Comparison Testing – Comparing the Software with Other Products
In simple words, comparison testing is a type of testing, where testers compare a software product’s strengths and weaknesses with other software that are currently available in the market. Comparison test is a very good indicator of how competitive and useful the software product will be to the end users soon after its commercial release.
In fact, comparison test will let you know whether the software project is marketable or not. You can perform comparison testing to ensure that the software has a fair chance to be profitable; good software will provide an innovative competitive advantage over other software products.
Advantages of Comparison Testing
Comparison tests are the most useful tests that one can conduct to compare a particular software product with another one that is selling in the market today. It is very important that software developers look at the external environment, to find out whether their products and services can compete with other products or not. This opinion holds well in case of a software test too. The main goal of creating software product is to ensure its eventual profitability. Ultimately, customer will decide whether they will want to purchase the product or not.
By using comparison test, you can easily determine the perceived weakness and strengths of the software. This will also help you know all the important features of the product that need check before its commercial release to the market. Comparison testing will also help you understand the design structure of competing products and you can use them as a reliable benchmark for making future improvements and enhancements. Comparison testing is a useful process designed to make the product competitive enough to perform well in the market.
Disadvantages of Comparison Testing
The practical advantages of conducting comparison test are undeniable. However, some significant pitfalls make comparison testing process somewhat difficult to operate. Competitors and end users will come to know about any deficiencies or weakness of your product and this can work against it. It is very difficult to introduce any changes or modifications, as the software product would have passed through a majority of developmental stages right before the test.
If the product lacks some important features at the testing phase then introducing additional features becomes very difficult and tedious. It is always risky to modify a software product in smaller increments, as it may affect the functionality of the entire product. Hence, conducting all other tests like the black box testing, the white box testing, and integration testing makes sense.
Importance of Different Issues and Factors that Affect Testing
Before conducting comparison tests, you will need to consider several factors related to the testing procedure. One of the foremost important things to look into is the characteristics of the patterns. Preferably, you may need to evaluate them at the initial stage of the testing. This will allow you to determine whether the patterns comply with the standards that are set for the test. You may also need to consider other aspects of the tests like the relevance and completeness of the program, the compos-ability, the extensibility, the tradeoff, the alternatives, and even the evocative naming.
You should also note that the software under testing might not have a pattern overload, because of the possibilities of the entire software product becoming ineffective. You may also need to test the reconciliation of different aspects of the software, because they will need to work in a proper manner, so that it will provide the desired output. These issues will help in knowing how to conduct the comparison test in an effective manner.
While conducting a comparison test, testers may also need to look at the patterns’ current relevance and completeness. One of the most critical questions you will need to ask whether the pattern is relevant or not may include – “does the problem within the pattern lend relevance to the entire software application?” If the answer to this question is "No", then you will need to modify and improve the patterns.
In this context, you can also assess the competitor’s software to check, whether your software is better or not. Furthermore, you will also need to find out whether the pattern inside the software has the ability to solve the basic concerns of end users. If you find that the software can just solve a few numbers of problems, then you will need to identify the areas or sectors, where you can integrate additional features.
One of the important issue that you will need to look, when conducting compression test, is the identified relationships. You may also want to define the different roles and duties of each of the components of the system and its sub-system. By tackling these minor problems, you can easily seek desired solutions to them. The identified relationship is an important consideration during the development stage, because it would be difficult to modify anything, once the software development is completed with proper functionality.
Another issue under consideration is the compose-ability. Though this term relates to the music industry, you can apply it to software development too. The term compose-ability means how the entire set of patterns or codes will be able combine together with other codes in such a way that it would become easy to solve problems that are more complicated.
Like in music industry, you can face many limitations in front of you. For example, you may want to consider issues like maximized functionality and minimized limits. This will help you create the right ratio between the functionality and ease of use. It is possible to create software that has compose-ability, when you study different products that are available in the market today.
You will also need to evaluate and ascertain that your codes are indeed compose-able. In this regard, you can ask a question that relates to this aspect – “does this code become part of another code, to be able to solve a complicated problem?” If the answer to this question is YES, then your code has the characteristics of compose-ability. Compose-ability is a very important issue in software development, especially when you are conducting a comparison test. The competitor’s software may have this characteristic in its architecture, so users may find their software to be helpful. Thus, you may need to ensure that your software can easily compete with other competitive products.
Extensibility is yet another issue that plays an important role in the development of software. This issue relates very closely with the factor of compose-ability, because codes in the software also need to be used together with other codes to be able to solve a complex problem. Extensibility means that the software needs to have the element of parameterization that will enable it to be easily integrated into other codes. In addition, you should note that codes are usually implantable together with other patterns; it seldom happens that these codes are implemented individually.
Comparison test is one of the most important tests that can enhance the image of the software product. Comparison test should pass both alpha and beta testing stage. The product needs to have assigned functionality to allow the software developers to arrive at a precise conclusion. Comparison test acts as a benchmark tool to find out what you want to achieve from your product. With comparison test, you can introduce many features that eventually enhance the usability of the product.
However, if software has already reached the comparison test before some bugs and errors are found in the software, then one viable alternative is to recall each of the software altogether and prevent any damage to the systems of the end-users. Hence, you must conduct all tests in a proper manner and avoid problems during the comparison testing stage.
The main purpose of conducting a comparison test is to check, whether the software created is comparable to other products sold in the market. It will also let you find out if you need any improvements in your current software, so that you can introduce a new and fresh functionality in the upcoming and new edition, if necessary. In fact, comparison test is one of the best ways to know how significant the software you developed will be, once it is in the external environment.
Overall, comparison testing is a good testing method that will enable you to find out how your product will compete against all the other products that are available commercially. These kinds of tests will also give a significant advantage to the end-users, because they will be able to choose the best software that will fit their needs perfectly.