In today’s competitive business landscape, software products have to meet the experience desired by users. If a product fails to offer this experience, users take no time to turn that off and move to another product. Quality assurance and testing both play crucial roles in the entire SDLC process. Until testers are able to fully ensure the quality of a product, there remains a business risk. And functional testing can help testers to attain that exactly.
What is functional testing?
Functional testing can be referred to the type of testing that verifies that every function of a software product operates according to the requirement specification. Here, each and every functionality of an application is tested by providing correct input, evaluating the output and comparing the final results with the desired results.
The key objective of functional testing
The key objective of functional testing is to verify and ensure that an application comes with the ability to perform the fundamental activities seamlessly. This is of utmost importance as the scope for the application is defined by the developers and users fail to experience that, the final outcome can be extremely negative. For example, a mobile wallet defines that it’ll be able to scan a QR code and make a payment. If the users of that mobile wallet fail to make the payment because of an error, you can hardly expect that users will be coming back to use it. From a broad standpoint, functional testing concentrates on four key things – mainline functions, accessibility, basic usability and error conditions.
The value of functional testing in software quality
Every aspect of functional testing can bring value to the entire development process – from speeding up the process to helping the team deliver a better product to ensuring superior quality. Let’s have a look at how functional testing helps to ensure a products’ quality.
Precision of the product
Functional testing helps the teams to ensure an application’s precision in performance. For instance, if an application needs a double click to operate, it must be a double click. An application comes with lots of such expectations and Functional Testing helps testers to ensure those are meeting completely.
Exploring functional imperfections
To rectify any application’s imperfections, identifying and exposing the flaws are critical. With the help of functional testing, testers can compare the fundamental deliverables of the application and the results to identify functional flaws. Once the flaws of the application are identified and understood by the team, they can be rectified in a better and faster manner.
Ensuring seamless operation
Functional testing can be done to ensure that code modifications haven’t changed existing functionality or introduced bugs into the system inadvertently. Here, goals generally include plans from different test phases to confirm that existing functionality operates as intended. Usually, critical functionalities are tested to ensure that the baseline quality of the application is maintained.
Ensuring operation across different platforms
In today’s age, an application can be accessed on an array of platforms – from a mobile device to a tablet to a computer. It can also be accessed across different operating systems and browsers. For any successful application, interoperability has become a must. With automated functional testing, it can be ensured that an application operates smoothly across technology platforms and devices.
Ensuring end users’ requirements
As we’ve discussed earlier, today an application has to interact with the end users seamlessly and fulfill their expectations. With functional testing implemented in the early phase of SDLC, teams can ensure that consumer expectations are appropriately set and the product that is being built will be able to completely satisfy the expectations of end users.
Key things to remember with functional testing
We already know that Functional Testing comes with the objective of determining how well an application performs what it’s expected to perform. Functional Testing essentially encompasses the major components of an application’s design to ensure that every function performs what it’s expected to perform based on its design and end user or client requirements. So, it’s important to remember that through functional testing is a crucial part of the testing process, it doesn’t ensure that the product is ready for real-world use. One of the key disadvantages of Functional Testing is it needs an in-depth knowledge of client or end-user requirements, which sometimes may not be readily available or clear.
Functional testing sometimes can be a lengthy process so the timeline may change based on whether functional shortcomings are detected in the testing process. So, it makes sense for product owners to be flexible so that the teams can adapt to changing demands easily. In addition, many software applications come with a lot of individual functions, so it’d be effective to have defined criteria and an established system to help the teams prioritize tests based on critical functionalities.
Finally, it’s quite essential that both performance testing and functional testing are in sync, and to ensure that one isn’t obstructing the other. To reap the maximum benefit of functional testing efforts, functions should be mapped to business requirements, individual tests should be prioritized and flexibility should be maintained to adapt the modifications as functional flaws are discovered. And most importantly, testing should never be limited to functional testing only. If performance issues aren’t addressed properly, it can easily break the success of an application, leaving serious negative impressions to end users or clients if it fails to perform to expectations.