What is Error Handling Testing ?

Manual systems can deal with problems as they occur, but automated systems must pre program error-handling. In many instances the completeness of error handling affects the usability of the application. Error-handling testing determines the ability of the application system to properly process incorrect transactions.

What are its Objectives ?

Errors encompass all unexpected conditions. In some systems, approximately 50 percent of the programming effort will be devoted to handling error conditions. Specific objectives of error-handling testing include:
  1. Determine that all reasonably expected error conditions are recognizable by the application system.
  2. Determine that the accountability for processing errors has been assigned and that the procedures provide a high probability that the error will be properly corrected.
  3. Determine that reasonable control is maintained over errors during the correction process.
How to Use Error Handling Testing ?

It requires a group of knowledgeable people to anticipate what can go wrong with the application system. The other forms of testing involve verifying that the application system conforms to requirements. Error-handling testing uses exactly the opposite concept.

A successful method for developing test error conditions is to assemble, for a half-day or a day, people knowledgeable in information technology, the user area, and auditing or error tracking.These individuals are asked to brainstorm what might go wrong with the application.

The totality of their thinking must then be organized by application function so that a logical set of test transactions can be created. Without this type of synergistic interaction on errors, it is difficult to develop a realistic body of problems prior to production.

Error-handling testing should test the introduction of the error, the processing of the error, the control condition, and the reentry of the condition properly corrected. This requires error handling testing to be an iterative process in which errors are first introduced into the system,then corrected, then reentered into another iteration of the system to satisfy the complete error-handling cycle.

What are Error-Handling Test Examples ?
  1. Produce a representative set of transactions containing errors and enter them into the system to determine whether the application can identify the problems.
  2. Through iterative testing, enter errors that will result in corrections, and then reenter those transactions with errors that were not included in the original set of test transactions.
  3. Enter improper master data, such as prices or employee pay rates, to determine if errors that will occur repetitively are subjected to greater scrutiny than those causing single error results.

When to Use Error-Handling Testing ?

Error testing should occur throughout the system development life cycle. At all points in the developmental process the impact from errors should be identified and appropriate action taken to reduce those errors to an acceptable level. Error-handling testing assists in the error management process of systems development and maintenance. Some organizations use auditors, quality assurance, or professional testing personnel to evaluate error processing.

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1 comment:

  1. Very good article on error handling and developing a strategy to asses your needs.