Types of Software Testing: Different Testing Types with Details

Are You Ready to Explore the Different Types of Software Testing?

We, as testers, are aware of the various types of Software Testing such as Functional Testing, Non-Functional Testing, Automation Testing, Agile Testing, and their sub-types, etc.

Each of us would have come across several types of testing in our testing journey. We might have heard some and we might have worked on some, but not everyone has knowledge about all the testing types.

Each type of testing has its own features, advantages, and disadvantages as well. However, in this tutorial, we have covered mostly each and every type of software testing which we usually use in our day to day testing life.

Let’s go and have a look at them!!

Different Types of Software Testing

Different Types of Software Testing

Given below is a list of some common types of Software Testing:

Functional Testing types include:

  • Unit Testing
  • Integration Testing
  • System Testing
  • Sanity Testing
  • Smoke Testing
  • Interface Testing
  • Regression Testing
  • Beta/Acceptance Testing

Non-functional Testing types include:

  • Performance Testing
  • Load Testing
  • Stress Testing
  • Volume Testing
  • Security Testing
  • Compatibility Testing
  • Install Testing
  • Recovery Testing
  • Reliability Testing
  • Usability Testing
  • Compliance Testing
  • Localization Testing

Let’s explore more about these Testing types.

Types of Software Testing

#1) Alpha Testing

It is the most commonly used testing in the Software industry. The objective of this testing is to identify all possible issues or defects before releasing it into the market or to the user.

Alpha Testing will be carried out at the end of the software development phase but before the Beta Testing. Still, minor design changes may be made as a result of such testing.

Alpha Testing will be conducted at the developer’s site. An in-house virtual user environment can be created for this type of testing.

#2) Acceptance Testing

An Acceptance Test is performed by the client and it verifies whether the end to end flow of the system is as per the business requirements or not and if it is as per the needs of the end-user.

Client accepts the software only when all the features and functionalities work as expected. This is the last phase of testing, after which the software goes into production. This is also called User Acceptance Testing (UAT).

#3) Ad-hoc Testing

The name itself suggests that this testing is performed on an ad-hoc basis i.e., with no reference to the test case and also without any plan or documentation in place for this type of testing.

The objective of this testing is to find the defects and break the application by executing any flow of the application or any random functionality.

Ad-hoc Testing is an informal way of finding defects and can be performed by anyone in the project. It is difficult to identify defects without a test case but sometimes it is possible that defects found during ad-hoc testing might not have been identified using the existing test cases.

#4) Accessibility Testing

The aim of Accessibility Testing is to determine whether the software or application is accessible for disabled people or not.

Here, disability means deafness, color blindness, mentally disabled, blind, old age and other disabled groups. Various checks are performed such as font size for visually disabled, color and contrast for color blindness, etc.

#5) Beta Testing

Beta Testing is a formal type of Software Testing which is carried out by the customer. It is performed in the Real Environment before releasing the product to the market for the actual end-users.

Beta Testing is carried out to ensure that there are no major failures in the software or product and it satisfies the business requirements from an end-user perspective. Beta Testing is successful when the customer accepts the software.

Usually, this testing is typically done by the end-users or others. This is the final testing done before releasing the application for commercial purposes. Usually, the Beta version of the software or product released is limited to a certain number of users in a specific area.

So the end-user actually uses the software and shares the feedback with the company. The company then takes necessary action before releasing the software worldwide.

#6) Back-end Testing

Whenever an input or data is entered on the front-end application, it is stored in the database and the testing of such database is known as Database Testing or Backend Testing.

There are different databases like SQL Server, MySQL, and Oracle, etc. Database Testing involves testing of table structure, schema, stored procedure, data structure and so on.

In Back-end Testing, GUI is not involved, the testers are directly connected to the database with proper access and testers can easily verify data by running a few queries on the database.

There can be issues identified like data loss, deadlock, data corruption etc during this back-end testing and these issues are critical to fix before the system goes live into the production environment

#7) Browser Compatibility Testing

This is a sub-type of Compatibility Testing (which is explained below) and is performed by the testing team.

Browser Compatibility Testing is performed for web applications and ensures that the software can run with a combination of different browsers and operating systems. This type of testing also validates whether a web application runs on all versions of all browsers or not.

#8) Backward Compatibility Testing

It is a type of testing which validates whether the newly developed software or updated software works well with the older version of the environment or not.

Backward Compatibility Testing checks whether the new version of the software works properly with the file format created by an older version of the software; it also works well with data tables, data files, and data structure created by the older version of that software.

If any of the software is updated then it should work well on top of the previous version of that software.

#9) Black Box Testing

Internal system design is not considered in this type of testing. Tests are based on the requirements and functionality.

Detailed information about the advantages, disadvantages, and types of Black Box testing can be found here.

#10) Boundary Value Testing

This type of testing checks the behavior of the application at boundary level.

Boundary Value Testing is performed to check if defects exist at boundary values. Boundary Value Testing is used for testing a different range of numbers. There is an upper and lower boundary for each range and testing is performed on these boundary values.

If testing requires a test range of numbers from 1 to 500 then Boundary Value Testing is performed on values at 0, 1, 2, 499, 500 and 501.

#11) Branch Testing

This is a type of White box Testing and is carried out during Unit Testing. Branch Testing, the name itself, suggests that the code is tested thoroughly by traversing at every branch.

#12) Comparison Testing

Comparison of a product’s strengths and weaknesses with its previous versions or other similar products is termed as Comparison Testing.

#13) Compatibility Testing

This is a testing type in which it validates how software behaves and runs in a different environment, web servers, hardware, and network environment.

Compatibility testing ensures that software can run on a different configuration, different databases, different browsers, and their versions. Compatibility testing is performed by the testing team.

#14) Component Testing

This is mostly performed by developers after the completion of unit testing.

Component Testing involves testing of multiple functionalities as a single code and its objective is to identify if any defect exists after connecting those multiple functionalities with each other.

#15) End-to-End Testing

Similar to system testing, End-to-End Testing involves testing of a complete application environment in a situation that mimics real-world use, such as interacting with a database, using network communications, or interacting with other hardware, applications, or systems if appropriate.

#16) Equivalence Partitioning

It is a testing technique and a type of Black Box Testing. During this Equivalence Partitioning, a set of groups are selected and a few values or numbers are picked up for testing. It is understood that all values from that group generate the same output.

The aim of this testing is to remove redundant test cases within a specific group which generate the same output but not any defect.

Suppose the application accepts values between -10 and +10, then using equivalence partitioning the values picked for testing are zero, one positive value, and one negative value. So the Equivalence Partitioning for this testing is  -10 to -1, 0, and 1 to 10.

#17) Example Testing

This means real-time testing. Example Testing includes real-time scenarios, it also involves scenarios based on the experience of the testers.

#18) Exploratory Testing

Exploratory Testing is informal testing performed by the testing team. The objective of this testing is to explore the application and look for defects that exist in the application.

Sometimes it may happen that during this testing a major defect discovered can even cause a system failure. During Exploratory Testing, it is advisable to keep a track of what flow you have tested and what activity you did before the start of a specific flow.

Exploratory Testing techniques are performed without documentation or test cases.

#20) Functional Testing

This type of testing ignores the internal parts and focuses only on the output to check if it is as per the requirement or not.

This is a black-box type testing that is geared towards the functional requirements of an application. For detailed information about Functional Testing, you can check it here.

#21) Graphical User Interface (GUI) Testing

The objective of this GUI Testing is to validate the GUI as per the business requirement. The expected GUI of the application is mentioned in the Detailed Design Document and GUI mockup screens.

GUI Testing includes the size of the buttons and input fields present on the screen, alignment of all text, tables, and content in the tables.

It also validates the menu of the application, after selecting different menu and menu items, it validates that the page does not fluctuate and the alignment remains the same after hovering the mouse on the menu or sub-menu.

#22) Gorilla Testing

Gorilla Testing is a testing type performed by a tester and sometimes by the developer as well.

In Gorilla Testing, one module or the functionality in the module is tested thoroughly and heavily. The objective of this testing is to check the robustness of the application.

#23) Happy Path Testing

The objective of Happy Path Testing is to test an application successfully on a positive flow.

It does not look for negative or error conditions. The focus is only on valid and positive inputs through which the application generates the expected output.

#24) Incremental Integration Testing

Incremental Integration Testing is a Bottom-up approach for testing i.e continuous testing of an application when a new functionality is added.

Application functionality and modules should be independent enough to test separately. This is done by programmers or by testers.

#25) Install/Uninstall Testing

Installation and Uninstallation Testing is done on full, partial, or upgraded install/uninstall processes on different operating systems under different hardware or software environments.

#26) Integration Testing

Testing of all integrated modules to verify the combined functionality after integration is termed as Integration Testing.

Modules are typically code modules, individual applications, client and server applications on a network, etc. This type of testing is especially relevant to the client/server and distributed systems.

#27) Load Testing

It is a type of Non-Functional Testing and the objective of Load Testing is to check how much load or maximum workload a system can handle without any performance degradation.

Load Testing helps to find the maximum capacity of the system under specific load and any issues that cause software performance degradation. Load testing is performed using tools like JMeter, LoadRunner, WebLoad, Silk performer, etc.

#28) Monkey Testing

Monkey Testing is carried out by a tester assuming that if the monkey uses the application then how random input and values will be entered by the Monkey without any knowledge or understanding of the application.

The objective of Monkey Testing is to check if an application or system gets crashed by providing random input values/data. Monkey Testing is performed randomly and no test cases are scripted and it is not necessary to be aware of the full functionality of the system.

#29) Mutation Testing

Mutation Testing is a type of white box testing in which the source code of one of the programs is changed and verifies whether the existing test cases can identify these defects in the system.

The change in the program source code is very minimal so it does not impact the entire application, only the specific area having the impact and the related test cases should be able to identify those errors in the system.

#30) Negative Testing

Testers have the mindset of “attitude to break” and using Negative Testing they validate if the system or application breaks.

Negative Testing technique is performed using incorrect data, invalid data or input. It validates if the system throws an error of invalid input and behaves as expected.

#31) Non-Functional Testing

This is the type of testing for which every organization has a separate team which is usually called a Non-Functional Test (NFT) team or Performance team.

Non-Functional Testing involves testing of non-functional requirements such as Load Testing, Stress Testing, Security, Volume, Recovery Testing, etc. The objective of NFT testing is to ensure whether the response time of software or application is quick enough as per the business requirement.

It should not take much time to load any page or system and should be sustained during peak load.

#32) Performance Testing

This term is often used interchangeably with ‘stress’ and ‘load’ testing.

Performance Testing is done to check whether the system meets the performance requirements. Different performance and load tools are used to do this testing.

#33) Recovery Testing

It is a type of testing which validates how well the application or system recovers from crashes or disasters.

Recovery Testing determines if the system is able to continue its operation after a disaster. Assume that the application is receiving data through a network cable and suddenly that network cable has been unplugged.

Sometime later, plug in the network cable; then the system should start receiving data from where it lost the connection due to network cable being unplugged.

#34) Regression Testing

Testing an application as a whole for the modification of any module or functionality is termed as Regression Testing.

It is difficult to cover all the systems in Regression Testing, so typically Automation Testing Tools are used for these types of testing.

#35) Risk-Based Testing (RBT)

For Risk-Based Testing, the functionalities or requirements are tested based on their priority. Risk-Based Testing includes testing of highly critical functionality, which has the highest impact on business and in which the probability of failure is very high.

Priority decisions are based on business needs, so once priority is set for all functionalities, then high priority functionality or test cases are executed first followed by medium and then low priority functionalities.

Low priority functionality may be tested or not tested based on the available time. Risk-Based Testing is carried out if there is insufficient time available to test the entire software and the software needs to be implemented on time without any delay.

This approach is followed only by the discussion and approval of the client and senior management of the organization.

#36) Sanity Testing

Sanity Testing is done to determine if a new software version is performing well enough to accept it for a major testing effort or not.

If an application is crashing for initial use then the system is not stable enough for further testing. Hence a build or an application is assigned to fix it.

#37) Security Testing

It is a type of testing performed by a special team of testers. A system can be penetrated by any hacking method.

Security Testing is done to check how the software, application or website is secure from internal and external threats. This testing includes how much software is secure from malicious programs, viruses and how secure & strong the authorization and authentication processes are.

It also checks how software behaves for any hackers attack & malicious programs and how software is maintained for data security after such a hacker attack.

#38) Smoke Testing

Whenever a new build is provided by the development team, then the Software Testing team validates the build and ensures that no major issue exists.

The testing team will ensure that the build is stable and a detailed level of testing will be carried out further. Smoke Testing checks for no show stopper defects exist in the build which will prevent the testing team from testing the application in detail.

If the testers find that the major critical functionality is broken down at the initial stage itself then the testing team can reject the build and inform accordingly to the development team. Smoke Testing is carried out to a detailed level of any Functional or Regression Testing.

#39) Static Testing

Static Testing is a type of testing which is executed without any code. The execution will be performed on the documentation during the testing phase.

It involves reviews, walkthroughs, and inspection of the deliverables of the project. Static Testing does not execute the code instead, the code syntax and naming conventions are checked.

Static Testing is also applicable for test cases, test plans, and design documents. We need to perform static testing with the testing team as the defects identified during this type of testing are cost-effective from a project perspective.

#40) Stress Testing

This testing is done when a system is stressed beyond its specifications in order to check how and when it fails.

This is performed under heavy load like putting large number beyond storage capacity, complex database queries, continuous input to the system or database load.

#41) System Testing

Under System Testing technique, the entire system is tested as per the requirements. It is a Black-box type Testing that is based on the overall requirement specifications and covers all the combined parts of the system.

#42) Unit Testing

Testing of an individual software component or module is termed as Unit Testing.

It is typically done by the programmer and not by testers, as it requires detailed knowledge of the internal program design and code. It may also require developing test driver modules or test harnesses.

#43) Usability Testing

Under Usability Testing, the User-Friendliness Check is done.

The application flow is tested to see if a new user can understand the application easily or not. Proper help is documented if a user gets stuck at any point. Basically, system navigation is checked in this testing.

#44) Vulnerability Testing

The testing, which involves identifying weaknesses in the software, hardware and the network, is known as Vulnerability Testing. In malicious programs, the hacker can take control of the system, if it is vulnerable to such kind of attacks, viruses, and worms.

We need to check if those systems undergo Vulnerability Testing before production. It may identify critical defects and flaws in security.

#45) Volume Testing

Volume Testing is a type of Non-Functional Testing performed by the Performance Testing team.

The software or application undergoes a huge amount of data and Volume Testing checks the system behavior and response time of the application when the system came across such a high volume of data.

This high volume of data may impact the system’s performance and speed of processing time.

#46) White Box Testing

White Box Testing is based on the knowledge about the internal logic of an application’s code.

It is also known as Glass box Testing. Internal software and code work should be known to perform this type of testing. Under this, tests are based on the coverage of code statements, branches, paths, conditions, etc.

Recommended reading =>>  Pilot Testing – A Complete Guide


The above-mentioned Software Testing Types are just a part of testing.

However, there is still a list of more than 100+ types of testing, but all testing types are not used in all types of projects. Hence, we have covered some common Types of Software Testing which are mostly used in the testing life cycle.

Suggested reading => Prototype Testing Tutorial

Also, there are alternative definitions or processes used in different organizations, but the basic concept is the same everywhere. These testing types, processes, and their implementation methods keep changing as and when the project, requirements, and scope changes.

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