Beginner’s Guide To Software Application Testing
By Jash Unadkat, Technical Content Writer at BrowserStack - November 27, 2021
What is Software Application Testing?
Application testing refers to the process of testing any software application using scripts, tools, or any test automation frameworks in order 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.
Application testing is carried out in two phases – Frontend or User Interface testing and Backend testing that verifies the database behavior.
Naturally, there are two ways to perform application testing:
- Manual Testing – The manual testing approach is used more frequently by developers in the initial phases of the development for testing specific features
- Automated Testing – Once the software application is entirely developed, QAs automate test scenarios from the end-users’ perspective to evaluate the usability, functionality, and performance of the application
Software applications are mainly categorized into three types:
- Mobile applications (native apps, hybrid apps, progressive web apps)
- Desktop applications
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 is to be used varies according to the nature of the application to be tested. Now, let’s explore some of the most popular test automation frameworks used for application testing.
- 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. Rational Functional Tester (RFT) can be used as an alternative to Selenium.
- 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 both Android and iOS platforms using Appium. It can also automate test cases for desktop applications (Windows and Mac). As of now, Appium provides beta support for the automation of OS X desktop applications.
- 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 how multiple environments, screen sizes, OSes.
- No matter how effective and expensive automation testing is, there are certain aspects of the software that must be tested manually. Human judgment has no substitute. Once automation testing wraps up, human testers need to step in, manually check every feature as well as aesthetics so as to ensure that the site/app appeals to human users (which is the ultimate point). Manual cross browser testing and manual app testing is non-negotiable, an integral aspect of the QA pipeline.
How To Test an Application?
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.
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
Also Read: How to Test Mobile Applications Manually
With Agile development being the current trend among organizations, it has become imperative for teams to automate their test cycles. This helps them introduce new features faster in the market and gain an edge over competitors.
However, teams can only release faster when they are able to achieve comprehensive test coverage for their mobile or web application. It’s also vital to note that applications need to be tested in real user conditions to ensure they are ready for the real world.
This also means that teams need instant access to real devices(with real browsers and operating systems installed) to test on. Now, maintaining such an in-house device lab is expensive, time-consuming and effort-intensive. Keep in mind that the lab needs to be updated (both devices and software) at regular intervals as per market trends.
The best way to avoid the cost and effort is to opt for a cloud-based testing platform like BrowserStack. BrowserStack provides a real device cloud of 2000+ real devices and browsers for manual and automated testing of mobile and web applications. It also offers integrations with popular automation frameworks like Appium, Selenium, Espresso and more. The image below illustrates BrowserStack’s real device offerings (Android and iOS mobile devices) for mobile app testing.
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.