What is black box testing?
Black box testing is an approach to testing that involves test design and test execution without knowledge, or without using knowledge of the code that makes up the product under test. Black box testers focus on providing value by thoroughly understanding the relationships between the product under test and the world in which it runs (this definition was put together from, and is based on Dr. Cem Kaner’s teachings).
There are different types of black box tests, including black box unit testing, black box integration testing, and arguably the most well known – black box system testing.
What are the advantages of black box testing?
To begin to understand the advantages of black box testing, let’s briefly discuss white box testing.
White box testing involves test design and test execution using knowledge of the code that makes up the product under test. White box testers focus on the implementation of the product being tested. Testing that developers usually perform, falls under white box testing. They are concerned about how well the code is written, and whether the program functions in the manner in which the developer programmed it to – not necessarily whether the program works and how well it works from the perspective of the user who will use the product.
White box testing will help provide information about data, performance, well written code, and that the application is working as the developer intended it to function to name a few.
What white box testing does not do is provide information about the value of a fully functional product to it’s user. And as we all know, if the product doesn’t work from the perspective of the user – it doesn’t work.
The advantages of black box testing starts with its aim focused on the value of a fully functional product. It can also help discover information about the value of a particular function or unit, integration of a few units and how well they work (or don’t work) from the perspective of a user.
Black box testing will help stakeholders understand how their product works, its value, and threats to its value.
Black box testing will enable skilled testers to focus on your product using specific tests and strategies to determine how the product will react and behave during actual use.
Take for example a software application that enables users to find available parking spots in your city. White box testing will help provide information about the implementation of the code that enables the user to find parking spots, but the black box tester will be able to provide different types of valuable information including the simplicity (or difficulty) of searching for parking spots, the accuracy of the results, the ease of use for the typical user, how the system stacks up to other similar products on the market, and its performance on different platforms and devices – all important factors that will help determine whether the intended audience will use your product.
How can we help?
Our team of skilled and experienced software testers have tested many different types of software applications meant for different types of users on multiple platforms and devices. Our testers will consider what your application is meant to do, how well it does it, and design tests to be able to provide you with information to help you measure the quality of your application and to identify threats to the value of your product.
We look forward to being your testing partner.