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What is a test scenario?

Test scenarios are an important part of a testing technique called as the scenario testing. Scenarios in general can be defined as kind of hypothetical stories created for helping the software tester solving a complex problem or working through a test system.

A test scenario can be said to have an ideal scenario story only if it has the following qualities:

  • Credible
  • Complex
  • Compelling
  • Motivating
  • – Above all these, the outcome of the scenario should be such that it can be easily evaluated.
    – After this, the scenario based testing gained worldwide popularity.
    – The story of every test scenario is credible i.e., it is possible only in real world.
    – The test scenarios are completely different from the usual test cases.
    – The major difference is that only one single step is covered in the test cases whereas in test scenarios a large number of steps are covered.

    We have two methods for performing scenario testing:

  • System Scenarios
  • In this one only those user activities are used as test scenarios which are realistic and cover a large number of components of the software system. A system scenario can be developed using the following:
    – State transitions
    – Implementation stories from the customers
    – Story lines and
    – Business verticals

  • Use case and role based scenarios
  • This method focuses up on how the system can be used by the users in different environments and with different roles.

    More about Test Scenarios

    – Test scenario can be further defined as a functionality that can be subjected to testing.
    – Sometimes, the test scenario might be called by other names such as the test possibility or test condition.
    – Let’s take an example of the flight reservation application.
    – For this application, the following could be the scenarios:

  • Checking the log-in functionality
  • Checking whether or not an existing order can be viewed.
  • Checking whether information in any particular section is displayed properly or not.
  • Checking if it is possible to create a new order.
  • Checking if an order can be faxed by the user.
  • – There are many more scenarios possible for this application such as checking orders, updating and deleting them and so on.
    – Since the exhaustive testing is not possible in all the cases, therefore, test prioritization often helps.
    – Thus, only those test scenarios are implemented which have higher priority or which are the core functionality of the software system.
    – The input values, output values, expected outcomes, pre–requisites of testing together make a test case whereas a test scenario consists of only the test procedure.
    – A one to many relationship is observed between the test scenario and test case.
    – By this, we mean that a test scenario may consist of more than one test case.
    – For every scenario, a different set of test cases has to be written.
    – Therefore, it is advisable to first design the test scenarios and then write tests separately for each of them.
    – This is why it is said that it is from test scenarios from which the test cases are derived.
    – The test scenarios on the other side are derived from use cases.
    – The associated actions form a series that is represented by a test scenario and therefore, a scenario is treated as a thread of actions.
    – An example for this could be a test scenario for testing the log in button’s functionality.

    This test scenario can have the following test cases:

  • Clicking the button entering both username and password.
  • Entering only username.
  • Entering the wrong username and password.
  • – Test scenario can be thought of as an abstract thing to be tested like an operation used for sending an e – mail or testing a mechanism that is used for authentication purpose.
    – The test scenarios were first widely used in the the year of 1950 in US.

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