Application Testing

Testing upcoming as well as existing applications plays an important role in the development of a program or a software. In today’s world where everyone strives for perfection and wants to get things of superior quality, testing ensures that this requirement is met without any delay or inconvenience. Because of the growing demand of new and technologically advanced software and programs, application testing has become an activity that has been done by every software tester ones in his/her career.

Application Testing involves a set of activities conducted through scripts with the motive of finding errors in software, which further deals with tests for the entire application. Application testing is the best option for testing software or programs as it enhances their quality while reducing its cost, maximizing ROI, and saving development time.

Another advantage of application testing is that it can be done in various categories like GUI, functionality, database (backend), load test, etc. Software applications and products have a number of variations in terms of features they support as well as processes they implement. Hence, application testing ensures that a particular program or application functions properly.

Categories of Application Testing:

Whether you are working on a desktop or browsing through the web, you may find hundreds of applications with innumerable features. From a small calculator software with only basic arithmetic operations to an online enterprise solution, all these applications require testing. To accomplish testing in all these areas, the application testing is divided into three categories:

  1. Web Application Testing: Web application testing is a software testing technique exclusively adopted to test the applications that are hosted on web in which the application interfaces and other functions are tested. For web application testing the testers give main importance to performance, load and security of application. Other main types of testing covered by web application testing are:
    • Functional Testing:
      • This type of testing is used to check a products functional requirements as well as clients requested specifications.
      • It tests all the links in web pages, database connection, forms used for submitting or getting information from users in the web pages, cookie testing and business work flow.
      • Tests HTML and CSS to ensure that search engines can crawl your site easily.
      • Checks Syntax Errors as well as Readable Colour Schemas.
    • Usability Testing:
      • Usability testing has become a vital form of any web based projects.
      • Ensures that the website is easy to use.
      • Tests the navigation and controls.
      • Checks the quality and consistency of the content.
      • Instructions provided are clear and understandable.
    • Interface Testing:
      • Performed to verify the interface and the dataflow from one system to another.
      • Furthermore, three areas are tested by interface testing:
        1. Application: Test requests are sent correctly to the Database and output at the client side is displayed correctly. Errors if any must be caught by the application and must be only shown to the administrator and not the end user.
        2. Web Server: Handles all application request without any service denial.
        3. Database Server:: Makes sure the queries sent to the database give expected results.
    • Database Testing:
      • Tests if any errors are shown while executing queries.
      • Ensures data Integrity is maintained while creating, uploading or deleting data in the database.
      • Check response time of queries and fine tune them if it is necessary.
      • Validates the accuracy of test data in the web application that is recovered from the database.
    • Compatibility Testing:
      • Based on the context of the application.
      • Ensures compatibility of the web application with various devices.
      • Tests Browser Compatibility.
      • Operating System Compatibility.
      • Is compatible with various operating systems like, Windows, Linux, Mac and Browsers such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.
    • Performance Testing:
      • Performed to verify server response time at different connection speed.
      • Ensures that the website works under various load conditions.
      • Stress test web site to determine its break point when pushed to beyond normal loads at peak time.
      • Soak and spike testing.
    • Security Testing:
      • Is executed to verify if the application is secured on web as data theft and unauthorized access is a common practise.
      • Checks whether sessions are automatically killed after prolonged inactivity.
      • Tests if SSL is used for security measures.
  2. Desktop Application Testing: As the desktop applications run on personal computers and work stations, the tests executed by desktop application testing mainly focus on a specific environment. The categories in which they perform tests are:
    • UI, Business Logic, Database, Reports, Roles and Rights, Integrity.
    • Usability tests.
    • Functionality tests.
    • Performance and security tests.
    • Hardware & software compatibility tests.
  3. Mobile Application Testing: Due to advancement in mobile phones in the past decade, the demand of simplified and trustworthy mobile applications have increased immensely. Although this demand is highest for commercial applications, enterprise applications are also slowly evolving and benefitting from it.
  4. A complete mobile testing application strategy that is used for mobile application, includes

    • Start devising and networking the infrastructure of the application.
    • Selection of target devices.
    • An effective combination of manual and automated testing tools to cover both non-functional and functional testing.

Methodologies Used In Application Testing:

Ensuring that an application is tested thoroughly is the most crucial thing for a tester and this can be achieved by using testing methodologies. These methodologies have various functions which allow testers to keep a track of defects and errors in the application and find ways to overcome them. The three universally accepted methodologies used for apps are:

  1. Black Box Testing: It is a method of software testing that examines the functionality of an application based on the specifications. The application under test is validated against its requirements considering the inputs and expected outputs. The technique commonly used by Black Box Testing for functional, non-functional and regression testing are:
    • Boundary Value Testing: Focuses on the boundary of the input space to identify test cases.
    • Equivalence Partitioning: Divides the inputs, outputs etc. into equal areas.
    • Decision Tables.
    • State Transition Tables.
  2. White Box Testing: The focus of white box testing is to test the software code, the security holes, broken or poorly structured paths, functionality of conditional loops, and more. Its aims at strengthening security, the flow of inputs and outputs through the application and improving design and usability. The techniques used to test the internal structure of an application by white box testing are:
    • Code Coverage Analysis: Measures the efforts applied to the software application.
    • Path Coverage: Path coverage tests all the paths of the program. This is a comprehensive technique which ensures that all the paths of the program are traversed at least once.
  3. Grey Box Testing: In this type of testing, both black box testing and white box testing are used. Majorly the tester tests the application with black box approach, however for some critical or vulnerable modules of an application, testing is done through a white box.

Challenges Faced in Application Testing:

Challenges are always faced by people no matter what they doing. Similarly, testers too face some hurdles and challenges while executing application testing. Some of these challenges faced by all testers are mentioned below:

  • There can be issues in mobile applications which can only be identified when user calls.
  • Applications can show an inability to anticipate impact of change.
  • Several times, there is no visibility into the application and operational errors which can become a great hurdle for testers in managing errors.
  • Also, testing can sometimes be time consuming because of innumerable errors or defects.

Application Testing Tools:

To test an application there are huge varieties of tools available in the market. There are also some of the tools which are paid and open source as freeware to perform several types of testing such as UI testing, Load testing, functional testing, DB testing, performance testing, security testing, etc.

  1. HP QTP
  2. Selenium
  3. IBM Rational Robot
  4. Telerik


Application testing is a vast subject and very crucial to software and application development. It is important for a tester to carefully plan application test and to keenly execute it. They should follow the methodologies, clearly log the bugs, perform regression test efficiently, and improve above four skills continuously. By following these steps the tester can enhance application’s quality while reducing its cost, maximizing ROI, and saving development time, which will help him/her ensure the state-of-the-art quality of the application.

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