Incorporating non-functional testing is crucial in the ever-changing software development landscape to guarantee a software product’s overall dependability and quality. Non-functional testing concentrates on important elements like usability, speed, and security, whereas functional testing checks the accuracy of particular functions. Non-functional testing must be smoothly included in the software development process to find and fix problems early on and avoid problems during production. This calls for a calculated strategy that extends from early participation in requirements collecting to ongoing production software monitoring.
By implementing collaborative planning, utilizing automated testing tools, and integrating non-functional testing into the development lifecycle, organizations can improve the resilience of their software and produce products that fulfill functional requirements while excelling in critical non-functional areas. This review explores the fundamental tactics and procedures that are the cornerstone of an effective integration of non-functional testing.
What is Non-Functional Testing?
Software testing that examines an application’s non-functional features, including usability, performance, scalability, stability, security, compatibility, and more, is known as non-functional testing. On the other hand, functional testing is concerned with evaluating its functional behavior.
To put it simply, non-functional testing examines the quality of the product as opposed to its features. You must comprehend how non-functional testing affects a product. Non-functional testing is just as important as functional testing in software development. Without it, a system could function flawlessly in a controlled setting but might malfunction horribly in the real world.
Why Non-Functional Testing?
Functional and non-functional testing is crucial for any freshly built program. Non-functional testing examines the program’s performance in an external context, whereas functional testing verifies that internal functionalities operate as intended.
It assists in examining non-functional features such as portability, performance, stability, responsiveness, and more.
Software installation, configuration, and operation are evaluated during non-functional testing. For internal research and development, it collects metrics and measurements. This testing provides in-depth information on the technology and behavior of the product. It lessens software-related expenses and production hazards.
- Under typical load, how does the application function?
- What occurs when several people log in at once?
- Can the application handle heavy stress?
- Is the application protected against possible attacks?
- Can catastrophes be recovered from by the application?
- Will the program function similarly under various operating systems or environments?
- Is it simple to move the application to a different platform?
- Are the materials and user guides simple to read?
Importance of Non-Functional Testing
The process of developing and testing software must include non-functional testing. Functional testing verifies that the program performs as intended, but non-functional testing validates other important system components.
Initially, non-functional criteria were not given enough weight in the test cycles; however, this has now been permanently altered.
Nonfunctional testing is essential to finding every performance- and security-related problem. It emphasizes the features of the application that are not useful. As an illustration, performance testing is a subset of non-functional testing that enables you to assess how well an application functions in situations with high user demand or traffic. It also aids in guaranteeing the stability and capacity to manage high loads of your application.
Non-Functional Testing Example
To illustrate the critical role that non-functional testing plays in product quality, let’s look at an e-commerce website.
On typical days, the website functions properly. But how should the website be ready for the big day of sales? The QA team will need to estimate the highest possible daily visitor count to be sure of this.
They would also need to project the daily average of expected visits. Next, tests for a maximum and average load will be performed on the website. The website must perform properly even under the maximum anticipated demand, and it must continue to operate even under ordinary load conditions throughout the sale.
Integrating Non-Functional Testing In the Software Development Process
To guarantee that the program satisfies its functional needs and functions well under various non-functional characteristics, including performance, security, and usability, it is imperative that non-functional testing be integrated into the software development process. The following paragraphs provide comprehensive information on how to incorporate non-functional testing into your software development process:
Early Involvement in Requirements Gathering
Incorporating non-functional testing into the requirements-collecting process is the first step towards a good integration. To create expectations, it is important to express non-functional needs (such as security and performance requirements) in detail early on.
Work closely with stakeholders to understand their non-functional requirements and incorporate them into the project documentation smoothly and efficiently. This ensures that non-functional features are considered throughout the software development process rather than being an afterthought, resulting in a more complete and reliable final product.
It is imperative that cross-functional teams—development, testing, and operations—work together to plan non-functional testing throughout the planning stage. This means cultivating a common understanding of security procedures, performance goals, and other non-functional aspects.
A cooperative approach improves team cohesion and communication and guarantees a single, coordinated effort to accomplish non-functional testing objectives. This methodology not only expedites the early detection of any problems but also fosters a more efficient and collaborative software development process.
Automated Testing Tools
Purchasing automated testing equipment is essential if non-functional testing is to be included in the software development process. Performance, security, and usability testing tools make testing workflows more efficient by streamlining the process. Teams may quickly detect and resolve non-functional issues thanks to these automated technologies’ precise and reproducible outcomes.
By encouraging a proactive approach to quality assurance, adopting such technologies improves testing precision and helps integrate non-functional testing more seamlessly across the development lifecycle.
Continuous Integration and Continuous Testing
Incorporate non-functional testing smoothly into testing and continuous integration pipelines for optimal integration. Non-functional testing may provide developers with quick feedback on possible problems when they commit code changes if it is integrated into the development process.
By ensuring that non-functional testing is handled as a continuing process rather than a distinct phase, this method helps to identify and address performance, security, and usability issues early on. When combined with automated non-functional testing, continuous integration promotes a proactive and effective approach to quality assurance at every stage of the software development life cycle.
Performance Testing Throughout the SDLC
Incorporating iterative performance testing into the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is important. This method allows for proactive optimization by enabling early diagnosis of performance bottlenecks instead of testing only at the end.
Throughout the development process, teams may avoid the build-up of complicated difficulties that could prove difficult to tackle later by addressing problems as they arise. This guarantees a more simplified and effective software development process, lowering the possibility of performance-related setbacks and improving the end product’s overall quality and responsiveness.
Security Testing as a Continuous Process
It is important to incorporate security testing into software development as a continuous process to detect vulnerabilities proactively. Organizations should adopt continuous security practices instead of seeing security as an afterthought.
Static code analysis, penetration testing, and security audits regularly guarantee that the program is resilient to possible attacks. Through early identification and remediation of security concerns, this proactive strategy improves the software’s overall resilience and dependability throughout its development lifespan.
User Experience Testing
Incorporating user-friendliness into the software development process requires User Experience (UX) testing. Align the software with user expectations by seamlessly integrating usability and UX testing. Engage in iterative usability testing, aggressively solicit input from actual users, and make design revisions in response to user insights.
Using an iterative process, the result is guaranteed to be both functional and offer the best possible user experience. Through early user-centric problem-solving and integration of UX testing across the development lifecycle, teams may produce easier and more intuitive software for users.
Monitoring and Feedback Loop
Establish a strong monitoring system in production situations to ensure the seamless integration of non-functional testing. This makes it possible to gather real-time performance and security incident data.
Establish a feedback loop in which problems found in production act as catalysts for advancements in ensuing development iterations. This iterative refining process and constant monitoring improve the software’s overall dependability, security, and performance.
Training and Skill Development
Give development and testing teams’ training and skill development a priority if you want to include non-functional testing smoothly. Give them the fundamental know-how and abilities needed for efficient non-functional testing. Organize frequent training sessions and supply resources to ensure teams are knowledgeable about the most recent instruments and methods in this field.
Comprehensive non-functional testing ensures that the software’s performance, security, and dependability match or surpass expectations during development. A competent team is better suited to carry out this type of testing.
Documentation and Reporting
Incorporating non-functional testing into the software development process requires excellent documentation. It includes recording the testing procedures, findings, and any corrective measures implemented. Transparency is ensured by sharing these reports with stakeholders, which promotes improved cooperation.
Furthermore, established procedures are invaluable assets for subsequent undertakings, facilitating teams to draw insights from previous experiences and consistently enhance their non-functional testing methodologies. Throughout the development lifecycle, documentation helps uphold high quality and provides the basis for knowledge transfer.
Non Functional Testing Parameters
The following parameters are examples of non-functional testing parameters:
Below, we’ll go over a few of these factors in more depth.
This parameter specifies a system’s defenses against internal and external planned and unintentional assaults. Security testing is one way to test this.
This measure assesses a system’s capacity to reliably and continuously carry out its intended tasks for a predetermined time. Reliability testing is one way to test this.
This metric describes a product’s capacity to resume operations and self-repair in the case of a malfunction or interruption. Recovery Testing is one way to test this.
It establishes the degree to which a user may depend on the system’s availability and functions when it is in use. This metric is measured via stability testing.
It describes how simple it is for a user to understand how to use, prepare inputs and outputs, and engage with a product. We assess this component using usability testing.
It assesses a system’s capacity to scale up or down in response to workload without degrading performance. Scalability testing is one way to test this.
Incorporate Automated Non-Functional Testing Into CI/CD Cycles
Non-functional testing tasks should be directly integrated into the development process as a whole.
As part of the continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) pipeline, performance testing is frequently carried out to provide quick feedback on the functionality of recently released code modifications. When selecting a performance testing tool, ensure it works with the continuous integration and distribution (CI/CD) technology you use (e.g., Jenkins, TeamCity, etc.).
Install a monitoring solution in the CI/CD pipeline (using technologies like DataDog, New Relic, AppDynamics, etc.) to track the deployed application’s performance in real-time and notify users when problems arise or performance falls short of expectations. Can you combine your performance testing tool with a monitoring or test reporting tool?
Without requiring the application to be deployed, security testing tools like SAST or Static Application Security Testing tools may identify any security flaws and vulnerabilities by scanning the code. They can thus also be used in CI/CD cycles.
All team members must understand the interpretation and presentation of performance testing findings from the CI/CD process.
Teams can speed up the process of producing high-quality releases and non-functional testing by including it early in the software development cycle. This allows them to find and fix non-functional problems before they become deeply ingrained and difficult to remove.