Static Testing

Organizations do not immediately execute software testing after receiving the project details. From acquiring project details to test execution there is a critical step of requirement validation that deals with related documentation and helps in smoothening the testing process. It is an essential step in the software development and testing processes, which cannot be neglected. While testing helps understand the efficiency of the code and other functionalities and identifies any errors or discrepancies that affect the quality of the software, requirement validation and documentation help you prepare for software test execution. The checking of this documentation comes under the purview of static testing.

There are two critical methods of Testing; they are Static Testing and Dynamic Testing.

Static Testing: It is a testing method that allows a user to examine the software/program and all the related documents without executing the code.

Dynamic Testing: On the other hand, dynamic testing checks the application when the code is executed.

Both these methods are essential and frequently used together to ensure that the applications are functional. However, this article highlights the static testing approach, which is crucial for the software development lifecycle but often is taken for granted. It is an assessment process to check the code and requirement documents to find errors early in the development phase.

Why is Static Testing used?

Static testing is performed to check the code and design documents and requirements for coding errors. The aim is to find the flaws in the early stage of development. Static Testing makes it easy to find sources of potential errors.

The users and developers static test the code, design documents, and requirements before executing the code. Checking the functional requirements is also possible. The process explicitly reviews the written material that gives a broader view of the software being tested.

Following are some documents that are checked during the Static Software Testing Process.

  1. Requirement Specifications
  2. Design documents
  3. User documents
  4. Web page content
  5. Source code, Test cases, test data, and test scripts
  6. User documents
  7. Specification and matrix documents

What are the errors that can be detected during Static Software Testing?

 Types of defects that can be easier to find during static testing are as follows –

  1. Deviations from standards
  2. Non-maintainable code
  3. Design defects
  4. Missing requirements
  5. Inconsistent interface specifications

Why is Static Testing used?

Static Testing is specifically used to identify any flaws in functionalities or possible coding errors in the initial stages before the code is executed.

Following are some benefits of using Static Testing –

  1. Detection and correction of potential coding errors
  2. Cost Efficiency – A reduced cost that goes into rework to fix errors
  3. Time Efficiency – A reduced time that goes into rework
  4. Feedback received at this stage helps improve the functioning of the project
  5. Once the developer moves to Dynamic Testing, the number of errors is limited. It makes the code maintainable
  6. The process also helps the developers identify the quality issues in the software
  7. There are automated tools available that make this process of reviewing the code and other documents faster and easier
  8. Static Testing also boots communication among inter-functional teams

What are Static Testing Techniques?

Static Testing is carried out in two steps –

  1. Static Review
  2. Static Analysis

Static review is done to find and rectify ambiguities and errors in supporting documents like requirement specification, software design documents, and test cases.

These documents can be reviewed in various ways, such as –

  1. Walkthrough
  2. Peer review
  3. Inspection

In the second step of Static Analysis, the code written by developers is analyzed. This step helps us identify and rectify structural defects that may become errors or bugs when the code is executed.

Static Analysis helps the developer to find the following types of errors –

1. Wrong Syntax

2. Unused variable or variables with undefined values

3. Dead code

4. Infinite loops

Static Analysis is of 3 types –

1. Data Flow – Related to stream processing

2. Control Flow – Determining how the statements and instructions are executed

3. Cyclomatic Complexity – Determining the complexity of the program that is related to the number of independent paths in the control flow graph of the program

There are various other techniques used while performing Static Testing; following are some of the common ones –

  1. Use Care Requirement Validation: This technique ensures that the end-user functionalities are defined properly
  2. Functional Requirement Validation: This technique identifies all requirements for the project
  3. Review of Architecture: In this technique, all business-level processes are analyzed
  4. Field Dictionary Validation: This technique helps us analyze all User Interface related fields

Static Software Testing Process may be conducted in the following ways –

  1. Manually
  2. With the use of Automated Testing Tools

How is Static Software Testing Reviewed?

Review is the most crucial step in the Static Software Testing process. These reviews are conducted to identify and rectify any potential errors in the supporting documents. The reviews can be walkthroughs, informal reviews, technical reviews, or inspections.

Walkthrough – The author of the specific document explains the document to the team and peers. The author also answers the questions and queries from the team.

Technical Review – Technical Specifications are reviewed by the peers to ensure all the functionalities are reflected in the software and the potential errors are identified and rectified.

Inspection – A dedicated moderator conducts strict reviews to ensure that the Static Testing process is completed efficiently to make the application as robust as possible.

Informal Reviews – Informal reviewers do not follow any specific process. Co-workers review the documents and provide internal comments.

Conclusion

Used to evaluate the code and requirement documents, static testing is essentially used to assess the written code. Organizations incorporate static testing methodologies either manually or by automation to detect the code error early in the test lifecycle, which plays a critical role in improving the quality and reducing cost and effort.

At Yethi, we offer a thorough requirement analysis, planning/scenario design, and reviews. We ensure maximum quality at different test stages. Before executing the tests, we review business processes, products, applications, and integrations to ensure optimum test coverage. We neatly arrange the steps like reviews and analysis to execute a well-structured testing process.

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