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Understand the concept of functional testing


Any web software project, whether it is a web application or a mobile app, comes with many features that most effectively meet a specific customer’s need. The slightest deficiency may lead to permanent dissatisfaction with the client.

It is therefore essential to have unstoppable means to verify that each aspect of the proposed experience coincides with the functional requirements that correspond to it. This is the importance of functional testing. Focus on a crucial step for all developers.

What is a functional test?

What is an application if not a set of features that must work together to deliver a customer experience that meets different specifications? For each action by the user, an application must “react” according to a protocol determined in the project specifications.

A simple character error present on a line of code can create a bug that will prevent the user from registering, logging in, validating an action, etc. Before launching the application in question, it is therefore important to ideally test all its features without exception, and according to different connection and disconnection scenarios. The functional test can perform this task manually or automatically.

Performing a functional test ensures that in the context of actual use, the program adopts adequate functional behavior. To do this, a list of actions is compiled by a performance testing company to form a use scenario. At each stage (or action carried out), a series of checks is launched to validate the application’s compliance with the specificities of the project.

What is the point of functional tests?

Functional tests include those that evaluate progression from those that confirm non-regression. The first relates to a functional requirement that has just been developed and is tested for the first time manually before the application is distributed. The latter is made on elements that had been previously verified, but that could have been impacted by new developments.

Thus, if ever the developments and corrections just put in place have caused a regression in existing functionalities, it will be identified immediately. That’s why automated tests are so interesting. Each feature is checked automatically, without having to manually complete the entire customer journey, at the risk of forgetting an item.

A functional test can also be used to discover the expected content of each response in an application to be worked on. By analyzing the latter in detail, precise documentation can be established detailing each of its behaviors.

Manual tests vs. automated tests

Regardless of the category of tests the developer chooses to perform, his goal is to collect feedback that will allow him to ensure that his work works as intended.

Manual tests are of interest throughout the production cycle. In particular, they offer immediate visibility on a particular element. The developer can also use it to directly see the visual effect of manipulation.

However, carried out on the scale of an entire application, manual tests are extremely time-consuming. They are also conducive to possible errors or omissions that the tester could make and are by definition not repeatable, or at least not under the same conditions from one test to another. To identify a possible regression with each update, you will have to go back to all the features of the application.

By automating functional tests, developers can receive feedback on all features with each new code injection much faster than by checking by hand.

The advantages of functional testing platforms

To test mobile apps and web applications automatically, you still need a dedicated infrastructure, often involving hardware to install, and advanced knowledge of coding.

Thanks to an open public API for integration, the platforms that offer this service offer a simplified connection with different external tools and systems. They allow you to run several tests at the same time and parallelize browsers. Some also have a self-remediation system capable of eliminating false positives.

Finally, turning to a functional testing platform and a functional testing company as well is advantageous if you want to be able to reuse connection and disconnection scenarios or run the same tests from different datasets. At each stage of the scenario, visual feedback is proposed in the form of a screenshot accompanied by explanatory comments, making these checks available to non-specialists.

Being able to test faster, more often, and more thoroughly without the constraints of manual checks increases the quality of deliverables. This frees up time to work on improving the app itself.

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