Test Design

What is test design?

Test design comprises the comprehensive planning of tests for a specific test object. It involves the creation of test cases and test procedures, which can take various forms, such as separate documents or a combination of documents and database entries. The aim is to define clear processes and methods to ensure that the elements to be tested meet the requirements and that effective test results are achieved.

Challenges in test design

The design of effective tests faces a number of challenges that affect the quality and reliability of test results.

These can include the following aspects:

  • Missing edge cases and boundary conditions
  • Lack of repeatability of the tests
  • Unclear or incomplete steps and expected results, leading to misunderstandings and inconsistent test results
  • Complex maintenance of test cases due to dependencies
  • Insufficient documentation
  • Difficulties in the fulfilment of verification obligations
  • Lack of time and resources

Effective test design

Test design in TestBench

TestBench provides a flexible platform for test design, ranging from the simplest formatable text field to reusable and parameterisable keywords. Test designers have the freedom to choose the specification method that suits them best. This flexibility makes it possible to change methods as required or even combine different approaches.


Specification methods

The prose description

The test specification can be based on a text-based representation of test cases or test ideas in natural language. The test description can be clearly formatted in a text field. It is particularly effective to include screenshots to make the test instructions as clear and understandable as possible for the tester.

The use of text modules

Alternatively, tests can be written as consecutive, textually described steps, similar to the structure in Excel. This partially formalised structure makes it easier for test designers to familiarise themselves quickly.

The use of reusable keywords

The most advanced stage in the test specification results from the use of reusable keywords), which are recorded and managed centrally. This approach not only speeds up test design, but also optimises test maintenance. Each keyword is viewed as an individual test step. Centralised management means that when a keyword is changed, the changes are automatically applied to all tests in which they are used.

This method of test design follows the approach of Keyword-Driven Testing and forms an optimal basis for the automation of test cases.

The use of parameterisable keywords

The test specification with the Keyword-Driven Test approach can be extended by parameterising the keywords. This allows a keyword to be assigned parameters that are passed different test data each time the keywords are used. This flexibility enables testing with different data sets and corresponds to the principle of Data-Driven Testing.

The keywords are linked to test data, which is also created and managed centrally. Centralised test data management is a significant advantage of TestBench and facilitates test design and maintenance.

TestBench enables a combination of the Keyword-Driven and Data-Driven Test methods, which fulfils the requirements of ISO 29119-5.

All advantages at a glance

Versatile methods in test design

TestBench offers a wide range of test design methods, from simple approaches to formal test description methods. Every test designer will find the method that best suits their test specification requirements in order to create effective and precise test cases.

Easily maintainable test specifications

The use of keywords and associated parameters as a test data interface considerably simplifies test maintenance. Changes can be made centrally, in one place and automatically applied to all relevant test specifications, making maintenance much easier.

Quickly add additional test cases

Thanks to the clear separation of test description and concrete test data, TestBench enables parameter combinations to be added effortlessly, resulting in extremely fast creation of new test cases.

Multi-layered test description

In order to enable the greatest possible modularisation and thus reusability of test elements, each keyword can be composed of other keywords. Data can also be structured, i.e. made up of other data, e.g. an address made up of a name, street and town. This results in several levels of abstraction in the test description. In a very simple way, the business process can be described at the highest level, which is specified accordingly at lower levels.

Fulfilment of the strictest verification obligations

The structured test design makes it easy to create test specifications that fulfil even the most stringent verification requirements. These include requirements according to FDA Part 11, the aviation standard DO-178 B/ED-12 B, Basel II and the European Council Directive 84/253/EEC (EuroSOX). Correct data in the verifications can be automatically ensured via the static analyses of the TestBench.