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Comparative Analysis: Software Testing Tools

Assignment : An investigation of software development, testing standards, and test management software 

This assignment is an individual assessment.    

Purpose: 

The purpose of the assignment is to help you to:- 

  • improve your research and comprehension skills 
  • develop a good understanding of professional industry standards for software testing  
  • appreciate the value of various processes and methods used in industry to test and evaluate  software systems 
  • getting familiar with various well-known test management software  

Introduction:  

According to Standards Australia: 

“Standards are published documents setting out specifications and procedures designed to ensure products, services and systems are safe, reliable and consistently perform the way they were intended to. They establish a common language which defines quality and safety criteria.” 

There are several standards, international and national, that relate specifically to software testing. Standards formalize industry best practice and they are agreed upon by professionals in the industry in which the standards apply to. This assignment is an investigation into those standards.  

According to Wikipedia, “Test management tools are used to store information on how testing is to be done, plan testing activities and report the status of quality assurance activities. The tools have different approaches to testing and thus have different sets of features. Generally, they are used to maintain and plan manual testing, run or gather execution data from automated tests, manage multiple environments and to enter information about found defects. Test management tools offer the prospect of streamlining the testing process and allow quick access to data analysis, collaborative tools and easy communication across multiple project teams.” This assignment also aims to introduce the students to various well-known Test Management Tools.  

 Assignment tasks: 

You will need to: 

Part-A: Software development and testing standards 

  • locate two current documents for one national standard and one international standard that relate to software testing 
  • research, comprehend and analyze each document to find relevant details to answer a set of questions, and 
  • prepare a written summary report of findings 

Commence your search for standards at the Federation University website.  There is a listing of Databases AZ (http://libguides.federation.edu.au/az.php ) which has a link for Australian Standards Online.  

Note: If you are on campus, just clicking on the link will send you through to the database.      If you are off-campus, you will need to authenticate with your logon details 

Your search should target published standards, not drafts. You can include any of the following but you are not limited to: 

  • AS/NZS ISO/IEC 9126.1:2005  

Software engineering - Product quality - Quality model 

  • ISO/IEC 12119:1994  

Information technology - Software packages - Quality requirements and testing 

  • AS/NZS ISO/IEC 25062:2006  

Software engineering - Software product Quality Requirements and Evaluation (SQuaRE) - Common Industry Format (CIF) for usability test reports 

  • ISO 829  Software documentation standards 
  • IEEE 12027 
  • ISO 25000 series 

 Select and research one Australian and one international standard relating to software testing to ascertain the answers to the following questions. Be sure to check appendices in these documents as they can be very helpful.  Your answers should illustrate a good understanding of the standard documents you select.  

For each standard 

  • What is the standard name? 
  • Who holds the copyright for the standard? 
  • Amongst the acknowledged contributors to the document, which universities were involved (if any)? 
  • What is the scope or intent of the standard? 
  • What are the key terms and understandings needed for the standard to be understood and applied? 
  • In your own words, what does the application of the standard result in? Or in other words, what does the standard do?  
  • Finally, what specific relevance to software testing is the standard? 

Make a comparison of the two standards.  

  • Relate any commonalities between your two selected standards 
  • Highlight any significant differences in their approach and applications. 

Part-B: Test Management Tool 

You have to present a comparative analysis between any two of the following Test Management Tools: 

 The analysis should include: 

  • Common features  
  • Special features  

The student should create the free account in both the selected tools to explore thoroughly.   

Prepare a report of no more than 2,000 words answering all questions. The report should have the following structure. 

  • an introduction to standards and a brief description of the two standards researched  
  • responses to questions for each standard 
  • listing and a discussion of commonalities and differences between the two standards 
  • listing the common and special features of two selected test management tools · 
  • a conclusion summarizing the report findings 

Answer

Introduction 

With the increasing use of digital technology the software development has seen a lot of activity. However there are several factors that make the software usable like the bugs or error and possible compatibility issues with system and general functions of the software. The software type can vary greatly but their level of usage has given rise to the demands of the various organizations using the software to ensure quality and usability standards. The software testing methodology and tools therefore have been developed and the software are being developed in order to comply with set quality and usability stands that determine the reliability and functions along with quality of the software. Therefore, the testing process for software are diverse as well as the national and international standards of the software are compliant with. These testing therefore have become an important part of the growing software development industry that test the software for one or more of its properties that is set either nationally or internationally. There are several popular international standards currently used in the industry along with the national standards used in the Australia. The test tools that are used to test the software under different condition also vary greatly in their features and characteristics although there are some testing methods that are based on same concept. This report consists of comparative analysis of two such standards used for testing software along with comparative analysis of two popular tools used for the purpose of testing. 

Discussion 

  • What is the standard name? 

The first standard to be evaluated is the AS/NZS ISO/IEC 9126.1:2005, that has been developed by the Joint Technical Committee IT-015 that makes this standard suitable for both Australian and New Zealand standards. 

  • Who holds the copyright for the standard? 

The copyright of the standard is owned by the organization Standards Australia/Standards New Zealand.

  • Amongst the acknowledged contributors to the document, which universities were involved?

Among the contributors of the standards The University of New South Wales, The University of Queensland, University of South Australia, University of Technology, Sydney and Griffith University can be mentioned.

  • What is the scope or intent of the standard?

The scope and intent of the software are to develop an understanding of the various terms that can be used to describe the quality of any aspect of any software of any nature and any specific usage domain. The intent of the standard is to provide a unifying comparison level that can be used to define and understand the various aspects of quality of the software with any software form another domain of usage of purpose. 

  • What are the key terms and understandings needed for the standard to be understood and applied?

The terms that are used on the standard to define various quality measurement factors are  Functionality, Reliability, Usability, Efficiency, Maintainability and Portability.

  • What does the application of the standard result in?

The application results in maintaining of the quality of the software in the various domains developed for various useful purposes to have set of criteria that can be used to evaluate the software for its various usage characteristics as defined by the standards. 

•What is the standard name? Who holds the copyright for the standard?

The name of the standard to be evaluated is ISO/IEC 25051:2005 and the copyright for the standard belongs to the International Organization for Standardization.

•What is the scope or intent of the standard? 

The scope of the standard is to provide an updated international standard the provided the consumers to be aware of the various technical capabilities of the software no matter the location and provide a standard for comparing the various quality factors of the software developed in the different countries for sale in the international market. This standard would allow for the software to be tested for their various usage characteristics across usage domains, developer countries and type of software for the various COTS software for sale in the international market. 

•What are the key terms and understandings needed for the standard to be understood and applied? 

The various terms that need to be understood for the application of the terms standard are Software Quality Requirements and Evaluation (SQuaRE) and its arioso parts like the specification, planning, measurement and evaluation process

•In your own words, what does the application of the standard result in? Or in other words, what does the standard do?

The standard allows of the test of usability characteristics of the software developed in different locations and help the consumer to be aware of the various usage characteristics of the software that can differ based on nationality in absence of such international standards. 

•Finally, what specific relevance to software testing is the standard?

This software standard allows of the software to be tested in quality for its model, efficiency, coding, testing and other relevant standards. 

Listing and discussion of commonalities and differences 

As quality attributes and related measurements can be valuable not just to evaluate a product yet additionally to define quality necessities and other utilization, ISO/IEC 9126 (1991) has been supplanted by two related multipart norms: ISO/IEC 9126 (Software item quality) and ISO/IEC 14598 (Software item assessment). The product item quality attributes characterized in this part of ISO/IEC 9126 can be utilized to indicate both useful and non-useful client and client prerequisites. Thus, the listing of the various functionalities of the two standards are listed below

Application- the application of the two standards are different as the ISO standard is only applicable under COTS software and the criteria are fixed for the international market. The AS.NZS, on the other hand, can be used for an testing any aspect of the software

The scope of the testing for the AS/NZ standards is limited to the geographical location of the continent and the software developed within the continent whereas the ISO standard can be used in the international market to compare products developed in different countries. 

Comparability of the standards are similar as the ISO standardization is of similar scope for the software products which can be applied for a much wider scale than the AS?NZS standards 

Listing the common and special features of two selected test management tools

The two test management tools that are compared in this section are Test rail and Zephyr. 

The test rail is developed by Gurock Software GmbH Company and the test rail is the most popular among the test tools developed by them. The testy rail has a user-friendly interface that is easily understandable and provides selective organization and coordination of the testing process. This tool allows the user to custom create test scenarios for the testing of the software and also allows the detection of bugs through online bug trackers. The open test rail API allows the user to arrange and customise the system while integrating the use of the various issue trackers and automation tools for testing. 

The Zephyr is also a popular test management tool that is a plugin for JIRA which is a testing tool. The Zephyr test management plugin increases the capabilities of JIRA to a high degree and presents the combination as a complete test management suite for developers. This suite allows for the use of a test plan that can be used in specific scenarios along with the description of the test cases. The testing process and report generation are carried out by the tool. The instantaneous bug creation in case of detection of unusual behaviour allows is one of the most compelling features that allow the tool to be used in all stages of development. 

There are some common features of the software described above with some characteristics that are unique to each of the software. Both of the software’s allow for the customization of the test management process to a limited degree, the test rail allows customization of its some features that do not include or interact with the workflow. In case of zephyr suite, there are numerous filters available for the various test scenarios where the output fields, graphical presentation of the results and the reports along with the control dashboard can be customised to suit the user needs. The reporting feature of both tools is similar. The test case management is also similar but the Zephyr offer greater flexibility as a description of the test cases is available. The test rail offers no such traceability between the test case and the results. The test set and execution features offered by the software are very similar to each other as they both do not allow any parameter to be included in the test cases and sets that make them equal in this regard.

The test rail uses its connectivity features to connect to online issue tracking databases like Bugzilla and GitHub to prevent supplicate issues and report to the user of the present issues.  The Zephyr, however, does not use any connectivity as the JIRA suite has its own database which is updated regularly. While both of the testing suites allow for batch editing they do not allow reporting directly via email and reports are generated locally. The Zephyr in connection with the JIRA allows for the system to manage issues in a flexible manner based on the test case and scenario while the test rail has no such features which make it suitable for the use in the primary stages of testing. 

The ability of conduct searches based on the user-defined criteria is a feature that is common for both of the software suites that allow for the user to search for specific quality concerns and issues within the software being tested in the platform. Both of the software is able to operate form cloud or locally installed environment which makers them future ready. 

Among the result reporting feature of the suites, the one offered by the Zephyr is clearly the winner as it allows for the developers and testers to use the external dashboard to organize the results from the native environment. This allows for a higher level of clear presentation of the results in Zephyr than test rail. The use of the graphical embedding option that allows for the graphical representation of the results to be directly transported to other platforms makes this slightly more useful in the final stages of the testing where the results are needed to be submitted to the higher management or client. 

The test rail allows for exploratory testing of the software where the sessions can be arranged with a different focus on the same software in an organized manner. The Zephyr does not offer any such facility which makes the tester to manually set the test case each time in batches. 

The support for the software is also similarly available as the forum for both testing management tools contain a great deal of information from the users of the system where the discussion threads for almost all of the user issues and their solutions are discussed. The test platforms are suitable for both agile and waterfall methodology despite the dissimilarity of the main defining features of the testing management tools. The companies offer training for administrators and users of the system and consultation option for the test methodology to be used under certain conditions and test features are also available for both.

Conclusion

From the above discussion, it can be easily surmised that the testing of software is increasingly becoming more diverse and the standards that are being developed to meet the specific needs of developers and users. The testing tools the and the standards therefore while having some general characteristics in common are being developed for more specific usage and are suited to different testing scenarios. The basic properties of the software itself are being integrated into the national and international standards as the new innovation in the usage of the digital systems is requiring new standard definitions and usability levels. Therefore, the pace of the development of the various businesses and personal usage of the software is increasing so it’s the need for the constant updating of the standards. Thus, the standards and testing tools while changing are needing to maintain a level of similarity for the ease of the consumers of the product. Therefore, the standards and testing management tools serve a great purpose in helping the customers of the software.

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