Software testing is an integral part of the software development life cycle (SDLC). Testing is how you can be sure about functionality, performance, and user experience. Whether you carry out your tests manually or via automation, the earlier and more often you can carry out tests, the more likely you will identify bugs and errors, not only saving you and your team from potential fire drills later, but also ensuring your software application has been thoroughly reviewed and audited before it is in front of your users. If issues carry over into the production environment, the more expensive and time consuming they will be to fix.

Software testing can be broken out into two different types: functional and non-functional testing. Different aspects of a software application require different testing types, such as performance testing, scalability testing, integration testing, unit testing, and many more. Each of these software testing types offers excellent visibility into your application, from code to user experience. Let us get into the details of some of the more common types of software testing.

 

Types of Software Testing: Functional and Non-functional Testing

 

Functional Testing

Functional testing is carried out to check the business-critical features, functionality, and usability. Functional testing ensures that software features and functionalities are behaving as expected without any glitch. It mainly validates the entire application against specifications mentioned in the Software Requirement Specification (SRS) document. Types of functional tests include unit testing, interface testing, regression testing, plus many.

 

Unit Testing

Unit testing focuses on testing individual parts/units of a software application early in the SDLC. Any function, procedure, method, or module can be a unit to undergo unit testing for determining its correctness and expected behavior. Unit testing is the first testing that developers perform during the development phase.

 

Integration Testing

Integration testing involves testing different modules of a software application as a group. A software application is made up of different submodules that work together for different functionalities. The purpose of integration testing is to validate the integration of different modules together and identify the bugs and issues related to them.

 

Non-functional Testing

Non-functional testing is like functional testing; however, the main difference is that those functions are tested under load to observer performance, reliability, usability, scalability, etc. Non-functional testing, such as load and stress testing, is typically carried out using automation tools and solutions, such as LoadView. In addition to performance testing, types of non-functional testing include installation testing, reliability testing, and security testing.

 

Performance Testing

Performance testing is a type of non-functional testing, carried out to determine the speed, stability, and scalability of a software application. As the name suggests, the overall goal of this testing is to check the performance of an application against the different system and network benchmarks such as CPU utilization, page load speed, peak traffic handling, server resource utilization, etc. Within performance testing, there are several other testing types, such as load testing and stress testing.

 

 

How These Test Types Differ from Each Other

You might have some idea about the above different types of testing. All testing focuses on reliability and software application readiness, however, let’s better understand the differences between them through some examples. Let us assume you have an e-commerce website/application with standard functionalities. Here are some examples of performance testing, functional testing, integration testing, and unit testing:

If you want to check how your website will perform when a high number of users come to your website, for example, during sales season, you need to perform load tests, which falls under the performance testing category. It will help you detect speed and stability issues and eliminate potential performance bottlenecks.

Suppose you want to validate the input and output for each functionality such as registration, login, add to cart, checkout, payment processing, database entries, etc., according to test cases written in the SRS document. In that case, you need to perform functional testing.

If you want to validate the cart functionality with checkout and payment module integration to see if the number of items added to the cart are successfully purchased with correct payment, you need to do integration testing.

If you have written a module for product upload and want to check if it is correct and products are being added successfully without any bug or defect, you need to do unit testing for the product upload module.

To sum it up, performance testing is done to check the website performance. Functional testing is done to validate all functionalities. Integration testing is done to validate the interaction between different modules, and unit testing is done to check individual code pieces for correctness.

 

Advantages of These Test Types

Performance Testing

  • Assesses the speed and scalability of the website/application.
  • Identifies bottlenecks for performance improvements.
  • Detects bugs that are overlooked in functional testing.
  • System optimization and feature enhancements
  • Ensures the reliability of the website under heavy load.

 

Functional Testing

  • Makes sure that the website/application is defect-free.
  • Ensures the expected behavior of all the functionalities.
  • Ensures the architecture is correct with the required security.
  • Improves the overall quality and functionalities.
  • Minimizes the business risks associated with the website/application.

 

Integration Testing

  • Makes sure that all the application modules are well-integrated and work as expected together.
  • Detects inter-connected issues and conflicts to resolve them early before they create a big problem.
  • Validates the functionality, reliability, and stability between different modules.
  • Detects overlooked exceptions to improve the code quality.
  • Supports CI/CD pipeline.

 

Unit Testing

  • Early detection of bugs in the newly developed functionalities or features.
  • Minimizes the testing costs as issues are detected early on.
  • Enhances code quality with better code refactoring.
  • Supports the agile development process.
  • Simplifies integration and allows good documentation.

 

Disadvantages of These Testing Types

As all these test types enhance the functionalities and improve user experience, so there are no disadvantages in doing these. The only thing you can consider a disadvantage, in general, is the time and cost associated with the testing. Testing requires efforts and resources, and there is a risk involved with inaccurate test results.  However, not doing website/application testing will put you in a compromising position that can hamper your business and reputation significantly.

 

The Right Time to Perform These Types of Tests

Performance testing is a must in all development and production environments to ensure that your website/application is up to speed and can withstand the expected user load.  Functional testing should be done with each build to validate all the changes and functionalities against specifications and requirements.  Integration testing should be done when you integrate a new piece of code with some other module to ensure there are no conflicts and work together correctly.  Unit testing should be done by developers whenever they are done writing any code to validate the right input and output.

 

Tip: A Hand-In-Hand Approach

Although each type of testing seems like a standalone task, you can combine them smartly to achieve greater product quality. Let’s take an example.

Let’s say you have created a new web page, running a load test (performance test) using LoadView for that web page as a unit test will make sure when you make your final build with all the pages, the website is already optimized for handling high user load in peak traffic scenarios. This effectively means you have your performance testing a part of unit testing.  A hand-in-hand approach like this will help you reduce issues at an early stage and save you a great deal of cost and time in the long run.

 

What is LoadView?

LoadView is a cloud-based load testing tool that checks your website performance in high traffic conditions. It simulates thousands of virtual users from different geographical locations on multiple browsers and devices to create the most realistic environments for your performance testing. It also offers a point and click test script creation feature using EveryStep Web Recorder that doesn’t require any coding skills so that anyone in your team can create scripts and perform load testing.  You can test your website, application, web pages, and third-party APIs with LoadView to detect performance bottlenecks and resolve them quickly. LoadView is quick to get started, and its performance reports are easy to understand with actionable insights.

 

Conclusion: Types of Software Testing

Performance testing is a must in all development and production environments to ensure that your website/application is up to speed and can withstand the expected user load. Functional testing should be done with each build to validate all the changes and functionalities against specifications and requirements. Integration testing should be done when you integrate a new piece of code with some other module to ensure there are no conflicts and work together correctly. Unit testing should be done by developers whenever they are done writing any code to validate the right input and output.

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