As we all know, the purpose of software testing is to verify and validate specified requirements by checking that they work as expected or not. A software tester should work with a sense of mission to identify bugs in the application under test, so they can eventually confirm that the application performs appropriately. To do this effectively, various testing techniques and types are used, one of which is Happy Path Testing.
Happy Path Testing: A basic description
Happy path testing is used to test the application through a positive flow to generate a default output. This is generally the first form of testing to be performed on an application and it comes under the category of positive testing. In happy path testing, the focus is on running carefully scripted test scenarios, which should be the same as an end-user would perform when they use the application in a regular way. The purpose is not to “break” the functionality, but to see a product or procedure work as it has been designed to. In other words, happy path testing is performed within the boundaries of the application to check that the functionality is complying with what the real user wants to achieve. For example, consider a scenario for a login screen.
To contact a support agent at TestLodge, it is mandatory for a registered user to sign in.
This regularly seen scenario asks the user to enter the email address they signed up with, along with their personal password, then click the sign-in button to proceed. When the user provides the correct credentials, they should be navigated to the next screen for further actions. In this context, our focus is only on the valid inputs required to generate expected outputs without any exception.
When is Happy Path Testing used?
Happy path testing is done when an application has been deployed to the testing environment. It is usually the first form of testing to be performed, with other forms of testing being executed once the happy path scenarios have been established. This will allow testers to know the basic standards of what the application is meant to do, before more rigorous testing takes place. It is not the purpose of happy path testing to try to “trip up” the application. Once the build has been deployed and is ready for full testing, it can then go through a combination phases such as smoke testing, build verification testing, narrow regression testing (sanity testing), etc.
Advantages of Happy Path Testing
- Because it is the first step in the testing process, it’s easier to determine the application’s stability before starting further levels of testing.
- Happy path testing concerns positive flows only. If the test fails, it means that basic functionality is not performing as expected and an alternate course of action is required to continue with the testing.
- This approach support testers by identifying any problems at an early stage, so saving them later effort.
Happy path testing is a good indicator for determining the stability of an application at the beginning of the testing process, but it does not guarantee the product’s quality because the process only uses positive test scenarios at this stage, so has less coverage. Also, the tester cannot find out how the application would behave in unexpected situations. For example, consider the sign-in form as previously discussed. Multiple test scenarios could be feasible, but the probable ones are as follows:
Scenario 1: Enter valid credentials (email & password) and click the sign-in button.
Result: User should be navigated to the home page.
Scenario 2: Enter invalid credentials (email & password) and click the sign-in button.
Result: A validation error appears which will inform the user about inputting invalid credentials.
Further scenarios can be created, but for the sake of simplicity, we are using just the two above. Among all possible scenarios, only Scenario 1 comes under the happy path testing.
All the many types of testing have just one objective, i.e. to deliver bug-free application by identifying as many bugs as possible. Happy path testing is executed to verify that the application is working according to the specified requirements by providing valid test data.