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Black Box Testing

Also known as functional testing. A software testing technique whereby the internal workings of the item being tested are not known by the tester. For example, in a black box test on a software design the tester only knows the inputs and what the expected outcomes should be and not how the program arrives at those outputs. The tester does not ever examine the programming codeand does not need any further knowledge of the program other than its specifications.

The advantages of this type of testing include:

  • The test is unbiased because the designer and the tester are independent of each other.
  • The tester does not need knowledge of any specific programming languages.
  • The test is done from the point of view of the user, not the designer.
  • Test cases can be designed as soon as the specifications are complete.

The disadvantages of this type of testing include:

  • The test can be redundant if the software designer has already run a test case.
  • The test cases are difficult to design.
  • Testing every possible input stream is unrealistic because it would take a inordinate amount of time; therefore, many program paths will go untested.

For a complete software examination, both white boxand black box tests are required.

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