Gathering Information - Web Service Testing

The information gathering process consists of four steps:

  • Establishing testing-task definitions,
  • estimating time required to complete the testing tasks,
  • entering the information into the project plan, and
  • calculating the overall resource requirements.

Step 1—Testing-Task Definition for the Sample Application
Step 1 in the one-page test planning process involves assembling a list of tasks for the project at hand. First, define the test types. The basic tests for Web applications are acceptance [both release acceptance test (RAT) and functional acceptance simple test (FAST)], functionality [task-oriented functional test (TOFT)], installation, user interface (UI), regression, forced-error, configuration and compatibility, server, security, documentation and exploratory.

By reviewing the product description detailed in Chapter , "Sample Application," you can see a need for specific test types that are not included in the pre-soft ceding list of basic test types. For example, tests should be developed that test the functionality of the databases, data import utility, e-mail notification and third-party Java applet (metrics charting). The screen shots indicate functionality that should be tested. Some security features that should be tested are also mentioned (login/logout, views and user permissions). By reviewing the product's system requirements, you can also glean information about test platforms, possible configuration tests, and other technologies that will require testing {Java applets, Microsoft NT [required], Active Server Page [ASP] [rather than Common Gateway Interface (CGI)]}.

Information regarding the number of error messages (and their completion dates) would be required, as would details of the installation process. Complete product descriptions, specifications, and marketing requirements are often used as a starting point from which you can begin to seek out the specific technical information that is required to generate test cases.

Step 2—Task Completion Time
The test times listed in Table reflect the actual testing of the sample application. These test times were derived with input from the test team. As part of evaluating tasks for completion time, you should evaluate resources such as hardware/software and personnel availability. Some test types require unique resources, tools, particular skill sets, assistance from outside groups, and special planning. Such test types include:

  • Configuration and compatibility testing. Configuration and compatibility testing require a significant amount of computer hardware and software. Because the cost of outfitting a complete test lab exceeds the financial means of many companies, outsourcing solutions are often considered.
  • Automated testing. Automated testing packages (such as SegueTM SilkTestTM) are valuable tools that can, when implemented correctly, save testing time, tester enthusiasm, and other resources.
  • Milestone tests. Milestone tests are performed prior to each development milestone. They need to be developed, usually from TOFT tests, and scheduled according to the milestone plan.
  • Special functionality tests (TOFT). In addition to the specified functionality of the application, SMTP tests (e-mail notification) are also included in the TOFT suite. These tests may require assistance from other groups or special skill sets.
  • Web- and client-server-specific tests. Performance, load, and stress tests, in addition to security and database tests, normally require specialized tools and skills.

Task Completion Time

Task Completion TimeTask Completion TimeTask Completion TimeTask Completion TimeTask Completion TimeTask Completion Time

All required tests should be identified as early in the development process as possible so that resource needs for tools, staffing, and outsourcing can be evaluated.

Step 3—Placing Test Tasks into the Project Plan
For the purposes of the sample test plan, a development schedule of 20 calendar weeks has been assumed. Testable code is expected early in July. According to the development team, there will be one build per week.

Alpha 12 weeks
Beta 6 weeks
Final 2 weeks
From Table, you can see which test phases are appropriate for each test type. Note that test types from Table are examined in detail in the upcoming topics.

Development Phases and Test Planning

Development Phases and Test Planning

Development Phases and Test Planning

Development Phases and Test Planning

Step 4—Calculate Hours and Resource Estimates
Multiply and total test times (refer to "Developing a One-Page Test Plan" in Chapter , "Test Planning Fundamentals," for details). Then calculate resource estimates. The one-page test plan is now complete!

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