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  1. #1
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    "Newbie" question

    Hello,

    This may sound a little simplistic.

    I have a report to test for a school. In the report, there are dropdowns to select the grade (PS through 5th), the Homeroom section (01 to 35), and Gender.

    I guess my question is this: How many iterations of the testing would you do given that there are a million combinations of grade/homeroom/gender? And how do you verify the data? I mean, I know how to run SQL queries, but do I have to run a report showing only 5th graders, and then match that up to the DB?

    Thank you for your help with this question.

  2. #2
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    Re: "Newbie" question

    I suggest you do a search on orthogonal arrays or pair wise testing.
    Personal Comment

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    Re: "Newbie" question

    Rich,

    Thanks for the search idea... I did several searches for answers, but wasn't sure exactly how to search for this type of question.

    Thanks again.

    John

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    Re: "Newbie" question

    I've done some looking and reading, and here's the next part of my question.

    I see that orthogonal arrays will help with combinations that might error out, but what about if I'm just looking to see if the data is correct... In other words, making sure that when I choose homeroom 12, it actually just shows me homeroom 12's data.

    Or is that something that I don't want to check? I'm getting a little confused. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Thanks.

  5. #5
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    Re: "Newbie" question

    You would definitely want to make sure the data returned for a given selection is correct. Programmers will often just get a report to show numbers without actually verifying those are the CORRECT numbers. Going directly into SQL would be a good way to do this. You may also want to run some queries on the database to look for unusual data - for example, if one of the grades only actually uses 34 of the available homerooms or if one class has students who joined or left during the year.

  6. #6
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    Re: "Newbie" question

    Assuming you do not have access to the DB, you can just use the number of combinations required to select each value just one time.

    That should verify that the value defined well in the DB.

    Or ofcourse use automated testing.... and test them all.....
    Omri Gonen - Team Leader
    TACT SYSTEM TESTWARE inc.
    www.tact-testware.co.il

  7. #7
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    Re: "Newbie" question

    In your position I'd get a copy of the code and see if you can ascertain (with the help of a Developer if necessary) how the functionality is coded to work.

    At least you'd then be equipped to make a Risk Assessment of how large a sample requires testing based on code paths.

  8. #8
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    Re: "Newbie" question

    Who wrote your requirements? When they wrote the requirements that you had to retrieve, say, all the students in homeroom 12, did they provide the data to you so that you could verify the results? Without knowing the actual data that should be returned, you have no way of verifying the results.

    As you can see, there are various ways to obtain the data, but somehow, you must enter your test knowing what the expected results are. One way is to make the BA or whoever else defined the requirements to tell you what the expected results for their requirement are.

    What I would NOT do is what Keith suggests - getting a copy of the code and verifying how the functionality is coded. That is unit test. You aren't interested in verifying how the functionality is coded - you are interested in seeing that the code implements the requirement. Examining the code is a good way to bias your testing results right away. Testing should rarely, if ever, be dependent on how the code is written. It should always be dependent on what your requirements are.

    [ 02-02-2006, 04:15 AM: Message edited by: Darrel Damon ]

  9. #9
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    Re: "Newbie" question

    Well, in true form, there are no written requirements. The requirement of the report in question is to show student addresses for students that meet the selected criteria. So, if I choose Homeroom 12, it is supposed to show me all the students from Homeroom 12 and their home addresses.

    I have access to the DB, so I can run a query on it to get the data. The data I use is pretty much the entire live DB; they sync them up about once a month, so I'm dealing with many records total. Obviously, there will only be about 20-30 students in each homeroom, but having to test EVERY homeroom is what I am trying to ascertain.

    Is it enough to verify that Homeroom 12 correctly pulls all the students who have a Homeroom value of "12" in the DB, and thereby assume that the other homerooms will follow suit? Certainly, the most thorough way to test would be to test each and every homeroom, class, and gender combo, but that seems a bit much, at least IMO.

    In my reading, I've seen that books say to not so much try to prove something works, but rather try to find ways that it does not. Obviously, one way it would not work is if the wrong homeroom results are returned. But once I prove that one homeroom value works, do I have to prove the rest work, or move onto other places where it could be "broken"?

    Thanks for all your help and input.

  10. #10
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    Re: "Newbie" question

    I would do a sampling of single digit room numbers, dual digit room numbers, and more digits if necessary. Also check for boundaries on the digits (upper and lower), home room numbers which are non-existent, and of course alpha numerics and special characters. A sampling of dual digits might be the lowest (00 or 01), the highest (maybe 99 if it is existent), and if you have time every set which starts with 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,78,9, but this should be taken care of in the orthogonal array.
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