Explore the Types of Interface Testing and Why it is Important

Software testing is an integral part of the software development process. Today we have advanced software testing methodologies like Agile and DevOps that have revolutionized the way we approach testing. Not just that, even the dynamics of software testing has evolved a lot over the last decade or so, with the advent of software testing tools or, to be more precise, automation testing platforms. Automation testing has made it possible for QA professionals to achieve more in less time, thus increasing the efficiency and test coverage by leaps and bounds. Also, test automation tools have made it easy for the manual testers to implement automation testing with ease.

Every software application comprises of several components, such as the server, database, plugins, etc. To make a software work seamlessly, it is important that every component works in tandem with one another. In other words, there should be effective communication between each of these components. The connection between the different components is termed as the interface and the purpose of interface testing is to ensure that each component of the software application works in tandem and there is no gap in communication whatsoever. In other words, interface testing is a form of software testing that verifies the functionality of the software application interface. It forms a part of the software testing services offered by leading IT solution providers.

Interface testing commonly involves testing the interface of the web server and the application server, and that between the database server and application server. The following diagram shows the steps that lead up to interface testing.
Now that we have an idea of what is interface testing, we shall have a brief look at the scenarios that call for interface testing.
  • Checking the implications of a server reset to the software functionality.
  • Verifying if the server execution is as desired.
  • Verifying if the errors made from the user end are identified properly and the relevant error messages are sent.
  • Checking the effectiveness of the server execution.
  • Verifying if the security aspect is taken care of when the various components of the application interact with one another.
  • Checking how much the communication between the various components is affected by network failure.

Phases of Interface Testing
Interface testing is an integral part of software testing and works in 3 different phases as shown below, and we shall learn a little about each one of them.
1] Configuration and Development
Once the interface is configured and development is initialized, there is a need to verify the configuration as per the requirements. This is what the first phase is all about.

2] Validation
Once the configuration and development of the interface is done with, the next step is the validation of the interface. You can include this phase as a part of unit testing as well.

3] Maintenance
This phase comes into the picture once the software application is deployed and ready, and involves monitoring of the interface for its performance. There are possibilities of issues like deteriorating performance or slow-down of the interface, which are identified in this phase.

The maintenance phase comes into play every time changes are made in the code, to check if the changes have adversely affected the performance of the interface.

Types of Interface Testing
Interface testing is carried out through an array of different types of tests. Given below are the types and their significance.

1] Unit Testing
Unit testing involves testing the functionality of each and every part or component of the application, to ensure each one of them is aligned with the software application as a whole.

2] Load Testing
Load testing is all about validating the performance of the interface under load, through the use of functional test cases.

3] Functional Testing
Functional testing involves testing the functionality of the broader scenarios through the use of validation, test case creation, regression, etc.

4] Security Testing
Security testing involves testing the security aspect of the application through validation of access control, encryption and penetration testing.

5] Workflow Testing
Workflow testing is all about ensuring that the interface engine is able to handle the workflow as desired.

6] Runtime Error Detection

This involves monitoring an application for issues like resource leak, runtime race, etc.

Hence, we have seen that interface testing does play an important role in the testing of an application. After all, it is the interface that binds together the different components of the application, and any issues in the interface can make the application fall apart.

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