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Software Interface Testing and Other Types of Software Testing

Jun 23, 2008
Software interface testing is just one among the many types of software testing that are used by software engineers for software development. Automated testing is one of the most common software test approaches these days. With this, engineers would not have to perform tests or quality assurance manually.

Nonetheless, automation of software test requires that a prior manual testing procedure should be set up and that this conforms to a formalized testing process. To automate the process, special software is used to control test executions, to ready pre-conditions or requirements for the test, and to compare actual outcomes to predicted results. While automated testing enables developers to save time and energy, manual testing is still needed for more complex tests. One of the testing methods that cannot be entirely automated is interface testing.

Interface testing is one of the most important software tests in assuring the quality of software products. In a nutshell, human beings are able to communicate with hardware through an interface. Interface is actually software that consists of sets of messages, commands, images, and other features that allow communication between a device and a user. Various companies use this type of software testing to make sure that their customers will not encounter any problem when using a particular software product once it is delivered to them. In addition, developers usually want their products to be supported by more than one language thus, their need to understand the interface. In this test, developers come up with changes or revisions and introduce these to a software application by taking note of the feedback from end-users. Usually, each end-user is assigned a specific task. During the course of this test, the program flow is checked and evaluated to determine if it matches the natural strategy of the user in navigating within the application. Moreover, this test determines which application areas are initially and usually accessed and its user-friendliness as well.

A moderator is often tasked to undertake this quality assurance test. Throughout the process, he does not need to communicate anything to the end-user. Rather, he will only be documenting or recording the reaction of the user towards the application. At the session's end, he interviews the end-users and endorses their feedback to the software developer. This way, interface testing improves the software's overall acceptance and the consumer's user experience. Factors like functionality, performance speed, the time needed to use the program, the ease with which the user remembers using the program, user satisfaction, and the rate of user errors are the usual criteria that developers have for a well-designed user interface.

Other software testing types aside from interface testing include component testing, system testing, acceptance testing, and release testing. Component testing requires testing all individual components of software design. System testing, on the other hand, involves testing the functional and non-functional requirements of application systems. Acceptance testing evaluates and compares the system against pre-set requirements. Lastly, release testing is conducted to determine if a new system is compatible to the current technical environment.
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