Software testing is a part of software quality assurance. Software quality assurance is the final step before delivering the product to the customer and it is a must for customer satisfaction. Software quality assurance focuses on eliminating bugs, improving application security, improving performance and performance tuning, finding the minimum hardware requirements and protecting data.
Data loss and unauthorized access or compromised data causes millions of dollars worth of losses every year. A well planned software quality assurance practice is focused on releasing bug free software for its users.
The common misconception regarding software quality assurance is that it takes place after development. QA must be included during product development based upon agreed standards and standard operating procedure.
Software quality assurance is a systematic process very similar to the product development life cycle. Development and testing cycles must be defined with agreed upon standard operating procedures such as process monitoring, project management and product evaluation. The following must be defined to ensure top quality QA.
- Requirement specification/scope of work analysis
- Architecture analysis
- Design analysis
- Code and business logic analysis
- Configuration testing
- Version management and version control
Software quality assurance (SQA) is responsible for maintaining the highest level of software quality. The two main areas of focus are Functional Quality Assurance and Structural Quality Assurance.
In functional quality assurance, professionals check the functional requirements with SOW (Scope of Work) documents and ensure the basic functionality and business logic works as designed. Structural quality assurance involves other non-functional aspects such as usability, accessibility and security of the software in addition to adherence to architectural specifications. During this process, the source code, coding standards and internal structure are tested.
In recent years, companies have adopted a balance of software development and software quality assurance processes. Software development companies have their own quality testing process. However, they usually outsource the software quality assurance assignments to other companies. Specialized companies are more efficient than traditional developers in finding bugs and other important quality assurance aspects.
Finally, software quality assurance is a crucial factor in software development no matter whether it is a medium or large application. It is a best practice for any white label, commercial or customized software solution. Software quality assurance helps to mitigate the risks involved with incorrect business logic, possible system failures, bugs, security issues and data loss.