Selecting data based on requirements

Data selection is the first step down the road of data-driven testing. You'll need to select the data that either drives the navigation of your application, represents the data that gets entered into your application, or both. One way to select data for testing is to select based on requirements.

When you select data that will allow you to test a requirement, or a set of requirements, look for data that will allow you to exercise feature sets, capabilities, and security features in your application:

  • If your application has different roles, what data would you need to exercise each role?

  • What features do you want to include in your test coverage and what data do you require to use them?

In addition, consider what impact the various target deployment environments will have on the elements to be tested. Your list of selected data should include data for both the application under test and the target environment(s). What data will you need to test the following?

  • Hardware devices

  • Device drivers

  • Operating systems

  • Network and communications software

  • Third-party base software components (for example, e-mail software, Internet browsers)

  • Various configurations and settings related to the possible combinations of all these elements

  • Internationalization