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The Long Term Relation between Insurance Apps and Software Testing

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The long term relation between insurance apps and software testing

The software applications help insurance companies to make their processes efficient and run business smoothly. But the insurance applications are designed with features to facilitate a wide variety of activities including development of policy forms, payment processing, and facilitating intra-branch transactions. At the same time, the apps also need to store sensitive business and customer data securely, and deliver seamless customer service across a variety of devices. The features and functionality make insurance apps complex, and different from normal software applications. The insurance companies also need to assess all aspects of their apps to deliver quality customer service and effectuate business processes.

5 Reasons Why Insurance Applications Must Be Tested Continuously

1) Integration of Many Systems

In addition to being domain-specific software, the insurance application also includes a number of systems. For instance, an insurance application may include individual systems for insurance policy administration, claim management, risk management, investment management, and calculation and valuation of insurance policy. At the same time, it also provides detailed and updated information to users according to the Compliance and Regulatory. So the overall functionality and performance of the application depend on the quality of each integrated system. A company must perform elaborate integration testing each time an integrated system is modified or updated.

2) Need to Test Each Unit Rigorously

As noted earlier, each insurance app is designed by integrating a number of systems. Each of these systems is designed as independent units, and integrated with other units subsequently. Often insurance companies integrate new units into the application to automate new activities. So each of these units must be tested independently and as part of the application. The insurance company must deploy testers to identify and eliminate all bugs in individual units. Likewise, it must get the systems tested after the integration to ensure that the app performs seamlessly.

3) Changes in Regulation and Guideline

Unlike generic software, an insurance app must deliver accurate, exact and updated information to each user. So the company needs to ensure that the application delivers information according to the latest regulations and guidelines issued by the Compliance and Regulatory. Also, the insurance companies must make changes to the insurance apps immediately to accommodate the new guidelines and regulations. Each time any changes are made to the app or individual systems, it becomes essential for testers to repeat all tests without any delay. Thus, the company need to ensure that the insurance application is tested thoroughly each time the rules change.

4) Security of Business and Customer Data

The insurance applications are also designed to store and deliver a wide variety of data. The application will enables employees and vendors to access a large amount of business data. At the same time, it will also store sensitive information of customers, and allow them to access updated information. So the application must be designed with advanced security features and techniques. The testers further need to perform a variety of tests to ensure that the app can store and deliver sensitive information securely. They also need to review the source code of the application rigorously to ensure that it can combat the emerging security threats.

5) Focus on Functionality, Usability and Compatibility

Nowadays, most insurance companies allow their employees to bring and use their own devices. Likewise, the customers also access the web-based insurance apps on a variety of devices. So it becomes essential for the insurance company to ensure that the application delivers quality user experience across many devices. The company must deploy testers to assess the application’s functionality and performance across many devices. Also, the testers need to check the application’s user experience on individual devices. When the insurance app is tested continuously, it becomes easier for the company to deliver quality user experience and customer service.

On the whole, an insurance company can reap several benefits by testing its applications thoroughly and continuously. However, it is also important for the company to review and customize its software testing strategy at regular intervals to enhance the insurance app’s quality and user experience.


Smoke Testing – How and When to Perform?

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Smoke Testing - How and When to Perform?

The term “smoke testing” is derived from the tests conducted on hardware which detects if the hardware, in its initial phase, catches fire or smokes. In software testing, smoke test is done to detect if the software is stable and ready for being subjected to further in depth testing. Also known as the “build verification testing”, it is primarily used to detect if there are in problems with the important functionalities of the software in which case further testing would be a waste of both time and money.

Smoke testing is essentially done to create criteria based on which the QA would accept or reject the particular build of the software for further testing. It has many advantages like exposing various issues related to the integration of the various modules of the software which may have been introduced due to the code change. It helps in providing confidence that the code written or changes does not majorly affect the quality or workability of the software. Smoke testing also ensures that the problems that may have been introduced due to the new codes are detected early.

How to Perform Smoke Testing?

  1. As the procedure is related to the new codes written or changes brought about in the existing codes so it is important to be in contact with the developers to get a hang about the possible functional changes and interdependency changes brought about by it.
  2. A checklist is to be made to keep a track of all the changes that requires checking with the help of the process.
  3. Smoke tests usually points out the primary weak points of the software which prevent the software from working properly, hence a code review should be +done before smoke testing to get rid of the defects and faults of commission.
  4. It is performed with the help of pre written test codes or with the help of automated tools.
  5. Debugging should be done before smoke testing as it deals with only the functionality changes brought about by the changes in the code and should be done on a clean environment.
  6. Smoke test should touch all parts of the software and hence should be wide in coverage yet shallow.
  7. In depth testing should be avoided at all cost as the main idea is to detect if the testers are capable of conducting further tests on the software or not.

When to Perform Smoke Testing? Smoke testing should be done every time a new software has been created and the codes have been reviewed to check if the software is feasible for further testing procedure or for running, as a matter of fact. It is usually done in the initial phase of software development lifecycle when the software is not yet stable. Smoke test should be performed before the developers team releases the software to the tester and should be tested by the testers before taking the software ahead for further testing as it checks the crucial parts of the software to ensure that it is capable of running properly and that further testing is required. Smoke testing is essentially conducted in the acceptance testing, integration testing and system testing levels of the software testing lifecycle.

So that’s all you need to know about smoke testing and when the procedure is to performed and according to Microsoft it is the most economic method of detecting problems with the software. So it should be performed by everyone to avoid loss of capital in testing a software which is incapable of functioning normally.

Effective Ways to Prepare a Good Bug Report

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Effective Ways to Prepare a Good Bug Report

Before we strive to write a good bug report let’s think of why we write a bug report in the first place! The whole point of writing a bug report is to get the bug fixed so that the software becomes a better version of itself. So before you sit to write a bug report you need to do it in a manner where the developers will be clear about what’s wrong with the software and will be able to rectify it else your moral as well as reputation can be harmed.

Writing a bug report is a piece of cake, however, writing an effective bug report may not be as easy. In order to make your bug report effective you may consider following the below mentioned pointers.

  1. Having Clearly Specified Bug Number: It is very important that you number all your bug reports uniquely and in a chronological manner so that the bug can be easily identified and located. If you are utilizing any automatic bug reporting tool then the number will be generated automatically. Always keep a brief account of the bug report along with the unique identification number.
  2. Reproducible: The developers can’t rectify the bug if they can’t reproduce it. This is why it is very important that you mention clearly the steps to reproduce the bugs. This will allow the developers to follow the given steps and reproduce the bug so that they can verify the nature of the bugs and rectify it with ease.
  3. Be Specific: There is no point in writing an elaborate report of the bug. No one has the time to read it. When you are writing a bug report always be specific about the bug and write a report which is short, to the point and specific about the problems created by the bug you are reporting. Make sure to reproduce the bug multiple times, read the report before submission and avoid using abusive language.

There are some simple templates which you can follow in order to write a perfect and effective bug report.

  1. Reporter: This will have your details so the developer can contact you if necessary.
  2. Product: The product in which you found the bug.
  3. Version: Which version of the product was tested.
  4. Component: Various modules of the products.
  5. Platform: The platform in which the bug was detected.
  6. Operating System: The operating system in which the bug was detected.
  7. Priority: How quickly the bug should be attended to on a scale of P1 to P5.
  8. Severity: Here you will be discussing about the impact of the bug based on the following points.
  9. Status: mention whether the bug is a new one or an existing one which has popped up again.
  10. Assigned to: If you have any information about which developer is going to fix the bug, mention it in your report.
  11. URL: It is best if you can mention the URL of the page in which the bug was detected for ease of the developer to detect it and pin point it.
  12. Summary: A short yet to the point summary of the bug report always helps the developer to get a quick glance of the whole report and hence to identify how to rectify it.
  13. Description: Describe the bug which you are reporting.

These are some of the tips and tricks to prepare a good bug report which will be effective for developers.

Best Practices for Web Application Testing

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Best Practices for Web Application Testing

A large percentage of people nowadays access websites and web applications on their smartphones, tablets and phablets. Also, Google uses mobile-friendliness as a key metric to rank websites. That is why, a gradual increase is being noted in the enterprises opting for responsive design to make their web applications deliver quality user experience across a wide variety of devices. However, it is also important for businesses to get the functionality, performance and user experience of the websites tested thoroughly to impress and engage website visitors. The businesses can always effectuate web application testing by following a number of best practices.

5 Web Application Testing Best Practices Each Tester Must Know

1) Test Web Services Independently

Nowadays web services have become an integral part of web application development. The testers can reap a number of benefits by testing the web services independently, and not as integrated components of the website. The web services can be tested more quickly as not JavaScript, CSS or images need to be loaded. Also, it becomes easier for testers to identify the issues and their reasons by debugging the web service independently. They can even use a variety of tools to assess the web services independently and quickly.

2) Perform Elaborate Cross-Browser Compatibility Testing

To deliver quality user experience, the web application must run seamlessly on different types and versions of web browsers. But the older versions of certain browsers do not support HTML5 and CSS3. So the testers need to ensure that the app runs smoothly on different versions of each commonly used web browser. However, they cannot assess the cross-browser compatibility of the website without using specialized tools. The business must pick the right automation tools to help testers check the application’s functionality across various browsers quickly and efficiently.

3) Pick Specific Criterions for Usability Testing

The usability and user experience of the web application will have a direct impact on keeping the visitors engaged and converting them into customers. So the business needs to ensure that its web application delivers quality and distinct user experience to each visitor. That is why; it must pick the right criterions to assess the application’s usability effectively. To effectuate usability testing of the web application the business must pick key criterions like UX design, performance, speed, readability, accessibility, navigability, and amount of time and effort required by the user to perform a particular task.

4) Scale the Load Tests Incrementally

Each business must replicate the production environment exactly to load tests web applications more effectively. So it must identify and eliminate all issues related to hardware and system configuration in the test environment. At the same time, it is also important for testers to perform the load tests incrementally. They must run tests initially by replicating a smaller number of distributed users, and increase the number of users gradually. The incremental load testing will make it easier for the professionals to identify the exact point where the application crashes. They can perform the load tests in cycles, and analyze the test results of each cycle to assess how the website performs under varying user loads.

5) Create Simple and Reusable Tests

The quality of tests will also have direct impact on the whole web application testing process. Often complex tests affect the workflow adversely, and make it difficult for testers to identify the cause of the problem. The testers must not try to test multiple features or functionalities of the website using a single test. They must write simple tests to check specific features or functionality of the application. They can simply divide the workflow into multiple tests, and write each test to assess a particular aspect of the web application rigorously. At the same time, the testers also need to design reusable tests to quickly access the application across various browsers and devices.

It is always important for the business to make a comprehensive strategy to ensure that all aspects of the web application are tested rigorously. Also, the testers must repeat the tests under various conditions to assess the application’s quality more accurately.

5 Things to Consider While Preparing an Effective Software Testing Plan

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5 Things to Consider While Preparing an Effective Software Testing Plan

Often managers or QA leads find it a daunting challenge to prepare an effective software testing plan. In addition to preparing the test plan by following an organized approach, they also need to keep in mind test objectives, scope of testing, risk identification, test execution schedule, metrics to assess the project, and constraints related to time and resources. That is why; it becomes essential for the manager to focus on a number of important points to make an effective software testing plan.

7 Tips to Make Your Software Testing Plan more Effective

1) Test the Software Frequently

Many reports have highlighted that an organization can save both time and cost by testing the software application early and frequently. When the bugs in the software are identified in early phases of software development lifecycle, the testers can fix the defects without putting extra time and effort. So you must introduce software testing in the early phases of the project, and ensure that the software is tested repeatedly and frequently.

2) Create Small Functional Modules

You must understand the test coverage clearly to make a better testing plan. So it is important to divide the entire software application to be tested into a number of smaller modules. Each module will cover specific features or functionality of the application. Thus, the small functional modules will help you to understand and track test coverage. However, you must consider dividing the each functional module into small logical parts, and writing test cases for each module based on these small parts.

3) Focus on Test Case Development

It is also important to identify the business requirements that are testable. You can easily identify the testable requirements by getting test cases written during design and requirement phases of software development life cycle. The valid or positive test cases will help you to cover all expected behaviour of the software, whereas the negative test cases will cover its unexpected behaviour. However, you also need to ensure that the test cases are written by experienced programmers, and explain each step clearly.

4) Pick the Right Metrics

The test plan must focus on documenting, tracking, measuring and reviewing the quality objectives during various phases of the project. So you must pick the right metrics to track and assess the quality objectives more effectively. It is always important to pick metrics that are effective but simple to execute. Also, you must pick a variety to metrics to cover all aspects of the project. You can always consider using some of the commonly used metrics like schedules, size, quality, rework and resources.

5) Build a Custom Test Environment

You must create a custom test environment by replicating the production environment exactly. Also, the environment must include the right test automation tools and systems with customized configuration. It is also important to keep the testing and production environments separated, and prevent the developers from accessing the test environment. When the test environment is accesses exclusively by testers, it will be easier to identify and control the missing components.

6) Emphasize on Informative and Precise Bug Reporting

You must remember that the quality of the bug report will have a direct impact on the defect turnaround time. The testers must provide detailed and specific information about the bugs identified during testing to enable developers to fix the defects easily and quickly. They can even reproduce the bugs to reduce the defect turnaround time drastically. Your test plan can even recommend testers to use a predefined bug report template to provide adequate information about the defects.

7) Divide and Allocate the Tasks Properly

Your test plan also needs to focus on allocating the tasks to the right professionals. While allocating tasks, you must keep in mind the test schedule, size of the team, and the skills and expertise of individual testers. You can even consider preparing a skill chart of all members of the testing team, and allocate the tasks based on the skill chart. Also, you need to ensure that each member of the team understand the objective and nature of the task assigned to him clearly.

While making the test plan, the manager must ensure uninterrupted communication between testers and programmers. The communication will result in getting the problems resolved in a quick and efficient way, while avoiding misunderstanding in future. However, the professionals must communicate with each other through emails instead of sticking to verbal communication.

5 Best Mobile Security Testing Tools that can Mitigate Mobile Threats

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5 Best Mobile Security Testing Tools that can Mitigate Mobile Threats

A large percentage of businesses nowadays build apps by targeting several platforms and devices. So testers find it daunting to test the applications by emulating a variety of real devices, users, networks and environments. The testing professionals further need to perform a variety of tests to ensure that the mobile app resists a variety of security threats and attacks successfully.

The security testing tools make it easier for testers to check if the information stored in the mobile app, device and platform are 100% secure. The testers also have option to choose from a variety of static, dynamic and forensic security testing tools according to the specific requirements of the mobile app testing project.

5 Commonly Used Security Testing Tools for Mobile Apps

1) OWASP Zed Attack Proxy Project (ZAP)

ZAP is designed as an easy-to-use integrated penetration testing tool. It helps experienced developers and functional testers to perform security testing of applications without putting any extra effort. The static security testing tool further allows testers to reverse engineer communication protocols and test the vulnerability of the application by designing and sending malicious messages. The malicious messages will attack the application’s server-side resources, and help testers to check if the app is secure. However, ZAP is originally designed as a penetration testing tool for web applications.

2) HP Enterprise Software

HP Enterprise software is designed with features to help users perform security testing by targeting multiple devices, platforms and networks. The testers can use the enterprise software to perform end-to-end security testing of mobile apps. They can further use the tool to analyze static resources of the application, and schedule dynamic scans at regular intervals. The tool further allows them to emulate real user experience, and find bugs in the application in a real-time environment. At present, HP Enterprise Software supports major mobile platforms like iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry.

3) Smart Phones Dumb Apps

The tool currently supports both iOS and Android mobile platforms. It is also associated with Google code repository. The testers can use the scripts provided by the Smart Phones Dumb Apps to scan the source code of iOS and Android apps. The source code scanning will help testers to identify the pieces of code that make the app vulnerable to various security attacks. The testers can further use the tool to run fortify SCA scans on the source code of Android applications written in Java programming language.

4) Android Debug Bridge (ADB)

ADB is included in Android Development Kit. The versatile command line tool enables testers to perform security testing of Android app across many devices. The testers can use ADB as a client-server tool. They also have option to connect the tool with various Android devices and emulator instances. ADB comes with features to help testers explore the file system of the mobile device. So they can easily find out the loopholes in the file system that makes the app vulnerable to various security threats.

5) IPad File Explorer

Despite its name, iPad File Explorer can be used to explore the file structure of all iOS devices. The third party tool further display the app data and media file on two distinct views. It can also read and display the app data just like normal file systems. So it becomes easier for users to view and explore the file system of the iPhone or iPad in a detailed and clear way. At the same time, they can also use the tool to explore the device storage file system of jailbroken iOS devices.

Many studies have highlighted how testers can effectuate security testing of mobile apps by combining multiple test automation tools. But it is always important for the business to pick and combine security testing tools according to the nature, usage and requirements of the mobile application to be tested.

Exploratory Testing and Business Values Delivered

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A gradual increase is being noted in the number of businesses switching from scripted testing to exploratory testing. The conventional scripted testing approach requires the active test cases to be designed in advance, with clearly defined processes and expected results. The predesigned tests are used by testers to compare the actual test results with expected results. So the testers must be provided with adequate information to execute the tests and interpret the test results effectively.

But exploratory testing approach emphasizes on concurrent test designing and execution. It further requires businesses to deploy skilled software testers, and allows testers to become more imaginative and exploratory. While performing exploratory testing, the QA professionals have autonomy to decide what tests to perform next, and how to prioritize tests due to time constraints. So a business can avail a number of benefits by adopting the modern software testing approach.

What Makes Businesses Switch from Scripted Testing to Exploratory Testing?

Defects are Found Quickly

The predesigned test scripts restrict professionals’ imagination and creativity. When the testers have adequate information about the software to be tested and use the predesigned test scripts, they do not come up with fresh and innovative ideas. Exploratory testing requires them to design and execute tests concurrently. So they can learn and improve continuously, while coming up with new ideas and innovative ways to solve problems.

Accommodate Individual Testing Approaches

Exploratory testing approach requires enterprises to deploy skilled and experienced QA professionals. So each tester can analyze the specific problem in a particular way. The members of the team can further suggest various ways to test a particular feature or functionality of the software. So the same aspect of the application can be tested in a number of ways. The different approaches effectuate testing, and help testers to identify all flaws in the software.

Allow Testers to Control the Testing Process

The scripted testing approach differentiates the process of test design and test execution. So an enterprise has option to deploy different teams to design and execute tests. Also, the testers need adequate product information and detailed business requirements to execute the tests effectively. So the testers fail to execute tests if the test cases are not designed in advance or they are not familiar with the application. But exploratory testing enables testers to design and execute tests concurrently. They can easily gather the required information, and design and test cases in each situation.

Freedom to Follow Leads

Nowadays testers have to test all aspects of the software within a shorter amount of time. So they find it daunting to read, understand and execute predesigned test scripts. Most modern testers prefer designing and executing tests in parallel without referring to any predesigned test cases. Further, they want to deploy the limited time in finding bugs instead of reading and understanding test cases. The absence of predefined constraints further enables testers to identify bugs in the software by following all promising leads.

Facilitates Agile Testing

Many businesses nowadays adopt agile methodology to reduce software testing time and cost significantly. But the delivery cycles in agile project is extremely short. Further, the developers and testers have to collaborate with each other deliver a flawless software application. So the businesses are no longer required to deploy skilled professionals to make test plans, design test cases, and manage defects in the software. When a business adopts exploratory testing approach, it becomes easier for it to design and execute test cases concurrently without deploying any additional professionals. So exploratory testing helps businesses to reap benefits of agile project management methodologies.

On the whole, the exploratory testing approach is completely different from conventional scripted testing approach. But companies like Microsoft have proved that both testing approaches are compatible with each other, and can also be used on a single project. So a business has option to either adopt exploratory testing model or use both testing models simultaneously.