applies above all to specialist applications. So we also provide you with your own test environment. This gives you the chance to perform tests yourself. The development then ends with the test and acceptance report.