Detecting functional bugs plays a crucial role in the software development process.
In this article, we'll explore functional bug detection in detail , provide a step-by-step guide and present some tools and best practices to ensure optimal quality for your websites and applications.
What are functional bugs?
Simply put, any component of an application or website that doesn't work as expected is a functional bug.
This is a deviation between the expected behavior of an application and its actual behavior.
This can lead to display errors and even crashes.
Some examples of functional bugs:
- A "Login" button that doesn't allow users to log in
- An e-commerce basket that doesn't update properly
- A search field that doesn't respond to queries
Functional bugs need to be identified and resolved as early as possible in the development process, to avoid faulty runs in the production environment, where the damage caused by these bugs is greater.
How do you detect functional bugs?
Of course, to identify functional bugs, you need to run functional tests! 🤓
There is a whole range of functional tests to identify each type of functional bug.
Types of functional tests
Unit tests are run by developers when they write code and create the application.
The aim is to validate the functionality of a unit or component by ensuring that the desired outputs are generated given a set of inputs. As the most granular test, it lays a solid foundation for more complex functionality.
When a new build is completed, it is handed over to the QA for smoke testing, where only the most critical and essential functionalities are tested to ensure that they deliver the expected results.
The smoke test adds a layer of verification to determine whether the new construction can proceed to the next stage, or whether it needs to be reworked.
Although modules and components can succeed individually, QA teams must always guarantee their functionality as a group.
Since system components are usually built separately by different developers, integration tests are essential to validate that they work properly together.
The aim of regression testing is to check that new modifications to a software system have not introduced regressions, i.e. errors or problems in functionality that previously functioned correctly.
User acceptance testing (UAT)
User acceptance testing involves involving end-users or customers in the validation of the application or system to ensure that it meets their needs, functions correctly and is ready for use in a real environment.
The aim of these tests is to verify that all user interface functionalities work as intended. The aim is to ensure that buttons, links, forms and all planned interactions respond correctly to user actions.
What's the difference between functional and non-functional testing?
Functional tests check whether specified functional requirements are met, while non-functional tests are used to test non-functional elements such as application performance, security, scalability or quality.
In other words, functional testing allows us to check whether key functionalities are working, while non-functional testing is more concerned with how operations are carried out.
Detecting your functional bugs step by step
Now that we've established what a functional bug is and the types of functional tests used, let's define the steps you need to take to orchestrate your functional tests with confidence:
1. Test process planning and design
The first step is to define the parameters of your functional test process.
What is the scope? Which process steps will you automate?
It's also at this stage that budget and staff expertise are taken into account to formulate a plan that matches your company's capabilities.
2. Choose an automated test tool
Once you've defined your testing requirements, the next step is to research the various automated functional testing tools available on the market.
Among the best known:
- Mr Suricate
Although manual testing has its place in the development cycle, an automated testing tool can speed up your deliveries while eliminating the risk of human error in your processes.
Key features to consider when choosing an automated functional test tool
Reporting capabilities: Review all the reporting features supported by a tool.
Ease of use: The importance of ease of use depends on the skills of your team. A no-code automated testing tool is a solution for all types of profile, even those considered "non-technical".
Flexibility: To adapt to different types of testing, the tool must be flexible enough to support multiple test frameworks, operating systems and devices.
Technical support: The supplier must provide adequate support and maintenance services, including updates.
Price: The price will depend on the type of tool: commercial or open source.
Open source tools are distributed free of charge, but require technical skills to be used to their full potential.
Commercial solutions are generally easier to use and have teams available to support you in your testing processes.
3. Create your test framework and adapt the environment to your needs
The next step is to create the framework and environment in which all your tests will take place.
This includes :
- Description of test standards
- Defining the practices you will use
- The choice between data-driven, keyword-driven and frequent testing methodologies
Creating a test environment involves installing and configuring your test tool.
It's also important to plan the schedule that the tests will follow, to make life easier for your teams.
4. Create and run your test scenarios
Create and run test scenarios that cover all the application's functionalities.
The more comprehensive your tests, the more likely you are to discover potential functional bugs.
5. Bug analysis and reporting
Once testing is complete, analyze the results and classify functional bugs according to their severity and impact on the user experience.
Create detailed reports for each bug, providing information on reproduction, screenshots and steps to reproduce it.
6. Correction and verification
The next step is to correct the identified bugs. Once you've corrected them, run the tests again to ensure that the problems have been solved and that no new bugs have been introduced along the way.
Detecting functional bugs - best practices
Select the right test cases
It's important to choose the test cases you're going to automate strategically.
For tests that require prior configuration during or before execution, it's best not to automate them.
As a general rule, automate the following types of tests:
- Tests that must be run repeatedly
- The same tests with different data
- Tests subject to human error
- Same tests on different operating systems, browsers, devices, etc.
Automated test cases requiring several data sets must be written in such a way as to be reusable.
Data can be written to sources such as XML, text or property files, or read from a database.
Creating a structure for automation data makes it easier to maintain the framework. It also enables existing test scripts to be used more efficiently.
Prepare a set of basic automation tests and schedule frequent execution of this set.
In this way, QA team members can enhance the automation framework to make it more robust.
Detect your functional bugs with Mr Suricate !
By following a methodical approach, using automated testing tools and carefully documenting problems, your teams can significantly improve your customers' experience while preserving your brand image.
The no-code SaaS solution Mr Suricate solution covers a wide range of automated tests in order to control your testing and provide your users with the best possible experience.
Take control of your applications and detect bugs in real time on your websites, applications and APIs by reproducing your user paths at regular intervals.