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The Definitive List of 25 Types of Software Testing

Summary: Software testing is a critical part of the software development process. Choosing the software testing type that aligns with your project requirements and the end goal is essential. Over 50 software testing types exist. Out of these, we have shortlisted 25 of them for your project. Learn about them and how to choose the right ones.

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort.–John Ruskin

Software testing is vital for the software development process. It fosters trust, saves unnecessary time and effort on resolving issues, and helps you enhance the software development standards. Hence, following a carefully laid-out approach to software testing is essential.

However, making software testing an integral part of the software development process alone is not enough to deliver high-quality software. You must also choose the right type of software testing that gets the job done.

What is software testing, why must you choose the right testing type, and what various testing types are available in the industry? Read on to find out.

What is Software Development Testing?

IBM defines software testing as evaluating and verifying that software works how it’s supposed to. The software is tested for security, functionality, and usability. The idea is to identify and fix bugs before releasing the product to prevent costly downtimes, enhance performance, and release high-quality software in the market.

Why Choosing the Right Software Testing Type is Important for Your Business?

Users have high expectations when using apps and want no compromise on an app’s performance, reliability, ease of use, and security. That’s why software testing is essential and should go alongside the software development process.
choosing a software testing type
Choosing a software testing type that better aligns with your project goals and requirements is even more critical. Here’s how the right software testing type can benefit your business:

  • Software testing is a time and resource-consuming process. Now, if you choose a software testing type you don’t need on your project or skip an important one – you may waste time and resources.
  • The right software testing approach can help you focus on your app’s essential aspects (vulnerabilities, SEO, trust, security) and deliver a high-quality product to customers.

Types of Software Testing

Types of software testing such as Agile Testing, Non-Functional Testing, Automation Testing, and Functional Testing, and their subtypes are common in the industry. Each kind of testing has its advantages, features, and disadvantages. Let’s read about some such software testing types.

A. Functional Testing

In functional testing, we validate a software against its applicable requirements/specifications. The idea is to ensure that it works as per the specified requirements. In this approach, we test each software function by providing simple inputs, capturing the outputs it processes, and comparing them with the actual outcomes.

A few examples of functional testing are:

  • Can a user successfully log in with legitimate credentials?
  • Does the payment gateway reject the payment and display an error message when the user inputs the wrong credentials?
  • Can a user add a new item to the cart when they click on the “add to cart button” (in a shopping app)?

Different types of functional testing exist. Here are a few popular ones:

1. Unit testing

unit testing
Unit testing is the software testing technique involving testing an individual unit or component of the software to confirm its accuracy. Developers usually perform it during the software development phase, and they use test automation tools like NUnit, Xunit, and JUnit to execute these tests.

For example, if there is a simple messaging application. The developer will write the unit test to check if the user can send or receive messages before working on additional features. Unit testing is essential because finding and fixing bugs during the development phase is more accessible than fixing them later.

The following types of unit testing exist:

  • White-box testing: A testing technique in which an application’s internal structure or code is visible and accessible to the person testing it.
  • Gorilla Testing: In Gorilla testing, we thoroughly test the application module for all essential aspects. With this technique, we test the robustness of the application.

2. Integration testing

Integration testing is a software testing type in which we logically group two or more application modules and test them as a whole. The idea is to discover the defect in the communication, interface, and data flow among different modules.

For example, Product search and payment processing are two different modules in an online shopping app. Chances are they may work well individually but have some problem in the data flow. Integration testing can help you identify and fix such scenarios.

Here are different types of integration testing:

  • Gray-box testing: Gray-box testing is an assortment of Black Box and White Box Testing. It aims to test a part of the software against the specification.
  • Big-bang integration testing: This software testing approach simultaneously happens in all the modules, i.e., these modules are developed, coupled, and tested. It saves time and effort.
  • Top-down integration testing: In top-down integration testing, we test the essential aspects of the software first and then move towards smaller parts.
  • Bottom-up integration testing: The bottom-up integration testing approach focuses on small parts of the software first & continues till it covers the entire software system.
  • Hybrid integration testing: The hybrid integration testing approach combines the upsides of both top-down and bottom-up approaches.

Integration Testing

3. System Testing

System Testing is a level of software testing that conducts the test of complete and integrated software. This test aims to evaluate the system’s compliance with the specified requirements.

Following are the types of system testing approaches that exist:

  • End-to-end testing: In end-to-end software testing, we test the software for all the aspects that mimic real-world use, such as interacting with other hardware, systems, or applications if required.
  • Smoke testing: Smoke testing is a high-level software testing process that validates the fundamental and critical functions of the system. The idea is to ensure no significant issue exists in the software.
  • Black-box testing: In black-box testing, the internal structure and code of the application are not known to the person testing it.
  • Sanity testing: The main aim of Sanity Testing is to check whether the planned functionality is working as expected. Sanity test helps avoid wasting time and cost involved in testing if the build fails.
  • Happy path testing: Happy path testing is a well-defined test case using known input, executing without exception, and producing an expected output.
  • Monkey testing: A tester performs Monkey Testing with the assumption that the monkey uses the application. The tester tests the software with the premise that the user will add random input or values without understanding the application like a monkey. This testing aims to check if an application or system crashes on receiving random input values/data.

system testing

4. Acceptance Testing

accceptance testing
Acceptance testing or UAT (user acceptance testing) is a formal testing technique performed by the end client. In this approach, the client tests the application for real-world business scenarios. They accept the app only if it affirms their business needs and the prerequisites put forward to them.

The last phase of testing is Acceptance testing. Once approved here, the software goes into production.

Here are the different types of acceptance testing we perform:

  • Alpha testing: We try to find as many defects as possible before releasing the software to customers.
  • Beta testing: Beta testing is performed in the natural environment with a selected group before releasing the product to market to actual end-users.
  • Operational acceptance testing: This software testing is performed by the production environment’s operations or system administration team.

The key focus of operational acceptance testing:

  • Test backup & restore.
  • Install, uninstall, upgrade software.
  • Recovery process in case of natural disaster.
  • User management.
  • Maintaining software.

5. Regression Testing

Regression testing aims to confirm that a recent program or code change has no adverse effects on existing features. It is hard to cover all the frameworks in Regression Testing, so testers utilize mechanization testing instruments for these sorts of testing.
regression testing

6. GUI Software Testing

GUI testing is a type of testing technique where the application’s Graphical User Interface is put under test. This testing involves checking the screens with controls like menus, buttons, icons, and all types of bars—toolbar, menu bar, dialog boxes, windows, etc.
GUI software testing

B. Non-functional Testing

As the name indicates, non-function testing focuses on the non-functional aspects of a software application, such as performance, usability, and reliability. The end goal is to test whether the software is ready as per the non-functional parameters (which are not addressed by functional testing) or not.

A prominent example of no-function testing can be checking how many people can log in to an app simultaneously or how much traffic an eCommerce website can handle at a time.

Here are different types of non-functional testing:

7. Security Testing

In security testing, various tests are performed to ensure that your application/website is secure from all internal and external cyber threats. It also tests how your software behaves when any such attack happens.

A popular type of security testing is penetration testing, in which a group of ethical hackers tries to breach the system to identify its weak points.

8. Performance Testing

In performance testing, we test the stability and response time of a website/app by applying load. This testing is done using tools like JMeter, LoadRunner, Loader.IO, etc.

Here are a few types of performance testing:

  • Load testing: Testing a website/application’s performance by applying load less than or equal to the defined number of users.
  • Stress testing: We test an application’s stability and response time by applying a load more than the defined number of users.
  • Scalability testing: Testing an application’s stability and response time by gradually increasing its load.
  • Volume testing: We transfer a large volume of data to the database to test its data-handling capacity.
  • Endurance testing: Continuously applying load for a more extended period to verify that the application is working fine.

9. Usability Testing

In usability testing, we test an app from users’ perspectives to check whether it is user-friendly or not. Here are different types of usability testing:

  • Exploratory testing: An informal software testing technique in which we explore the application and look for defects.
  • Cross-browser testing: Testing a website/application on different operating systems, browsers, and mobile devices to see how it looks and feels.
  • Accessibility testing: Testing the software to see if it is accessible to disabled people or not.

10. Compatibility Testing

Compatibility testing checks how an application runs and behaves in web servers, hardware, and network environments. The idea is to ensure that your application keeps working regardless of the database, browser, and configurations.

Browser compatibility testing is a popular compatibility testing approach in which we test whether software runs with combinations of different browsers and operating systems or not.

11. Failover testing

In failover testing, we validate whether an app can allocate extra resources or backup the information if it fails abruptly. The goal is to ensure the application can handle critical failures and scale up or down as per the requirements.
failover testing

12. Maintainability testing

In maintainability testing, we test a system’s ability to update and modify the application. It is essential because the application will undergo various software life cycle changes. Also, it will need maintenance once it is life in which it has to go through several changes.
Following are the four categories in which the maintainability testing will deal:

  • Corrective maintenance: Time taken to diagnose and fix issues in an app.
  • Perfective maintenance: Efforts and the time your team may need to make necessary enhancements to the app.
  • Adaptive maintenance: Time and effort that are taken to adapt to the changes in the environment.
  • Preventive maintenance: Actions we need to reduce maintenance costs in the future.

13. Compliance testing

Compliance testing is a non-functional software testing technique in which we validate whether the application complies with the industry standards or not. It includes validating access rights, documentation procedures, and program change control procedures.

14. Efficiency testing

In efficiency testing, we validate how many resources an application needs to perform a specific function. This term shows how much effort develops the application and ensures user satisfaction.
efficiency testing

15. Reliability testing

In reliability testing, we check whether software can operate without failure for a specific period in a particular environment. The end goal is to ensure the software is free of bugs and reliable enough to fulfill its purpose.
common tools for reliability testing

16. Disaster recovery testing

Disaster recovery testing is a process to ensure that an organization can restore data and applications and resume operations after an interruption of its services, such as a critical IT failure or complete disruption.
planning a DR test

17. Localization testing

In localization testing, we verify the software behavior and accuracy for specific locations. The idea is to ensure the software works according to the needs of that region.

Testing an application of user interface, date & time format, and language vocabulary is an example of localization testing.
lifecycle testing

18. Internationalization testing

Internationalization testing is a process in which we ensure the adaptability of an application to different cultures and languages worldwide so that they can handle international support without any modifications to the source code. The critical objective of internationalization testing is to make the application usable to the global audience.
internationalization testing

Other Types of Software Testing

19. Ad-hoc testing

adhoc testing
Ad-hoc testing is a software testing approach that is exceptionally casual and unstructured. Any tester with no reference to any experiment or test configuration records can perform this test. Ad-hoc testing intends to discover defects that were not found by existing tests.

20. Backward Compatibility Testing

backward compatibility testing
It is a programming test that aims to check if the software’s fresher variant can work effectively over the previous version. And also to look into factors if the more up-to-date form of the software works fine with table structure, data structures, and records made by the past version of the product.

21. Boundary Value Testing

boundary value testing
This testing technique follows a concept called “error aggregates at boundaries.” It is one of the most extensive tests run on a software to check for defects at boundary conditions. The testing is done for values 101, 100, 99, 2, 1, and 0 for the accepted values of 1 to 100.

22. API Testing

api testing
API testing is a type of software testing that is like unit testing. Every Software API is tried according to API determination. The testing group performs API testing if APIs are not complex and do not necessitate broad coding.

23. Negative Testing

negative testing
Negative testing is a way of testing software in such a way that the application works according to the user requirements and can handle unwanted input and user behavior. The intake of erroneous or invalid information initiates this test.

24. Mutation Testing

mutation testing
Mutation Testing is a sort of white box testing in which a tester changes one of the program’s source codes. It checks whether the current experiments can identify the deformities in the framework or not. The program source code adjustment is extremely negligible with the goal that it mustn’t affect the whole application, just the particular zone that is witnessing the effect.

25. Multi-tenancy Testing

The multi-tenancy testing aims to discover and fix loopholes in the multi-tenant systems. The primary reason behind this testing approach is that in multi-tenant systems, there are higher risks of breaking the system if you incorporate changes to the code of the software program. Multi-tenancy testing ensures nothing of that sort happens.

In multi-tenancy testing, we test an application from three aspects: application, infrastructure, and network. To identify and fix loopholes in multi-tenant applications, we conduct the following types of tests:

  • Data leak tests to identify any potential deadlocks, data breaches, or other potential issues.
  • Load tests to determine bottleneck situations in your application.
  • License/feature testing to validate the features & licenses.
  • Security tests to identify threats like SQL injections, trojan horses, and ransomware.

How can Net Solutions Help You Choose the Right Software Testing Type?

All the software testing types are essential; however, their importance varies from industry to industry. For example, industries like healthcare and finance significantly emphasize security. On the other hand, the eCommerce and media streaming industries focus on performance.
software testing types are essential

Choosing a software testing type that doesn’t align with your business goals will only waste time and effort. At Net Solution, we put a significant emphasis on software testing. With dedicated QA experts, we ensure you choose a software testing plan that perfectly syncs with your project. Hence, we can help you choose the right software testing type.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the four types of testing data?

We can classify software testing data into the following four types:

  • Valid data: Software should process and accept valid data.
  • Extreme data: Valid data falling on the boundary of possible ranges.
  • Invalid data: Software can’t process or accept this data.
  • Absent Data: Data that software can process but can’t accept.

2. What are the five levels of testing?

Following are the five levels of software testing:

  • Level 1 – Static testing: Developers work to avoid potential problems that might arise later.
  • Level 2 – Unit testing: Developers perform assessments of specific units, their functions, and procedures to ensure the software works independently.
  • Level 3 – Integration testing: Elaborate testing on all program units to discover issues with how separate software functions interact.
  • Level 4 – System testing: Testing the application as a whole to see how well it solves the purpose.
  • Level 5 – Acceptance testing: Evaluating the application to see if it is ready for release and practical use. Once the software is approved from here, it goes into production.

3. What is manual testing?

Manual testing is the software testing process where we manually execute the test cases without tools or automation scripting.A test plan document prepared early on acts as a guide to the testing process, and tests use it to see whether the app is working or not.

Planned software testing is the secret sauce of great software.

Talk to us to build a software testing plan for your project.


Sukhwinder Singh

About the Author

Designation: Software Tester
Forte: Requirement Analysis and Continuous evaluation and delivery
Likes: Manually testing software for the thrills
Dislikes: Watching movies at home. Theaters> Home
Claim to Fame: Can do better testing manually than automated processes
Biggest Tech Blunder: Earlier didn't use automated testing to reduce workload
Wannabe: Professional Photographer

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