Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Why Should You Test Your Application All the Time?

 Test Your Application All the Time

Nowadays, each software application needs to deliver seamless user experience across multiple devices, platforms and browsers to stay popular and profitable. But the performance and user experience of the software is impacted by a number of external factors including systems, processes and infrastructures. No business can exercise control over these external factors affecting its software’s user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). That is why; it becomes essential for businesses to test their software repeatedly and continuously to maintain its quality and user experience.

5 Reasons Why Software Applications Must Be Tested Continuously
1) Shorter Delivery Cycles
A steady increase is being noted in the number of organizations adopting agile project management methodology. The agile methodology emphasizes on short and incremental software delivery cycles. The methodology further requires programmers and testers to work together and concurrently. Once a particular functionality or module of the software is developed, the testers need to assess its quality and share the test results with various stakeholders in the project. The shorter delivery cycles have made it essential for businesses to perform continuous testing.

2) Early Detections of Defects and Bugs
Many studies have highlighted a business can reduce software testing time and cost drastically through continuous testing. When the defects or bugs in an application are detected early, it becomes easier for programmers to get them fixed. As the code is still fresh in their mind, the programmers can work on the defects without putting extra time and effort. Thus, a business can switch from waterfall testing to continuous testing to reduce the defect turnaround time significantly.

3) Overcome Time and Resource Constraints
Most businesses explore ways to enhance test coverage by overcoming constraints related to resources and time. When the software testing commences after the development phase of the project, the testers have to perform the required tests within a stipulated amount of time without affecting the software’s time to market. But when the testers perform continuous testing, it becomes easier for them to complete all tests without requiring any additional time. Hence, continuous testing helps businesses to deliver a flawless software application despite the constraints related to time and resources.

4) Produce High Quality Code
Many enterprises nowadays review source code of software applications to make it safe and secure. The testing model requires the source code of the software to be assessed and reviewed frequently and thoroughly. While reviewing the source code, the testers can identify the pieces of code that may make the application vulnerable to security attacks. A business can always produce high quality code by performing continuous testing. When software is tested continuously, it becomes easier for testers to each and everything in a build. They can even review the source code of the software repeatedly to ensure that the software is not vulnerable to evolving security threats.

5) Essential for Mobile Apps
Nowadays most businesses develop mobile apps by targeting multiple devices and platforms. So they need to ensure that the app deliver quality user experience across many devices and platforms. Likewise, they need to check the application’s user interface across different models of smartphones, tablets and phablets. With mobile operating systems being updated at regular intervals and new mobile apps emerging on a regular basis, it has become essential for businesses to check the mobile app’s performance and user experience continuously. So the businesses must test the mobile apps continuously to accomplish more downloads and higher returns.

Each enterprise can facilitate continuous software testing in a number of ways. It can always provide testers with test automation tools to perform the tests repeatedly and continuously without putting extra time and effort. Likewise, it can adopt continuous integration (CI) methodology to enable the testers to perform the tests accurately and frequently. 

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Why Should Organizations Go Agile in Their Testing Approach

Why Should Organizations Go Agile in Their Testing Approach

The agile project management methodology emphasizes on software applications being developed and tested in rapid and incremental cycles. The model does not consider software development and software testing as two distinct processes. In an agile environment, the programmers and testers have to work together to ensure that the software quality is maintained. The collaboration promotes continuous iteration of development and testing throughout the entire software development life cycle (SDLC).  Each business can reap a number of benefits by adopting the agile software testing model.

Understanding Important Benefits of Agile Testing Methodology

Instantaneous Feedback
In an agile environment, programmers and testers work as a single team. So the entire team is responsible for software quality. The testers can write unit tests each time a new feature or functionality is added to the application, and test the new code almost immediately. Further, they can provide instant feedback to the programmers about defects or bugs in the software. Based on the feedback received from the testers, the programmers can fix the bugs in the same build.

Better and Continuous Communication
In an agile environment, testers have to stay connected with programmers, project managers, customers and other stakeholders in the project. The emphasis on people and interaction results in better and effective communication. The programmers can simply contact the testers to gather more specific and detailed information about the bugs identified by them.  The daily scrum sessions further help the entire team to focus on identifying and fixing important issues in advance.

Easy to Eliminate Major Defects
It becomes easier for programmers to fix the bugs when the defects in the application are identified immediate after the coding phase. As the code it still fresh in the programmer’s mind, he can get the defects fixed without putting any extra time and effort. The instant feedback provided by testers help developers to work on major bugs in the application almost immediately. The business can further avoid additional cost when the bugs are identified during the coding phase.

Easy to Reproduce Bugs
While preparing a bug report, testers have to write detailed and specific information about the bugs identified in the software. They can further reduce the defect turnaround time drastically by reproducing the bugs. But testers have to put additional time and effort to reproduce the bugs. In an agile environment, they test the software once the code is written. So they find time to write detailed bug reports and reproduce the defects accurately. 

Easy to Incorporate Changes
To reap benefits of waterfall software testing, a business has to define the business requirements from the beginning of the project. But software developers nowadays have to build applications based on frequently-changing business requirements. So it becomes impossible for the managers to outline the business requirements clearly before the project starts. But a business can always adopt agile testing methodology to incorporate changes and enhancements required by the client. In an agile environment, applications are developed and tested in short sprints. So the programmer and testers have to focus only on a single sprint with specific features. They can easily accommodate the new business requirements in the next sprint without any hassle.

Enhanced Test Coverage
Often developers have to test software thoroughly without increasing its time to delivery. So they have to prioritize the defects at the time of preparing bug reports. But agile methodology enables testers to perform tests continuously throughout the software development life cycle. Many enterprises even invest in test automation tools to enable testers to repeat the tests under various conditions. Thus, the testers can assess all aspects of the software without affecting the delivery time.

Shorter Delivery Period
Each business has to deliver software continuously and rapidly to make the client happy. Hence, businesses frequently explore ways to shorten the delivery period. Agile methodology emphasize on development and testing of the application in small iterations. So it becomes easier for enterprises to deliver the working software to the client at frequent intervals.  The constant interaction between the testers and customers further resolve various issues and differences without any delay.

However, it is also important for the organization to keep in mind some of the important shortcomings of agile testing model. Likewise, the managers also need to understand when to use the agile testing methodology. But each enterprise can reap benefits in terms of time, quality and cost by implementing a custom agile testing strategy.    

Monday, 1 February 2016

Security Testing - The Challenges Faced by Testers

Challenges Faced by Security Testers

With the advancement of technology it has provided us with many benefits as well as helped us to lead a life of luxury and ease. It has also helped in diminishing the distance between the people and increased chances of communication. However, like all good things, this advancement too has certain negativities which are majorly looming up on us like the security threats that are becoming stronger and stronger. This makes security testing very important in the current days.
  1. Very Frequent Changes: With the ever increasing demands of the customers, the developers have to bring about frequent updates and changes in the application they are developing. This has to be combined with the regular testing of the software to check if the security is top notch even after the changes that have been brought about. Previously testing needed to be done on the alpha and the final product, but this frequent testing poses to be a real challenge. These changes make all year round testing compulsory.
  2. Too Many Pages: With the development of better and more detailed applications, contents which require testing also increases. This in turn increases the time required for testing these detailed applications. Automation tools may ease this challenge faced by the testers but it only accounts for certain vulnerabilities of the applications the rest of which has to be detected by manual process in order to be rectified. This challenge can be somewhat avoided by keeping special focus on the various threats which appears again and again on the application which may help in cutting down the cost of the whole security testing process and ease the challenges.
  3.  Lots of Privilege Levels: Prevention of privilege escalation via holes in the application is one of the major jobs of the security testing process. With the increase of privileges provided to the customers the number of security tests applicable to the applications automatically increases. Increased number of tests will result in increased time invested as well as increase focus for each of the application which becomes a major issue for the testers. The problem intensifies when the automated tools fails to find the holes which further escalates the already provided privileges and time consuming manual testing procedures are required for it.
  4. A Lot of Ajax: Introduction of Ajax poses to be a serious security threat in the current days. Ajax enables the users of the various applications to request for various little changes in the same. Each of these various little requests allows tempering of the available security changes as these changes could bring about various kinds of cracks in the system. This leads to constant security testing of application by the testers. Another major problem is the fact that although these problems may be related to the old school ones, tools for Ajax security testing are still developing.
  5. Tools Haven’t Matured: The most prevalent challenge which is faced by the testers during security testing of the application is the lack of tools which will be capable of performing automated security tests on the applications that are being developed. The automated tools which are available are only partially capable of detecting the security breaches or loopholes present on the application. This compels the testers to perform the various security tests by the old school manual testing process which requires more labor as well as greater amount of time for the completion and detection of flaws.

These are some of the major challenges that the testers are facing when it comes to security testing of the various software.