White paper prepared by Codel
not an activity that can be made up as you go along. By definition success
targets must be set in advance. This is typically be done be defining a
test script: a repeatable set of instructions that when followed determine
the success or otherwise of some application.
script writing must be done in advance this can often be difficult to do,
particularly in cases where the level of system documentation is poor. It
is thus essential to understand what is appropriate to go into the script.
challenge is defining scripts that meet the following objectives.
Keep agile: Often testing out of proportion of what needs to be tested
Ensure complete coverage: It is important that there are no significant holes in the testing
Develop in cooperation of IT: Develop scripts in close cooperation with
the developers – testers often feel the preparation activity must be done
in a vacuum as they fear that involvement of other parties may contaminate
the impartiality – this is a mistake – typically time is very constrained
at this point of the project so any ways of right sizing are of benefit.
Ensure separation of testers to IT:
The area where you want to keep clear separation in terms of
responsibility is the execution of the tests (rather than the formulating
of test scripts). If the scripts are clear and concise enough to allow a 3rd
party without any domain or functional experience to run, then you have
succeeded in pitching the scripts at the right level.
Define the evidence basis:
How is success verified? SOX mandates that
testing evidence is to be recorded in certain cases.
Ensure the tests are right for what is being tested:
Unless the application is very large, or has very complex STP/ algorithms
the following areas should are really all that should be considered for
the typical web-based application:
Given that the major part the development is user-facing,
quality assurance suite of scripts are to confirm that the user
experience is operating in a consistent way (for example ensuring that
basic standards in UI design are adhered to such as formatting,
accessibility, error-handling, alignment and spelling). Support for
different browsers and operating systems is also to be tested. The
functionality of security (availability to functions for those
with/without a valid account/password) is also covered. The format of
these scripts is a checklist against all screens.
majority of screens form part of an end-to-end enterprise, so it is
important to demonstrate that the users can navigate through the screens
to achieve their end-goal, without any logical breaks or unexpected
behaviour. It is also important to demonstrate that data input in an
earlier stage is carried forward in a consistent manner.
User-experience suite of tests therefore briefly describes
scenarios involving a number of screens to ensure all stages and the end
result occur as expected.
Testing of the behaviour of both inputs and outputs is shown in the
boundary-test suite of scripts. With the inputs this works by
examining that values of each control in isolation and stressing them
with boundary conditions or inconsistent values to their type, for
outputs the boundary values of what can be accepted by the receiving
component are examined, and tests are contrived to see if these can be
exceeded (i.e. it drives us to ensure that test coverage is complete,
but we are not actually testing the interface directly).
This is a technical test. Checks to ensure input/output to interface are
as expected, and that unavailability of interface does not cause
unexpected/unsupported application behaviour in both synchronous and
For purposes of this agile testing these can be often be combined. Load
testing will attempt to see the upper number of users the application
Codel Services has put together a test script template that is designed to
suitable for most web-based projects, and ensures that the right questions
are asked at the right time.
2002-2007 Codel Services Ltd
This paper has been prepared by Codel
Services Ltd to illustrate how structured business modelling can help
your organisation. Codel Services Ltd is an IT Consultancy specialising in
business modelling. If you would like further information, please contact
us at: Deryck Brailsford, Codel Services Ltd, Dale Hill Cottage, Kirby-Le-Soken,
Essex CO13 0EN,United Kingdom. Telephone: +44 (0)1255 862354/Mobile: + 44
(0)7710 435227/e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org