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While coding, the programmer performs some tests on that unit of program to know if it is error free. Testing is performed under white-box testing approach. Unit testing helps developers decide that individual units of the program are working as per requirement and are error free.
Even if the units of software are working fine individually, there is a need to find out if the units if integrated together would also work without errors. For example, argument passing and data updation etc.
The software is compiled as product and then it is tested as a whole. This can be accomplished using one or more of the following tests:
Functionality testing - Tests all functionalities of the software against the requirement.
Performance testing - This test proves how efficient the software is. It tests the effectiveness and average time taken by the software to do desired task. Performance testing is done by means of load testing and stress testing where the software is put under high user and data load under various environment conditions.
Security & Portability - These tests are done when the software is meant to work on various platforms and accessed by number of persons.
When the software is ready to hand over to the customer it has to go through last phase of testing where it is tested for user-interaction and response. This is important because even if the software matches all user requirements and if user does not like the way it appears or works, it may be rejected.
Alpha testing - The team of developer themselves perform alpha testing by using the system as if it is being used in work environment. They try to find out how user would react to some action in software and how the system should respond to inputs.
Beta testing - After the software is tested internally, it is handed over to the users to use it under their production environment only for testing purpose. This is not as yet the delivered product. Developers expect that users at this stage will bring minute problems, which were skipped to attend.