November 28, 2012

Is Black Box Testing Dead?

Test Management

What Is Black Box Testing?

Black box testing traditionally makes sure that requirements are implemented appropriately.

You can do this without giving much thought to how something worked. What you really care about is whether or not its behavior accurately reflected the stated requirements.

Is Black Box Testing Dead?

Black box testing isn't dead yet. But it's changing.

Teams are embracing Agile development — and Agile testing. And the roles of testers and developers are blurring, as teams strive to get products out the door faster. 

So, the nature of testing has changed. 

Code Coverage vs. Test Coverage

Test coverage makes sure there are functional tests for all stated requirements. It's a metric of black box testing because it doesn’t provide insight of anything underneath the surface of the application.

Code coverage measures the execution pathways through the code. It's a measure of how effective testing is at reaching as much of the code as possible.

In practice, it’s not feasible to get 100 percent of code coverage. Some code exists for very obscure error-handling situations. In other cases, some states simply aren’t reachable.

But both test coverage and code coverage are needed. 

Testers will always have to know if the product’s functionality meets the business needs. But they also have to understand how effective that testing is in actually exercising the underlying code.

Ideally, testers should be running code coverage at the same time they’re executing their tests, so that they understand how comprehensive their test cases really are.

How to Do Black Box Testing

Here are the basic steps of black box testing:

  1. Set requirements.
  2. Create tests from requirements.
  3. Assign tests to testers.
  4. Run the test.
  5. Fix issues found during testing. 

The best way to do black box testing is by using an integrated requirements and testing tool.

With Helix RM and Helix TCM, for instance, you can create a test case from a requirement. Test runs from this test case will need to be passed to verify that the requirement has been fulfilled. 

Get Started

See for yourself how an integrated ALM tool makes it easy to manage requirements, tests, and issues. Sign up for the next live demo of Helix ALM. 

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