What Is Functional Testing and Why Is It Important?

In this blog, we will answer every question you have regarding Functional Testing. What are its types, why is it important, when should you opt for Functional Testing, and the role of automation in functional testing? 

What is Functional Testing?

When software is tested against functional requirements or specifications to discover any bugs or defects, it is by definition Functional Testing. It is in contrast to System Testing which validates a program against the published user or system requirement. Functional testing verifies a program by checking it against the design document.

Types Of Functional Testing

The following are the types of Functional testing:

  • Smoke Testing
  • Integration Testing
  • Regression Testing
  • User Acceptance Testing
  • Smoke Testing

It is the initial phase of testing and hence ensures the stability of a build. Smoke testing also determines if the build is in a testing condition or not.

  • Integration Testing

As the name suggests, integration testing ensures if the software modules or component integrations as a whole are working as expected. 

  • Regression Testing

If during the testing, any modifications are made to the software, Regression tests are conducted. It ensures that the new additions to the software are not causing any issues and in the future will cause the software to break. 

  • User Acceptance Testing (UAT)

This is a real-world test where the people testing the software are the ones who intended to use that software. This test ensures that the system performs as per the given requirements. 

If the software quality takes the top spot on your list, then Functional Testing is imperative and unavoidable. However, to ensure proper unbiased testing, you need to find experienced software testers to help you deliver uncompromised quality.

Importance of Functional Testing

Functional testing meets the client’s requirements while fulfilling the functional requirements of the software. The testers assigned take into account different aspects of how a system functions in the context of the system as a whole, knowing where to look for weaknesses and to ensure the system functions logically from a user perspective. This test is guided by human intuition and training, which makes it predominantly a manual process. 

6 Steps to Conduct Functional Testing

Functional Testing is a linear process that includes:

  • Identify the expected functions and test parameters
  • Determine expected outcomes based on the functionality
  • Executing test cases based on client requirements and typical system functions
  • Compare the actual data with expected outcomes
  • Determine if the software works as expected
  • Rectify issues if any or declare tests as a success

When Should You Opt for Functional Testing?

Functional testing works best in tandem with Test Automation, Exploratory Testing, and Performance Testing, which is a part of a broader Testing Strategy. This comprehensive testing strategy ensures that every aspect and part of the system works as intended on the front-end, back-end, and through various unexpected conditions as well. 

Unlike other automated forms of testing, Functional Testing doesn’t require coding expertise but it can be conducted on par with industry standards via tools like Selenium, which is also used for automation testing.

Role of Test Automation in Functional Testing

End-to-end comprehensive functional tests can be a daunting task, Test automation makes it easier. Here are a few important aspects to consider for adopting test automation in Functional Testing:

Get the right expertise onboard: 

You need to get the right set of people onboard to be successful when you’re trying to adopt Test Automation for Functional Testing. Right from the stakeholders who will drive strategy to align and meet organizational goals to testing experts, to product experts.

Choosing the right tools: 

The right strategy can ensure your project’s success and this will be facilitated also need a great tool to help you in the process and achieve your testing goals more efficiently. 

You can base your selection on these parameters: 

  • Ease of use – It should be easy to create test scripts, test data, and reusable components
  • Automation Speed – The tool should enable rapid test script development
  • Technology Support – The tool should support all the technologies/practices you work with including database, web-based UI and services, mobile or thick client apps, file handling, etc. 
  • DevOps Support – The tool must support and manage continuous integration tools and infrastructure
  • Reusability and Maintainability –  It must support easy traceability and modularity of changes ensuring high maintainability of the test suite
  • Collaboration – The tool must be equipped with real-time collaboration capabilities to make distributed working more efficient
  • Powerful Reporting –  The tool must have robust reporting for every execution cycle, suite, and across multiple builds.

Functional testing on a larger scale becomes complex and test automation helps us reduce that complexity. All we need to do is implement the right testing solutions. Continuous upskilling of the testers is also important to adopt and adapt the latest technologies. 

Functional testing not only helps you deliver software that is flawless but also right on the money when matched against the business objectives. You just need the right team and a set of tools that fits like missing puzzle pieces in your existing team. 

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