Getting a service or product into the market is a complex process. Yet, many tools are available to help launch your software product and ensure its success. One of those tools is Quality Assurance (QA). We'll start this article by going over the concept of Quality Assurance. We'll then detail the types that come into play throughout software development. From functionality and compatibility to performance and usability, let's dig in!
What is Quality Assurance?
Quality Assurance (QA) is the process of assessing a product or service. Here, the quality of the process gets checked across all stages. These phases enclose design, development, and production. QA aims to ensure services or products meet the standard quality requirements. Moreover, Quality Assurance covers a variety of activities and practices. These include quality audits, tool identification and selection, and process checklists. QA revolves around improving processes, methods, and activities in software development.
Quality Assurance vs. Quality Control
Quality Control (QC) occurs at the production process's end. Further, it focuses solely on the end product. QC ensures a product or service meets customer requirements and specifications. Meanwhile, Quality Assurance takes part throughout the product or service's lifecycle. The focus is on processes that lead to the end product rather than the result. In sum, Quality Control could be a subset of Quality Assurance.
Quality Assurance vs. Software Testing
Software Testing is a field within Quality Control itself. This process focuses on assessing a product to ensure it does what it's supposed to. This edge matches the product's quality with the client's expectations. As we said, Quality Assurance covers the entire process. So, QA ensures the following of essential procedures on the whole lifecycle. In this scenario, Software Testing is a tiny part of it.
What are the Types of Quality Assurance?
Now we know what we're dealing with. So, we'll review the myriad of types of Quality Assurance. At this point, it's worth noting that the ISO/IEC Standard 9126-1:2001 governs Software Quality. Further, it details the six main QA areas. These are usability, functionality, efficiency, reliability, maintainability, and portability. We'll discuss these below and give you some bonus types as well.
1. Functionality Quality Assurance
In software functionality, QA checks the appropriate development of the product's functionalities. Yet, functionalities should also be adequate for the intended purpose. Other assessments are the software's data handling and compliance with relevant regulations.
2. Usability Quality Assurance
Usability is crucial in any software product's User Experience (UX). It's imperative to focus on usability from the get-go. In the end, fixing any issues will be easier and cheaper if you catch them early. You can solve problems before launch by focusing on usability throughout software procedures. Furthermore, you can get efficient feedback from the target audience. The top edges in usability are ease of learning, user satisfaction, and efficiency to use. The list includes how long it takes and how easy it is for users to learn how to use a software, app, or website.
3. Efficiency Quality Assurance
In QA, the efficiency measurement compares performance to its resource number. Here, Quality Assurance covers compliance with specifications and standards. Other essential elements are the use of resources and the timing of tasks. Within Efficiency QA, there's also Performance QA. On performance terms, QA checks that software features don't collide with each other. Besides, Performance QA includes verifying the website or app responsiveness. It also tracks the most considerable possible user load it can handle. Last but not least, it measures the software's chances to remain consistent in case of changes. The types of tests that come into play are stress and load tests.
4. Reliability Quality Assurance
A system passes Reliability tests if it keeps working under specific use conditions. Thus, to test it, you should precisely know the use of a particular piece from the start of the process. Tests enclose feature testing, load testing, and regression testing.
5. Portability Quality Assurance
This edge entails the software's use in different hardware environments or tech stacks. There are different types of portability, such as source code and data portability. Portability is of particular importance when trying to reach a wider audience. It's also crucial to ensure behavior stability across platforms.
6. Maintainability Quality Assurance
Maintainability QA focuses on the quality of maintenance processes. It covers four main areas:
● Modification when Detecting Errors (corrective maintenance)
● Modification when Requirements Change (perfective maintenance)
● Adapting to a Changing Environment (adaptive maintenance)
● Reducing Future Costs (preventive maintenance)
Looking at how stable the software is when making modifications can help. Different attributes here are modularity, reusability, analyzability, modifiability, and testability. Yes, some of these terms look made up. We promise they are not!
7. Compatibility Quality Assurance
There are many QA aspects to consider with compatibility. Your software must be compatible with its hardware and operating system. Yet also should consider web browsers, devices, and screen resolutions. The emphasis conveys tools like USB ports, scanners, and Bluetooth.
8. Security Quality Assurance
Your software should prevent unauthorized access, information loss, and virus infection. Plus, it should also strive to protect user privacy. These measures are why security should be part of the Quality Assurance process.
APIs Quality Assurance
With APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), proper QA ensures they work as intended. QA helps detect defects early and reduces the deployment effort. This field is noteworthy, given that APIs are the backbone of application architecture. What does one look for when running Quality Assurance for APIs? Among other tasks verifying the HTTP status code, response payload, and response headers. There are different types of testing when it comes to APIs. Some enclose unit testing, integration testing, security testing, and performance testing.
The different types of Quality Assurance are crucial in building an excellent product. Plus, keeping all aspects of the development process in mind is fundamental. This focus will help the product follow current regulations and thrive in the market. We hope this article has provided you with a comprehensive list of all types of QA!