What is Nonfunctional Testing?
March 21, 2023

Non Functional Testing - With Non Functional Test Examples

Test Management
Application Lifecycle Management

Non functional testing is just as important as functional testing. Both ensure that your product is working as it should. But non functional testing checks aspects of your product that aren’t covered in functional tests. And it helps ensure a high level of product quality, performance, and usability - all of which lead to higher user satisfaction.

In this blog post we'll define what non-functional testing is, look at some examples of non functional tests, and show you the best way to manage all types of non-functional testing. 

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What is Non Functional Testing?

Non functional testing is a type of software testing that verifies non functional aspects of the product, such as performance, stability, and usability. Whereas functional testing verifies whether or not the product does what it is supposed to, non functional testing verifies how well the product performs.


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7 Non Functional Test Types

There are several different types of non functional tests. The most common ones are:

  1. Performance Tests
  2. Load Tests
  3. Stress Tests
  4. Volume Tests
  5. Security Tests
  6. Upgrade & Installation Tests
  7. Recovery Tests

All of these non functional test types help to ensure that your product is fast, stable, scalable, reliable, and secure.

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1. Performance Tests

Performance testing checks how well software components work. These tests can find issues in software design and architecture performance.

This is typically done by:

  • Measuring response times
  • Identifying bottlenecks
  • Locating failure points

Performance tests ensure several elements of software quality. They validate that it’s fast, scalable, stable, and reliable. 

2. Load Tests

Load testing checks how the software behaves under both normal and peak conditions. This is done to determine how much work load the software can handle before performance is negatively affected.

You can perform load tests by running multiple applications simultaneously, subjecting a server to a high amount of traffic, or downloading a large quantity of files.

Load tests are used to ensure fast and scalable software.

3. Stress Tests

Stress testing checks how the software behaves under abnormal conditions. This determines the limit at which the software will break.

It’s important to find out what happens when the system is under stress. Does the right error message display? Does the system fail? How will it recover?

Stress tests help testers analyze what happens when a system fails. This ensures that software is recoverable, stable, and reliable.

4. Volume Tests

Volume testing serves to verify what happens to system performance when a huge volume of data is added to the database. This is done to identify what problems may occur with increasing volumes of data. It’s also known as flood testing.

You can use volume tests to check if there’s any data loss, warning or error messages, or data storage issues when massive amounts of data are added to the product.

Volume tests verify that systems respond as expected to certain volumes of data. This is important for ensuring performance and stability.

5. Security Tests

Security testing checks software to find flaws or vulnerabilities that may compromise data. The goal of security testing is to identify any potential security risks or threats and to ensure that the product is not vulnerable to hacking, data breaches, or other types of security issues.

Common security tests include:

  • Vulnerability scans
  • Security scans
  • Penetration testing
  • Risk assessment
  • Security audits
  • Posture assessment
  • Ethical hacking

Running these tests is important to developing a secure, stable system.

6. Upgrade and Installation Tests

Upgrade testing and installation testing verify that software will work properly on everyone’s machines. So, upgrade testing is done for existing users. And installation testing is done for new users.

Both of these types of functional tests are important for user satisfaction. After all, no matter how great your product is, if a user runs into problems installing or upgrading it, they'll never know how good it is!

More on upgrade vs. installation testing >>

7. Recovery Tests

Recovery tests determine how quickly software can rebound after a crash or failure. This is done by forcing the system to fail.

This type of testing is done to see what happens to the software:

  • If you unplug the hardware.
  • If you disconnect from the network during a data transfer.
  • When you restart the system unexpectedly.

Recovery tests are important to improving software performance.

More Types of Software Testing


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Non Functional Testing Tools

Non functional tests are typically performed with a variety of different testing tools. But no matter how which tools you use, it’s important to have visibility across all of your testing efforts.

You don't want to have to go into multiple different tools to view the results of your testing. And manually tracking the results in a spreadsheet is likely to introduce human error. Plus, it isn't a scalable solution, especially if you're using automated testing tools that can return thousands of results.

Optimally, you also want to be able to trace your various test results back to your requirements or user stories. This is especially important if you're developing products in regulated industries, but it's a best practice for any development team.


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How to Manage All Types of Non Functional Testing

By managing all types of testing - both functional tests and non functional tests - in a dedicated test case management tool, you can consolidate your testing and achieve comprehensive testing visibility.

Helix ALM's dedicated test management module provides 'single pane of glass' visibility across all of your testing, from functional through non functional. By allowing you to manage all types of testing in one place, Helix ALM helps organizations achieve a holistic testing strategy.

And because Helix ALM also includes modules for requirements management and issue management, you’ll be able to trace your test results backward to your requirements, and forward to issues and defects - ultimately enabling end-to-end traceability.

Thanks to Helix ALM's modular structure, you can start with just test management, and grow into the solution at your own pace. See how easy it is to manage testing in Helix ALM with our free trial. Or check out the free on-demand demo to see it in action first. 



Editors Note: This blog first appeared on November 20, 2018. It has been updated with additional content as of March 21, 2023.


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