What is a syntactic test?
Performing a syntactic test can be a good way for software testers to test software. We explain below how that exactly works. We go into what are called test design techniques and where they come from. In the blog we place the focus on the syntactic test. What can you test with that? What is the purpose of this test design technique and how does it differ from semantic testing? You'll know after reading this article!
Techniques to test software
As a software tester, you can choose from a wide range of test design techniques. There are eleven in total. They have been around for a long time, but are still actively used by software testers today.
A test design technique is a standard way of testing software. The standardized method allows you to test software consistently. We deliberately say consistent, because with a fixed method you can test all software the same. Because you have a standard operating procedure, you can test all types of software the same way. That leads to consistent results. An example of such a test design technique is the semantic test.
What do you test with a semantic test?
With a semantic test you investigate the functionality of input and output data and business rules. For input data, think for example of entering your date of birth on an alcohol sales site. The data you enter is sent to a database. With the semantic test you can examine whether the software is okay. If the software is OK, you will not be able to access the website if your date of birth is less than 18 years before the current date. If an underage visitor does get access to the site, the semantic test, if done properly, will reveal this. Business-rules are restrictions on elements within a database. The fact that an entry field for your year of birth requires you to enter exactly four digits is an example of a business-rule.
The purpose of this test design technique
The purpose of a semantic test is to test the relationship between data. To use the example just given, the semantic test examines the relationship between the date of birth and today. If that is supposed to be 18 years, the semantic test tests whether this works well in practice.
Executing a semantic test
A semantic test consists of four steps. As a software tester, you want to perform the test as carefully as possible, especially if you specialize in the actual and accurate TMap method. With that reason, the four steps are shown below.
Step 1: Identification
In the first step, you identify the test situations. Often, the first step involves creating an ALS rule.
Step 2: Logical Setup
The second step involves making the identified rule understandable. You fill in clear variables.
Step 3: Physical Setup
Now it's time to turn the 'logical setup' into concrete test cases. If you have come up with '<18' as a comprehensible variable, you can choose '17' as a concrete test case.
Step 4: Establish initial situation
To run the test, you need an initial situation. The initial situation from which to test can be the same when running multiple tests.
When do you use a semantic technique?
Chances are you have already deduced the answer to this question from the text above. Still, there's no harm in repeating it. You deploy a semantic test when you want to examine the relationship between input and output data and business rules for functionality. Software that makes full use of such data or contains business rules can be suitable for a semantic test.
Do you have the ambition to become a software tester or do you want to know more about it? Then taking an online course can help you develop into a professional. Check out our website for offerings and all kinds of information about software testing!