Testing and debugging processes in software development are used to improve the quality of the software product and make it error and fault free. The testing and debugging processes are differentiated by the fact that testing finds the software defects devoiding its correction. Conversely, debugging is a more profound process where the bugs are not only identified but segregated and fixed from the code.
While performing testing, we can use any of its types like unit, integration, and system level methods in order to detect faults. As against, debugging verifies the correctness and performance to identify faults.
Content: Testing Vs Debugging
|Basis for comparison||Testing||Debugging|
|Basic||Checks defect excluding cause of the defect.||Code checking is done to find the cause of the defect.|
|Code modification||Not implemented||Carried out|
|Test cases||Defined on the basis of requirements and design.||There are no test cases are designed for debugging.|
|Covers||Positive as well as negative cases.||Only covers positive cases.|
|Types||Various types exist like unit, integration, system testing etcetera.||Not categorised in types.|
|Design knowledge||Is required||Not needed|
|Automation||Testing could be automated||Debugging is not automated|
Definition of Testing
Testing in software engineering refers to test the program code, which comes after the coding phase and before the deployment phase in the software development life cycle. The aim of the software project is to reduce and prevent defects; the testing process alone isn’t enough for the quality of the software. The testing is performed for discovering the defects in the systems.
The defects can occur in any of the phases in software development, which must be identified as close to the time of insertion as possible and not wait until the testing of programs. So, opposed to this if every phase is tested isolately as and when the phase is accomplished the defects can be detected early, hence reducing the overall cost.
Well-timed testing raises the possibility of a product or service meets the customer’s requirements. Testing can also be explained by the below-given equation.
Software Testing = Software Verification + Software Validation
Types of testing
- Positive testing: The major work of positive testing is to confirm that the developed product is working or behaving as it is intended to do.
- Negative testing: It ensures the reliability and non-failure of the product even if the unexpected inputs are inserted in the product.
Need of testing
- Technical Case– It is hard to predict the implications of the requirement and the behaviour of the system from its components. The bugs found in the languages, user interfaces, operating systems and databases can result in application failure.
- Business Case– If the identification of bugs is not done in the development phase it will end up by creating problems at the customers’ end. Softwares with bugs lowers the reputation, operations and sales.
- Professional Case– Designing a test case is a hard and challenging task.
- For Verification and Validation– Testing serves as the major tools and metrics for verification and validation.
- For Reliability Estimation– Software reliability estimation can be done through testing where the testing behaves as a statistical sampling method to obtain the rate of failure.
Definition of Debugging
Testing and debugging works in a cyclic manner where testing finds the error and debugging eliminates it, as mentioned above. Therefore, debugging is not testing, but it is carried out as a consequence of testing. It starts with the execution of the test case.
When we debug a program, the two given possibilities can arise, first where the cause of the error will be identified, corrected and removed. In the second case, the cause will not be found and rectified.
Debugging focuses on
- Before performing the debugging, it has to be assured that the individuals involved in the debugging must understand all of the causes of the errors.
- Experimentation should not be allowed during the debugging as it could result in the addition of news errors in it.
- If one error is detected in on a portion of a program, this is highly possible that the program could contain more errors. So, it needed to be thoroughly checked.
- The modified code in the program is required to be correct and accurate. Regression testing is performed for fulfilling the given purpose.
- Identify the errors.
- Design and plot the error report.
- Analyze the errors.
- Debugging tools are utilized.
- Fix the errors.
- Retest the software.
Key Differences Between Testing and Debugging
- Testing involves the execution of the program with the purpose of finding faults. On the other hand, debugging is the process of locating and correcting errors.
- Debugging is not a part of the SDLC cycle, in fact, it occurs as a consequence of testing. In contrast, testing is included as a phase in SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle).
- Debugging initiates with the execution of a test case whereas testing starts just by writing code.
- Testing contains two or more activities – validation and verification of the software. Inversely, debugging tries to match symptom with cause, therefore leading the error correction.
Test and Debug Cycle
Testing and debugging are two dissimilar terms. Debugging is the removal of errors from the code while testing is just locating the undiscovered errors.