Test Scenario

Test Scenario
When it comes to testing a software, there are various components and situations that dominates the process and directs it into a particular direction. Test scenario is a similar as well as, an important aspect that impacts a process of testing and plays a major role in evaluating and assessing the quality and functionality of the software product. It is a variant of software testing, wherein scenarios are used by software testers to test the software.With the aim to define the relevance of test scenario in STLC, following is a detailed discussion on test scenario.

What is Test Scenario?

Test scenario, or as it is popularly known as scenario testing, is a way of ensuring the functionality of the software product, while validating its conformance with various business requirements. With the assistance of this process, one can guarantee that a software product works accurately, irrespective of the user condition and the implementation environment.

The main objective of this type of testing is to assess the performance and functionality of the system as a whole, from the point of view of the user, wherein the testers put themselves in the shoes of the users and determine the real world scenarios or use cases, which can be implemented by the users on the software after the release of the product.

Features Of Test Scenario

Also known as test condition or test possibility, test scenarios are developed to test the software when testers are unable to perform exhaustive testing on the software, as it enables them to test the functionality of the product across all aspects. Other significant features of test scenarios are:

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  • Consists Of Detailed Test Procedure: A test scenario usually has different test cases associated with it. These test cases define how the test scenario needs to be executed. In other words, a test scenario is a big picture that needs to be tested through various test cases that provide the actual details.
  • One Liner Statement: Test scenarios are usually a single line statement that tell what needs to be tested. For example, a Test Scenario could be, "Check internet connectivity". This would comprise of multiple test cases that would check the internet connectivity through all the available modes. Hence, a Test Scenario is a broad description of the functionality that needs to be checked.
  • Makes For easy Prioritization: When the scope of testing is very large, it becomes difficult to test everything. In such cases, prioritization is a must. This is achieved with the assistance of test scenarios. The functionalities that are imperative to the success of any software are given more importance and therefore, tested thoroughly. On the other hand, lesser known functions are checked but not rigorously. This way the entire software is covered in testing in a judicious manner.

Prerequisites of Writing Test Scenarios:

The process of any software testing can be improved and simplified if the team is prepared with all the necessary documents and resources. Likewise, creating test scenarios can also be simplified by being prepared with all the necessary resources, management tool, and more. Therefore, here is a list of some prerequisites that can help you write test scenarios:

  • Testers should have a thorough knowledge of the domain to understand the business and functional requirements of the software/application.
  • A comprehensive and careful assessment of the stated requirements should be done.
  • The team should understand the workflow in relation to the stated requirements.
  • The required tools and resources for testing should be accumulated before the commencement of the testing process.
  • Appropriate steps should be taken to simplify the process of testing, while constantly monitoring it.

Reasons for Creating Test Scenarios:

Test scenarios are an integral part of software testing and are used by software testers to replicate user usage, which helps them validate the functioning of the software as well as its business process flow. Some of the reasons for conducting test scenarios/scenario testing are:

  • It validates complete test coverage.
  • Ensures that the software is working accurately for each use case.
  • It determines the testing efforts and helps organize the testing workflow for an organization.
  • It is vital for evaluating and assessing the end-to-end functioning of the software.
  • Helps determine the real use of the software applications.
  • Assists the team in getting accurate functionality and performance of the software.
  • Can be used to find any discrepancies in the software, which further allows the team to improve the quality of the end product.
  • Allows the team to deliver effective and efficient user experience.
  • Assists the team in validating the flow of all business process of the software are working accurately.

Benefit Of Test Scenarios:

Performing software testing with the assistance of test scenarios offers various benefits to the testers. Therefore, listed below are few of these benefits of test scenarios.

  • Prevents Repetitive Testing: A well thought of Test Scenario can tremendously reduce the testing workload. This is because it prevents the testing of the same feature again and again under different testing techniques.
  • Saves Time, Money and Efforts: As test scenarios prevent repetitive testing, the efforts, time, as well as money invested in the process is automatically reduced and minimized.
  • Helps Build Better Test Cases: Helps Build Better Test Cases: Test cases are derived on the basis of test scenarios. Hence, a test scenario that is carefully developed after deep thoughts will lead to such test cases that are meaningful and checks the software thoroughly with minimum effort.
  • Helps Test a Software from Users Perspective: The biggest advantage of this type of testing is that, it is performed by creating test scenarios that replicate users usage and allow testers to verify the performance and functionality of the software from their perspective.

Difference Between Test Case and Test Scenarios:

Test cases play an important role in testing the software through test scenarios. However, these two are usually used interchangeably by several individuals, which further creates confusion among testers. Hence, it is important for us to differentiate them from each other and define their relevance. Therefore, following is a brief comparison between test case and test scenarios.

Test Cases Test Scenarios
1. These define "how a software will be tested." 1. These define "what needs to be tested."
2. These consist of descriptive and detailed reports and documents. 2. Offers brief, yet comprehensive reports and documents.
3. These are used to validate test scenarios. 3. Comprises of different test cases, which play a major role in determining the functionality of the software.
4. It can be time and cost consuming. 4. Saves time, cost, and efforts.
5. Helps the development and QA team stay in sync with each other. 5. Allows complete test coverage.
6. It is carried out, for preventing defects in the software product. 6. Responsible for tracing and removing the defects, that were missed or unavoidable, by the verification process.

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Scenario Testing is not something that is new to software testing. On the contrary, this phrase was coined by Cem Kaner in the year 2003. From then to now, its popularity has increased in leaps and bounds. And the reason behind its popularity lies in its time and money saving features, without compromising on the quality of the software. A Test scenario is in fact, a very important component of testing. It guides the test cases and lays down the groundwork for detailed steps that need to be followed. Finally, quite often people confuse a test case and a Test Scenario. In this regards, the ground rule is that a test case is dependent on the Test Scenario and not vice-versa.

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