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What Is Functional Testing?

Functional testing is a software testing type that validates the software system’s functional requirements. The primary objective is to provide appropriate input, execute the functions, and compare the output with the expected outcome. This entire process ensures the quality of the end software product.

The importance of functional testing cannot be overstated. It identifies any errors in the software that could impact the user’s experience and allows teams to address issues in the earlier stages. Ultimately, functional testing contributes to the software product's reliability, stability, and overall quality.

Why Automate Functional Testing?

Automation has become a key factor for achieving both efficiency and effectiveness, and it applies to functional testing too. Automating functional testing offers several compelling benefits that address the challenges of the manual testing process.

  • Quick Coverage: Accelerates testing of core functions of software applications.
  • Accuracy: Ensures and validates the user scenarios against requirements.
  • Immediate Feedback: Quick execution of tests after the code changes helps the developers get immediate feedback.
  • Resourceful: Automating routine tests enables the teams to use their time and skills to work on complex manual testing scenarios.
  • Automated Testing Tool: While it requires an upfront investment, it is an indispensable tool in modern functional testing strategies in the long run.

Functional Testing Types

Different applications have distinctive functional specifications with their own validation requirements. let us explore the most popular functional testing types:

Different types of functional testing-ACCELQ

Unit Testing

Unit testing is often taken up by developers who create scripts to check each functional unit of every application. Whether each complies with its specific requirements or purpose of creation.

Smoke and Sanity Testing

Quick check of the most critical builds of any live application. It provides stability, and testers test it after every update to ensure there are no errors moving forward.

Sanity Testing

Performed after receiving new builds to confirm changes in the code did not effect the existing functionalities. Mainly focuses on the specific functionalities related to recent changes, ensuring they work without disturbing the whole system.

Integration Testing

Integration testing assures the end-to-end working of the interactions between units or components in multi-functional modules. These modules are built on separate levels and integrated into a large application.

User Acceptance Testing

The final phase is testing the software with real-world scenarios before getting it to the intended audience. This gives more credibility to the testing process and makes the changes for a full scale launch.

What To Test In Functional Testing?

The primary focus is testing the application’s business requirements and user expectations, which involves all the functionalities.

  • User Interface (UI): Testing the UI ensures that users can interact with the application as intended. This includes checking the layout, navigational elements, and input fields for correctness and usability.
  • Business Logic: Critical for applications to perform their intended functions correctly. For example, an e-commerce site’s logic to apply discounts based on promotional codes is verified for accuracy.
  • Database: Functional testing examines database interactions to ensure data is correctly stored, retrieved, updated, and deleted as per the application’s requirements.
  • Security: Ensures that the application securely handles user data and protects against common vulnerabilities, even though it’s more targeted in security testing.
  • APIs and Integrations: Verifies that external services and APIs the application relies on are correctly integrated and data flows seamlessly between systems.

How to Perform Functional Testing?

Automated functional testing streamlines the verification of software functionalities by executing predefined test scripts using automation tools.

Requirement Analysis

Start with selecting repetitive test cases that require multiple data sets or are critical application paths. The feature's requirements and expected behaviors are identified through documentation, user stories, or specifications. The goal is to determine which aspects of the login process are suitable for automation.

Choose an Automation Tool

Selecting tools that best fit the application's technology stack, testing needs, and the team's expertise. This could include test creation, management, and reporting tools, such as ACCELQ - no code test automation tool.

Develop Test Scripts

Write test scripts using the chosen tool. This involves coding the steps that must be executed, including inputting data, navigating through the application, and verifying the outcomes against expected results.

Set Up the Test Environment

Ensure the testing environment closely mimics the production environment to achieve accurate results. This includes configuring servers, databases, and any other dependencies.

Execute Tests and Analyze Results

Run the test scripts on demand or as part of a continuous integration pipeline. Analyze the results to identify any deviations from expected behavior.

Maintain Test Scripts

Regularly update test scripts to reflect changes in the application’s functionality and UI to ensure continued relevance and effectiveness of your tests.

Functional Testing Examples

Example 1: Online Banking Payment

Objective: Validate that users can make a payment to a saved payee.

Test Steps:

  • Login: User logs in with valid credentials.
  • Navigate to Payments: User selects the ‘Make a Payment’ option.
  • Select Payee: User chooses a saved payee from the list.
  • Enter Payment Details: User inputs payment amount and selects the payment date.
  • Confirm and Submit: User reviews payment details and confirms the payment.

Expected Outcome:

  • The payment is processed successfully.
  • A confirmation message is displayed, and the transaction appears in the user’s transaction history.

Example 2: E-commerce Product Return Process

Objective: Ensure users can initiate a return for products purchased within the last 30 days.

Test Steps:

  • Login: User logs in with valid credentials.
  • Order History: User navigates to their order history and selects a recent order.
  • Initiate Return: User clicks on ‘Return Item’ for a product eligible for return.
  • Select Reason for Return: User selects a reason from the dropdown menu.
  • Submit Return Request: User submits the return request.

Expected Outcome:

  • The return request is submitted successfully.
  • A confirmation message with return details and a return label for printing is displayed.

How To Choose the Functional Testing Tool?

When selecting automation tools specifically for functional testing, consider features directly impacting the testing process.

  • Tools should offer code-based scripting for complicated situations and codeless choices for basic tests.
  • They should have comprehensive debugging and troubleshooting features to quickly detect and fix test script errors, improving test development efficiency.
  • Support for continuous testing to look for solutions to trigger functional tests automatically or build for immediate feedback on changes.

Why ACCELQ For Effective Functional Testing?

We have seen how functional testing is one of the most sought-after testing approaches in modern-day enterprise technology. It cannot be overlooked or ignored, even for the smallest features, as the price for lapses can be huge.

To extract the best results from automated functional testing, ACCELQ can help transform your testing strategy.

Contact us for a demo of how our end-to-end test automation platform can enable faster testing and improve your application quality significantly.

Suma Ganji

Senior Content Writer

Expertly navigating technical and UX writing, she crafts captivating content that hits the mark every time. With a keen SEO understanding, her work consistently resonates with readers while securing prime online visibility. When the day's work ends, you'll find her immersed in literary escapades in her quaint book house.

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