What is Validation in Software Testing?
Validation ensures that the software operates as planned in the requirements phase by executing it, running predefined test cases, and measuring the output with expected results.
Validation answers the question, “Did we build the software fit for purpose, and does it provide the solution to the problem?”. It involves evaluating the software, component, or system to determine if it meets end-user requirements.
Some essential validation techniques are as follows:
- Unit Testing
- Integration Testing
- System Testing
- Acceptance Testing
Validation testing involves various testing techniques and tools designed to simulate real-world scenarios. In Validation testing, you compare the results to the requirements and specifications. Validation ensures that the software meets all necessary criteria and any defects or issues identified during validation testing are addressed.
When to Use Validation Testing?
One difference between verification and validation testing is that you conduct the latter towards the end of the software development life cycle process. Of course, you do this after you complete the verification testing. It is typically performed when the software has reached a state of stability and functionality.
You must conduct a validation process when developing a new software product or system. You also perform it when significant changes or updates are made to an existing one.
Before deployment, you must ensure the software meets all requirements and specifications. They include user needs, security, performance, and regulatory compliance.
What are the Advantages of Validation Testing?
Validation testing offers numerous benefits throughout the software development process, including the following:
1. Ensuring that the software meets the end-user needs
The validation process helps to ensure that the software meets the requirements and specifications of end users. It also provides that it’s fit for its intended purpose. This helps to increase user satisfaction and reduce the risk of negative feedback or reviews.
2. Finding defects and issues before production release
Validation testing helps you detect defects and issues. Specifically those that could impact the performance or usability of the software. Testing can reduce the risk of issues arising after the software has been released, which can be costly to fix.
3. Increasing confidence in the software
Conducting thorough validation testing helps increase confidence in the software. It also assures that it can meet end-users needs. This can increase adoption rates and reduce the risk of users switching to competitors.
4. Reducing the risk of product recalls or legal issues
Validating the software before release can help save the company money and protect its reputation. That’s because it reduces the risk of product recalls and legal issues that could otherwise arise from defects or issues with the software.
5. Improving the quality of the software
Validation testing helps improve the software’s overall quality. Validation ensure that software has been thoroughly tested and meets the requirements and specifications.
Some Examples of Validation Testing
For a better verification vs validation testing comparison, let’s look at some common types of validation testing.
1. User acceptance testing (UAT)
UAT involves testing the software with actual end-users. It aims to ensure the software meets the users’ needs and expectations. You typically conduct UAT during the software development life cycle’s final stages or before the software is released to production.
2. Functional testing
Functional testing ensures the software performs all the functions and features it is supposed to.
3. Compatibility testing
Compatibility testing involves testing the software to ensure that a wide range of users can use the software. It would help to try it with different hardware, operating systems, and other software applications.
4. Security testing
Security testing ensures the software is secure and protected against potential security threats, such as hacking or data breaches. This type of testing is critical to ensure that the software is safe for users. It also validates the software’s ability to protect systems and data from unauthorized access or malicious attacks. It includes vulnerability assessments, penetration testing, and other security checks.
5. Performance testing
Performance testing verifies the software’s ability to meet the specified performance requirements. It ensures the software can handle the expected load and response times under different conditions. Examples of these conditions are heavy traffic and high data volumes.
6. Recovery testing
This validation testing verifies the software’s ability to recover from failures or disasters. It includes simulating failures or disasters to see how quickly and effectively the software can recover and function.
7. Compliance Testing
This testing verifies the software’s ability to comply with industry standards, regulatory requirements, or laws. It ensures that the software meets the required standards and is legally compliant. Examples of compliance testing include HIPAA compliance testing for healthcare software or PCI compliance for cards and payments.