Is Black Box Testing Manual Or Automated?

By: Nextgen | On: Mar 29, 2023 | In: Blog Posts

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Black box testing is a testing method which analyses the functionality and interoperability of a product or application without knowledge of its internal structure or design. The process works by comparing input values with output values in order to assess the functionality of the system as a whole.

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Black box testing is typically conducted by a quality assurance (QA) or product testing team, which may include a combination of automation testing engineers and manual test specialists. In practice, there are several different testing techniques used to deliver the required results, such as functionality testing, usability testing, and regression testing. Each test cycle is designed to ensure that the final product works as expected and meets consumer expectations and requirements, as well as fulfilling safety and quality standards.

Why Undertake Black Box Testing?

Black box testing brings a variety of benefits to product developers, including:

  • A focus on the end user rather than the test processes – avoiding the tendency of product developers to become mired in technical details and features rather than applications.

  • The ability to conduct unbiased tests.

  • No prior knowledge required of specific programming languages and test frameworks.

Black box testing is useful at various stages of the development cycle, including unit testing, integration testing, system testing, and acceptance testing. Many product developers combine black box testing with white box testing – which is the exact opposite of black box testing in that it solely examines the internal structure and functions of the product– and grey box testing, which is a combination of both approaches.

So, Can Black Box Testing Be Automated?

Traditionally, black box testing has been carried out manually, although today automated methods for black box testing exist.

  • Manual black box testing methodologies involve a test engineer checking the system’s functions from the perspective of an end user and verifying user functions and error messages. The process can be time consuming, subjective, and prone to human variability.

  • Automated black box testing, on the other hand, records user interactions with the product under test in order to find errors and unexpected behaviours and allows for the scheduling of further test runs. Automation enables a shorter testing cycle and, in many cases, greater accuracy and reliability and manual testing.

Automation can help product developers increase test coverage and improve repeatability and efficiency, as well as reduce human variability and subjective judgements – which can compromise test results in manual methodologies.

How To Automate Black Box Testing

To automate your black box testing effectively, the following factors should be considered:

1. Identify the best test cases to automate: one of the prime benefits of automation testing is greater accuracy and repeatability, automated black box tests should focus on repetitive and time-consuming tasks that are most prone to variability when manual testing.

2. Choose the most appropriate automation tool: carefully selecting the best framework, software platform, and testing process is important to gain the best results; some automation platforms are better suited for different types of products and testing methodologies than others.

3. Design the test data: The test data for automated black box tests should be selected to cover a wide variety of inputs and scenarios, and should be easy to update, revise, and maintain.

4. Managing test maintenance: automated black box tests will need to be updated and revised whenever product functionality changes or is updated, so it’s essential to have an efficient system and procedure in place for doing so without having to start from scratch each time.

How Nextgen Can Help Improve Black Box Testing Efficiency

A codeless testing platform, such as Nextgen ATAM Connect, can help product development teams streamline their black box testing by automating a range of product testing scenarios. Codeless platforms are ideally suited to black box testing, as they can record and replay interactions with the product and accelerate test case development without requiring a steep learning curve and additional resources for engineers to master the platform.

To find out more about Nextgen and how we can help automate your black box testing, please call +44 3331 120 000 today, or click here to send us a message.

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