Every software development process must include testing to ensure that customer satisfaction is guaranteed and that the software complies with all standards and requirements. While functional requirements were traditionally the only ones tested, non-functional testing has gradually gained attention. The fact that contemporary applications and their ecosystems have undergone significant changes may cause its expanding importance.
Legacy applications typically ran in closed, largely undistributed environments where everything was usually controlled. However, the arrival and widespread adoption of cloud computing and microservices has changed the face of applications and their ecosystems. Non-functional requirements (NFRs) have become as important as their functional requirements, so the need and importance of testing these NFRs have become equally important.
What is non-functional testing?
Non-functional testing refers to testing aspects of the application that are not connected to specific user actions or functions. As the name suggests, it focuses on the non-functional aspects of an application, such as performance, usability, security, compatibility, and all other aspects that are not tested in functional testing. Non-functional tests are performed to verify these NFRs and whether the system’s performance meets them.
Below are some important non-functional aspects of an application that are considered and tested during non-functional testing.
- How well does the application work and perform under normal conditions?
- How does it work when a large number of users are logged in at the same time?
- How much stress can the application withstand?
- How secure is the application?
- Is the application resilient enough to recover from a disaster?
- Does the application have similar behavior patterns across environments or operating systems?
- Are the documents attached to the application easy to understand?
The sole purpose of NFR testing is to ensure that the application performs well in non-functional aspects.
Ultimately, the motivation behind non-functional testing is to test all the features of the application that help ensure the application meets the business requirements. Moreover, the need for expert test automation services is also necessary here.
The importance of non-functional testing
Consider an application developed and thoroughly tested against functional requirements, but non-functional testing is not performed. Now imagine what happens when the application is activated and immediately loaded. If you don’t perform non-functional tests, you will be very uncertain about your application’s ability to handle large amounts of traffic. In the worst case, the application may slow down or even crash. How shameful that would be! In another case, imagine that if the application’s security is not verified, an unauthorized person can easily decipher the data entered by the application user.
The importance of non-functional testing must be balanced. It provides security and increases the reliability of applications. The application’s compatibility with various devices, ease of use, durability, and many other important parameters are determined and verified by NFR testing. This ensures that the applications developed are robust enough to work under duress.
Examples of non-functional tests
Non-functional testing is a general term used to describe different testing techniques. Now let’s have a brief look at the breakdown of each.
Accessibility testing – dove is easy-to-access software and lightweight -to -the user—especially disabled people, such as visual impairment.
Compliance testing – Ensures that the software meets the customer’s industry guidelines.
Security Testing – Determines how vulnerable software is to various cybersecurity risks and what can be done to strengthen multiple layers of security.
Endurance testing – software’s ability to cope with stress. For example, testing software performance while performing multiple functions simultaneously.
Internationalization testing – ensuring that the text and layout of a software application are appropriate for each language. Some translations can, e.g., cause text to overlap in parts of the application where it shouldn’t.
Performance Testing – Tests how quickly the application responds to user input.
Why should companies properly test their software systems?
Business software testing is critical to launching a product that end users will love. Performing functional and non-functional testing will ensure that your software is secure, reliable, easy to use, and easy to maintain and update. It will also reduce the risk of a major software failure disrupting your business. There are many real-world examples of software bugs disrupting businesses. In 2017, Nissan recalled more than 1 million vehicles due to software errors in the airbag sensors. Starbucks had to close up to 60% of its stores due to a sudden outage in the POS (point of sale) system. It cost the company millions in lost sales, and baristas were forced to hand out thousands of free drinks, much to customers’ surprise (and delight). So, as you can see, even the biggest companies worldwide are not immune to software bugs. Ask yourself: Can your business survive similar disruptions?
How to make sure your business software is tested and meets standards
Ask about their testing methods when approaching a custom software development company to build your software.
What software testing tools do they use? Do they do manual and automated testing? What parameters do they check? How many times do they test throughout the development cycle? And how do they communicate the results of each test to you? Asking these questions will give you a deeper understanding of their approach and whether it fits your needs. You should also check with multiple vendors to ensure that the one you choose has the best testing method for your needs.
Most importantly, any company you deal with should be transparent about its testing procedures. If you think the company is shady or wishful thinking, look elsewhere. Any software company should be able to explain to you in plain language what their testing method is and how it benefits you.
The right software testing and the support of the perfect test automation services are important in the software development cycle and in producing the best quality software solutions. With the right tools, methods, and procedures, performing functional and non-functional testing can help you release the best commercial software to your audience. It can also help improve your professional brand and image by launching products that appeal to your target audience and help you stand out.
Whether you’re releasing an application for consumers or another business, ensure that any company you hire has comprehensive testing practices. That way, you can be sure they have a strong quality assurance program and that the product you receive will meet your unique requirements.
Author Bio : Vishnu Narayan is a content writer works at ThinkPalm Technologies. He is a passionate writer, a tech enthusiast, and an avid reader who tries to tour the globe with a heart that longs to see more sunsets than Netflix!