Software testing has gained enormous importance in today’s world. Although we use the word “Software Testing” frequently,  many people do not know that there are different software testing methods. This article gives insight into the different software testing methods. In broad, there are three software testing methods and they are Black Box Testing, White Box Testing and Grey Box Testing.

Software Testing Methods

Black Box Testing

The software application can be tested even if the tester does not have any knowledge about the internal workings of the application. This type of testing is called as Black Box Testing. In this case, the tester will not have any idea about the system architecture and will not have access to the source code. The tester will interact with system’s user interface by providing inputs and then examine the outputs without knowing how the system works.

Advantages of Black Box Testing

  • Best and most suited for large code segments
  • No need to access the code
  • User’s perception will be clearly separated from the developer’s perspective with well-defined roles.
  • Testers with average skill can perform this method of testing.

Disadvantages of Black Box Testing

  • Only a limited number of test scenarios can be performed.
  • Testing will be inefficient most of the time as the tester does not have complete knowledge of the application.
  • Tester cannot target specific codes, it has a blind coverage
  • Designing test cases is a difficult task

White Box Testing

When the internal logic and the structure of the code are investigated closely, this method of testing is called as White Box Testing or Glass Testing or Open Box Testing. Only a tester who knows the internal working of the code can perform White Box Testing. The tester will look inside the source code to identify the unit or chunk that is behaving improperly.

Advantages of White Box Testing

  • Here the tester has good knowledge about the source code and hence it is very easy to identify the type of data that helps in testing the application.
  • Code optimization is possible
  • Hidden defects can be repaired by removing extra lines of code
  • Maximum coverage will be attained while writing test scenario as the tester has full knowledge about the code.

Disadvantages of White Box Testing

  • The tester should have good knowledge about the source code and hence only a skilled tester can perform White Box Testing. This will increase the cost of testing.
  • It may not be possible always to check the entire applications for hidden defects.
  • Maintaining White Box Testing is difficult as it needs many specialized tools.

Grey Box Testing

This method of testing comes somewhere in the middle of White Box Testing and Black Box Testing. A limited method about the internal working of the system is enough to perform this method of Testing. Certainly, mastering the domain of the system will certainly provide the tester an upper hand. In Grey Box Testing, the testers knowledge is limited and he or she will have access to documents and database.

Advantages of Grey Box Testing

  • Provides the combined benefits of both Black Box Testing and White Box Testing.
  • Testing will be performed as per interface definition and functional performance instead of relying on the source code.
  • Based on the limited knowledge, the testers can design brilliant test scenarios.
  • The testing will be performed from the perspective of the user and not the developer.

Disadvantages of Grey Box Testing

  • Ability to go over the code and test coverage is limited as there is no access to the source code.
  • Tests can be redundant
  • It will take more time to test each and every input stream and hence it is unrealistic. It creates the chances for many program paths to go untested.

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