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Testing start process – Design Phase

Testing start process revolves around the development process of a software product or the system. Though testing is not counted as a separate phase in the SDLC or software development life cycle but it is a critical and inseparable part of the whole development process.
Testing start process is carried out at the end of each phase of the software development life cycle. There are 4 major phases in the development cycle:
1. Requirements analysis
2. Design
3. Programming and construction
4. Operation and maintenance

Design Phase of Testing Start Process

1. The software system or application is designed based up on the design documentation.
2. The design documentation aids in the following other processes such as:
– Programming of the software
– Communication
– Test data generation and
– Error analysis
3. The organization of the problem as well as the solution is given together by the design documentation and requirements statement.
4. Based on the solution structure provided by these two documentations what will be done by the program and how is decided.
5. The contents of a typical design documentation are:
– Principle data structures
– Functions
– Algorithms
– Heuristsics
– Techniques used in the development process
– Program organization: Its modularization as well as categorization in to internal and external interfaces.
– Any other additional information.

Let us take a glimpse of what all testing activities have to be worked out.

1. An analyzation process of the design should be carried out in order to check if there is any incompleteness or inconsistency in the design.
2. A second analyzation should also be done so as to make confirmation that there are no such steps that might have been over looked.
3. The following elements need to be specially checked for the presence of any inconsistencies:
– Internal interfaces
– Data structures and
– I/ O handling
4. Another analysis is carried out to check whether or not the design is meeting all the requirements.
5. Also, it is checked and confirmed that there is a 100 percent match between the form, format and units in the design documentation and requirements statement for the input and output data.
6. Functions listed in the requirements statement are also to be included in the design documentation without fail.
7. A manual simulation of the selected test data that was generated in the earlier phase i.e., in the requirements analysis phase is done so as to determine whether any of the expected values will be yielded by the design.
8. The design forms the base based up on which the test data for testing is generated.
9. The tests that are generated must provide coverage to the following aspects of the design:
– Structure
– Internal functions
– Data structures
– Algorithm
– Functions
– Heuristics
– General program structure and so on.

10. For the tests generated, special as well as the standard extreme values needs to be included.
11. The expected output values should be recorded along with the test data.
12. Finally, this stage is concluded by the re examination and refinement of the test data that was generated in the earlier phase of the testing start process cycle.
13. It is not necessary that all of these activities should be carried out by the developer or the designer itself, it can be concluded by some colleague.
14. For designing an effective design for the program one should have an idea of the solution of the problem.
15. With an idea, it becomes easy to determine the purpose and specifications of the software system or application.
16. Three things are important for effective design namely:
– Low level component
– Algorithm implementation and
– Architectural view

Important Concepts to Design Phase

The following concepts are critical to the design phase:
– Abstraction
– Refinement
– Modularity
– Control hierarchy
– Software architecture
– Structural partitioning
– Data structure
– Information hiding
– Software procedure

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