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Specification-Based Testing

Overview

THIS MATERIAL HAS BEEN UPDATED AND INCORPORATED IN THE TEST DESIGN LECTURES AT http://www.testingeducation.org/BBST/testdesign/. WE WILL REMOVE THIS SECTION IN MID-2012.

I define Specification-Based Testing broadly to include testing against any published claim about how the program is supposed to work. Thus, we might test against a comprehensive development specification, a user manual, a third-party manual, or a collection of emails and meeting notes that together define the product.

Specification-based testing is a style of testing (a style is a collection of test-related activities and techniques) focused on

Course sections on spec-based testing often focus on analyzing fine details of the specification, such as ambiguity analysis or teasing out the logical relationships among variables to support combination testing. These are testworthy issues, but I think the biggest challenge in specification-based testing is figuring out what the specification says. Specifications are often hundreds or thousands of pages long. Organizing and reconciling its many treatments of the same issues, and its remarkably light treatments of some other issues, requires a conscious, active interaction with the set of documents that together make up the specification.

This section of the course considers the following questions:

Slides

  • Lecture slides (PDF)
  • Videos

  • Lecture 1 (22 mins) (WMV)
  • Lecture 2 (25 mins) (WMV)
  • Lecture 3 (17 mins) (WMV)
  • Lecture 4 (22 mins) (WMV)