Testing Software: the Functional Testing of Web Applications

Companies that know how to watch their money usually opt for the implementation of testing as part of quality assurance in the early stages of software development. Although these procedures are rather resource- and time-consuming, they are the silver bullet for companies that care about their name and well-being. A well-timed software check for possible bugs and performance issues may prevent businesses from bearing incomparably heavier costs on post-release bug-fixing and reputation recovery.

That is why a growing number of companies make testing an integral part of software development projects throughout their duration and tend to spend more on it. Indeed, the share of the budget that IT companies allocate to testing and QA is on the rise: it increased by two-thirds to 31% as of 2016, compared to 18% in 2012. This proportion is expected to reach 40% by 2019, which is almost half of the IT-dedicated budgets.

Functional testing is usually an essential part of any test check procedure as it allows to get to know how the software performs its direct function. If you have finally arrived at the understanding of the crucial role of the software examination, let this article be your functional software testing “how-to”. We will provide you with an overview of this type of audit and draw your attention to top-priority issues that are related to the functional test.

Functional Testing

Nowadays, the IT market is oversaturated by millions of applications, and many of them are designed to perform similar functions. Against this backdrop, more and more companies arrive at the realization that an impeccable performance of the software’s specific functions is a key factor for standing out. Otherwise, an off-grade performance will get lost among an array of its competitors, regardless of how progressive the initial idea was.

This is the case when functional verification is the solution. Its name describes the meaning of this approach in full: during functional test checks, teams audit how well the application executes its direct functions. For example, they check it with respect to the following components:

  • Core functions
  • Business processes
  • Data processing
  • User input
  • Search
  • And more

Based on a black-box technique, functional examination relies on customers’ or design teams’ specifications and can be fulfilled from the perspectives of both requirements and business processes. The first approach implies that the priority of the requirements depends on their riskiness, so the team will not miss the most important ones. The other approach focuses on the scenarios of daily system use.

The procedure of a functional test check can be performed at system and acceptance development levels and consists of the following stages:

  • To determine the specific application’s functionality
  • To create test data and the output using the app’s documentation
  • To write test scenarios
  • To execute test cases
  • To compare test results with the baseline ones

Depending on the project’s specifics, a team may use both manual and automated methods. Here is the list of some efficient automated tools:

  • Selenium
  • Ranorex
  • HP ALM
  • TestComplete
  • Others

The prime advantage of functional testing is that it allows simulating the real system utilization. By doing this, it checks if users can perform the manipulations with the software they are expected to do and if all of the features work as intended.

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Graphical User Interface (GUI) Testing

A proper GUI contributes significantly to a positive user experience by providing a logical and easy application utilization. An increasing pace of life and the diversified IT market encourage users to shift to competitors’ offerings if the software does not provide an understandable and comfortable graphical user interface. That is why testing teams go for GUI test check as it gives a clear idea of how software end users see an app. GUI verification not only helps check the overall software performance in nonfunctional parts but also facilitates its functional testing, as it is carried out via the user interface.

What is GUI? Software solutions’ graphical user interfaces are the language that software speaks with its users. The simpler they are, the more comfortable the users will feel with the functionality that apps perform. The GUI is a key aspect that determines if users will go on utilizing the application or not.

While GUI testing in software testing, the team applies various test cases to check whether its design elements meet the following requirements:

  • The app executes its functionality via a GUI properly
  • Alignment, color and text formatting are proper and human-readable
  • Images are distinct and readable across various browsers
  • Links are available and lead to the designated pages
  • Buttons work on mouse click
  • Images and content stay readable and keep their proper positioning under various screen sizes and resolutions
  • The spelling is correct
  • And more

By identifying defects that penetrated the software at the initial design stage, development teams gain more chances to fix them as early as possible and retain a maximum possible number of users. That is why many companies prioritize graphical user interface testing in software testing.

However, GUI is not the only interface that teams test. They also execute the examination of application programming interfaces (APIs), which allows checking if they meet the performance and functionality requirements. Their role is indispensable, as they enable development team’s access to programs, functions and more.

Very often, teams omit the API test check, due to time limitations. They substitute it with the GUI check as it allows to audit how an application performs its functions at the highest level. However, in the era of Agile and continuous testing, we recommend that you do not disregard it. This “low-level” check verifies the code for its reliability, and even developers can do it before the development completion, based on pre-written tests.

Cross-Browser Testing

An ever-increasing mobility compels users to shift among various internet browsers and their different versions, which is why applications should provide similarly efficient performance across various environments. Besides software GUI examination in one specific browser, testing teams conduct cross-browser tests, which allows for monitoring of how the software operates across various web-browsers, for instance, and checking JavaScript and Flash integration and more.

Both web-based and mobile applications can undergo the cross-browser test check to examine if they work properly, lack dependencies and do not contain issues that compromise the quality of the software. Cross-browser software verification allows comparing what it looks like and how it operates across various browsers and their versions.

Concerning cross-browser software testing tips and tricks, some subject-matter experts recommend performing a full check on one browser per platform and then just checking an essential functionality on others.

Among the most useful tools for cross-browser test checks are:

  • Browsershots
  • Browser Sandbox
  • CrossBrowserTesting
  • Others

An ongoing evolution of platforms, browsers and internet-connected devices generate a never-ceasing need for cross-browser application examination, as even the slightest changes may affect the performance significantly.

Put a Premium on Testing

A quality and well-timed application test check is the prerequisite of faultless software operation, which leads to profit growth and better brand recognition in the long run. That is why SaM Solutions recommends assigning software testing best practices a high priority regardless of the fact that it is quite a cost-intensive process. Spending a substantial sum of money on verification now will let you save a much bigger amount later spent on after-sales bug fixing and software correction.

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