Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC) refers to the different phases involved in testing a software application or product. It is a systematic process that is followed to evaluate the functionality and features of a software application. Following an STLC in testing helps ensure that testing is done comprehensively and no steps are missed. This further helps improve the quality and reliability of software.
What Is STLC?
The Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC) refers to the systematic process followed to test software. It involves dividing the entire testing process into well-defined phases. The key phases in STLC are requirement analysis, test planning, test case development, test environment setup, test execution, defect tracking, retesting and release. In requirement analysis, requirements are understood. Test planning defines the test approach.
Test cases are written in the development phase. An identical environment is setup for testing. Developed test cases are run and defects are tracked. Fixed defects are retested before software release. STLC brings structure, control and optimization to testing. It ensures all requirements and conditions are validated systematically. Following each phase in sequence allows for early defect detection, improved quality and reduced costs.
Why Is STLC Important In Testing?
Following are some key reasons why following an STLC is important for effective testing:
1. Comprehensive Testing
By dividing the overall testing process into specific phases like requirement analysis, test case development, execution and retesting, the Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC) ensures a comprehensive and systematic approach. Each phase validates different requirements and conditions, with retests covering fixes. This comprehensive approach helps reduce risks by ensuring no testing steps are skipped.
2. Early Defect Detection
STLC promotes early defect detection by integrating testing activities into each phase of the development cycle starting from requirements analysis. This allows testing to begin at the start when defects can be identified easily and fixes are less expensive to make. Testing continues in each subsequent phase so that issues are discovered quickly before they become costly to resolve later.
3. Improved Quality
By going through each phase of STLC and fixing defects before moving ahead, the quality of the software improves continuously. Fewer bugs are carried between phases and even fewer reach customers, ensuring a better experience for them. Continuous retesting fixes issues and enhances the overall product quality.
4. Realistic Testing
Realistic Testing is important in STLC. The environment setup and performance testing phases aim to replicate actual production conditions. This allows testing of the software in an environment similar to what end users will experience. Evaluating the software under such realistic conditions helps uncover issues that may arise in real-world usage.
5. Reduced Costs
STLC reduces costs by preventing rework through a systematic approach. It detects defects early when fixes are cheaper. Fewer bugs in later phases and after release lower maintenance expenses. With each phase and fix-retest cycle, quality improves. This results in fewer post-launch issues. Overall, STLC minimizes costs associated with poor quality.
Following a well-defined Software Testing Life Cycle is critical to performing testing in an effective, comprehensive and quality-focused manner. STLC brings discipline, control and optimization to the testing process. It helps deliver robust, reliable software by systematically detecting and fixing defects. Overall, STLC is an important practice for achieving testing excellence.