Non-Functional Testing

Non-Functional Testing

Non-functional testing of a system evaluates characteristics of systems and software such as usability, performance efficiency or security. Refer to ISO standard (ISO/IEC 25010) for a classification of software product quality characteristics. Non-functional testing is the testing of “how well” the system behaves.
Contrary to common misconceptions, non-functional testing can and often should be performed at all test levels, and done as early as possible. The late discovery of non-functional defects can be extremely dangerous to the success of a project.
Black-box techniques may be used to derive test conditions and test cases for nonfunctional testing. For example, boundary value analysis can be used to define the stress conditions for performance tests.
The thoroughness of non-functional testing can be measured through non-functional coverage. Nonfunctional coverage is the extent to which some type of non-functional element has been exercised by tests, and is expressed as a percentage of the type(s) of element being covered. For example, using traceability between tests and supported devices for a mobile application, the percentage of devices which are addressed by compatibility testing can be calculated, potentially identifying coverage gaps.
Non-functional test design and execution may involve special skills or knowledge, such as knowledge of the inherent weaknesses of a design or technology (e.g., security vulnerabilities associated with particular programming languages) or the particular user base (e.g., the personas of users of healthcare facility management systems).