Software Validation

The term validation implies the process of testing whether a particular software product is performing all its functionalities well and meets the customer’s requirements. Software Validation is one of the necessary actions performed before releasing any software product in the market. The software validation ensures the development team to produce premium quality software products.

What is Software Validation?

Before developing any software product, the development team first collects all the requirements to be featured in it. All these requirements are drafted in the Software Requirements Specifications (SRS). The term software validation refers to an idea of verifying whether the developed software product meets all the requirements stated by the stakeholders. Also, this process ensures whether all the functionalities required for business solutions are satisfied. 

In short, the software validation process results in high-quality and fully-featured software products. Significantly, the software product should always meet the needs stated in the SRS as the owner of the product gives them. More importantly, when the product is brought into the real world, it should satisfy customers’ demands. 

Another type of process performed after the validation is verification. Validation and verification are two different terms. The verification process verifies whether each phase of the software development life cycle is produced correctly as per the given input. 

software validation

Software Validation Process

The software validation process verifies whether the product meets all business requirements; it is performed after the development of a particular software product. This process has to be performed very carefully as it checks how the software product performs in the real-time environment, and it meets the needs of stakeholders. The testers need to check whether the results of the software comply with the SRS. 

There are well-organized steps to be followed while executing this process. They are explained as follows:

  1. The first step in developing every software product is collecting the requirements and functionalities to appear in the stakeholders’ software product. In the validation process, the conditions are the only means to verify whether the software works accordingly. 
  2. Once you collect the requirements, plan for the validation tests for the software product. Later, approve this prepared plan form the clients. 
  3. After the client approves your plan, start designing test cases, test methods, and strategies. Again verify all test cases form users. 
  4. Once everything is done,  you can execute each test case, send the outcome of each test case to the client. 
  5. When the client approves all test cases’ outcomes, the software product then undergoes User Acceptance Testing (UAT). 
  6. Once the UAT is performed, the software product is ready to enter into the market. 

These steps have to be executed very keenly to develop the right and good quality software product. 

software validation

Software Validation Features

The software validation process is a very essential and required process during the software development life cycle. It checks the overall software product developed, whether it incorporates all the business functionalities in it. Another benefit of this process is it finds bugs or defects in the software product that were not found during the verification process. So, validation proves to be very significant for the development of a highly featured product.

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Let us see the characteristics of the software validation process in detail:

  • The validation process verifies that the developed software has met all the requirements and demands of clients. 
  • It is usually executed after the entire software is developed. 
  • This process enables users or clients to ensure that the software product can serve as a business solution. 
  • The process of validation testing on the software is performed after the verification process. 
  • For testing any software, there are expert testers. These testers execute the validation process.

Need for Software Validation

The software product that serves as the best solution for business problems is always in the market competition. Also, if the customers’ response significantly, it becomes the best business solution. But, before testing any software product it is not released in the market. The testing team performs various processes to ensure that the software works well with real-time inputs. 

One such process it the validation process. As mentioned above, it ensures that a particular software product works well with business demands and needs. But, if the product is not tested before releasing in the market, there are great chances that customers find bugs and defects in it. Also, the software may not satisfy the stakeholders’ needs. There is a need for software validation to fix all bugs and shortcomings and meet the client’s requirements. 

The software validation process assists the development team to produce a highly characterised software product. During this process’s execution, the programmers’ code for each software product function is also executed. 

Stages Involved in Software Verification

There are four well-defined stages involved in the software validation process. They are :

1. Design Qualification:

As its name suggests, this stage involves designing of the software product. But, the design of the software should satisfy the clients’ requirements. All the stakeholders’ needs are drafted in the Software Requirements Specification.

2. Installation Qualification:

The next phase of the software validation process is an Installation Qualification. This requires the details of test cases. Software developers should have information about which and how many test cases are being executed. Again, the installation of the system should be according to the client.

3. Operational Qualification:

In the operational qualification phase, several levels of testings are carried out. These levels involve unit testing, integration testing, system testing, and user acceptance testing. Each functionality added in the software product should work well with real-time inputs. 

4. Performance Qualification:

The last phase is the performance qualification, which includes User Acceptance Testing. In this type of testing level, users or stakeholders test the software system to ensure that all the requirements are met. 

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Types of Testing in Software Validation

We have seen what exactly the software validation process means, the need for software validation, and how to perform it.  Now, let us focus on the types of testing involved in the software validation process. The testing team involved in the software development life cycle executes various kinds of testing on the software product. The three significant testings are:

  1. Block Box Testing
  2. White Box Testing
  3. Grey Box Testing

Let us discuss each type of testing in detail. 

1. Black Box Testing:

Black box testing is one of the types of testing involved in the software validation process. Another name for black-box testing is Behavioral Testing. If testers perform testing on a particular software product using this technique, they can identify interface errors, bugs, or defects in the database, initialisation and termination errors, and performance errors. The tester is not aware of the software product’s internal structure and implementation. 

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As the black box testing’s name is behaviour testing, it verifies the overall performance and identifies the software product’s internal structure. The black box testing is compatible to work with every stage of software testing, like unit testing, integration testing, system testing, and acceptance testing. The black box testing is executed using several techniques, like Decision Table Testing, Error Guessing, Use Case Testing, Domain Analysis, etc. 

Advantages:

  • The black box testing’s most significant advantage is that it is performed based on its users’ or clients’ perspectives. 
  • Testers involved in the testing process do not require programming language knowledge. Also, they need not know the entire development process of the product.

2. White Box Testing:

Another type of testing in the software validation process is White Box Testing. This type of testing is precisely the opposite of black-box testing. White Box Testing uses multiple names, like Open Box Testing, Clear Box Testing, Transparent Box Testing, Structural Testing, Code-based Testing, and Glass Box Testing. Unlike black-box testing, the tester is acquainted with the product’s internal structure and implementation in white box testing. 

As the white box testing is called transparent testing, the tester can see what happens inside the product during the testing. For software testing levels, like unit testing, integration testing, and regression testing, white box testing is applicable. But, in practice, testers apply this technique to the unit testing level. 

Testers should have knowledge of programming language and the internal structure of the software system. Glass-box testing uses multiple code coverage criteria, like Data Flow Testing, Branch Testing, Statement Coverage, Path Testing, etc. 

Advantages:

  • Software testers can execute white box testing at earlier phases of the software development life cycle. 
  • Every path of the software product is tested thoroughly using white box testing. 

3. Grey Box Testing:

The third type of testing in the software validation process is Grey Box Testing. It combines black box testing and white box testing functions. We have seen above that the tester in black-box testing is unaware of the software system’s interior structure. And in white box testing, the entire design of the software product is open and transparent. But in grey box testing, testers are aware of the partial interior structure of the software product.

It is a semi-transparent box testing that enables testers to be looked into the software system’s design partially. Like the above box testing, it is also compatible with all other testing levels. But, testers choose it with an integration testing level. 

Grey box testing uses techniques like Matrix testing, Regression Testing, Pattern Testing, and Orthogonal Array Testing. Testers can execute the test cases and functionalities based on the users’ point of view. 

Advantages:

  • Testers require moderate or partial knowledge of programming language and the interior structure of the software product. 
  • As the software validation process also identifies bugs and defects, the grey box testing assists tester in fixing them carefully with enough time. 
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Difference between Software Validation and Software Testing

Software validation and software verification are not the same processes. The software validation process is executed after the verification process. Below comparison table will differentiate between software validation and software verification:

Software VerificationSoftware Validation
Software Verification checks or verifies the design, code, and documentation of the particular software product.Software Validation verifies whether the software product meets business demands and can work in real-time circumstances. 
The code execution is not involved in the software verification process.The code execution is the core part of the software validation process. 
The verification process involves reviewing the product and holding meetings and inspections, walk-through, and desk-checking. The validation process involves three distinct testings, White-box, Black-box, and Gray-box testings.
The input is given to every phase of the software development process. The verification process verifies whether the outcome meets the input specifications. Users’ approval of software products and meeting their requirements is significant in the software validation process. 
Verification is done during the phases of the software development life cycle. Validation is done after the entire software product is developed. 
The Quality Assurance team is responsible for executing the verification process.Software Testers and business users can perform software validation. 

I hope the difference between software verification and software validation is clear and precise. 

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Benefits of Software Validation

The software validation process is one of the beneficial testings that produce high-quality software products. The software product owner and its users get benefited from the software validation process as it generates an improved-quality effect. 

  • Software validation saves time and money for users as it identifies any of the bugs and defects. If the users find any fault in the software after it releases in the market, repairing that defect is prohibitive. 
  • In the validation process, the software product becomes risk-free and reliable to serve as a perfect business solution. 
  • The primary advantage of the software validation process is it save the maintenance cost of the product. 

Tools for Software Validation

Many instruments are accessible in the market to execute the software validation process. Using these tools will perform the process smoother and more superficial. Also, tools for software validation gives exact and accurate results of every functionality of the software product. The following are the tools used for the software validation process:

  • Selenium
  • Test Studio
  • Tosca Testsuite
  • Sahi
  • Ranorex

1. Selenium:

Selenium is a highly characterised software testing tool used widely. It is a free software tool that requires less scripting language knowledge. Selenium is a cloud-based software tool that enables users to store the actions performed on the software on the cloud storage. It is compatible to work with all major platforms and browsers. 

2. Test Studio:

Test Studio is another advanced testing tool compatible to work with web and desktop platforms. It can support various browsers, like Firefox Mozilla, Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Safari. Test Studio is integrated with the sentence-based user interface. The other features include a visual debugger, exploratory testing, built-in testing framework, etc. 

3. Tosca Testsuite:

Tosca Testsuite is a powerful automated testing software tool. It is ideal for start-ups, agencies, and SMEs. These features include parameterised testing, security testing, requirement-based testing, Unicode compliance, integration management, risk coverage, etc. It is compatible to work with web-based and Micorosft Windows platforms. Tosca Testsuite also supports Android devices. 

4. Sahi:

Sahi software tool is an automated testing software tool. It is an open-source and free software tool. Sahi is compatible to work with web-based, browser-based, and desktop platforms. It supports multi-browser testing. The interface of this software tool is spotless and clear. Sahi also has a higher version called Sahi Pro that includes more advanced features than the free one. 

5. Ranorex:

Ranorex is a highly characterised, automated testing software tool. It has broad technology support and has a maintainable interface. Beginners in the field of testing can comfortably use this software tool. Ranorex tool is compatible with web-based, mobile, and desktop platforms. It supports test-driven and knowledge-driven testing. 

Conclusion:

The software validation process is a very efficient and effective testing process. It verifies whether the software product developed meets the needs of the users’ requirements. We have covered the stages involved in the software validation process. Each step has a unique function. Later, we have seen the types of testing techniques used in software validation. This article has clearly illustrated the difference between software verification and validation. The software validation process assists users and developers in developing a genuine and reliable quality product. Lastly, we have covered some tools used for software validation. 

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