A Course in Black Box Software Testing

Examples of Specification-Based Testing

See lecture notes on specification-based testing.

Copyright (c) Cem Kaner, 2004


The specification-based tester checks the product's conformance with every statement in one or more reference documents. The documents might be formal specifications, user manuals, advertisements, or even third-party documents.

This course does not cover automated extraction of test ideas from specfications, nor the use of program comprehension tools. Instead, we assume the existence of a natural language specification that is analyzed by a human. The human does such tasks as:

The unifying feature of this work is that we start with the reference document and base our tests and testing strategy on what we read in the documents.

The following examples illustrate the use of specification-based tests.

Copyright (c) Cem Kaner 2004

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These notes are partially based on research that was supported by NSF Grant EIA-0113539 ITR/SY+PE: "Improving the Education of Software Testers." Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.