Quality Assurance Testing

Quality Assurance (QA) Testing is immensely important integral aspect of the application development cycle. This takes place at various stages during the development cycle. The reason why this is considered such an important part of the development cycle is because as you can imagine, applications are generally relatively complex conglomeration of smaller programs and so the chances are very good that bugs will creep into the code base.

As was discussed earlier, the client will have a preconceived idea of what the package will deliver and it is the job of the development team to ensure that what is delivered is what is expected.

There are four major test points: modular testing, program testing, system testing and acceptance testing. In each case, the objects are tested against their specifications produced during the design stage, or the start of the software development cycle.

Modular Testing:

This is the lowest level of testing and is normally done by the programmer developing the module. Modules are tested with typical data, as well as extreme cases and invalid data. The programmer can then implement the correct validation etc. to ensure the stability of the module.

Program Testing:

Program testing takes place when the different modules have been created and individually tested and are now knit together to form an application. Program testing is done using a predetermined set of testing data – normally prepared in a testing procedures / cases document.

This data is comprised of normal ‘expected’ data, erroneous data, and all other types of data that could possibly cause the system to crash.

Program testing continues until all issues have been sorted out to the satisfaction of the programmers, project leader and the systems analysts. This then insures the client’s satisfaction.

System Testing:

This is the stage where the system as a whole gets tested. The programs are run in their intended sequence and the various parts of the manual sequence are carried out. The passing of data from one stage to the next is checked, as are security and stability. System testing is the last stage of testing and is normally done by a dedicated testing person / team. Once the system has passed QA, the system is ready to be tried out by the users.

Acceptance Testing:

Acceptance testing is carried out by the users and happens during and after training. The users will then test the system to see whether it meets the specifications and performs to their satisfaction. They are expected to try and ‘break’ the system with awkward cases and incorrect data. One of the main areas that get evaluated at this time is the user interface. This is what the users will have the most exposure and it is very important that all tasks can be carried out easily and efficiently. Any issues that arise during this process then get resolved. Modifications are implemented into the system until the users are satisfied.

System Implementation:

The final phase of the programming cycle is the actual implementation of the system. During this time there is support staff available at all times to pick up any issues that may arise. Once the system has run for some time without any serious issues it can be regarded as complete.


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