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Explain the V-model of software testing – List out the advantages and disadvantages

This article is focussed on the V model of software testing only. Though the V model is widely and mostly used in the development of software systems and applications, some of us have misconceptions that it cannot be employed for hardware development. This is not true! The V model can be used very well for hardware development also. The V model is used as an extension of the waterfall model when used in the hardware development. The model has been named so because instead of forming a linear approach, the process of testing in steps bends upwards right after the coding phase and looks like a V. The V model exhibits the inter relations between the various phases of the SDLC or software development life cycle and STLC or software testing life cycle in a great manner. There are two axes namely:
1. Horizontal axis: Represents the level of completion of the project and time.
2. Vertical axis: Represents the level of abstraction.
The various phases in a V model have been categorized in to 2 main categories which we have discussed below:
1. Verification phases: This category includes the following phases described in the order in which they occur:
(a) Requirements analysis: This is the first step and involves the collection of all the requirements of the software system or application by the analyzation of the needs and expectations of the users or clients. In this the objectives of the software system are established and defined. But, it is not defined how that system will be designed or achieved. Also involves the generation of user requirements documentation.
(b) System design: In this step the business of the proposed system is analyzed and understood by the system engineers by studying the user requirements documentation created in the above step. All the techniques and possibilities by which the users’ expectations can be achieved are figured out. The user requirement documentation is resolved accordingly.
(c) Architecture design: This step involves the high level designing of the baseline of the architecture dependencies of the system, interface relationships, architecture diagrams, data base tables, structure details and so on.
(d) Module design: This step involves low level designing by breaking up the system in to its constituent modules and explaining it to the software programmer so that the module can be coded accordingly. It makes use of a pseudocode which contains the database tables along with their contents, type and size, API references, error listings and inputs and outputs etc.
2. Validation phases: This category includes the following phases described in the order in which they occur:
(a) Unit testing: Unit testing involves the testing of the individual units of the software system or application of which it is comprised of. Units as we know are the smallest part of any programming module. White box testers are responsible for taking care of the unit testing.
(b) Integration testing: The second step involves the integration of the above tested units that have passed the unit testing successfully and testing them as a group so as to uncover the faults in their interfaces. In contrast to unit testing, the black box testers take care of this testing.
(c) System testing: This step involves the checking of the system against its specifications after all the modules have successfully passed the integration testing.
(d) User acceptance testing: This step involves the checking of the system against the requirements mentioned in the users requirements document.
(e) Release testing: This step involves dealing with the issues of the performance optimization of the system and its compatibility.

Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules The Mythical Man-Month The Waterfall Method (Kindle)

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