What’s in the Black Box?
Black Box Testing aka Functional Testing aka Opaque testing aka Closed Box Testing aka Behavioral Testing is a strategy of many names. The key thing to remember here is that it is a strategy and not some type of testing. You will not require any actual knowledge of everything that is outside the box like the internal code or design. Every testing type of this strategy is serving the requirements and functionality goals rather than the system itself.
What are you going to do when Black Box Testing?
You will be selecting some fitting data and you will be testing it against all kinds of functional requirements and specifications. Thus you will have some data on the proper and inaccurate behavior of the actual system from somebody unacquainted to it. Usually this is outsourced to somebody who is not too aware of the software’s inner logic like its developers. It’s only up to you to decide whether to offshore your app’s software testing or to assign somebody from your team that had nothing to do with the development process. As long as there are no actual developers of this app involved.
A tester actually has to know only what a user knows. Not more, not less. He has to familiar with the requirements on how this or that button is to operate and what effect should it cause. Black Box includes lots and more of various testing types yet if they are summarized all that craziness may be divided into two groups:
- Where the user is the tester
- Where there is no user whatsoever
Let’s dig in and be more specific. What about the part where the user is the tester?
- Alpha testing. Everybody (users, I mean) is invited to the development center and is allowed to play around with the app. Notes are taken on what users are doing, where are they clicking and what goes wrong.
- Beta testing. This step involves software that is actually being released. But only a beta version of it and users are doing the same while at home. They are also providing you with feedback.
- User Acceptance testing. You are actually granting your software to users in order to make sure whether it’s meeting with what they’ve expected from it.
It’s not all just noting work of others. We also have the part where users are not involved like:
- Volume testing. This is something you are doing against the apps efficiency. You are processing colossal data amount right through the app in order to actually find out its limits.
- Smoke Testing. AKA sanity testing sometimes. This is where you are checking if the app is actually ready for more hardcore testing. Here you will be making sure the app is working fine on its minimum.
- Recovery testing. This is where the curios tester will find out how fast the app will recover after a crush of any sort. The wanted minimum is usually somewhere around the requirements.
- Usability testing. How user friendly is your app? This step will help you finding that one out.
- Ad-hoc testing. The things you do before any other testing. This step involves planning, getting to know the app, etc.
- Exploratory testing. It may actually be a part of Ad-hoc testing. It’s basically the same without all the planning. Just getting to know the app better.
- Load testing. Here is where you will be testing your app against extra heavy loads to determine how it will handle itself.
- Stress testing. Is very similar to load testing yet here you will be checking wow will the app be handling some large number inputs, complex numerical values, etc.
- Functional testing. Tests are to determine whether the app behaves as it was expected. You will be testing some functional requirements here.
Following all these steps is an extremely great strategy for the implementation of the real-deal Black Box strategy. If everything will be planned and all steps are followed you are to receive a fine software piece you can make money on. Sure it’s expensive yet there’s offshore software testing companies existing that will provide these solutions with a minimal cost. Or there are inside teams that are not aware of the apps insides and the things that are going on inside the application. There are limitless possibilities and a swell amount of quality guaranteed after applying all these steps.