With the increasing global competition, it is now essential for organizations to adopt and follow better test strategies and processes to validate the quality and functionality of the software. To ensure this and gain benefits from the software, they need to adopt new and better testing techniques, to test the software accurately and achieve better results. Workflow testing is one such latest trend in the world of software testing, performed to produce desired results.
Workflow is a series/sequence of tasks and processes that execute data. They are evident in almost every type of business and industry. A workflow is created every time data is transferred between humans and/or systems. Workflows define how something goes from being undone to done. Workflow software is like a tool that helps automate the testing process completely or partially.
Workflow testing is a sub-category of software testing, in which we verify whether each software workflow reflects the given business process and meets the specified requirements of the client. Workflow is a series of tasks to produce a desired result. It usually involves several stages. Workflow testing, for a business process, is the testing is these sequential stages.
Workflow testing has recently gained popularity among software testers. It imitates the production environment into the testing stages and tests the software from the perspective of the end-users. The primary objective of workflow testing is to ensure that the desired results match the derived results from the test data.
It comprehensively tests the business process and software workflow before it is delivered to the production environment.
Workflow testing is the best type of software testing for workflow-based software.
It involves integration testing and other components of the system.
It needs in-depth knowledge of the business process and software workflow.
The tester(s) performing the workflow testing must completely understand the complete process flow and the objectives of automation.
For example, check whether the system can be successfully installed on the user’s platform and runs accurately.
The complexity of the workflows is increasing rapidly, and so are the chances of identifying bugs and errors. To tackle these issues, software testers must implement workflow testing during the early stages of SDLC (software development lifecycle). Workflow testing helps avoid such issues and enables to increase productivity. The following is the process of workflow testing −
Analyzing Business Workflow − It is the preliminary stage of workflow testing in which the testing team works together to analyze and understand the business workflow, based on which the workflow will be implemented later on.
Test Case Development − After the testing team has completely understood the business workflow, they create test cases through various techniques, like use case, decision table, etc.
Verification − At this stage of workflow testing, the testing team verifies the workflow with various user types. For example, testers act as users, end-users, customers, or clients.
Test Execution − In this stage, positive tests are executed by providing valid data and negative tests are executed by providing invalid data.
Comparing − In this stage, the testing team compares the actual and expected results and logs the defects found.
Resolve and Deploy − In this stage, the testing team works collaboratively fix the issues and bugs and make the software ready for deployment.
The workflow testing process includes several testing phases, that help the testing team to accurately implement the test cases and to improve the quality of the software, and to test the software workflow without any hassle.
Inception Phase − This phase involves test planning and prototype testing, which help the testing team manage the testing process and prepare steps to execute tests.
Elaboration Phase − During this phase of workflow testing, the testing team defines the baseline of the test architecture.
Construction Phase − This phase of workflow testing includes thorough testing of each stage that helps the testing team to identify and discrepancies and bugs in the workflow or the system.
Transition Phase − In this final phase of workflow testing, the testing team performs regression testing. They also perform retests to verify the accuracy of the workflow and to validate that no bugs are left unidentified or unattended.
To achieve accurate and effective results, the testing team uses three vital strategies, that simplify the testing process and help work on the components of the software workflow as per the client’s requirements. These three strategies are −
Workflow Analysis − The primary objective of this strategy is to analyze the components that can affect the result of workflow testing. All the essential components needed for the testing are analyzed and built to make sure that the testing process is performed without any hassle. This strategy includes analyzing the client’s requirements document and the test data, understanding and estimating the production data.
Workflow Designing − Here, the testing team is more focused on creating a test design that can help perform workflow testing. Also, the testing team prepares a test plan on the basis of the client’s understanding and the business needs (processes, events, etc.). This strategy also includes developing detailed test cases, which are verified and compared with the user-defined workflow. Also, the testing team develops various combinations of test data, which are executed at the end of the testing process.
Workflow Execution and Monitoring − Here, the testing team runs the developed test cases and discovers various bugs by analyzing the results. The discovered bugs are reported and conveyed to the responsible individual, who then creates a plan to fix the bugs. After the bug has been fixed, the workflow is tested again and the results are updated in the status report released at the end of the testing process.
The workflow testing process involves the entire testing team; however, some important team members are assigned with few important roles and responsibilities. The following individuals are responsible for workflow testing −
Test Engineer − The test engineer is responsible for planning and scheduling the testing goals and objectives, defining test procedures and test cases, and evaluating the results of the test.
Component Engineer − The component engineer is responsible for developing test components and automating test procedures.
Integration Tester − The integration tester is responsible for performing integration testing and reporting the bugs identified during testing.
System Testers − System testers are responsible for performing system testing and reporting the bugs and errors identified while performing the tests.
The ever-increasing demand for workflow testing is due to its rapidly increasing importance and popularity. This modern type of functional testing helps organizations promote the seamless functioning of their business processes. Workflow testing also benefits in several ways like −
It improves the efficacy of the testing process and streamlines the business workflow.
It provides an insight into the rules, tasks, stages, procedures, etc. assigned to the team members.
It improves the performance and security of the software under testing.
It also verifies the accuracy and effectiveness of the software workflow.
It helps the testing team achieve the desired testing process or results, which also helps deliver client satisfaction.
It also automates business processes and makes them comprehensive with the modern technologies and trends.
It checks the business process and workflow of the software before deploying it to the production environment.
Workflow testing also enhances the workflow of the business process.
It also assists in business process management.
Workflow testing is a new type of software testing; however, the advantages and benefits it offers are the reason behind its immense popularity among software testers, globally. With workflow testing, testers can improve the quality, security, and performance of the software. It also helps enhance the effectiveness of the software procedures.