An enterprise application is a software platform that is designed to operate on a large scale, typically in the context of a business, government institution or some other complex organization. It is often deployed over a network and is made up of several different components.
The primary methods of testing enterprise software are as follows:
Each of these tests includes several different subcategories of testing methods.
A common way to test the functionality of an enterprise application is through the aptly named functional testing method. This method emphasizes the outcome of a particular software application (as opposed to its specific processes). It involves running tests based on hypothesized outputs, against which actual outputs are compared.
Unit testing is another common form of the functionality test. This type of test is typically conducted by the programmer and involves testing specific components of a software program in order to ensure that they have been properly composed.
When multiple software components are tested for their interoperability, this process is known as integration testing. This is a method of validating communication protocols between separate but integrated software modules.
While unit and integration testing are considered ‘low-level’ approaches to testing, an example of ‘high-level’ testing would include the end-to-end method. This process involves taking a holistic approach to the complete enterprise application and making sure that it fulfills its business objectives and is successful in any perceivable use case.
Usability testing is more simplified than end-to-end because it focuses on the end user experience. This method can be conducted on a remote basis, including moderated and unmoderated. Remote testing is often aided with intermediary software that monitors live user tests (moderated) or otherwise records their measurements (unmoderated).
One common example of an unmonitored remote test would be a split test (also known as a multivariate test or an A/B test), which compares differing user interface elements and measures which are most successful. The split test typically requires a clear and detailed hypothesis, as well as sophisticated information-gathering tools.
There are also moderated in-person methods, which provide more immediate results that can be processed much more quickly than remote testing methods. These often take place in labs and involve testers as well as trained professionals who gather usability data.
A somewhat advanced example of moderated in-person usability testing would be eye-tracking. This method actually records the eye movement of the user and compares it with their interface activity (such as clicks and keystrokes) in an effort to measure things like ease of use and layout effectiveness.
Since enterprise applications often deal with sensitive and highly valuable information, security is especially important. Static application security testing (SAST) is a testing method often employed by programmers and developers in order to test for vulnerabilities in software usually prior to deployment. This method tests applications in non-live environments in order to try to identify problems before they have a chance to occur in real business operations.
While SAST is regarded as a method of finding vulnerabilities by looking from the inside out, Dynamic application security testing (DAST) takes the opposite approach and aim to identify problems by attacking them from the outside using existing threats. DAST is typically conducted on web application software.
Vulnerability tests are a general term used for software application tests done on just about any level, but typically on a relatively small scale. The goal of these tests is to identify vulnerabilities, and they are typically automated.
A more advanced method of finding software vulnerability comes in the form of penetration testing, which can take the form of anything from an automated test to a creative, manual attack (often performed by an ethical or ‘white hat’ hacker). While standard vulnerability tests are usually conducted on early-stage businesses, penetration tests are ideal for more mature software enterprises.
These are just a few of the many forms of enterprise product testing. Aloha Technology offers all sorts of testing services for your enterprise software, for virtually any stage of development. It is often best to outsource your testing needs, and Aloha Technology provides comprehensive testing services for enterprise applications of all sorts.