Scenario testing is a software testing activity that uses scenarios: hypothetical stories to help the tester work through a complex problem or test system. The ideal scenario test is a credible, complex, compelling or motivating story the outcome of which is easy to evaluate. These tests are usually different from test cases in that test cases are single steps whereas scenarios cover a number of steps.
Kaner coined the phrase scenario test by October 2003. He had already co-authored a book on software testing, lectured on the subject, and was a testing consultant. He commented that one of the most difficult aspects of testing was maintaining step-by-step test cases along with their expected results. His paper attempted to find a way to reduce the re-work of complicated written tests and incorporate the ease of use cases.
A few months later, Buwalda wrote about a similar approach he had been using that he called "soap opera testing". Like television soap operas these tests were both exaggerated in activity and condensed in time. The key to both approaches was to avoid step-by-step testing instructions with expected results and instead replaced them with a narrative that gave freedom to the tester while confining the scope of the test.
In this method only those sets of realistic, user activities that cover several components in the system are used as scenario tests. Development of system scenario can be done using:
- Story lines
- State transitions
- Business verticals
- Implementation story from customers
Use-case and role-based scenarios
- "An Introduction to Scenario Testing". Cem Kaner. Retrieved 2009-05-07.
- Buwalda, Hans (2004). "Soap Opera Testing". Better Software (Software Quality Engineering) (February 2004): 30–7. Retrieved 2011-11-16.
- Crispin, Lisa; Gregory, Janet (2009). Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams. Addison-Wesley. pp. 192–5. ISBN 81-317-3068-9.
- Gopalaswamy, Srinivasan Desikan. Software Testing:Principles and Practice.
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