QA, QC & Testing

Non-Functional Testing analysed

Non-Functional testing is used to assess,

 • how a product behaves,

 • whether the behaviour is appropriate and

 • whether the behaviour is acceptable.

If a 4x4 (SUV) is undergoing non-functional testing, the behaviour being assessed could be the 4x4's (SUV) off road ability, so how the 4x4 (SUV) behaves when it is driven off road is assessed, to see whether the behaviour is appropriate and whether it is acceptable.

So if the 4x4 (SUV) struggled when used off-road, this would be its behaviour which for a 4x4 (SUV) would not be appropriate and would be unacceptable.

Non-Functional Behaviours

Typical non-functional behaviours include the following:

 • Performance

 • Load

 • Stress

 • Usability

 • Reliability

 • Maintainability

 • Configuration

 • Security

 • Recovery

 • Interoperability

Performance Testing

As the name suggests this type of tests are designed to assess how well a product performs. This performance behaviour may be an important component of the product test and critical in terms of marketing that product. Therefore it is essential that the performance behaviour is assessed.

Performance car example

A car has been developed to be able to accelerate to sixty miles per hour in under six seconds. This performance behaviour needs to be tested and verified.

This car's main marketing assets are its speed and its rapid acceleration ability. The performance testing would be carried out to assess whether the car could actually produce these behaviours to the levels expected.

As a result of performance testing the car engine may require further tuning to ensure that any bottlenecks in fuel delivery and power output are quickly found and rectified. To ensure that the car is capable of reaching the acceleration and speed levels expected.

Performance testing is concerned with finding and eliminating any bottlenecks that could affect performance.

Dry Cleaning example

A dry cleaning organisation wants to introduce a one hour cleaning service. They could simply start by advertising a 'one hour' service and then wait to see if they could cope with the demand and see whether they could actually deliver a 'one hour' service.

The best course of action for the dry cleaning organisation would be to carry out performance tests. Whereby they could find out if they can actually cope with providing a 'one hour' service and whether any potential customers would actually get a 'one hour' service.

Engineering organisation example

A small engineering organisation decides on whether it would be cost effective for it to build a new type of bolt. They know that they would need to build several thousand bolts a day to stand any chance of making any profit.

The engineering organisation can run performance tests to see whether they can manufacture enough bolts in a day to make it worthwhile. This saves them from ultimately starting to produce the bolts and then finding out later that they can't produce enough bolts in a day to make any money.

In conclusion, performance testing is an important indicator not just for fast cars but for organisations to find out whether they can perform as expected.

Performance testing allows organisations to fine tune their products to ensure that they deliver the performance expected.