Non-Functional Testing: Understanding its Importance in Software Development

Getronics Editorial Team

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Non-functional testing aims to check non-functional aspects of an application, such as performance, usability, accessibility, scalability, etc. It is designed to identify the operational behavior of a system in accordance with specific functional behaviors. Therefore, our daily tests mainly focus on non-functional testing and non-functional requirements.

Understanding the Importance of Non-Functional Testing in Software Development

Increasingly, non-functional testing is becoming more relevant in software development. Currently, our non-functional testing analyzes issues related to security, performance, accessibility, usability, scalability, and other aspects of a software application. These tests have a major impact on applications that support high user traffic and ensure application stability as well as the ability to support a high number of connected people under extreme circumstances.

Importance of Non-Functional Testing

Lack of testing can lead to software defects that can damage a brand’s reputation, generate frustration in customers, and increase customer churn rate. In extreme cases, one bug or defect can affect interconnected systems or cause serious operational problems.

For example, car manufacturer Nissan recalled 1 million vehicles due to a software error in their airbag sensor detectors. Similarly, the launch of a $1.2 billion military satellite was canceled due to a software bug detection. The numbers speak for themselves. In the United States alone, in 2016, software errors cost the economy $1.1 trillion in resources and affected 4.4 billion customers.

While testing itself is costly, companies can save millions in development and support each year by applying proper testing techniques and quality control processes. The first software tests reveal problems before a product arrives on the market. The sooner the development team gets feedback from testing, the faster it can solve problems such as architectural errors, poor project decision-making, incorrect or invalid functionality, security vulnerabilities, scalability issues, usability issues, differences in visual experiences, and poor user experience.

The capacity to run tests improves software reliability, and applications are delivered with fewer errors. A system capable of meeting or exceeding customer expectations can increase sales and market share.

Types of Non-Functional Software Testing

There are several types of software testing, each with specific goals and strategies. For example:

Load Testing: It simulates a certain loading capacity in an application to evaluate its performance. These tests are done with expected demand or at times of low demand. Load testing helps identify an application’s maximum operating capacity, potential bottlenecks, and valleys in performance.

Stress Testing: It checks the stability of a system or software application by applying a load greater than the desired demand to test the operational capacity to a breaking point. This helps identify breakpoints, peak loads, understand the safe limits of an application, and determine failure results related to these events.

Endurance Testing: It evaluates the capacity of a system or a software application to handle sustained usage over a significant amount of time.

Scalability Testing: It checks the performance of an application by increasing or decreasing the load, for example, the number of simultaneous users. Systems are expected to increase or reduce capacity and adjust accordingly to the resources available to ensure adequate and stable performance.

Usability Testing: It aims to evaluate the ease of use of a system or application to complete a task. Several aspects such as learning convenience, efficiency, memory allocation, error writing, error recovery, user satisfaction, among others, are evaluated.

Accessibility Testing: It checks if a software application can be used by people with disabilities or any user facing situational disability. These tests verify whether software is inclusive and can be easily accessed by any user to improve ease of use and user satisfaction.

In each case, understanding these requirements becomes a fundamental assessment in a quality verification process. Equally important, non-functional testing helps the engineering team to discover difficulties and situations to foresee any software failure.

Even a simple application can undergo a large number and variety of tests. A test management plan helps prioritize the types of testing that provide the most value, based on the time and resources available. Test efficiency is maximized by running the fewest tests to find the greatest number of defects.

Want to know more

Non-functional testing follows a common process. Non-functional testing phases include defining the testing environment, running test cases, writing scripts, analyzing results, and sending error reports. Our specialized team will run application tests according to the specificity of each project.

Our experts will answer all your questions! We are supported by the entire Getronics portfolio, ensuring operational efficiency and the best user experience.

Getronics Editorial Team

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