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The Mistaken Notions of Structural Testing

It is quite amazing to note how misunderstood structural testing is. Often (during the workshops that STAG conducts frequently) whenever the topic of ‘white box’ comes up, (the participants) typically full-time test professionals involved in testing the whole system, say that this is about testing the code by executing the various statements,branches or paths. The immediate conclusion is that this is to be only done by the developer and therefore does come under purview. When probed further they say “white box testing” is about doing coverage based testing.

Sadly, the phrase “white box testing” used is incorrect, it should be “white box test techniques”. That is, a set of techniques that use the structural properties of the system to evaluate behaviors. The premise is, the system could fail because of faults in the structural aspects of the system.

Read the full article below that was published in the September 2011 issue of Tea-Time with Testers ezine, that help to clarify the meaning of structure, the elements that constitute structure and what properties of the structure that we want to evaluate.

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