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Difference between Black Box Testing and Gray Box Testing

Last Updated : 19 Apr, 2023
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Black Box Testing: 
Black Box Testing is a Software Testing technique in which the tester doesn’t know the internal structure, design and implementation of the software application that is being tested. 

Gray Box Testing: 
Gray Box Testing is a software testing technique which is a combination of Black Box Testing technique and White Box Testing technique. The internal structure, design and implementation is partially known in Gray Box Testing. 

Black box testing and gray box testing are two different approaches to software testing. While black box testing is focused on testing the functionality of the software without any knowledge of its internal workings, gray box testing is a combination of black box and white box testing, and involves limited knowledge of the internal workings of the software. Here are some of the key differences between black box testing and gray box testing:

Definition: Black box testing is a testing technique in which the internal workings of the software are not known to the tester. Gray box testing is a testing technique in which the tester has limited knowledge of the internal workings of the software.

Testing objectives: Black box testing is mainly focused on testing the functionality of the software, ensuring that it meets the requirements and specifications. Gray box testing is focused on both the functionality and internal workings of the software.

Knowledge level: Black box testing does not require any knowledge of the internal workings of the software, and can be performed by testers who are not familiar with programming languages. Gray box testing requires limited knowledge of the software’s internal workings, and can be performed by testers who have some programming knowledge.

Testing methods: Black box testing uses methods like equivalence partitioning, boundary value analysis, and error guessing to create test cases. Gray box testing uses both black box and white box testing methods to create test cases.

Scope: Black box testing is generally used for testing the software at the functional level. Gray box testing is used for testing the software at both the functional and internal level.

Advantages and disadvantages:

Black box testing is easy to use, requires no programming knowledge, and is effective in detecting functional issues. However, it may miss some important internal defects that are not related to functionality. Gray box testing combines the advantages of both black box and white box testing, and is more effective in detecting both functional and internal defects. However, it may not be as effective as white box testing in detecting internal defects.

In conclusion, gray box testing is a combination of black box and white box testing, and can provide a more comprehensive testing approach than black box testing alone. The choice of testing approach depends on the testing objectives, the testing stage, and the available resources.

Differences between Black Box Testing and Gray Box Testing are as follows:

Black Box Testing Gray Box Testing
It is a software testing technique in which the tester doesn’t know the internal structure of the application being tested. It is a software testing technique in which the tester partially know the internal structure of the application being tested.
It is known as closed box testing. It is known as translucent testing.
No knowledge of implementation is required. Knowledge of implementation is required but need not to be expert.
It is based on external expectations and outer behavior of the software. It is based on database diagrams and data flow diagrams.
It is less time consuming. It is time consuming but not too much.
It is done by trial and error method. It is done on the basis of data domains.
It improves some of the qualities of the software. It improves the overall quality of the software.
The problems or suggestions gathered during Black Box testing will be incorporated in the future iterations of the product.  The addressing of the problems found or bugs during the gray box testing process is carried out in the same release.  
Black box testing provides endurance and security against viral attacks. White box testing does not provide endurance and security against viral attacks.
It’s not as exhaustive as Gray box testing. It is partially exhaustive depending on the type of test cases- coding based or GUI based.

Black box test design techniques-

  • Decision table testing
  • All-pairs testing
  • Equivalence partitioning
  • Error guessing

Gray box test design techniques-

  • Matrix testing
  • Regression testing 
  • Pattern testing

Refer for differences between Black Box Testing vs White Box Testing Refer for differences between White Box Testing and Gray Box Testing


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