Test Suite

In software development, a test suite, less commonly known as a validation suite, is a collection of test cases that are intended to be used to test a software program to show that it has some specified set of behaviours. A test suite often contains detailed instructions or goals for each collection of test cases and information on the system configuration to be used during testing. A group of test cases may also contain prerequisite states or steps, and descriptions of the following tests.

Collections of test cases are sometimes incorrectly termed a test plan, a test script, or even a test scenario.


Occasionally, test suites are used to group similar test cases together. A system might have a smoke test suite that consists only of smoke tests or a test suite for some specific functionality in the system. It may also contain all tests and signify if a test should be used as a smoke test or for some specific functionality.

In Model-based testing, one distinguishes between abstract test suites, which are collections of abstract test cases derived from a high-level model of the system under test and executable test suites, which are derived from abstract test suites by providing the concrete, lower-level details needed execute this suite by a program

[1]. An abstract test suite cannot be directly used on the actual system under test (SUT) because abstract test cases remain at a high abstraction level and lack concrete details about the SUT and its environment. An executable test suite works on a sufficiently detailed level to correctly communicate with the SUT and a test harness is usually present to interface the executable test suite with the SUT.

A test suite for a primality testing subroutine might consist of a list of numbers and their primality (prime or composite), along with a testing subroutine. The testing subroutine would supply each number in the list to the primality tester, and verify that the result of each test is correct

Scenario testing

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.[1] These tests are usually different from test cases in that test cases are single steps whereas scenarios cover a number of steps.

Software testing

Software testing is an investigation conducted to provide stakeholders with information about the quality of the product or service under test. Software testing can also provide an objective, independent view of the software to allow the business to appreciate and understand the risks of software implementation. Test techniques include, but are not limited to, the process of executing a program or application with the intent of finding software bugs (errors or other defects).

Software testing can be stated as the process of validating and verifying that a computer program/application/product:

  • meets the requirements that guided its design and development,
  • works as expected,
  • can be implemented with the same characteristics,
  • and satisfies the needs of stakeholders.

Software testing, depending on the testing method employed, can be implemented at any time in the development process. Traditionally most of the test effort occurs after the requirements have been defined and the coding process has been completed, but in the Agile approaches most of the test effort is on-going. As such, the methodology of the test is governed by the chosen software development methodology.

Different software development models will focus the test effort at different points in the development process. Newer development models, such as Agile, often employ test-driven development and place an increased portion of the testing in the hands of the developer, before it reaches a formal team of testers. In a more traditional model, most of the test execution occurs after the requirements have been defined and the coding process has been completed.

Test Case

A test case in software engineering is a set of conditions or variables under which a tester will determine whether an application or software system is working correctly or not. The mechanism for determining whether a software program or system has passed or failed such a test is known as a test oracle. In some settings, an oracle could be a requirement or use case, while in others it could be a heuristic. It may take many test cases to determine that a software program or system is considered sufficiently scrutinized to be released. Test cases are often referred to as test scripts, particularly when written. Written test cases are usually collected into test suites.