The software development life cycle (SDLC) is composed of various stages. Software testing is an important stage within the software development cycle (SDCL). Different types of testing are employed in each phase beginning with development till it reaches the market. These methods are employed during various stages of the SDLC. The software itself also comes in different varieties, which all require testing before they’re released on the market.

Software for web applications is one type of software. The importance of this type of software has increased rapidly since the arrival of the Internet.  Because of the high impact Internet has on our daily lives any web software is carefully tested before launching in order to reduce the associated security risks that originate from the use of the Internet.

The time available to develop and test web software is always limited. While the web software is being designed and developed it is also being tested by the testings engineers using different types of tests. The different types of tests can be grouped in code testing, [load testing], compatibility testing, functional testing and regression testing.

The web software is usually released by means of a model of software release known as alpha/beta testing.This is a simulated or actual operational test conducted by potential users or an independent test team at the developers’ site. Because during alpha testing the software is actually still being developed only small modules of the software are tested during this stage.Alpha testing is often used for ready to use software as a type of in-house acceptance testing. Software that passed the alpha test will not be released till all the major functionalities of the software are built and tested.

Beta testing is done by a limited amount of users that can use the software before its official release takes place. Since the web site design uses HTML coding, it’s easy to integrate individual web pages on site; hence the alpha/beta method is usually not used for website development This means they can build and test one page at a time. After completion they can move onto the next one, with each page independent of each other.

Code testing refers to the process where the testing or development engineer verifies the code and make sure that there are no software bugs. Web development is a very rapid process so the abscence of bugs is required. A popular method used by experienced programmers for bug free coding is the paired-programming.

Two coders working at a single workstation it is at the core of paired programming. The developer typing the code is called the driver while the programmer that checks every line of code as it is produced is called the observer or the navigator. Support for this methodology is provided by some research data produced by Laurie Williams at University of Utah in Salt Lake City. According to this research paired programmers produce code with 15% less bugs while only being 15% slower than individual programmers.

The fact that the software is tested many times during the development process should provide a bug free software by the end of it. Load testing is used to check if a web-site/application will fail or loss performance under the added pressure of heavy loads or imputs from multiple users log-in, mail servers, etc. Load testing will provide information regarding the amount of users that could connect simustaneosly to a site, the number of transactions that the system can cope at the same time and its responsiveness under different circumstances or amount of traffic.

The testing done to estimate the compatibility of the application with the different interacting hardware of software is the Compatibility testing. This method tests how good the software is in interactions with operating system, peripherals, database, browser etc. It also tests the computing capacity of the hardware platform and the peripherals.

Functional testing asses the alignment between the application and its specifications checking that it provides all the required functions. To do that an extense range of both normal and erronous data will be imput to validate the behaviour caused by each of the software features The Regression testing the type of testing done to make sure that improvement, defect corrections or any additional changes to the software has not broken down any existing functionality.

When interative methodology is used to develop software regression testing is crucial. In this type of development, the developer adds another module with some functionality to the existing module that’s running. One should make sure that adding this module does not ruin the existing functionality. All the types of test mentioned above are necessary to provide complete web software testing.

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