August 27, 2010

Understanding Scenario Based Testing

Scenario Based Tests (SBT) are best suited when you need to tests need to concentrate on the functionality of the application, than anything else.

Let us take an example, where you are testing an application which is quite old (a legacy application) and it is a banking application. This application has been built based on the requirements of the organization for various banking purposes. Now, this application will have continuous upgrades in the working (technology wise and business wise). What do you do to test the application?
Let us assume that the application is undergoing only functional changes and not the UI changes. The test cases should be updated for every release. Over a period of time, maintaining the test ware becomes a major set back. The Scenario Based Tests would help you here.
As per the requirements, the base functionality is stable and there are no UI changes. There are only changes with respect to the business functionality. As per the requirements and the situation, we clearly understand that only regression tests need to be run continuously as part of the testing phase. Over a period of time, the individual test cases would become difficult to manage. This is the situation where we use Scenarios for testing.

What do you do for deriving Scenarios?

We can use the following as the basis for deriving scenarios:
  • From the requirements, list out all the functionalities of the application.
  • Using a graph notation, draw depictions of various transactions which pass through various functionalities of the application.
  • Convert these depictions into scenarios.
  • Run the scenarios when performing the testing.
Will you use Scenario Based Tests only for Legacy application testing?
No. Scenario Based Tests are not only for legacy application testing, but for any application which requires you to concentrate more on the functional requirements. If you can plan out a perfect test strategy, then the Scenario Based Tests can be used for any application testing and for any requirements.
Scenario Based tests will be a good choice with a combination of various test types and techniques when you are testing projects which adopt UML (Unified Modeling Language) based development strategies.
You can derive scenarios based on the Use Case’s. Use Case’s provide good coverage of the requirements and functionality.

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