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Difference between various Specifications Documents-For Test Design and Test Cases and Test Procedures
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Difference between various Specifications Documents-For Test Design and Test Cases and Test Procedures

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Difference between various Specifications Documents – For Test Design, Test Cases & Test Procedures

IEEE 829 standard prescribes many specifications related documents. Three such documents are

1) Test Design Specifications
2) Test Case Specifications
3) Test Procedure Specifications

Let us go a bit deeper into the salient features of each of these documents being crucially important in any testing effort.

1) Test Design Specifications:
The objective of compiling test design specifications is to identify set of features or a combination of features to be tested and to identify the group of test cases that will adequately test those features. In addition to these it contains all types of refinements done to the approach described in the test plan.

The test design specification consists of following essential parts:

1) Test design specification identifier:

size=2> A unique identifier is to be allocated so that the test design specification document can be distinguished from all other documents.

2) Features to be tested: It describes the test items and the features that are the object of this test design specification.

3) Approach refinements: It describes the test techniques to be adopted for this test design.

4) Test identification: It describes a comprehensive list of test cases associated with this test design. It provides a unique identifier and a short description for every test case.

5) Acceptance criteria: It describes the criteria to confirm as to whether each feature has passed or failed during testing.

2) Test Case Specifications:
The objective of compiling the test case specifications is to specify in detail each test case listed in the test design specification.

The test case specification consists of following essential parts:

1) Test case specification identifier: A unique identifier so that this document can be distinguished from all other documents.

2) Test items: Identifies the items and features to be tested by the particular test case.

3) Input specifications: It describes details of each & every input required by the particular test case.

4) Output specifications: It describes each output expected after executing the particular test case.

5) Environmental needs: It describes any special hardware, software, facilities, etc. required for the execution of the particular test case that were not listed in its associated test design specification.

6) Special procedural requirements: It describes any special setup, execution, or cleanup procedures unique to the particular test case.

7) Inter-case dependencies: It describes a comprehensive list of all test cases that must be executed prior to the particular test case.


3) Test Procedure Specifications:
The objective of compiling the test procedure specification is to specify the steps for executing a test case and the process for determining whether the software passed or failed the test.

The test procedure specification consists of following essential parts:

1) Test procedure specification identifier: A unique identifier is to be allocated so that the test procedure specification document can be distinguished from all other documents.

2) Objective:
It describes the objective of the test procedure and its corresponding test cases.

3) Special requirements: It describes a comprehensive list of all special requirements for the execution of the particular test procedure.

4) Procedure steps: It describes a comprehensive list of all steps of the procedure.

Possible steps may consist of the following:

# Set up
# Start
# Proceed
# Measure
# Shut Down
# Restart
# Stop & finally
# Wind up

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