Testing An App Without Documentation (Formerly RE: QA Help)
User Tim Gerrells (firstname.lastname@example.org) posted:
Pretty fun discussion, so far! One we've seen time and time again over the
years, and one I fear we will continue to see in the future.
If the business reality, crappy as it might be, of the company does not
permit management to expect and get some sort of functional specifications
of a software product in order to perform QA on it, for whatever reason,
then you as the QA practictioner are stuck with a bad situation.
What can you do, if you cannot get documentation? Well, "decompose" the app
you see installed on your machine. (I love that new MBA(tech)-speak term!)
Much like developers reverse engineer an app (as we are doing for a project
I'm on now) to find out what it actually does and what it thinks it's
interfacing with. Derive a set of test requirements from what it is obvious
the AUT does. Get approval from your management that this list of test
requirements and its implied or derived product requirements, is sufficient.
Better yet, get the owner of the AUT to sign off on that. Then test like the
As said before, this does not guarantee the AUT functions as intended. To
make that guarantee, legally (at least in the USA), or sufficiently, or
"materially," one has to know what the thing is supposed to do and is agreed
to do. That presupposed specs, requirements, something. Absent that, what
you can do it at least the 85% solution of verifying what the app currently
But that may not be all that useful. Consider an AUT that performs some sort
of payroll tax functions. In the USA, each state, and often individual
counties or municipalities, have unique payroll or income tax schedules. If
you do not have the specs that lay out the formulae to compute those tax
withholding rates, then in absolutely no way can you verify that part of the
AUT functions correctly. To state you can verify correct functionality
without these specs is unprofessional, irresponsible, and probably crosses
the line into malfeasance. If your company has in essence made an equivalent
contractual statement of intent, they've screwed up. And you, as a QA pro,
better document (e.g., cover your butt) every step of the way.
You can, however, verify that the AUT does, in fact, withhold some value
that seems to change from state to state. You can iterate a matrix of
values, for example, to identify withholding rates across a range of values.
To do any more is not possible.
For the 810th time on this forum, good luck!
[For those interested, I'm in the office for a week or so from playing Army
Reserve. Then back into the breach for some time.]
Re: Testing An App Without Documentation (Formerly RE: QA Help)
User Suresh Babu Somisetty (email@example.com) posted:
Thanx 4 the information..but can i generate the related documentation with
the help of RUP which makes the life simple. But the Product z not developed
on OOAD concept
it has few components,developed using VB with SQL Sever as back end.
can u pl. suggest the best alternative..for the complete testing of the
desparatetly i need ur help
thanx n reards