The software testing life cycle (STLC) is a key part of the software development process. It provides the systematic steps to be taken in a defined sequence to ensure the quality and functionality of the software. STLC typically occurs after UI/UX and content have created the front-end design for the software or application. But without STLC, the software exists in concept only.
STLC is the overall approach an organization takes to performance testing for software. Its counterpart, performance testing life cycle (PTLC), is related to accessing a software’s capability, and those steps focus on testing performance. In tandem, these processes offer a full approach to evaluating a software’s overall performance. Here, we’ll provide an overview of the parts that define performance testing.
Functional vs Non-Functional Testing
First, let’s distinguish two key differences between types of software testing: functional and non-functional testing.
Functional testing explores the software’s ability to perform. Do features function as intended? Overall, does the product work? The purpose here is to first identify requirements and expectations (some of the first steps of STLC), and then to test these and determine functionality.
Non-functional testing focuses on workload and variable capacities: how well does the product function in certain environments and with added stress? Non-functional elements often include measure traits like scalability, capacity, compatibility, and usability.
Though these types of tests explore different quality and performance aspects of the software, they are typically executed in the same parts and processes.
What are the 7 Phases of STLC?
The individual steps taken during STLC include test planning, analysis, design, implementation, execution, results analysis, and closure. Each of these steps are also known as phases, involving unique goals, purposes, and tasks to be completed.
Different companies and organizations create their own steps for STLC, and some will define more or fewer than the seven listed here. The phases of STLC are used to define, test, and evaluate the functionality of a software. Here we’ll explore the seven main parts of performance testing in the STLC.
- Planning – In this preliminary stage, the team defines the scope of the project and determines necessary steps to be taken, including: the overall testing strategy and process, potential activities, resources needed, goals, timelines, and risks.
- Analysis – As an extension of planning, analysis requires detailed test conditions and expectations for functionality. A document will generally be created that outlines the complexities of the product, predicts risks, and clarifies and specifies details.
- Design – During design, the test conditions defined in the analysis phase are assigned traceability metrics. In other words, how do we measure success? The design phase helps define the metrics by which the data will be measured.
- Implementation – Implementation includes scripting: the team creates test cases and automation scripts, then identifies and creates the test data.
- Execution – This stage involves the actual execution of the tests to measure the data identified in the previous stages. Here, the team executes the test and logs any problems, bugs, defects, or discrepancies. Or, what didn’t occur as planned?
- Conclusion – This phase involves reporting the findings of the test to stakeholders, project managers, and relevant team members with the understanding of how to adapt and re-test based on needed changes.
- Closure – The final stage of STLC ensures all tests were completed that were defined in the planning stage, no critical defects occurred, and that the team recorded its findings.
What Are Parts of Performance Testing?
The performance testing life cycle applies the parts and phases above to specifically evaluate the limits of the platform’s performance. This primarily focuses on non-functional testing and includes a vast array of usability tests and questions. We’ll explore some of these here.
Because PTLC is more focused on usability, there are multiple types of performance testing used during this process. Common questions these tests answer include: how does the software perform with x amount of users? How responsive is the software? What is the workload failure point?
Some performance test examples include:
- Accessibility testing
- Availability testing
- Compliance testing
- Configuration testing
- Endurance testing
- Geolocation testing
- Load testing
- Maintainability testing
- Performance testing
- Security testing
- Scalability testing
- Stress testing
- Usability testing
With over 20 years of experience and a proven track record, Foulk Consulting understands the complexity and specificity software quality assurance requires. Even the smallest detailed steps affect the overall fruition of your software’s goals and functionality, and our teams are here to help.
Our quality assurance specialists can help your business and team throughout the software development and testing lifecycles, from supporting the development of your app or platform to addressing concerns post-launch. We run appropriate tests, use quality tools, gain results and provide advice on making changes that will improve overall performance. Partner with a trustworthy quality assurance professional and work with Foulk Consulting. We want to see your software perform and compete. Contact us today to learn more.