How to learn Software Application Testing
By Jash Unadkat, Technical Content Writer at BrowserStack - March 17, 2023
What is Software Application Testing?
Application testing refers to testing any software application using scripts, tools, or test automation frameworks to identify errors. It helps teams release bug-free and robust software applications into the real world. It also enables teams to identify bugs in the early stages of development and save development time.
Putting an application under test is part of a larger cycle involving research, designing a process flow, writing technical documentation, comprehensively testing, debugging, and pushing it iteratively to live. This quick guide explains the fundamentals of a software application under test and how to approach real device testing on the cloud for beginners.
Types of Software Application Testing
Application testing is carried out in two phases – Frontend or User Interface testing and Backend testing, which verifies the database behavior.
Naturally, there are two broad ways to put an application under Test:
- Manual Testing – The manual testing approach is used more frequently by developers in the initial phases of development for testing specific features and one-off scenarios. Testers manually scour through the different website sections or app features to identify bugs, errors, anomalies, and the like.
- Automated Testing – Once the software application is entirely developed, QAs automate test scenarios from the end-user’s perspective to evaluate the application’s usability, functionality, and performance. Testers set up frameworks and create test scripts that automate user actions required for testing a website or app.
Software apps are mainly categorized into:
- Mobile applications (Native apps, Hybrid apps, Progressive Web Apps)
- Desktop applications
Below are the specific types of testing performed during the SDLC process
- Functional Testing
- Unit Testing
- Integration Testing
- Performance Testing
- Cross-Browser Compatibility Testing
- Sanity Testing
- End-to-End Testing
- Exploratory Testing
- Visual Regression Testing
- Monkey Testing
- Non-Functional Testing
- Context-Driven Testing
Software Application Testing Tools
An application testing tool is any program that helps QAs manage and regulate the test process. Deciding which application testing software or framework to use varies according to the app’s nature.
Let’s explore the most popular test automation frameworks along with explainer videos and webinars that will further your knowledge before putting an application under test:
- Selenium is the most popular tool suite for automating web application testing. It enables QAs to verify the cross-browser compatibility of a web application using Selenium WebDriver.
- For testing native, web, and hybrid mobile applications, Appium is the most preferred app automation framework in the testing community. QAs can test their mobile applications for Android and iOS platforms using Appium. It can also automate test cases for desktop applications (Windows and Mac).
- For visual testing, opt for a market leader like Percy. Visual testing verifies that the user interface (UI) appears correctly to all users. It checks that each element appears in the right shape, size, and position. It also checks that these elements appear and function perfectly in multiple environments, screen sizes, and OSes.
- No matter how compelling and expensive automation testing is, certain aspects of the software must be tested manually. Human judgment has no substitute. Once automation testing wraps up, human testers need to step in, and manually check every feature and aesthetics to ensure that the site/app appeals to human users (which is the ultimate point).
- Manual cross-browser testing and app testing are non-negotiable and integral aspects of the QA pipeline.
How to put an Application under Test?
Every application is unique in terms of features or specifications as they are developed to solve specific real-world problems. Application testing ensures that the developed application is robust and meets end-user requirements.
The following are the fundamental steps involved in testing an application:
- Create a test plan according to the application requirements
- Develop manual test case scenarios from the end-users perspective
- Automate the test scenarios using scripts
- Perform functional tests and validate if everything works according to requirements
With Agile development being the current trend among organizations, it has become imperative for teams to automate their test cycles. This accelerates product release velocity and gains an edge over competitors.
However, teams can only release faster when they can achieve comprehensive test coverage for their mobile or web application.
- Note that apps must be tested in real user conditions to ensure real usage scenarios. (Low battery, push notifications, geolocation-based, unstable network connectivity, etc.)
- This also means teams need instant access to real devices(with real browsers and OS installed) to test.
- Maintaining such an in-house digital lab is expensive, time-consuming, and effort-intensive.
- Remember that the lab must be regularly updated (both devices and software) per market trends.
Putting an application under Test on a Real Device Cloud
- The best way to avoid the cost and effort is to opt for BrowserStack cloud infrastructure, which gives access to a real device cloud of 3000+ real devices and browsers for manual and automated testing.
- Millions of QA teams and testers interactively test on a wide range of real iOS and Android devices on the cloud using BrowserStack Live and App Live.
- The BrowserStack Automate dashboard helps visualize the status of builds, sessions, queues, etc. Once scripted properly, your tests can be scaled easily to cover many device scenarios. Integration with CI/CD tools and platforms further streamlines the testing process.
- It also offers integrations with popular automation frameworks like Appium, Selenium, Espresso, and more.
Application testing is a significant stage in the software development life cycle. Consequently, it becomes necessary for every QA to understand the basics of application testing. This article attempts to foster this understanding so that QAs can do their job in the best possible way.
- Whether manual testing or automated Selenium testing, real devices are non-negotiable in the testing equation. The device pool for testing must include not just the latest devices but also older devices still active in the market.
- Since you can’t know which device will be used to access a website or app in a highly fragmented landscape, the more devices one can run tests on, the better.
- Also, remember that emulators and simulators cannot mimic real-world conditions.
- Without real devices, it is impossible to monitor how a website or app fares in line with geolocation testing, low battery life, incoming calls, and multiple other features.