What is Software Validation Testing?
Validation Testing, carried out by QA professionals, is to determine if the system complies with the requirements and performs functions for which it is intended and meets the organization’s goals and user needs. This kind of testing is very important, as well as verification testing. Validation is done at the end of the development process and takes place after verification is completed.
Thus, to ensure customer satisfaction, developers apply validation testing. Its goal is to validate and be confident about the product or system and that it fulfils the requirements given by the customer. The acceptance of the software from the end customer is also its part.
When software is tested, the motive is to check the quality regarding the found defects and bugs. When defects and bugs are detected, developers fix them. After that, the software is checked again to make sure no bugs are left. In that way, the software product’s quality scales up.
The aim of software testing is to measure the quality of software in terms of a number of defects found in it, the number of tests run and the system covered by the tests. When bugs or defects are found with the help of testing, the bugs are logged and the development team fixes them. Once the bugs are fixed, testing is carried out again to ensure that they are indeed fixed and no new defects have been introduced in the software. With the entire cycle, the quality of the software increases.
Stages of Validation testing Process:
- Validation Planning – To plan all the activities that need to be included while testing.
- Define Requirements – To set goals and define the requirements for testing.
- Selecting a Team – To select a skilled and knowledgeable development team (the third party included).
- Developing Documents – To develop a user specification document describing the operating conditions.
- Estimation/Evaluation – To evaluate the software as per the specifications and submit a validation report.
- Fixing bugs or Incorporating Changes – To change the software so as to remove any errors found during evaluation.
Validation Testing Variations:
- Component/Unit Testing – The aim of the unit testing is to look for bugs in the software component. At the same time, it also verifies the work of modules and objects which can be tested separately.
- Integration testing- This is an important part of the software validation model, where the interaction between the different interfaces of the components is tested. Along with the interaction between the different parts of the system, the interaction of the system with the computer operating system, file system, hardware, and any other software system it might interact with, is also tested.
- System testing- System testing is carried out when the entire software system is ready. The main concern of system testing is to verify the system against the specified requirements. While carrying out the tests, the tester is not concerned with the internals of the system but checks if the system behaves as per expectations.
- Acceptance testing- During this testing, a tester literally has to think like the client and test the software with respect to user needs, requirements, business processes and determine whether the software can be handed over to the client or not.
- Alpha testing- This type of testing is done at the developers’ site by potential customers/users. Any problems encountered during this testing are rectified by the developers then and there.
- Beta testing- Once the software passes the alpha testing stage, beta testing is done at the user’s end.
- Regression testing- This testing is done after the desired changes or modifications are made to the existing code. The code, when put to test, may have certain errors that can be resolved by making essential changes. The software is again put to test after these changes are made to check whether the new code fulfils customer requirements or not.
There is a notion as Independent Validation testing – If the validation tests are carried out by a third party, they are known as independent validation and verification (IV&V). The developer needs to provide the user manual to the third party tester. This manual should clearly contain the standard working conditions of the software. These third-party organizations submit a validation report to the developer after the software is tested. The developer, upon receipt of this report, makes the required changes to the software and repeats tests it to check whether the customer needs are met or not.
Software validation testing is an important part of the software development lifecycle (SDLC), apart from verification, debugging, and certification. Validation testing ensures that the software meets the quality standards set by the customer and that the product meets customer requirements.