Static Testing – All That You Need To Know

Static Testing – All That You Need To Know

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Updated on Dec 27, 2022 17:42 IST

There are two types of software testing: Static Testing and Dynamic Testing. The main difference between static and dynamic testing is that static testing does not require executing the actual software/application. In contrast, dynamic testing requires you to execute the software to find bugs or defects.

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In this article, we will explore Static Testing in detail. Before we dive deeper into this type of testing, let’s go over the list of topics listed under the table of contents (TOC) that we will cover in this article.

Table of Contents (TOC)

What is Static Testing? 

Static Testing Definition: Static Testing is a software testing technique in which testing is carried out using associated documents, such as design documents, user documents, webpage content, etc., but the application’s code is not executed.

In layman’s terms, static testing allows you to check for bugs or defects in the application without running the application’s code. Static testing allows developers or testers to find bugs or defects early in the software development life cycle, saving time, effort, and money.

Testers or sometimes even developers use this type of testing in order to check various things, such as:

  • Use cases
  • Test cases
  • Web page content
  • User documents
  • Design documents
  • Functional requirements, etc.

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Types of Static Testing 

Static testing can be divided into two major processes/techniques: review and static analysis. Both of these processes are further subdivided, as illustrated in the image below:

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Let’s start exploring the Review process first.

Review

Definition: In the review process or technique, testers test the design of the software supporting documents, such as software requirements specifications, in order to find potential defects. Testers review the documents and look for errors, duplications, and ambiguities (grey areas).

The review process can be further divided into four types: Informal, Walkthrough, Peer review, and Inspection. Let’s go through each one of them.

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  • Informal: In this type of review, the maker of the documents presents the data or the contents to the audience, and everyone gives their perspective, allowing defects to be identified early on.
  • Walkthrough: In this type of review, an expert or experienced person check the software for defects.
  • Peer review: In this type of review, a team of colleagues checks documents of one another to detect and fix defects. 
  • Inspection: In this type of review, a higher authority verifies the documents.

Static Analysis

Definition: In the static analysis process or technique, testers evaluate the code quality written by the developers.

In this process, testers might use various tools in order to check the quality of code or find code-related errors, such as:

  • Code having infinite loops.
  • Use of the wrong syntax in the code
  • Code having variables with undefined values, etc

The static analysis process can be further divided into three types: Data Flow, Control Flow, and Cyclomatic Complexity. Let’s go through each one of them.

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  • Data Flow: In static analysis, data flow is connected to the stream processing. (Dataflow focuses on the points where variables receive values and where these values are used.)
  • Control Flow: In static analysis, control flow defines or depicts how the statements or instructions are implemented or executed.
  • Cyclomatic Complexity: In this type of testing, cyclomatic complexity measures the application’s complexity. It specifies how many separate (independent) paths in the control flow graph have been generated in order to design a minimum number of test cases for each independent path.

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Main Objectives of Static testing 

Now that you are aware of what static testing is and its types let’s explore some of the main objectives behind performing this type of software testing. So. here are some of the main objectives:

  • To improve development productivity.
  • In order to recognize, predict, and fix issues, if any.
  • To decrease the number of defects in the software or application.
  • To saves effort, time, and money by identifying the defects at the earliest possible time.
  • In order to identify defects in the early stage of the software development life cycle that can be easily fixed.

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Static Testing Tools

Even though the actual application or application code is not executed, various testing tools are used to find defects in the code. These testing tools aid developers and testers by saving them time and effort. Some of the most popular static testing tools are as follows:

SourceMeter: This is a cutting-edge tool for performing precise static source code analysis on C, C#, C++, Java, Python, and RPG projects. This tool allows you to find the weak points of an application using only the source code without having to simulate live environments.

Checkstyle: This development tool assists programmers in writing Java code that follows a coding standard. It automates the Java code-checking process and can check numerous aspects of the source code, such as class design issues, method design issues, layout and formatting issues, and so on.

SonarQube: This is an open-source package with both free and paid versions for continuzous code quality inspection and fully automated reviews that runs on Docker on Windows, macOS, Linux, and Azure. This tool also allows you to detect errors and perform security testing.

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Advantages of Static Testing

Some of the advantages of this type of testing are:

  • Reduces time scales for development
  • Allows to detect and correct defects in the code
  • Increases the amount of communication between different teams
  • Gives developers a better understanding of the software’s quality issues
  • Improves the functionality of the application by incorporating the feedback given in the Review
  • Reduces the cost that an organization might have to bear in order to resolve the coding errors or defects at the later stage of the software development life cycle

Disadvantages of Static Testing

Some of the disadvantages of this type of testing are:

  • Requires a lot of documentation
  • Some static testing tools do not support all programming languages.
  • Individuals or teams involved must attend multiple meetings and evaluations in order to discuss the application and, if necessary, resolve any defects discovered.

Conclusion

Static testing is a type of test that does not use a live application. This type of software testing enables you to detect and correct errors earlier in the development process, resulting in fewer issues later on. As a result, it is an excellent way to boost the quality and efficiency of application development.

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