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Difference between Black Box Testing and Gray Box Testing
Black Box Testing and Gray Box Testing are the two types of testing used to test a software which are based on feedback from real customers using real products in real environments, but they are driven by distinct goals and processes.
In this article, we will discuss the major differences between black box testing and gray box testing by considering different parameters. But before that it is important know the basics of black box testing and gray box testing to understand the differences between them.
What is Black Box Testing?
A software testing technique that is used to check the functionality of a program or system without knowing its internal structure is referred to as black box testing.
Since black box testing does not require knowledge of the internal structure and source code of the software. Consequently, there is no need for in-depth knowledge of programming and coding to perform this test. The primary goals of black box testing are to test the user interface, functionality, etc. of the software. Black box testing also ensures that every input and output of software (or system) meets the specified requirements. For this reason, black box testing is also known as functional testing or specification-based testing.
Black box testing of software is primarily performed from the point of view of end users of the software. It is performed by an independent testing team to identify valid or invalid inputs and to verify outputs against the expected requirements. Then, all the unexpected results are documented and reported to developers to fix the errors.
The most common activities included in black box testing are – decision table testing, error guessing, all-pairs testing, and equivalent partitioning. The major advantage of black box testing is that it enables the testing team to evaluate and increase the quality of functionality implementation without interfering with the software code. It can be easily performed by a testing team that has no much technical background.
What is Gray Box Testing?
A software testing technique used to test software with partial knowledge of the internal structure of the software is referred to as Grey Box Testing.
Grey box testing is performed to identify the loopholes in software due to improper code structure. This technique is commonly used to identify context-specific errors related to web systems. Basically, grey box testing is a combination of two software testing techniques namely white box testing and black box testing. Therefore, grey box testing provides the ability to test both the code part and presentation layer of the software.
The major techniques used for grey box testing include – Matrix Testing, Regression Testing, Orthogonal Array Testing, and Pattern Testing. Grey box testing is widely used for testing applications for GUI, security assessment, web services, etc.
The major advantage of gray box testing is that it provides the combined benefits of black box testing and white box testing. Although, due to partial knowledge of the internal structure of the software, gray box testing provides only partial test coverage. As a result, many code paths remain untested.
Difference between Black Box Testing and Gray Box Testing
Black box testing and gray box testing are very useful testing processes in software development to ensure the quality of software products. Although there are several differences between black box testing and gray box testing that are highlighted in the following table −
|Black Box Testing
|Gray Box Testing
|Black Box Testing basically based on external expectations and outer behavior of the software. It focuses on finding bugs, and determines if the product work how it is expected to work.
|Gray Box Testing, on other hand, is based on database diagrams and data flow diagrams which ensure release readiness of product and find out upto what mark do customers like the product.
It also helps to find out the grey areas which need to be enhance for better customer experience.
|Stage to perform
|Black Box Testing is performed after Gray Box Testing when the product readiness is about 80%-90% complete in the stage of the development process and could be tested for general behavior and expectation.
|Gray Box testing is performed after Black Box testing when the product is 60-80% complete in development and can be tested by technical users.
|Black Box testing is also termed as closed box testing.
|Gray Box testing is termed as translucent testing.
|For Black Box testing testers do not require the knowledge of implementation in application as testing is on abstract level and general expected behavior of application is to be tested.
|In case of Gray Box testing, the testers should have the knowledge of implementation, however they need not be experts.
|Nature of acceptance
|Product feature and functionality are being covered under Black Box testing while Reliability and Security Testing are not covered
|Reliability, Security and Robustness are the major focused areas during Gray Box Testing.
|Black Box testing is less time consuming.
|Gray Box testing is comparatively takes more time.
|Most of the issues or feedback collected from Black Box testing will be implemented in future versions of the product.
|Issues or bugs found during Gray Box testing are being fixed by the developers in the same release on the immediate basis.
The most important difference that you should note here is that black box testing is based on external expectations and outer behavior of the software, whereas gray box testing is based on database diagrams and data flow diagrams which ensure the release-readiness of a product and find out how do customers like the product.
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