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Software Quality Assurance: Why Businesses Need to Invest in it?
Software Quality Assurance: Why Businesses Need to Invest in it?

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Placing premium quality products and services in the hands of consumers has always been the secret formula behind successful businesses. After all, users are naturally concerned about the general quality of software, especially its reliability. Just imagine if a company establishes a bad reputation for producing low-quality, unstable software, it faces the risk of losing its clients and sources of revenue. Therefore, software quality assurance comes into place, to help you earn more money and build a reputation for excellence.

But, first let’s talk about what software quality assurance (SQA) is, and why you need to invest in adopting its procedures in your software development life cycle.


What is Software Quality Assurance?

Simply put, software quality assurance is a planned and systematic procedure that oversees all software engineering processes, methodologies, activities, and tasks, to ensure that the final software product adheres to specific, pre-defined standards.

Software quality assurance usually covers the entire software development life cycle, from identifying requirements through coding and deployment. The purpose of software quality assurance is to build and maintain high-quality software.


Software Quality Assurance Categories

Mash World’s SQA experts divide software quality into three categories:

  1. Software function quality: this focuses on examining how a software product adheres to functional specifications.
  2.  Software structural quality: this looks at how effectively the software development project meets non-functional standards such as security, accessibility, scalability, and reliability, according to pre-determined project requirements.
  3. Software design quality: this refers to all the characteristics that designers specify for the software project. Design features include the grade of materials, tolerances, and performance standards that contribute to the overall quality of design.


Types of Software Testing

There are a plethora of software testing types out there but, you are not going to use all testing types in all kinds of software development projects. Therefore, we will cover some common types of software testing used in the testing life cycle.

Specialists mainly divide software testing types into two broad types: functional and non-functional testing.

Types of Functional Testing

There are multiple types of functional testing, the main ones are:

1. Unit Testing: this type of testing is performed on the level of an individual software unit or component. SQA testers usually perform it during the software development phase. To ensure that developers would solve errors at a unit level.

2. Integration Testing: This type is used to test two or more logically grouped software components as a whole. The purpose is to detect the software error in the user interface, communication, or data flow among components.

3. System Testing: This type of testing aims to evaluate the entire software system according to specific requirements.

4. Interface testing: This type aims to validate the communication between other systems (such as the database, server, and so on) and the developed software.

5. Regression testing:  Following the initial testing of the software components and the resolution of any errors or bugs. Regression testing ensures that changes to one part of the code do not affect other aspects of the software code’s functionality.

4. Acceptance Testing: this type of testing is usually carried out by the client or customer to test the performance of the software in real-time business scenarios. Moreover, businesses only finalize it, when all the features and functionalities work as expected. SQA specialists consider this the final stage of software testing, after which the software goes into production.


Types of Non-Functional Testing

Similar to functional testing, there are several types of non-functional software testing, such as:

1. Security Testing: A specialized security team usually conducts security testing. It aims to check how the software, application, or website is secure against internal or external cyber-attacks.

It also checks how the software responds to potential hacker attacks and viruses. In addition to that, it looks at how the software is maintained for data security in the event of a hacker attack taking place.

2. Performance Testing: This type usually tests a software’s stability and response time when applying load. It basically examines the ability of software to tolerate the presence of load, and how quickly it responds to users’ requests.

3. Usability Testing: This type of testing looks at the software from a user’s perspective such as the look and feel, accessibility, and user-friendliness of the software.

4. Compatibility Testing: This type tests how software runs in a different environment, web servers, hardware, and network environment. The objective of this test is to make sure that the software can run on a different configuration, databases, browsers, and their various versions.


Software Quality Assurance Methods

  1. White box testing is a popular testing technique, where the internal structure or code of a software is visible to the tester. Therefore, it is easy to find errors in the design or business logic of software.
  2. Black box testing is a software testing technique, that is performed without any knowledge of the internal structure, design, or code of a software system. Testers focus only on the input and output of the test.
  3. Gray box testing is a common testing technique, that utilizes a combination of white box testing and black box testing. It is called gray box testing because testers have partial knowledge of the internal structure of the software (such as the database).


Software Quality Assurance Benefits

Now that you know the basics of software quality assurance, you certainly realize that regardless of the size of your business, following quality assurance procedures is critical to delivering top-quality software products.

The following is a list of reasons, why you should invest in implementing software quality assurance practices, in your software development life cycle:

Software quality assurance is a cost-effective investment

If your company releases malfunctioning software, you must follow up with software fixes, patches, and in some cases major upgrades. At later stages, error handling comes at a higher cost.

It increases customer trust and loyalty

Having a reputation for releasing high-quality and reliable software is an important success factor. It is one of the main elements behind making customers choose you over the competition. This is especially noticeable in industries that rely heavily on computer systems and software, such as aircraft control.

It improves the software’s overall safety and reliability

The prevalence of cybersecurity attacks in today’s world makes software product safety a priority. If your software exposes your customers to data leaks, the consequences can be catastrophic for your business reputation.

It lowers the cost of software maintenance

If you get the software release right from the start, you will be a step closer to solidifying your reputation as a top-notch software service provider. On the other hand, if you continue to release software with recurring problems, you will be stuck in a costly, time-consuming, and endless cycle of bug fixes, patches, and upgrades.

It safeguards your software against system failures

As you probably know, software errors are costly, time-consuming, and deny customers access to the product or service. Implementing software quality assurance practices helps prevent system failures. Through early software testing, problems are solved early in the software development life cycle, way before it gets in the hands of consumers.


Wrap it Up

You cannot release profitable and reliable software by saving money on dismissing software quality assurance. On the contrary, it is a cost-effective procedure. It saves money, time, and effort by preventing the deployment of defective software.

If you have an in-house software development team, the best decision is to implement a software quality assurance process as early as possible.

However, if you are getting outside help, we encourage you to hire a software development partner. A partner who takes software quality assurance best practices into account in their software development services.