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Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Gray-Box Testing

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Prerita Agarwal
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23 Jul, 2024 @ 01:30 PM

Introduction

Gray Box Testing combines Black Box Testing and White Box Testing methods. In black-box testing, the tester is not aware of internal code structures, while in white-box testing, the tester is aware of internal code structures. Meanwhile, Gray Box Testing is conducted using a tester who knows the application's internals. We'll examine it in more detail below.

What is Grey Box Testing?

Testing using a gray box is a method of debugging software and evaluating vulnerabilities. The tester has limited knowledge of the component being tested in this method. On the other hand, white box testing requires the tester to have complete internal knowledge, as opposed to black-box testing, in which the tester does not know the internals.

Testers are typically unfamiliar with how components interact in these tests, but they know the components within an application. In this way, the testing reflects the experiences of attackers and actual users.

The most effective gray box testing is used to evaluate web applications, integrate testing, test distributed environments, test business domains, and perform security assessments. To avoid results being influenced by internal knowledge, make sure testers and developers are clearly distinguished during this testing.
 

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Why Gray Box Testing?

By combining functional and non-functional testing into one process, Gray box testing aims to improve the quality of the product by saving time and reducing the length of testing the software.

  • By using user-centered testing, designers can test the application from the user's perspective instead of just their own
  • It helps to improve the overall quality of the product at a lower cost
  • By doing this, developers have more time to fix bugs.
  • It combines the advantages of black box and white box testing.

 

For example:

A gray box tester who knows how to access and analyze the error code table and the information cause can analyze and explore error causes in detail. Suppose a page gets an error code of "Page not found error 404," and the reason is listed in a table as "server error."

Testers can analyze the issue to provide details to the developer rather than just raising it.

How to do Gray Box Testing?

Gray box testing does not require the tester to design test cases. Test cases consist of an algorithm that evaluates internal states, program behavior, and application architecture. Testers perform these tests and interpret the results. 

The following are the steps you take when performing gray box testing:

  1. Select Input: Identify and select Inputs from white and black box testing methods.
  2. Output: Identify probable outputs from these inputs.
  3. Key Paths: Identify key paths for the testing phase.
  4. Subfunctions: Identify sub-functions for deep-level testing.
  5. Subfunction Input: Identify inputs for sub-functions.
  6. Subfunction Output: Identify probable outputs from sub-functions.
  7. Subfunction Execution: Execute sub-function test cases.
  8. Subfunction execution and verification: Assess and verify outcomes.
  9. Repeat steps 4-8 for other subfunctions
  10. Repeat steps 7 and 8 for other subfunctions

Techniques For Grey Box Testing

Matrix Testing

In a matrix, all variables used in a program are listed. Software developers create all the variables in a program and their related technical and business risks utilizing this technique; the variables which are not being used in the program can be identified and removed, which, in turn, increases software performance.

Regression Testing

By doing this, a new change or fix done to the software is guaranteed not to impact existing functionality. After the software has been modified or a defect has been fixed, a regression test is performed. 

Orthogonal Array Testing

In testing complex functionalities or applications, this technique is more appropriate when multiple combinations of test cases with large data sets are required for maximum code coverage and a minimum number of test cases.

Pattern Testing

Test patterns are generated based on previous defects found in the software. It is crucial to analyze defect records for the causes of defects and write test cases keeping the defects and their reasons in mind so that any potential defects are found before the software is launched.

Challenges while doing Gray Box Testing

Gray box testing is becoming more and more popular; however, companies face a few challenges that keep them from fully utilizing the technology.

  • Testing may pass, but the results displayed may be incorrect in some cases. Gray box testing cannot handle such cases.
  • It would be difficult to determine the cause of a crash if a test module crashes while being tested.
  • Testers are likely unaware of some critical vulnerabilities in the software since they don't have access to the source code.
  • Whenever there are many input combinations and paths involved, it may take a long time to check them all.

Advantages And Disadvantages of Gray Box Testing

Advantages

  • Testers and developers have clear objectives, making the testing process more straightforward.
  • Testing from a user's perspective can improve the overall quality of products.
  • Testers don't need to be programmers.
  • Defects can be fixed faster using testing methods.
  • Black and white box testing can both be performed with it.
  • Testers and developers will have fewer disagreements.

 

Disadvantages

  • It is difficult to determine whether a particular module contains defects only by looking at a small part of the system.
  • They do not know the paths traversed because they have only limited access to the code. As a result, coverage may be reduced.
  • Gray box testing can be challenging when designing test cases
  • Algorithm testing cannot be done with it
  • It is impossible to derive satisfaction from either white box or black-box testing.

Recommended Topic, Locators in Selenium

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is the purpose of Gray Box Testing?

Ans1. The term Translucent Testing is also known as Gray Box Testing. Usually, this type of testing is conducted on web-based applications. This software testing technique's integration, penetration, and domain testing aspects are beneficial.
 

Q2. How can Gray Box testing benefit web and internet applications?

Ans2. Due to the nature of the Internet, loosely interconnected components are connected via relatively well-defined interfaces. The process takes into account the environment, design, and interoperability conditions. It demonstrates end-to-end information flow, software configuration, and compatibility issues across distributed systems.

Gray Box Testing uncovers these context-specific errors in web-based systems.

 

Q3. Who performs Gray Box Testing?

Ans3. You can combine the most effective aspects of black box and white box testing using grey box testing to achieve a better result. The end-user and the developer both perform gray box testing with limited knowledge of the source code of an application. Automated or manual gray box testing is available.

 

Q4. Which tools are commonly used for gray box Testing?

Ans. Here are some tools used to do Gray Box Testing:

  • Selenium
  • Chrome Dev Tools
  • Burp Suite
  • Appium
  • Postman

Key-Takeaways

This concludes our introduction to gray box testing! It is an approach you can use to manage a project. When working on your next project, you might want to consider this approach and see how you can apply it.

Gray Box testing comes with less effort and can uncover costs and significant vulnerabilities.

Topics covered
1.
Introduction
2.
What is Grey Box Testing?
3.
Why Gray Box Testing?
4.
How to do Gray Box Testing?
5.
Techniques For Grey Box Testing
5.1.
Matrix Testing
5.2.
Regression Testing
5.3.
Orthogonal Array Testing
5.4.
Pattern Testing
6.
Challenges while doing Gray Box Testing
7.
Advantages And Disadvantages of Gray Box Testing
7.1.
Advantages
7.2.
Disadvantages
8.
Frequently Asked Questions
9.
Key-Takeaways