Functional Testing - Testing Software from a Functional Standpoint
Functional testing is the basic level of testing that is expected out of every software quality assurance professional. And though it has been conceived as somewhat of a technical weakness in many circles, functional testing is the core of all testing domains. The primary objective is to provide quality assurance of a software from a functionality point of view.
There are several steps to be completed before functional testing. First of all, you need to have a test plan. A test plan is like a formal document which contains the steps and procedures undertaken by the software testing team in order to fully test the project.
Once the plan is approved, you can proceed with the test route. And it always starts with functional testing. All the requirements need to be understood before start testing. In case of any confusion or lack of understanding related to the business requirements, the business flow will not be properly understood and will eventually lead to problems as the client will expect the business flow to be tested before being released for delivery.
That being said, the requirements are subjected to change and have to be managed by the project manager.
Once the requirements are agreed, the testing team can be with their test scenarios. In this case, it is pertinent to mention that one requirement or business case can point to one (or more than one) scenarios.
For the scenarios, it is almost a requirement that there is an input (can be more than one) and an output (at least one). After finalization of the scenarios, the testing team can continue with the test case part.
Once the test cases are written down in document form, they result in defects or improvements. These defects are arranged and worked upon and ultimately it leads to regression testing, where the tester has to re-test the defects over again to verify the fixes.
The stability of the application at hand is the most important aim of all this testing activity. As the application is stabilized, it becomes easier for the client to make good out of it. Subsequently, the requirements change and accordingly the application has to be customized to satisfy the requested changes.
The other testing forms, such as automation, compatibility, integration, and so forth are all results of the functional testing cycle. If the application is not tested properly in the functional phase, it is quite not likely to be automated.
Lastly, functional testing is the core of all testing forms, and is a vital part of any software development process.
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