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What is Manual Testing ?

Once a software product is developed, there is a need to inspect and analyze the features, and also evaluate the components of the software. This is to check for potential bugs and errors and make sure they are resolved before the products get to the market. At this point, extensive testing of the software is needed. 

Software testing is important in software development, and it is divided into two types. They are Automated Testing and Manual Testing. For this article, we will be looking at Manual Testing and what you should know about the concept. So, without ado, let’s get started.

Manual Testing?

Manual testing is a type of software testing that involves manual execution of the test cases without making use of any form of automated tools. All the cases that are manually tested by the software tester are done based on the perspective of the end-user. The purpose of carrying out manual testing is to identify issues, bugs, and defects that may be present in the software application. This type of software testing is regarded as the most primitive of all types of software testing.

As a software tester, it is important to carry out manual testing first before doing automated testing. The process involved in manual testing is more difficult compared to automated testing, but the process is necessary for checking automation feasibility. Also, you don’t need any knowledge of testing tools for you to carry out manual testing. 

There is one fundamental fact about software testing. This fact says ‘it is not possible to achieve 100% automation’. this fundamental makes it essential to understand manual testing.

What are the Goals of Manual Testing?

As a software tester, there are goals that you must meet to achieve when carrying out the testing process. For manual testing, the goals are:

  • To make sure that the application is free from error and defects.
  • To ensure the application is working based on the specified functional requirements.
  • There should be 100% test coverage of the test cases that are designed during the testing phase.
  • The test should check the quality of the system thereby delivering a defect-free product to the customer.
  • All reported bugs should be resolved by the developer or development team.
  • The re-testing process must be carried out on the fixed bugs by the tester or testing team.

Why do we need Manual Testing?

Once an application lands in the market and is tested by the users, and there are issues or defects found in the application. Then, certainly, the application would be extinct in no time. To avoid a problem like this, it is essential to perform a round of testing on the application to make sure it is stable and defect-free so that the application will be of good quality. A good quality application attracts more customers.

Manual Testing enables the test engineer to test the application from the perspective of an end-user so that he/she can familiarize with the product. This helps them to give quick feedback on the product and write the correct test cases of the application.

What are the types of Manual Testing?

There are different types of Manual Testing. They are:

  1. Black Box Testing

This type of Manual Testing is carried out by the test engineer. The test engineer checks the functionality of the software or application based on the needs of the client or the customer. The internal codes and structure used in black-box testing are not visible when the test is performed. That is the reason why it is named black box testing. The tester is only aware of the inputs and expected outputs of the application, and not of how the requests are being processed by the software.

  1. White Box Testing

This type of Manual Testing is carried out by the Developer or Development team. In white-box testing, the developer or development team checks every line of the test code before sending it to the test engineer. It is called white-box testing because the codes are visible to the developer during the testing process. The tester is also aware of the internal codes and the structures of the software. The tester is responsible for choosing the inputs. The tester also executes the test by giving inputs to the system through codes and then determines the expected outputs. The primary focus of the white box testing is to improve the usability and design of the software and to strengthen the security of the application.

  1. Gray Box Testing

This is a combination of black-box testing and white-box testing. An individual who knows both testing and coding can perform this test. Also, if a single person performs both the white box testing and the black box testing on an application, then it is regarded as Gray box testing.

  1. Unit Testing

This is a type of manual testing that involves the validation of an individual module or component of the software. This test is performed by the developer or development team, as detailed knowledge of the internal program code and design is required.

  1. System Testing

System testing is a type of manual testing whereby the system is tested entirely. This means that the developed components are tested individually before being integrated into the application. Then the entire system is tested to ensure the application meets all the standards required.

  1. Integration Testing

Integration testing involves a subsystem that has two or more integrating components. This type of manual testing is carried out once the individual component has been tested individually. Integration testing is carried out to find bugs in the interfaces and the interactions between the components that are integrated.  

  1. Acceptance Testing

This is also called User Acceptance Testing (UAT). It is a type of manual testing that is performed by the customer or the client, to certify that the requirements are met for the system. This testing is performed in the final phase of testing before the software is moved to the production environment or market. The acceptance testing is done in a separate environment that is similar to the production environment.

How to perform the Manual Testing?

There are various steps to follow to properly carry out manual testing. They are:

  1. The requirements should be gathered using the requirement analysis process. 
  2. The software project documentation guide should be read and understood.
  3. The test cases are identified and drafted covering all the requirements contained in the project documentation.
  4. The test cases are then reviewed with both the team leader and the client (if needed).
  5. The test cases are then executed one by one on the user acceptance test (UAT). Each test case should either have the passed state, skipped state, or the failed state.
  6. The defects and issues detected are reported and resolved so that there are no more defects and bugs.
  7. Execute again the failing test cases for proper verification. 

What are the tools used in Manual Testing?

Various testing tools can be used for manual testing. These tools can be sourced openly while some of them are commercial. Examples of the tools used for manual testing are:

  • Citrus: This is a testing tool used for integration testing. It is the most common tool used for the test framework. The Java program is used to write this tool so you must know Java to operate this tool. The Citrus tool is used mostly to respond and request client-side and server-side, and also to validate XML JSON files.
  • LoadRunner: This is the most used tool for performance. LoadRunner is used mainly to support performance testing for procedures, application environments, and several approaches with a wide range.
  • NUnit: This is also a frequently used tool for manual testing. It can be sourced openly and it is primarily derived from the Junit. The tool is written completely in the C# programming language and it is suitable for every .Net language.
  • ZAP: ZAP is a scanner that is used for web application security. It stands for Zed Attack Proxy. ZAP is also written in the Java programming language and it is openly sourced. It is regarded as the most effective Open Web Application Security Projects (OWASP).
  • SonarQube: This is a manual testing tool that analyzes the workflow of the system with continuous, secured, and quality codes. It is a flexible tool that uses plug-ins. Java programming language is used in writing this Manual Testing tool. SonarQube also offers the ability to record the history of the metrics and gives an evolution graph.
  • JIRA: This is the most used tool for tracking defects. It can also be used for project management and tracking issues. It is also an open-sourced tool.
  • Bugzilla: This is also a manual testing tool used to track defects. It is used by large organizations. It also helps the clients and customers to keep track of the bugs. It is an open-sourced tool. It is also regarded as a test management tool because we can link with other test case management tools.
  • JMeter: This tool is used mainly to test the performance of both dynamic and static resources. It is an open-sourced tool that also tests dynamic web applications. It is designed completely by the Java programming language. JMeter also measures the performance of the application and loads the functional test behavior.
  • Tessy: Tessy is another manual testing tool used for integration testing. It is used to perform unit testing and integration of the embedded software. It is also useful in discovering the code coverage of the application or software. Tessy is used easily to manage the entire test organization including test management, business needs, traceability, and coverage quantity.
  • Mantis: This is a web-based system used for tracking defects. It can be sourced openly. It follows the software bugs. It is performed with the PHP programming language.

What are the Merits of Manual Testing?

Manual Testing possesses some advantages. They are listed below:

  • Manual testing is cost-effective.
  • A programming language is not required when using the Black box method.
  • Manual testing is easy to learn for new software testers.
  • It ensures that the software product is completely free from defects.
  • Dynamically changing GUI designs can be tested by manual testing.
  • The tester can interact with the software as a user which makes it able to discover user interface and usability issues.
  • Manual testing identifies most of the issues in the software including the feel and looks issues of the application.
  • It is easily adaptable and unplanned changes can be made.

What are the Demerits of Manual Testing?

Manual Testing also has some disadvantages and limitations. They are:

  • Manual testing is time-consuming.
  • The test cases used in manual testing cannot be used again. Another case has to be developed when working on another software.
  • A large number of human resources is required for manual testing.
  • It may be different to understand the motives of both teams since there are two teams involved in manual testing. This can mislead the overall process.
  • Manual testing does not provide testing on all types of testing.
  • It is difficult to find the color combination or size difference of GUI objects.

Manual Testing vs Automated Testing

There are differences between manual testing and automated testing, even though they are both used for software testing. The differences are listed below:

S/NManual TestingAutomated Testing
1The test cases are executed manually.Tools are used to schedule and execute the test cases.
2Any application can be tested manually.This testing is only beneficial for stable systems.
3It is time-consuming and incurs high costs. It saves a lot of time and it is cost-effective.
4It has a more friendly user interface that guarantees an improved customer experience.It has a less friendly user interface that does not guarantee a good customer experience.
5It is prone to human error.It has high accuracy.
6The process is boring and repetitive.The process is less boring.

Conclusion

In this article, we have looked at manual testing as a type of software testing process. For this process to be implemented successfully, the test engineer must possess both imaginative and productive skills.

The process of manual testing requires creativity, patience, and open-mindedness. It is a crucial part of software development that is user-friendly. This is because it involves humans and the customers are also humans. Therefore, the testers must be able to act and think from the perspective of an end-user.

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