Shortening a testing phase is a typical situation. It should not be like that since it is the only way to determine whether an application will function properly before its release date. Testing is sure the best and the only way to know if your product will be success or failure. There are many ways to test applications, but two broad categories of tests are functional and non-functional testing. First, we will discuss each of them and their specifics, and on end about differences between these two tests.
Functional testing is a way of automated testing that checks all application’s functions. It involves testing the application against the business requirements. The goal of functional testing is to confirm or deny that the application meets the way it was designed to be; it verifies that all the specified requirements are incorporated. All functionality mentioned in the functional specification document have to be covered. Also, here it is important to make sure that the application is meeting the user expectations.
The functional testing process focuses only on what the application does. It is not concerned with an application’s internal details; it does not take care about how it works, why it works or even how well it works. Instead, it checks the program’s functions according to all the available prepared documentation. The primary focus of functional testing is that the system complies with all the requirements. Functional testing ensures that your software is ready for the public release.
Testers in Functional Testing
Traditionally, a team of testers, independent of the developers, implement functional testing. Testers are checking applications using manual or automated tests, or a mixture of both. For each of the tests that the testers are using they:
- identify the expected behaviour,
- create data to use,
- determine the appropriate output,
- execute the tests and then,
- compare the actual and expected outputs based on the requirements.
They test functions as user commands, searches, data updates or UI functionality. Discovered defects during functional testing are very often related to the user interface or inter-process communication. Also, Functional tests make sure the system behaves correctly from the perspective of the user and according to business and functional requirements.
Positive and negative functional testing are two major categories of functional testing. Applying positive functional testing means using valid inputs to see how the application responds to them and also tests to determine if the outputs are correct. Applying negative functional testing means using invalid inputs, unanticipated operating conditions, and other invalid operations.
Types of Functional Testing
Types of functional testing include:
- Unit testing
- Systems testing
- Smoke testing
- Interface testing
- Sanity testing
- Regression testing
- Integration testing
- User acceptance testing.
Common practice is applying functional testing on the end of the development cycle, but it can, and it should start much earlier. Even before the testing can apply on an entire system, individual components can be tested. That is a fact because today’s applications need constant updating, changing, and upgrading. Testers need to check the whole life cycle of an application. As a result, that will help the developers, who need an independent benchmark for all the development stages. On this way, they will know what they have and have not achieved. Functional testing begins as soon as there is a function to test and continues through the application’s completion and first customer contact. Also, when the software testing is implemented at the beginning of application development cycle, it reduces the time and money expenses.
Non-functional testing has to figure out if your product will provide an excellent user experience. It tests the application based on the client and performance requirements.
Before releasing any applications, you must ask yourself:
- How does the application perform under normal circumstances?
- How will it play in a different environment?
- What will happen when too many users log-in in at the same time? How secure is the application?
- Can it recover from a disaster?
- Can the application handle stress?
- Are the documents provided with the application easy to understand?
These are some of the non-functional aspects, but the list goes on. Crucial is that all of these features contribute to the quality of the application. For example, if there is an application which meets all the user requirements perfectly, but it crashes when some big file uploads – this would be bad for user experience and the application would be graded as having a low quality. For example, non-functional tests are used to detect how fast the product responds to a request or how long it takes to do an action.
Types of Non-Functional Testing
Non-functional testing includes the following types of testing:
- Performance testing
- Load testing
- Stress testing
- Volume testing
- Usability testing
- User interface testing
- Compatibility testing
- Recovery testing
- Instability testing
- Documentation testing
- Security testing and so on
Functional and Non-functional Testing – What’s the Difference?
Functional and non-functional testing are two sides of the same coin, and it is crucial to genuinely understand the differences between them to utilise them to their fullest extent.
The fundamental difference is that the functional testing ensures that a product meets business requirements, and non-functional testing wants to see if the product meets performance and client’s requirements. Functional testing determines that the application’s features perform the way they should while Non-functional testing intends to determine if the product behaves correctly. In functional testing, it is all about how well the system performs. Opposite, Non-functional testing is all about how well system responds. Functional testing relies on client’s requirements, while non-functional on the customer’s expectations. Functional testing is validating the behaviour, while non-functional testing is validating the performance of the application.
Testing is a complex and time-taking process. Consequently, it is understandable that testers look for shortcuts to save time in their crowded schedule. It is very easy to think of applying only one, united type of testing and be sure that the produced software will be of quality. That is not true. While the application may fulfil one area’s requirements, it will be missing out on the other parts and needs. Sticking exclusively to functional or non-functional testing is not a smart idea because it can lead to vulnerabilities that break the overall functionality.
Non-functional and functional testing are closely connected, and as a result, you cannot use one without the other. However, some methods used to carry out each will vary from a project to a project. So, real QA teams will know how to recognise what is important and according to it, they will use more a functional or non-functional approach of testing to create the best possible product.
In software development, everybody always wants to produce and deliver the best possible product. However, that is not always possible. This is where testing comes in handy. As a vital part of software development process, testing assures that your product meets all the required and expected characteristics. There are many ways to test applications, but the two major categories are the functional and non-functional testing. Every application needs to pass both types of testing to ensure that your consumers have a good experience with your product. Due to that, combining the right balance of functional and non-functional testing best practices you can bring a tailor-made solution for every particular project and client situation. A good QA team and good testers will help your company shine in a bright and professional light.