Introduction

In the initial days of software development, coders would simply write code and call it a day. Rarely did they take the time to test their software thoroughly before releasing it. As software became more complex, it became evident that this approach was no longer feasible. There were too many potential errors in the software that could go undetected until it was too late. Coders realized the need for a special set of processes and tools that could be used to identify errors in software before it was released to the public.

Enter the software testing life cycle (STLC).

What is the Software Testing Life Cycle?

The software testing life cycle (STLC) is a process that software testers use to carry out their tasks. SLTC methodology includes a framework that defines the different stages of testing and the activities that are carried out in each stage.

The software testing life cycle is usually represented as a linear STLC process, but it can also be viewed as a spiral or cyclical STLC model.

Some of the common activities that are a part of the STLC methodology are:

  • Analyzing the software as per the requirements
  • Designing test cases
  • Creating test data
  • Executing test cases
  • Reporting defects
  • Retesting and fixing defects

The major benefits of using a software testing life cycle are:

  • It helps to improve the quality of the software
  • It helps to identify the errors in the software at an early stage
  • It helps to save time and money by avoiding rework later on

The software testing life cycle is not a one-time process but is carried out throughout the software development life cycle.

Most uninformed individuals confuse the software testing life cycle (STLC) with the software development life cycle (SLDC). While the two processes are related, they are distinct from each other. Let’s take a look at the major differences between the software testing life cycle and vs. software development life cycle.

The Difference between SDLC and STLC

SDLC vs STLC

SDLC and STLC are both related to software development. However, the similarities end there. The software development life cycle is a process followed by software developers to create a high-quality software product. It includes activities like requirement gathering, software design, software development, software testing, and software deployment. 

The stlc process is followed by software testers to ensure that the software meets the required quality standards. It includes activities like software testing, software debugging, and software troubleshooting. 

While the software development life cycle focuses on creating software, the software testing life cycle focuses on testing it. 

The software development life cycle is a broader process that includes the software testing life cycle. In other words, the software testing life cycle is a part of the software development life cycle. 

Both SDLC and STLC are essential for software development. However, the software testing life cycle is especially important because it helps to ensure the quality of the software product. 

Now that we have cleared the air on the software testing life cycle vs. software development life cycle, let’s take a look at the different software testing life cycle phases. 

Software Testing Life Cycle Phases

Software Testing Lifecycle

Every software has to go through various software testing life cycle stages before it can be released. These software testing life cycle stages vary depending on the software development model being used. Generally, software testing can be classified into six major phases. Let’s take a look at them.

Requirement Analysis

This is the first stage of the software testing life cycle, where the software requirements are analyzed. The software requirement specification (SRS) document is reviewed to understand the software that needs to be developed. The software requirements are then converted into testable conditions. Moreover, it is during the requirement analysis state that it is decided whether to go with a manual or automated testing process.

Test Planning

In this stage, a software testing plan is created. The software testing plan is a document that contains all the information related to software testing. It includes the test strategy, approach, schedule, and resources. The software testing plan is created based on the software requirement specification (SRS) document.

Test Case Development

In this stage, software test cases are created that will be used to test the software. A software test case is a set of conditions under which a software component or system should be tested. The test cases are created based on the software requirements.

Test Environment Setup

This is the software testing life cycle stage where the test environment is set up. The test environment is created to test the software. It includes the hardware, software, and network infrastructure required to test the software. Additionally, the test data is also created in this stage.

Test Execution

In this stage, the software is tested to find defects. The software test cases are executed, and the software is monitored to see if it meets the requirements. This stlc process is carried out manually or automatically and can be done in an iterative or non-iterative manner.

Test Cycle Closure

Once all the software test cases have been executed, the software testing life cycle is complete. In this stage, the software is handed over to the client or customer. Additionally, a software testing report is generated that contains information on the software defects and their status.

Conclusion

The software testing life cycle is an important process that helps to ensure the quality of software. It is a part of the software development life cycle and includes various software testing life cycle stages. 

Understanding the software testing life cycle is essential for any software tester or organization involved in software development. It helps to ensure that the software is of high quality and meets the requirements. 

If you want to learn more about the software testing life cycle or want to test your software, check out our software testing services. We offer a wide range of software testing services, including quality assurance, quality engineering, and consulting, that can help you to improve the quality of your software. Contact us today to learn more.