In the present scenario, delivering a quality software product to the customer has become challenging due to the complexity of the code. In the conventional method, test suites include test cases that have been derived from all combination of input values and pre-conditions. As a result, n number of test cases has to be covered. But in a real scenario, the testers won’t have the leisure to execute all the test cases to uncover the defects as there are other processes such as documentations, suggestions, and feedbacks from the customer that has to be taken into account while in the testing phase. Hence, the test managers wanted to optimize the number and quality of the test cases to ensure maximum test coverage with minimum effort. This effort is called Test Case Optimization.

Let us now see how Test Case Optimization can be achieved by OAT (Orthogonal Array Testing).


What is OAT (Orthogonal Array Testing)?

Orthogonal Array Testing strategy is one of the Test Case Optimization techniques. Orthogonal Testing is a black box testing – test cases optimization technique used when the system to be tested has huge data inputs.

For example, when a train ticket has to be verified, the factors such as – the number of passengers, ticket number, seat numbers and the train numbers has to be tested, which becomes difficult when a tester verifies input one by one. Hence, it will be more efficient when he combines more inputs together and does testing. Here, we can use the Orthogonal Array testing method. This type of pairing or combining of inputs and testing the system to save time is called Pairwise testing. OATS technique is used for pairwise testing.


Why OAT (Orthogonal Array Testing)?

OAT is responsible for the following points:

  1. Systematic and Statistical way to test pairwise interactions
  2. Interactions and Integration points are a major source of defects.
  3. Execute a well-defined, concise of test cases that are likely to uncover most (not all) bugs.
  4. Orthogonal approach guarantees the pairwise coverage of all variables.


OAT Advantages

  • It guarantees testing of the pair-wise combinations of all the selected variables.
  • It reduces the number of test cases
  • It creates fewer Test cases which cover testing of all the combination of all variables.
  • It is a complex combination of the variables can be done.
  • It is simpler to generate and less error prone than test sets created by hand.
  • It is useful for integration testing.
  • It improves productivity due to reduced test cycles and testing times.


Mistakes or errors while performing OAT

  • The testing effort should not be focused on the wrong area of the application.
  • Avoid picking the wrong parameters to combine
  • Avoid using Orthogonal Array Testing for minimal testing efforts.
  • Applying Orthogonal Array Testing manually
  • Applying Orthogonal Array Testing for high-risked applications

Hence, we have seen here how OAT (Orthogonal Array Testing) can be used to reduce the testing efforts and how test case optimization can be achieved.


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