Software Testing Dictionary

Software Testing Dictionary

A free, searchable by word and topic on-line vocabulary and thesaurus with definitions, synonyms and quotations for over 600 terms associated with Software Testing and QA (Quality assurance)

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All following definitions are taken from accepted and identified sources.
This page is being updated on a monthly basis


Sources used: Standards related to Software Testing and Quality Assurance, books from "Software testing books" on this extreme testing website.

Acceptance Test. Formal tests (often performed by a customer) to determine whether or not a system has satisfied predetermined acceptance criteria. These tests are often used to enable the customer (either internal or external) to determine whether or not to accept a system.

Accessibility testing. Testing that determines if software will be usable by people with disabilities.

Ad Hoc Testing. Testing carried out using no recognised test case design technique. [BCS]

Acronyms and Abbreviations related to software testing This page lists many acronyms and abbreviations that can be related to software testing

Algorithm verification testing. A software development and test phase focused on the validation and tuning of key algorithms using an iterative experimentation process.[Scott Loveland, 2005]

Alpha Testing. Testing of a software product or system conducted at the developer's site by the customer.

Aperiodic bug. A transient bug that becomes active periodically (sometimes referred to as an intermittent bug).Because of their short duration, transient faults are often detected through the anomalies that result from their propagation. [Peter Farrell-Vinay 2008].

Artistic testing. Also known as Exploratory testing.

Assertion Testing. (NBS) A dynamic analysis technique which inserts assertions about the relationship between program variables into the program code. The truth of the assertions is determined as the program executes.

Automated Testing. Software testing which is assisted with software technology that does not require operator (tester) input, analysis, or evaluation.


  • (1) An independent examination of a work product or set of work products to assess compliance with specifications, standards, contractual agreements, or other criteria. (IEEE)
  • (2) To conduct an independent review and examination of system records and activities in order to test the adequacy and effectiveness of data security and data integrity procedures, to ensure compliance with established policy and operational procedures, and to recommend any necessary changes. (ANSI)

    ABEND Abnormal END. A mainframe term for a program crash. It is always associated with a failure code, known as an ABEND code.[Scott Loveland, 2005]

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    Background testing. Is the execution of normal functional testing while the SUT is exercised by a realistic work load. This work load is being processed "in the background" as far as the functional testing is concerned. [ Load Testing Terminology by Scott Stirling ]

    Bandwidth testing. Testing a site with a variety of link speeds, both fast (internally connected LAN) and slow (externally, through a proxy or firewall, and over a modem); sometimes called slow link testing if the organization typically tests with a faster link internally (in that case, they are doing a specific pass for the slower line speed only).[Lydia Ash, 2003]

    Basis path testing. Identifying tests based on flow and paths of the program or system. [William E. Lewis, 2000]

    Basis test set. A set of test cases derived from the code logic which ensure that 100\% branch coverage is achieved. [BCS]

    back-to-back testing Testing in which two or more variants of a component or system are executed with the same inputs, and then the outputs are compared and analyzed in case of discrepancy. [Software Testing Foundations, by: Andreas Spillner; Tilo Linz; Hans Schaefer, 2014]

    Beta Testing. Testing conducted at one or more customer sites by the end-user of a delivered software product or system.

    Benchmarks Programs that provide performance comparison for software, hardware, and systems.

    Benchmarking is specific type of performance test with the purpose of determining performance baselines for comparison. [Load Testing Terminology by Scott Stirling ]

    Big-bang testing. Integration testing where no incremental testing takes place prior to all the system's components being combined to form the system.[BCS]

    Black box testing. A testing method where the application under test is viewed as a black box and the internal behavior of the program is completely ignored. Testing occurs based upon the external specifications. Also known as behavioral testing, since only the external behaviors of the program are evaluated and analyzed.

    Blink testing. What you do in blink testing is plunge yourself into an ocean of data-- far too much data to comprehend. And then you comprehend it. Don't know how to do that? Yes you do. But you may not realize that you know how.[James Bach's Blog]

    Boot testing - testing that must verify that the system can boot up its software image from all available boot options.

    Bottom-up Testing. An approach to integration testing where the lowest level components are tested first, then used to facilitate the testing of higher level components. The process is repeated until the component at the top of the hierarchy is tested. [BCS]

    Boundary Value Analysis (BVA). BVA is different from equivalence partitioning in that it focuses on "corner cases" or values that are usually out of range as defined by the specification. This means that if function expects all values in range of negative 100 to positive 1000, test inputs would include negative 101 and positive 1001. BVA attempts to derive the value often used as a technique for stress, load or volume testing. This type of validation is usually performed after positive functional validation has completed (successfully) using requirements specifications and user documentation.
    read tutorial Boundary Value Analysis

    Branch Coverage Testing. - Verify each branch has true and false outcomes at least once. [William E. Lewis, 2000]

    Breadth test. - A test suite that exercises the full scope of a system from a top-down perspective, but does not test any aspect in detail [Dorothy Graham, 1999]

    Bug: glitch, error, goof, slip, fault, blunder, boner, howler, oversight, botch, delusion, elision. [B. Beizer, 1990], defect, issue, problem

    Bug crawl - a meeting focused on review of existing in the system bugs.

    Business Process Testing enables structured testing of an application by combining test automation and automatically generated, easy-to-understand test documentation. [HP quality center help]

    BRS - Business Requirement Specification

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    Capability Maturity Model (CMM). - A description of the stages through which software organizations evolve as they define, implement, measure, control and improve their software processes. The model is a guide for selecting the process improvement strategies by facilitating the determination of current process capabilities and identification of the issues most critical to software quality and process improvement. [SEI/CMU-93-TR-25]
    How is Capability Maturity Model organized?

    Capture-replay tools. - Tools that gives testers the ability to move some GUI testing away from manual execution by 'capturing' mouse clicks and keyboard strokes into scripts, and then 'replaying' that script to re-create the same sequence of inputs and responses on subsequent test.[Scott Loveland, 2005]

    Category Partition testing. - Testing methodology that requires to divide the functional specification into independent functional units that can be tested separately.

    Cause Effect Graphing. (1) [NBS] Test data selection technique. The input and output domains are partitioned into classes and analysis is performed to determine which input classes cause which effect. A minimal set of inputs is chosen which will cover the entire effect set. (2)A systematic method of generating test cases representing combinations of conditions. See: testing, functional.[G. Myers]

    class test Test of one or several classes of an object-oriented system. [Software Testing Foundations, by: Andreas Spillner; Tilo Linz; Hans Schaefer, 2014]

    classification tree testing technique
    The classification-tree method is an approach to (black-box) partition testing which uses a descriptive tree-like notation and which is especially suited for automation. (using and improving ideas from the category-partition method defined by Ostrand and Balcer) [Matthias Grochtmann STAR’94, May 1994]

    Clean test. A test whose primary purpose is validation; that is, tests designed to demonstrate the software`s correct working.(syn. positive test)[B. Beizer 1995]

    Clear-box testing. See White-box testing.

    Code audit. An independent review of source code by a person, team, or tool to verify compliance with software design documentation and programming standards. Correctness and efficiency may also be evaluated. (IEEE)

    Code Inspection. A manual [formal] testing [error detection] technique where the programmer reads source code, statement by statement, to a group who ask questions analyzing the program logic, analyzing the code with respect to a checklist of historically common programming errors, and analyzing its compliance with coding standards. Contrast with code audit, code review, code walkthrough. This technique can also be applied to other software and configuration items. [G.Myers/NBS] Syn: Fagan Inspection

    Code Walkthrough. A manual testing [error detection] technique where program [source code] logic [structure] is traced manually [mentally] by a group with a small set of test cases, while the state of program variables is manually monitored, to analyze the programmer's logic and assumptions.[G.Myers/NBS]

    Coexistence Testing. Coexistence isn't enough. It also depends on load order, how virtual space is mapped at the moment, hardware and software configurations, and the history of what took place hours or days before. It is probably an exponentially hard problem rather than a square-law problem.[from Quality Is Not The Goal. By Boris Beizer, Ph. D.]

    Comparison testing. Comparing software strengths and weaknesses to competing products

    Compatibility bug A revision to the framework breaks a previously working feature: a new feature is inconsistent with an old feature, or a new feature breaks an unchanged application rebuilt with the new framework code. [R. V. Binder, 1999]

    Compatibility Testing. The process of determining the ability of two or more systems to exchange information. In a situation where the developed software replaces an already working program, an investigation should be conducted to assess possible comparability problems between the new software and other programs or systems.

    Component testing. White box testing in which a software component is tested in isolation from other components.[Occasionally used by some authors in a dictionary]

    Composability testing -testing the ability of the interface to let users do more complex tasks by combining different sequences of simpler, easy-to-learn tasks. [Timothy Dyck, 'Easy' and other lies, eWEEK April 28, 2003]

    Condition Coverage. A test coverage criteria requiring enough test cases such that each condition in a decision takes on all possible outcomes at least once, and each point of entry to a program or subroutine is invoked at least once. Contrast with branch coverage, decision coverage, multiple condition coverage, path coverage, statement coverage.[G.Myers]

    Configuration. The functional and/or physical characteristics of hardware/software as set forth in technical documentation and achieved in a product. (MIL-STD-973)

    Configuration control. An element of configuration management, consisting of the evaluation, coordination, approval or disapproval, and implementation of changes to configuration items after formal establishment of their configuration identification. (IEEE)

    Conformance directed testing. Testing that seeks to establish conformance to requirements or specification. [R. V. Binder, 1999]

    Confirmation testing. Testing done for a new build to verify that the defect reported from a previous build is fixed in this build.

    Cookbook scenario. A test scenario description that provides complete, step-by-step details about how the scenario should be performed. It leaves nothing to change. [Scott Loveland, 2005]

    Coverage analysis. Determining and assessing measures associated with the invocation of program structural elements to determine the adequacy of a test run. Coverage analysis is useful when attempting to execute each statement, branch, path, or iterative structure in a program. Tools that capture this data and provide reports summarizing relevant information have this feature. (NIST)

    CRUD Testing. Build CRUD matrix and test all object creation, reads, updates, and deletion. [William E. Lewis, 2000]

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    Data-Driven testing. An automation approach in which the navigation and functionality of the test script is directed through external data; this approach separates test and control data from the test script. [Daniel J. Mosley, 2002]

    Data flow testing. Testing in which test cases are designed based on variable usage within the code.[BCS]

    Database testing. Check the integrity of database field values. [William E. Lewis, 2000]

    Defect. The difference between the functional specification (including user documentation) and actual program text (source code and data). Often reported as problem and stored in defect-tracking and problem-management system

    Defect. Also called a fault or a bug, a defect is an incorrect part of code that is caused by an error. An error of commission causes a defect of wrong or extra code. An error of omission results in a defect of missing code. A defect may cause one or more failures.[Robert M. Poston, 1996.]

    Defect. A flaw in the software with potential to cause a failure.. [Systematic Software Testing by Rick D. Craig and Stefan P. Jaskiel 2002]

    Defect Age. A measurement that describes the period of time from the introduction of a defect until its discovery. . [Systematic Software Testingby Rick D. Craig and Stefan P. Jaskiel 2002]

    Defect Density. A metric that compares the number of defects to a measure of size (e.g., defects per KLOC). Often used as a measure of defect quality. [Systematic Software Testingby Rick D. Craig and Stefan P. Jaskiel 2002]

    Defect Discovery Rate. A metric describing the number of defects discovered over a specified period of time, usually displayed in graphical form. [Systematic Software Testingby Rick D. Craig and Stefan P. Jaskiel 2002]

    Defect leakage - The defects which were not found during the system / regression or UAT testing and happened in production are called defect leakage. Sometimes Defect Leakage is also called a Bug Leak.

    Defect Removal Efficiency (DRE). A measure of the number of defects discovered in an activity versus the number that could have been found. Often used as a measure of test effectiveness. [Systematic Software Testingby Rick D. Craig and Stefan P. Jaskiel 2002]

    Defect Seeding. The process of intentionally adding known defects to those already in a computer program for the purpose of monitoring the rate of detection and removal, and estimating the number of defects still remaining. Also called Error Seeding. [Systematic Software Testingby Rick D. Craig and Stefan P. Jaskiel 2002]

    Defect Masked. An existing defect that hasn't yet caused a failure because another defect has prevented that part of the code from being executed. [Systematic Software Testingby Rick D. Craig and Stefan P. Jaskiel 2002]

    Depth test. A test case, that exercises some part of a system to a significant level of detail. [Dorothy Graham, 1999]

    Decision Coverage. A test coverage criteria requiring enough test cases such that each decision has a true and false result at least once, and that each statement is executed at least once. Syn: branch coverage. Contrast with condition coverage, multiple condition coverage, path coverage, statement coverage.[G.Myers]

    Design-based testing. Designing tests based on objectives derived from the architectural or detail design of the software (e.g., tests that execute specific invocation paths or probe the worst case behaviour of algorithms). [BCS]

    Diagnostic tests - Tests designed to verify that the hardware components (or modules) of the system are functioning correctly without failure.

    Dirty testing Negative testing. [Beizer]

    Distributed testing – testing of the system from the multiple locations

    Dynamic testing. Testing, based on specific test cases, by execution of the test object or running programs [Tim Koomen, 1999]

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    End-to-End testing. Similar to system testing; the 'macro' end of the test scale; involves testing of a complete application environment in a situation that mimics real-world use, such as interacting with a database, using network communications, or interacting with other hardware, applications, or systems if appropriate.

    Equivalence Partitioning: An approach where classes of inputs are categorized for product or function validation. This usually does not include combinations of input, but rather a single state value based by class. For example, with a given function there may be several classes of input that may be used for positive testing. If function expects an integer and receives an integer as input, this would be considered as positive test assertion. On the other hand, if a character or any other input class other than integer is provided, this would be considered a negative test assertion or condition.
    Read Equivalence Partitioning Tutorial

    Error: An error is a mistake of commission or omission that a person makes. An error causes a defect. In software development one error may cause one or more defects in requirements, designs, programs, or tests.[Robert M. Poston, 1996.]

    Errors: The amount by which a result is incorrect. Mistakes are usually a result of a human action. Human mistakes (errors) often result in faults contained in the source code, specification, documentation, or other product deliverable. Once a fault is encountered, the end result will be a program failure. The failure usually has some margin of error, either high, medium, or low.

    Error Guessing: Another common approach to black-box validation. Black-box testing is when everything else other than the source code may be used for testing. This is the most common approach to testing. Error guessing is when random inputs or conditions are used for testing. Random in this case includes a value either produced by a computerized random number generator, or an ad hoc value or test conditions provided by engineer.

    Error guessing. A test case design technique where the experience of the tester is used to postulate what faults exist, and to design tests specially to expose them [from BS7925-1]

    Error seeding. The purposeful introduction of faults into a program to test effectiveness of a test suite or other quality assurance program. [R. V. Binder, 1999]

    Exception Testing. Identify error messages and exception handling processes an conditions that trigger them. [William E. Lewis, 2000]

    Exhaustive Testing.(NBS) Executing the program with all possible combinations of values for program variables. Feasible only for small, simple programs.

    exhaustive testing A test approach in which the test suite comprises all combinations of input values and preconditions. Usually this is not practically achievable. [Software Testing Foundations, by: Andreas Spillner; Tilo Linz; Hans Schaefer, 2014]

    Exploratory Testing: An interactive process of concurrent product exploration, test design, and test execution. The heart of exploratory testing can be stated simply: The outcome of this test influences the design of the next test. [James Bach]

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    Failure: A failure is a deviation from expectations exhibited by software and observed as a set of symptoms by a tester or user. A failure is caused by one or more defects. The Causal Trail. A person makes an error that causes a defect that causes a failure.[Robert M. Poston, 1996]

    Fault revealing test case A test case that, when executed, leads to a different result than the specified or expected one. [Software Testing Foundations, by: Andreas Spillner; Tilo Linz; Hans Schaefer, 2014]

    Fix testing. Rerunning of a test that previously found the bug in order to see if a supplied fix works. [Scott Loveland, 2005]

    Follow-up testing, we vary a test that yielded aless-thanspectacular failure. We vary the operation, data, or environment,asking whether the underlying fault in the code can yield amore serious failure or a failure under a broader range ofcircumstances.[Measuring the Effectiveness of Software Testers,Cem Kaner, STAR East 2003]

    Forensic testing. conducting forensic examinations on computersand other digital devices and media and clearly document, control, prepare and present examination results.

    Formal Testing. (IEEE) Testing conducted in accordance with test plans and procedures that have been reviewed and approved by a customer, user, or designated level of management. Antonym: informal testing.

    Framework scenario. A test scenario definition that provides only enough high-level information to remind the tester of everything that needs to be covered for that scenario. The description captures the activity’s essence, but trusts the tester to work through the specific steps required.[Scott Loveland, 2005]

    Free Form Testing. Ad hoc or brainstorming using intuition to define test cases. [William E. Lewis, 2000]

    Functional Decomposition Approach. An automation method in which the test cases are reduced to fundamental tasks, navigation, functional tests, data verification, and return navigation; also known as Framework Driven Approach. [Daniel J. Mosley, 2002]

    Functional testing Application of test data derived from the specified functional requirements without regard to the final program structure. Also known as black-box testing.

    Function verification test (FVT). Testing of a complete, yet containable functional area or component within the overall software package. Normally occurs immediately after Unit test. Also known as Integration test. [Scott Loveland, 2005]

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    Gray box testing. Tests involving inputs and outputs, but test design is educated by information about the code or the program operation of a kind that would normally be out of scope of view of the tester.[Cem Kaner]

    Gray box testing. Test designed based on the knowledge of algorithm, internal states, architectures, or other high -level descriptions of the program behavior. [Doug Hoffman]

    Gray box testing. Examines the activity of back-end components during test case execution. Two types of problems that can be encountered during gray-box testing are:

  • A component encounters a failure of some kind, causing the operation to beaborted. The user interface will typically indicate that an error hasoccurred.
  • The test executes in full, but the content of the results is incorrect. Somewhere in the system, a component processed data incorrectly, causing the error in the results.
    [Elfriede Dustin. "Quality Web Systems: Performance,Security & Usability."]

    Grooved Tests. Tests that simply repeat the same activity against a target product from cycle to cycle. [Scott Loveland, 2005]

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    Heuristic Testing:An approach to test design that employs heuristics to enable rapid development of test cases.[James Bach]

    High-level tests. These tests involve testing whole, complete products [Kit, 1995]

    HTML validation testing. Specific to Web testing. This certifies that the HTML meets specifications and internal coding standards.
    W3C Markup Validation Service, a free service that checks Web documents in formats like HTML andXHTML for conformance to W3C Recommendations and other standards.

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    "ility" testing security, maintainability, interoperability, compatibility, reliability, and installability software testing. [p 223, Agile testing by Lisa Crispin, 2009]

    In-parameter-order (IPO) testing. Combinatorial testing technique for the generation of test cases that for any pair of input parameters of the system under test at least one test case must be created for minimum coverage.

    Incremental integration testing. Incremental integration testing - continuous testing of an application as new functionality is added; requires that various aspects of an application's functionality be independent enough to work separately before all parts of the program are completed, or that test drivers be developed as needed; done by programmers or by testers.

    Inspection. A formal evaluation technique in which software requirements, design, or code are examined in detail by person or group other than the author to detect faults, violations of development standards, and other problems [IEEE94]. A quality improvement process for written material that consists of two dominant components: product (document) improvement and process improvement (document production and inspection).

    Integration. The process of combining software components or hardware components or both into overall system.

    Integration testing - testing of combined parts of an application to determine if they function together correctly. The 'parts' can be code modules, individual applications, client and server applications on a network, etc. This type of testing is especially relevant to client/server and distributed systems.

    Integration Testing. Testing conducted after unit and feature testing. The intent is to expose faults in the interactions between software modules and functions. Either top-down or bottom-up approaches can be used. A bottom-up method is preferred, since it leads to earlier unit testing (step-level integration) This method is contrary to the big-bang approach where all source modules are combined and tested in one step. The big-bang approach to integration should be discouraged.

    Interface Tests. Programs that probide test facilities for external interfaces and function calls. Simulation is often used to test external interfaces that currently may not be available for testing or are difficult to control. For example, hardware resources such as hard disks and memory may be difficult to control. Therefore, simulation can provide the characteristics or behaviors for specific function.

    Internationalization testing (I18N) - testing related to handling foreign text and data within the program. This would include sorting, importing and exporting test and data, correct handling of currency and date and time formats, string parsing, upper and lower case handling and so forth. [Clinton De Young, 2003].

    Interoperability Testing which measures the ability of your software to communicate across the network on multiple machines from multiple vendors each of whom may have interpreted a design specification critical to your success differently.

    Inter-operability Testing. True inter-operability testing concerns testing for unforeseen interactions with other packages with which your software has no direct connection. In some quarters, inter-operability testing labor equals all other testing combined. This is the kind of testing that I say shouldn?t be done because it can't be done.[from Quality Is Not The Goal. By Boris Beizer, Ph. D.]

    Inspection. A formal evaluation technique in which software requirements, design, or code are examined in detail by person or group other than the author to detect faults, violations of development standards, and other problems [IEEE94].

    Install/uninstall testing. Testing of full, partial, or upgrade install/uninstall processes.

    Investigative testing. Investigative testing efforts reveal any problems that developers missed long before they become too expensive to address. These defects might pertain to usability or integration problems, sometimes they pertain to requirements which we missed or simply haven't implemented yet, and sometimes they pertain to things we simply didn't think to test for. [Scott W. Ambler]

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    Java testing Coming soon

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    Key Word-Driven Testing. The approach developed by Carl Nagle of the SAS Institute that is offered as freeware on the Web; Key Word-Driven Testing is an enhancement to the data-driven methodology. [Daniel J. Mosley, 2002]

    Kludge fix - temporary bug fix

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    Latent bug A bug that has been dormant (unobserved) in two or more releases. [R. V. Binder, 1999]

    Lateral testing. A test design technique based on lateral thinking principals, to identify faults. [Dorothy Graham, 1999]

    Limits testing. See Boundary Condition testing.

    Linear Code Sequence And Jump (LCSAJ) Testing A white-box test design technique that you can use to design test cases for a software component that executes LCSAJs.

    Load testing. Testing an application under heavy loads, such as testing of a web site under a range of loads to determine at what point the system's response time degrades or fails.

    Load stress test. A test is design to determine how heavy a load the application can handle.

    Load-stability test. Test design to determine whether a Web application will remain serviceable over extended time span.

    Load isolation test. The workload for this type of test is designed to contain only the subset of test cases that caused the problem in previous testing.

    logical test case A test case without concrete values for the input data and expected results. Usually, value ranges (equivalence classes) are given. [Software Testing Foundations, by: Andreas Spillner; Tilo Linz; Hans Schaefer, 2014]

    Longevity testing. See Reliability testing.

    Long-haul Testing. See Reliability testing.

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    Master Test Planning. An activity undertaken to orchestrate the testing effort across levels and organizations.[Systematic Software Testing by Rick D. Craig and Stefan P. Jaskiel 2002]

    Maintenance testing A type of testing that includes all software testing activities related to examining the impact of the changes made to an operational system or other environment changes.

    Manual testing The process of testing software without the use of automated tools.

    Memory leak testing. Testing the server components to see if memory is not properly referenced and released, which can lead to instability and the product's crashing.

    Model-Based Testing. Model-based testing takes the application and models it so that each state of each input, output, form, and function is represented. Since this is based on detailing the various states of objects and data, this type of testing is very similar to charting out states. Many times a tool is used to automatically go through all the states in the model and try different inputs in each to ensure that they all interact correctly.[Lydia Ash, 2003]

    Monkey Testing.Testers use the term monkey when referring to a fully automated testing tool. This tool doesn’t know how to use any application, so it performs mouse clicks on the screen or keystrokes on the keyboard randomly. The test monkey is technically known to conduct stochastic testing, which is in the category of black-box testing. There are different types of monkey testing.[Visual Test 6 Bible by Thomas R. Arnold, 1998 ]

    Monkey Testing. (smart monkey testing) Input are generated from probability distributions that reflect actual expected usage statistics -- e.g., from user profiles. There are different levels of IQ in smart monkey testing. In the simplest, each input is considered independent of the other inputs. That is, a given test requires an input vector with five components. In low IQ testing, these would be generated independently. In high IQ monkey testing, the correlation (e.g., the covariance) between these input distribution is taken into account. In all branches of smart monkey testing, the input is considered as a single event.[Visual Test 6 Bible by Thomas R. Arnold, 1998 ]

    Monkey Testing. (brilliant monkey testing) The inputs are created from a stochastic regular expression or stochastic finite-state machine model of user behavior. That is, not only are the values determined by probability distributions, but the sequence of values and the sequence of states in which the input provider goes is driven by specified probabilities.[Visual Test 6 Bible by Thomas R. Arnold, 1998 ]

    Monkey Testing. (dumb-monkey testing)Inputs are generated from a uniform probability distribution without regard to the actual usage statistics.[Visual Test 6 Bible by Thomas R. Arnold, 1998 ]

    Maximum Simultaneous Connection testing. This is a test performed to determine the number of connections which the firewall or Web server is capable of handling.

    Migration Testing. Testing to see if the customer will be able to transition smoothly from a prior version of the software to a new one. [Scott Loveland, 2005]

    Mirror testing Testing – manual or automated simultaneous of multiple environment configurations sometimes on different platforms.

    Mutation testing. A testing strategy where small variations to a program are inserted (a mutant), followed by execution of an existing test suite. If the test suite detects the mutant, the mutant is 'retired.' If undetected, the test suite must be revised. [R. V. Binder, 1999]

    Multiple Condition Coverage. A test coverage criteria which requires enough test cases such that all possible combinations of condition outcomes in each decision, and all points of entry, are invoked at least once.[G.Myers] Contrast with branch coverage, condition coverage, decision coverage, path coverage, statement coverage.

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    Negative test. A test whose primary purpose is falsification; that is tests designed to break the software[B.Beizer1995]

    Noncritical code analysis. Examines software elements that are not designated safety-critical and ensures that these elements do not cause a hazard. (IEEE)

    Nonfunctional testing The testing of behavioral characteristics of software such as reliability, usability, efficiency, maintainability, and portability.[Occasionally used by some authors in a dictionary]

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    Orthogonal array testing: Technique can be used to reduce the number of combination and provide maximum coverage with a minimum number of TC.Pay attention to the fact that it is an old and proven technique. The OAT was introduced for the first time by Plackett and Burman in 1946 and was implemented by G. Taguchi, 1987

    Read more Orthogonal Array Testing

    Orthogonal array testing: Mathematical technique to determine which variations of parameters need to be tested. [William E. Lewis, 2000]

    Oracle. Test Oracle: a mechanism to produce the predicted outcomes to compare with the actual outcomes of the software under test [from BS7925-1]

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    Pairwise testing. Integration testing technique for verification that two elements can function together as expected.

    Parallel Testing. Testing a new or an alternate data processing system with the same source data that is used in another system. The other system is considered as the standard of comparison. Syn: parallel run.[ISO]

    Partition testing. Testing technique based on an assumption that all elements in any no overlapping subdomain have the same behaviour and test inputs can be selected accordingly to this assumption.

    Pebkac. Pebkac- A user error is an error made by the human user of a complex system, usually a computer system, in interacting with it.

    Penetration testing. The process of attacking a host from outside to ascertain remote security vulnerabilities. Other responsibilities of professional penetration tester is to enforce the countermeasure's for certain types of known attacks and vulnerabilities.

    Performance Testing. Testing conducted to evaluate the compliance of a system or component with specific performance requirements [BS7925-1]

    Performance testing can be undertaken to: 1) show that the system meets specified performance objectives, 2) tune the system, 3) determine the factors in hardware or software that limit the system's performance, and 4) project the system's future load- handling capacity in order to schedule its replacements" [Software System Testing and Quality Assurance. Beizer, 1984, p. 256]

    Pilot testing – The process of testing a new system in a production environment after software development.

    Postmortem. Self-analysis of interim or fully completed testing activities with the goal of creating improvements to be used in future.[Scott Loveland, 2005]

    Preventive Testing Building test cases based upon the requirements specification prior to the creation of the code, with the express purpose of validating the requirements [Systematic Software Testing by Rick D. Craig and Stefan P. Jaskiel 2002]

    Prior Defect History Testing. Test cases are created or rerun for every defect found in prior tests of the system. [William E. Lewis, 2000]

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    Qualification Testing. (IEEE) Formal testing, usually conducted by the developer for the consumer, to demonstrate that the software meets its specified requirements. See: acceptance testing.

    Quality. The degree to which a program possesses a desired combination of attributes that enable it to perform its specified end use.

    Quality Assurance (QA) Consists of planning, coordinating and other strategic activities associated with measuring product quality against external requirements and specifications (process-related activities).

    Quality Control (QC) Consists of monitoring, controlling and other tactical activities associated with the measurement of product quality goals.

    Our definition of Quality: Achieving the target (not conformance to requirements as used by many authors) & minimizing the variability of the system under test

    Quicktest. A quicktest (or an attack) is a cheap test that has some value but requires little preparation, knowledge, or time to perform. [Cem Kaner, Exploratory Test Automation, 2009]

    [Software Testing Dictionary Back to Top]

    Race condition defect. Many concurrent defects result from data-race conditions. A data-race condition may be defined as two accesses to a shared variable, at least one of which is a write, with no mechanism used by either to prevent simultaneous access. However, not all race conditions are defects.

    Railroading testing technique – testing techniques with strategy to continue execution of test suite in the next testing cycle.

    Random-input testing.The processes of testing a program by randomly selecting a subset of all possible input values.[Glenford J.Myers, 2004]

    Reactive testing – tester create the test details on-the-fly in reaction to the reality presented by the system under test. [Rex Black, 2007]

    Recovery testing Testing how well a system recovers from crashes, hardware failures, or other catastrophic problems.

    Regression Testing. Testing conducted for the purpose of evaluating whether or not a change to the system (all CM items) has introduced a new failure. Regression testing is often accomplished through the construction, execution and analysis of product and system tests.

    Regression Testing. - testing that is performed after making a functional improvement or repair to the program. Its purpose is to determine if the change has regressed other aspects of the program [Glenford J.Myers, 1979]

    More about  Regression Testing

    Regulatory testing - Testing design to ensure that the system meets the requirements according of all government/ministry/standard regulations.Reengineering. The process of examining and altering an existing system to reconstitute it in a new form. May include reverse engineering (analyzing a system and producing a representation at a higher level of abstraction, such as design from code), restructuring (transforming a system from one representation to another at the same level of abstraction), recommendation (analyzing a system and producing user and support documentation), forward engineering (using software products derived from an existing system, together with new requirements, to produce a new system), and translation (transforming source code from one language to another or from one version of a language to another).

    Reference testing. A way of deriving expected outcomes by manually validating a set of actual outcomes. A less rigorous alternative to predicting expected outcomes in advance of test execution. [Dorothy Graham, 1999]

    Reliability testing. Verify the probability of failure free operation of a computer program in a specified environment for a specified time.

    Reliability of an object is defined as the probability that it will not fail under specified conditions, over a period of time. The specified conditions are usually taken to be fixed, while the time is taken as an independent variable. Thus reliability is often written R(t) as a function of time t, the probability that the object will not fail within time t.

    Any computer user would probably agree that most software is flawed, and the evidence for this is that it does fail. All software flaws are designed in -- the software does not break, rather it was always broken. But unless conditions are right to excite the flaw, it will go unnoticed -- the software will appear to work properly. [Professor Dick Hamlet. Ph.D.]

    Range Testing. For each input identifies the range over which the system behavior should be the same. [William E. Lewis, 2000]

    Risk-Based Testing: Any testing organized to explore specific product risks.[James Bach website]

    Risk management. An organized process to identify what can go wrong, to quantify and access associated risks, and to implement/control the appropriate approach for preventing or handling each risk identified.

    Robust test. A test, that compares a small amount of information, so that unexpected side effects are less likely to affect whether the test passed or fails. [Dorothy Graham, 1999]

    Robustness testing. Also known as negative testing [Occasionally used by some authors in a dictionary]

    [Software Testing Dictionary Back to Top]

    Sanity Testing - typically an initial testing effort to determine if a new software version is performing well enough to accept it for a major testing effort. For example, if the new software is often crashing systems, bogging down systems to a crawl, or destroying databases, the software may not be in a 'sane' enough condition to warrant further testing in its current state.

    Scalability testing is a subtype of performance test where performance requirements for response time, throughput, and/or utilization are tested as load on the SUT is increased over time. [Load Testing Terminology by Scott Stirling ]

    Scenario-Based Testing. Scenario-based testing is one way to document the software specifications and requirements for a project. Scenario-based testing takes each user scenario and develops tests that verify that a given scenario works. Scenarios focus on the main goals and requirements. If the scenario is able to flow from the beginning to the end, then it passes.[Lydia Ash, 2003]

    (SDLC) System Development Life Cycle - a phases used to develop, maintain, and replace information systems. Typical phases in the SDLC are: Initiation Phase, Planning Phase, Functional Design Phase, System Design Phase, Development Phase, Integration and Testing Phase, Installation and Acceptance Phase, and Maintenance Phase.
    The V-model talks about SDLC (System Development Life Cycle) phases and maps them to various test levels
    Read about Bug Management through SDLC

    Security Audit. An examination (often by third parties) of a server's security controls and may be disaster recovery mechanisms.

    Sensitive test. A test, that compares a large amount of information, so that it is more likely to defect unexpected differences between the actual and expected outcomes of the test. [Dorothy Graham, 1999]

    Semi-random test Cases As the name specifies semi-random testing is nothing but controlling random testing and removing redundant test cases. So what we do is perform random test cases and equivalence partitioning to those test cases, which in turn removes redundant test cases, thus giving us semi-random test cases. [Software Testing, By: S. Koirala; S. Sheikh. Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2009, p55]

    Server log testing. Examining the server logs after particular actions or at regular intervals to determine if there are problems or errors generated or if the server is entering a faulty state.

    Service test. Test software fixes, both individually and bundled together, for software that is already in use by customers. [Scott Loveland, 2005]

    Shotgunning testing technique - testing technique that distributed test scripts randomly during testing in each test cycle.

    Skim Testing A testing technique used to determine the fitness of a new build or release of an AUT to undergo further, more thorough testing. In essence, a "pretest" activity that could form one of the acceptance criteria for receiving the AUT for testing [Testing IT: An Off-the-Shelf Software Testing Process by John Watkins]

    Smoke test describes an initial set of tests that determine if a new version of application performs well enough for further testing.[Louise Tamres, 2002]

    Sniff test. A quick check to see if any major abnormalities are evident in the software.[Scott Loveland, 2005 ]

    Soak testing involves significantly loading a system for an extended period of time and assessing its behavior under an increasing load. (Soak testing is also referred to as load testing.)[Elfriede Dustin, 2009]

    Specification-based test. A test, whose inputs are derived from a specification.

    Spike testing. to test performance or recovery behavior when the system under test (SUT) is stressed with a sudden and sharp increase in load should be considered a type of load test.[ Load Testing Terminology by Scott Stirling ]

    Standards This page lists many standards that can be related to software testing

    State transition testing A black box test design technique in which test cases are designed to execute valid and invalid state transitions of the test object from the different states. The completeness (coverage) of such a test is judged by looking at the states and state transitions. [Software Testing Foundations, by: Andreas Spillner; Tilo Linz; Hans Schaefer, 2014]

    STEP (Systematic Test and Evaluation Process) Software Quality Engineering's copyrighted testing methodology.

    Stability testing. Testing the ability of the software to continue to function, over time and over its full range of use, without failing or causing failure. (see also Reliability testing)

    State-based testing Testing with test cases developed by modeling the system under test as a state machine [R. V. Binder, 1999]

    State Transition Testing. Technique in which the states of a system are fist identified and then test cases are written to test the triggers to cause a transition from one condition to another state. [William E. Lewis, 2000]

    Static testing. Source code analysis. Analysis of source code to expose potential defects.

    Statistical testing. A test case design technique in which a model is used of the statistical distribution of the input to construct representative test cases. [BCS]

    Stealth bug. A bug that removes information useful for its diagnosis and correction. [R. V. Binder, 1999]

    Storage test. Study how memory and space is used by the program, either in resident memory or on disk. If there are limits of these amounts, storage tests attempt to prove that the program will exceed them. [Cem Kaner, 1999, p55]

    Story test – A story test defines expected behaviour for the code to be delivered by the story. [Agile testing by Lisa Crispin, 2009]

    Streamable Test cases. Test cases which are able to run together as part of a large group. [Scott Loveland, 2005]

    Stress / Load / Volume test. Tests that provide a high degree of activity, either using boundary conditions as inputs or multiple copies of a program executing in parallel as examples.

    Stress Test. A stress test is designed to determine how heavy a load the Web application can handle. A huge load is generated as quickly as possible in order to stress the application to its limit. The time between transactions is minimized in order to intensify the load on the application, and the time the users would need for interacting with their Web browsers is ignored. A stress test helps determine, for example, the maximum number of requests a Web application can handle in a specific period of time, and at what point the application will overload and break down.[Load Testing by S. Asbock]

    Structural Testing. (1)(IEEE) Testing that takes into account the internal mechanism [structure] of a system or component. Types include branch testing, path testing, statement testing. (2) Testing to insure each program statement is made to execute during testing and that each program statement performs its intended function. Contrast with functional testing. Syn: white-box testing, glass-box testing, logic driven testing.

    Syntax testing. A black-box testing technique used to design a test case for testing software applications based on the syntax of the input.

    System testing Black-box type testing that is based on overall requirements specifications; covers all combined parts of a system.

    System verification test. (SVT). Testing of an entire software package for the first time, with all components working together to deliver the project's intended purpose on supported hardware platforms. [Scott Loveland, 2005]

    [Software Testing Dictionary Back to Top]

    Table testing. Test access, security, and data integrity of table entries. [William E. Lewis, 2000]

    Teardown of testing environment – The process of restoring to the original state the testing environment after test execution.

    Test Artifact Set. Captures and presents information related to the tests performed.

    Test Bed. An environment containing the hardware, instrumentation, simulators, software tools, and other support elements needed to conduct a test [IEEE 610].

    Test Case. A set of test inputs, executions, and expected results developed for a particular objective.

    Test conditions. The set of circumstances that a test invokes. [Daniel J. Mosley, 2002]

    Test Coverage The degree to which a given test or set of tests addresses all specified test cases for a given system or component.

    Some Types Of Software Testing Coverage read a description

    Test Criteria. Decision rules used to determine whether software item or software feature passes or fails a test.

    Test data. The actual (sets of) values used in the test or that are necessary to execute the test. Test data instantiates the condition being tested (as input or as pre-existing data) and is used to verify that a specific requirement has been successfully implemented (comparing actual results to the expected results). [Daniel J. Mosley, 2002]

    Test Documentation. (IEEE) Documentation describing plans for, or results of, the testing of a system or component, Types include test case specification, test incident report, test log, test plan, test procedure, test report.

    Test Driver A software module or application used to invoke a test item and, often, provide test inputs (data), control and monitor execution. A test driver automates the execution of test procedures.

    Test-driven development (TDD) Is an evolutionary approach to development which combines test-first development where you write a test before you write just enough production code to fulfill that test and refactoring.[Beck 2003; Astels 2003]
    Comparing Test-driven development (TDD) and agile model-driven development (AMDD)

    Test environment bug. Bug class indicating that some test environment is found to be insufficient to support some test type or inconsistent with its specification. [DOD STD 2167A].

    Test Harness A system of test drivers and other tools to support test execution (e.g., stubs, executable test cases, and test drivers). See: test driver.

    Test Inputs. Artifacts from work processes that are used to identify and define actions that occur during testing. These artifacts may come from development processes that are external to the test group. Examples include Functional Requirements Specifications and Design Specifications. They may also be derived from previous testing phases and passed to subsequent testing activities.[Daniel J. Mosley, 2002]

    Test Idea: an idea for testing something.[James Bach]

    Test Item. A software item which is the object of testing.[IEEE]

    Test Log A chronological record of all relevant details about the execution of a test.[IEEE]

    Test logistics: the set of ideas that guide the application of resources to fulfilling the test strategy.[James Bach]

    Test Plan. A high-level document that defines a testing project so that it can be properly measured and controlled. It defines the test strategy and organized elements of the test life cycle, including resource requirements, project schedule, and test requirements

    Test purpose. Detail description of the objectives for verification of the TC (test case.)

    Test Procedure. A document, providing detailed instructions for the [manual] execution of one or more test cases. [BS7925-1] Often called - a manual test script.

    Test Results. Data captured during the execution of test and used in calculating the different key measures of testing.[Daniel J. Mosley, 2002]

    Test Rig A flexible combination of hardware, software, data, and interconnectivity that can be configured by the Test Team to simulate a variety of different Live Environments on which an AUT can be delivered.[Testing IT: An Off-the-Shelf Software Testing Process by John Watkins ]

    Test Run Execution of one or several test cases on a specific version of the test object. [Software Testing Foundations, by: Andreas Spillner; Tilo Linz; Hans Schaefer, 2014]

    Test Script. The computer readable instructions that automate the execu- tion of a test procedure (or portion of a test procedure). Test scripts may be created (recorded) or automatically generated using test automation tools, programmed using a programming language, or created by a combination of recording, generating, and programming.[Daniel J. Mosley, 2002]

    Test strategy. Describes the general approach and objectives of the test activities. [Daniel J. Mosley, 2002]

    Test Status. The assessment of the result of running tests on software.

    Test Stub A dummy software component or object used (during development and testing) to simulate the behaviour of a real component. The stub typically provides test output.

    Test Suites A test suite consists of multiple test cases (procedures and data) that are combined and often managed by a test harness.

    Test technique: test method; a heuristic or algorithm for designing and/or executing a test; a recipe for a test. [James Bach]

    Test Tree. A physical implementation of Test Suite. [Dorothy Graham, 1999]

    Testability. Attributes of software that bear on the effort needed for validating the modified software [ISO 8402]

    Testability Hooks. Those functions, integrated in the software that can be invoked through primarily undocumented interfaces to drive specific processing which would otherwise be difficult to exercise. [Scott Loveland, 2005]

    Testing. The execution of tests with the intent of providing that the system and application under test does or does not perform according to the requirements specification.

    (TPI) Test Process Improvement. A method for baselining testing processes and identifying process improvement opportunities, using a static model developed by Martin Pol and Tim Koomen.

    Test Suite. The set of tests that when executed instantiate a test scenario.[Daniel J. Mosley, 2002]

    Test Workspace. Private areas where testers can install and test code in accordance with the project's adopted standards in relative isolation from the developers.[Daniel J. Mosley, 2002]

    Thread Testing. A testing technique used to test the business functionality or business logic of the AUT in an end-to-end manner, in much the same way a User or an operator might interact with the system during its normal use.[Testing IT: An Off-the-Shelf Software Testing Process by John Watkins ]

    Time Partition Testing. (TPT) is a systematic test methodology for the automated software test of embedded control systems.[wiki]

    Timing and Serialization Problems. A class of software defect, usually in multithreaded code, in which two or more tasks attempt to alter a shared software resource without properly coordinating their actions. Also known as Race Conditions.[Scott Loveland, 2005]

    Transient bug. A bug which is evident for a short period of time. see aperiodic bug. [Peter Farrell-Vinay 2008]

    Translation testing. See internationalization testing.

    Thrasher. A type of program used to test for data integrity errors on mainframe system. The name is derived from the first such program, which deliberately generated memory thrashing (the overuse of large amount of memory, leading to heavy paging or swapping) while monitoring for corruption. [Scott Loveland, 2005]

    Top Down Testing Technique read a description

    [Software Testing Dictionary Back to Top]

    Unit Testing. Testing performed to isolate and expose faults and failures as soon as the source code is available, regardless of the external interfaces that may be required. Oftentimes, the detailed design and requirements documents are used as a basis to compare how and what the unit is able to perform. White and black-box testing methods are combined during unit testing.

    Usability testing. Testing for 'user-friendliness'. Clearly this is subjective, and will depend on the targeted end-user or customer.

    [Software Testing Dictionary Back to Top]

    Validation. The comparison between the actual characteristics of something (e.g. a product of a software project and the expected characteristics).Validation is checking that you have built the right system.

    Variance. A variance is an observable and measurable difference between an actual result and an expected result.

    Verification The comparison between the actual characteristics of something (e.g. a product of a software project) and the specified characteristics.Verification is checking that we have built the system right.

    Volume testing. Testing where the system is subjected to large volumes of data.[BS7925-1]

    [Software Testing Dictionary Back to Top]

    Walkthrough In the most usual form of term, a walkthrough is step by step simulation of the execution of a procedure, as when walking through code line by line, with an imagined set of inputs. The term has been extended to the review of material that is not procedural, such as data descriptions, reference manuals, specifications, etc.

    Walkthroughs versus Inspections This page lists some recomendations that can be related to Walkthrough and Inspection

    White Box Testing (glass-box). Testing is done under a structural testing strategy and require complete access to the object's structure¡that is, the source code.[B. Beizer, 1995 p8],

    [Software Testing Dictionary Back to Top]

    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    1. Documentation and standards from:
  • BCS - British Computer Society
  • IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • ANSI - American National Standards Institute
  • ISO - International Standard Organization
  • NBS - National British standard
  • DOD - Department Of Defense (USA)
  • BS7925-1 British Standard BS 7925-1 Vocabulary of terms in software testing
    2. software testing books

    The following answers can be used in any educational program written test as well as an interview questions for QA/ software testing position.

  • What is Boundary Value Analysis?
  • How is Capability Maturity Model organized?
  • What is Equivalence Partitioning?
  • Describe Orthogonal Array Testing.
  • Compare Test-driven development (TDD) and agile model-driven development (AMDD)
  • Describe Top Down Testing Technique
  • Describe Walkthroughs versus Inspections
    You can also find on this website:
  • Standards related to Software Testing,
  • QA Dictionary,
  • Acronyms and abbreviations in software testing
  • Software testing terminology

    This Internet Software Testing Computer Encyclopedia can be useful for students and other educational purposes as well as a reference material and a glossary for technical support.

    © 2004-2008 Alex Samurin   2009-2014
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