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Robustness Testing

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Robustness testing is a quality assurance methodology focussed on testing the robustness of the software and helps in removing the reliability of the software by finding the corner cases by inputting the data that mimics the extreme environmental conditions to determine whether or not the system is robust enough to deliver the required functionality to the user. 

What is Robustness in Software testing?

Robustness is a measure of how well a software system can cope with invalid inputs or unexpected user interactions. A robust system is one that continues to function correctly even in the face of unexpected or invalid inputs. A software system that is robust is able to handle errors and unexpected inputs gracefully, without crashing or producing incorrect results. It is also able to adapt to changes in its operating environment, such as changes in the operating system, hardware, or other software components. 

  • Robustness is an important quality for any software system, but it is especially important for systems that are safety-critical or mission-critical. 
  • For these systems, a failure could have serious consequences, so it is essential that they be able to handle any unexpected inputs or conditions gracefully.

What is Robustness Testing? 

Robustness testing is a type of testing that is performed to assess the ability of a system or component to function correctly when it is subjected to invalid or unexpected inputs, or when it is operating outside of its specified operating conditions. It is typically used to test for the presence of memory leaks or other types of errors that can cause a system to crash. Robustness testing is also sometimes referred to as reliability testing, stress testing, or endurance testing.

  • The purpose of robustness testing is to identify the parts of the system that are most vulnerable to failure and to determine how the system can be made more resistant to failure. 
  • Robustness testing is typically conducted by subjecting the system to a variety of stressful conditions, such as high temperatures, high humidity, high pressure, and high levels of vibration. 
  • Robustness testing is typically conducted during the later stages of software testing after the software has been shown to work correctly under normal conditions.
  • A common example of robustness testing is testing how a system responds to unexpected input values. 
  • For example, if a system is designed to accept numerical input values between 1 and 10, a robustness test would involve trying to input values outside of this range, such as 0, 11, or -5, to see how the system responds. 
  • Another example of robustness testing would be testing how a system responds to unexpected environmental conditions, such as excessive heat, cold, or humidity.

Why is Robustness Testing important?

  • Handle Unexpected Inputs: Robustness testing is important because it helps ensure that a system can handle unexpected or abnormal inputs without crashing.
  • Uncover Potential Issues: This type of testing can help uncover potential issues that could cause a system to fail in unexpected ways. By uncovering these issues early on, they can be fixed before the system is put into production.
  • Test Limits: It allows developers to test the limits of their software and ensure that it can handle unexpected inputs and situations.
  • Uncover Hidden Bugs:  This type of testing can help uncover hidden bugs that could cause major problems in the field.
  • Stability: This can help to prevent software failures and crashes, and can also help to improve the overall stability of your software.

Robustness Testing Scenarios

  • Navigation: In this scenario, the tester will try to break the navigation of the application by trying to access pages or features that are not intended to be accessed by the user. This can be done by trying to access pages directly through the URL or by trying to access hidden features by manipulating the application’s code.
  • Functionality: In this scenario, the tester will try to break the functionality of the application by trying to input invalid data or by trying to perform actions that are not intended to be performed by the user. This can be done by trying to submit invalid data through the application’s forms or by trying to access hidden features by manipulating the application’s code.
  • Security: In this scenario, the tester will try to break the security of the application by trying to exploit known vulnerabilities or by trying to gain access to sensitive data. This can be done by trying to inject SQL code into the application’s forms or by trying to access restricted areas of the application.
  • Invalid input: The system should be able to handle invalid input gracefully. For example, if a user enters an invalid command, the system should display an error message and prompt the user for another input.
  • Interfaces with new software modules: The system should be able to interface with new software modules without any issues. For example, if a new software module is added to the system, the system should be able to communicate with it without any errors.
  • Changes in the environment: The system should be able to function properly in different environments. For example, if the system is moved from one location to another, it should be able to function properly in the new location.
  • External environment changes affecting the hardware system: The system should be able to function properly even if the external environment changes affect the hardware system. For example, if the temperature or humidity changes, the system should be able to function properly.

Types of Testing to ensure Robustness of Test Suites

There are many types of testing that can ensure the robustness of test suites. Below are some of the testing types that ensure the robustness of test suites:

  • Regression testing: Regression testing is a type of testing that is used to find bugs in software that have already been fixed. This is done by running the software with different inputs and comparing the output to the expected output. This type of testing is used to verify that a software program continues to function properly after it has been modified or updated. This type of testing is typically performed after a new version of the software has been released, or after a change has been made to the code.
  • Functional testing: Functional testing is a type of testing that is used to verify that a system or software performs as expected. Load testing is a type of testing that is used to verify that a system or software can handle a heavy load or traffic. This type of testing is typically performed by running the software through a series of tests that exercise the various functions of the software.
  • Load testing: Load testing is a type of testing that is used to find bugs in software by running it with different inputs and checking if the output is as expected. It is used to verify that a software program is able to handle the load that is expected to be placed on it. This type of testing is typically done by running the software through a series of tests that simulate the load that the software will experience in production.
  • Stress testing: Stress testing involves subjecting a system to intense or extreme conditions in order to see how well it holds up. This can help to identify potential issues that may only arise under high levels of stress or strain.
  • Negative testing: Negative testing involves deliberately providing invalid or incorrect inputs to a system in order to see how it responds. This can help to uncover errors in input validation or handling that could lead to security vulnerabilities or data loss.
  • Fuzz testing: A fuzz test (also known as a fuzzing test) is a software testing technique, usually automated or semi-automated, that involves providing invalid, unexpected, or random data to the inputs of a computer program. The program is then monitored for exceptions such as crashes, failing built-in code assertions, or potential memory leaks. Fuzz testing is effective in finding coding errors and security vulnerabilities. This involves feeding random or invalid data into a system and seeing how it responds. This can help to find potential vulnerabilities in the system.
  • Use case testing: Use case testing involves testing the system with realistic scenarios to see how it responds. This can help to identify potential usability issues.
  • Security testing: Security Testing involves testing the system for security vulnerabilities. This can help to identify potential security risks.
  • Black-box testing: Black-box testing is a method of software testing that examines the functionality of a software program without knowing the internal code structure. The tester is only aware of what the software is supposed to do but not how it does it. Black-box testing can be used to test the functionality of a software program, the usability of a user interface, and the compliance of a program with external standards.
  • Mutation testing: Mutation testing is a type of software testing that involves modifying a program’s source code or its inputs and then testing to see if the program still behaves as expected. The goal of mutation testing is to find faults in a program’s code or inputs that can cause the program to produce incorrect results.
  • Fault injection testing: Fault injection testing is a method of testing software by Introducing faults into the software program to see if the program can detect and handle the faults. Fault injection can be used to test the robustness of a program’s error-handling capabilities.

Robustness Testing Tools

Automation testing tools are used to automate the testing process. They can be used to test the functionality of an application, test the performance of an application, or test the security of an application.

  • JUnit: JUnit is a popular open-source unit testing framework for Java. It is widely used in the Java development community and is well-suited for testing robustness. JUnit is easy to use and has a wide range of features, making it a good choice for robustness testing.
  • TestNG: TestNG is another popular open-source unit testing framework for Java. Like JUnit, it is easy to use and has a wide range of features. TestNG is also well-suited for testing robustness.
  • Spock: Spock is a Groovy-based testing framework that can be used for testing Java applications. It has a concise and expressive syntax that makes it easy to write tests. Spock is also well-suited for testing robustness.
  • JMeter: JMeter is a popular open-source performance testing tool. It can be used to test the performance of web applications under load. JMeter is easy to use and has a wide range of features, making it a good choice for robustness testing.
  • LoadRunner: LoadRunner is a commercial performance testing tool from HP. It can be used to test the performance of web applications under load. LoadRunner is more expensive than JMeter but has more features and is better suited for enterprise applications.

Advantages

  • Increased test coverage: More test cases can be run in a shorter amount of time, allowing for increased test coverage and improved quality assurance.
  • Reduced false positives: By testing for a wider range of conditions, false positives can be reduced, saving time and resources.
  • Improved test accuracy: Robustness testing can help to ensure that test cases are more accurate, leading to improved quality assurance.
  • Greater flexibility: Robustness testing can be used to test for a wide range of conditions, making it more flexible than other types of testing.
  • Increased efficiency: Robustness testing can save time and resources by allowing for increased test coverage in a shorter amount of time.
  • Improved software quality: By identifying and addressing errors early on in the development process, robustness testing can help improve the overall quality of the software.
  • Reduced development costs: By catching errors early, robustness testing can save on development costs by avoiding the need for expensive rework or redesign.
  • Increased customer satisfaction: By ensuring that the software meets the customer’s expectations in terms of functionality and reliability, robustness testing can help increase customer satisfaction.
  • Improved competitiveness: By delivering a high-quality, robust software product, businesses can gain a competitive advantage over their rivals.

Limitations

  • Not a silver bullet: There is no one testing technique that can catch all errors in a system.
  • Often Ineffective: Many errors are not easily detected by testing, and even when they are, it is often difficult to reproduce the conditions under which the error occurs.
  • Time-consuming: It can take a long time to test all the possible inputs to a system and to exhaust all the possible combinations of inputs.
  • Not perfect: Even the most thorough testing cannot guarantee that all errors have been found and fixed.


Last Updated : 22 Oct, 2022
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