Grey Box Testing

With having a limited knowledge of the internal workings of an application, grey-box testing is the best technique to test the application. In software testing, the phrase the more you know, the better carries a lot of weight while testing an application.

Mastering the domain of a system always gives the tester an edge over someone with limited domain knowledge. Unlike black-box testing, in grey-box testing, the tester has access to design documents and the database. Having this knowledge, a tester can prepare better test data and test scenarios while making a test plan.

This method of testing is performed by end-users and also by testers and developers. When compared with other two methods, this is partly time-consuming and exhaustive. This method is not suited for algorithm testing and if known data domains and internal boundaries can be tested.

Following are some of the advantages of using this method

  • Offers combined benefits of black-box and white-box testing wherever possible.
  • Grey box testers don’t rely on the source code; instead they rely on interface definition and functional specifications.
  • Based on the limited information available, a grey-box tester can design excellent test scenarios especially around communication protocols and data type handling.
  • The test is done from the point of view of the user and not the designer.

However grey box testing has some disadvantages too.

  • Since the access to source code is not available, the ability to go over the code and test coverage is limited.
  • The tests can be redundant if the software designer has already run a test case.
  • Testing every possible input stream is unrealistic because it would take an unreasonable amount of time; therefore, many program paths will go untested.

Next – Software testing levels

Previous – White box testing

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