Thursday, June 10, 2010

Why we need gray-box testing?

We often follow quite common approaches like black box and white box testing for SUT (System under test). Black box testing is an approach based on testing an application without any knowledge of the underlying code of the application. Black box approach to testing is a useful method of simulating and anticipating how the customer will use the product. On the other hand, pure black box approaches often end up over-testing certain parts of the application while under-testing other portions.
Conversely, white box testing is an approach that uses test design based on analysis of the underlying source code or schemas not visible to the end user. Test cases founded solely on a white box approach are typically thorough, but nearly always miss key end-user scenarios.
The answer to this dilemma is a gray box (sometimes called glass box) approach. Tests are designed from a customer-focused point of view first (that is, black box), but white box approaches are used to ensure efficiency and test case coverage of the application under test. Testers are responsible for both the customer viewpoint and for determining the correctness of an application. They cannot cover both areas effectively without considering both black box and white box approaches.
Reference: "How we test software at microsoft".

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