Differences between White Box Testing and Grey Box Testing.



In software development, testing is the most important stage in the process of delivery of any application or software as it is only testing that not only validates the quality of an application but also provides an opportunity for the developer to improve its product.

Every application is being developed in some high or low level language which means some code has been written for its development so based on the knowledge of the tester about the application there is a classification of testing namely White Box Testing and Grey Box Testing.

In this article, we will discuss the important differences between white box testing and grey box testing. Let's start with some basics.

What is the White Box Testing?

The software testing technique in which the internal structures like data structure used in the code, internal design, code structure, working of the software, etc. are analyzed is referred to as white box testing. White box testing is also called structural testing or glass box testing or clear box testing.

The entire process of white box testing includes various tests such as – path testing, loop testing, condition testing, testing depending upon the memory perspective, and testing of the performance of the application.

In white box testing, the software developer tests every line of the program code and then sends the software to the testing team. The testing team performs black box testing on the code to verify the software along with the requirements. The testing team also identifies the bugs and sends the code to the developer to fix them.

Therefore, white box testing is performed to identify the internal security issues, check the functionality of conditional loops, and test the statements, functions, and objects at an individual level.

What is the Grey Box Testing?

A software testing technique used to test software with partial knowledge of the internal structure of the software is termed 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.

Difference between White Box Testing and Grey Box Testing

The following table highlights the important differences between White Box Testing and Grey Box Testing −

Key White Box Testing Grey Box Testing
Definition White box testing is the type of testing in which the tester knows the internal functionality of the application and thus does the testing on a functional basis. Grey box testing is the type of testing in which the tester is not aware of the end to end internal functionality of the system or application, so testing is mainly focused on the primary functionality of the system instead of end to end coverage of internal functionality.
Also known as Along with primary functionality testing, internal functionality is also covered in white box testing so it is also known as clear box testing, structural testing or code based testing. Grey box testing only covers the primary functionality testing of an application hence testing is also termed as Translucent testing
Performer White box testing requires knowledge about internal functionality of the application, so it is generally performed by testers and developers who have such knowledge. In case of Grey box testing, no such knowledge required, so it is generally done by end users along with testers and developers.
Basis of testing As testers are aware of internal functionality of the application hence they prepare the test data accordingly and tried to test almost every code scenario through these test cases. In Grey box testing, the primary functionality knowledge is provided through high level data flow diagrams and database flow diagrams so these are the basis for this type of testing.
Execution time It is obvious that as internal end to end functionality along with primary functionality is tested in this type of testing hence time of execution for this testing is more as compare to Grey box testing. Only primary testing is tested in this type of testing hence execution time for this testing is less as compare to White box testing.
Automation As most the part of this type of testing is based on the internal implemented code, hence automation of this testing is possible and also algorithms for this testing could be developed. In case of Grey box testing, no exposure to the internal implemented code, hence possibility of automation of this testing is less as compared to that of White box testing.

Conclusion

The most significant difference between white box testing and grey box testing is that white box testing requires the knowledge of the internal structure, thus performed by the developers; whereas grey box testing requires partial knowledge of the internal structure and is performed by endusers along with developers and the testing team.


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