Tables, or their electronic equivalent, is an extremely important software testing tool. Information on tests written to tables can include combinations of input data, expected outcomes, actual outcomes, and test status. The conclusion about whether the test passes or fails is made after comparing the actual results with the expected ones.
As a rule, test tables and matrices contain a lot of information. Similarly to test cases, test tables indicate the purpose of a particular test, without giving all the information needed to create a complete test case. Testers, as well as the developers, can get a good idea of what tests are under consideration.
There is no uniform format of the tables, because each organization uses its own ways to record the information. What is most important here is that the tables allow you record the information necessary for quality testing and document what was done.
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The tables are easy to implement. Using spreadsheets is an easy way to create and modify test tables. In fact, spreadsheets are among the best tools for documenting test cases, test results and their status. Tables can serve different purposes depending on how they are used.
The tables focus on input combinations. The matrix lists most of the test cases, and sometimes all possible input combinations. The table contains tests that you need to define, create and execute. Then the tester can choose the order of creating test cases, which can depend on many factors, including:
- the priority of tests;
- the order in which the functions arrive to the tester;
- available information about the product, which is necessary for further testing tasks;
- personal amenities: the tester specifies tests for the functions that he knows best;
- selection of various functions: the tester selects several tests for each function;
- If it is not possible to include all tests, select an arbitrary part of the test table (such as tests in one column or one row), or select cells in the table one by one.
You cannot know whether or not all tests will be performed as it is a kind of verdict. One of the tasks of software testing is to reduce the maximum number of test cases to an amount that will be easier to manage. Test tables can also show the volume of test documentation relevant to the case, which is achieved by creating links to a detailed description of the tests. The versatility of the tables and the ease with which they convey information makes them an integral part of testing.