CyberSecurity

White Box Testing

What Is White Box Testing?

White Box testing is a testing process that analyzes a software program’s code and internal structure. White box testing is known by other names like clear glass testing, glass box testing, code box testing, straightforward box testing, and structural testing.

Its main purpose is to ensure a continuous flow of high-yield information. This would enhance configuration, usage would be convenient, the entry would be straightforward, and security will be ensured.

Overview

White Box Testing is one type of box testing that deals with programming and test projects. The other type is discovery testing. Discovery procedures are concerned with the end client and the opinion of the external client. At the same time, clear box testing explores the product’s internal components and focuses on internal testing.

Code-based testing has a transparent methodology which is why it is referred to as white box testing. It can view through the complicated external structure of the program into its internal components. In contrast, black box testing is concerned with the individual experience of the end client.

The Components Of White Box Testing

White box testing involves the verification of certain phenomena that can be called the components of this software testing technique. This transparent box testing is a type of box testing which is essential for error-free software.

It verifies the following in a software code:

  1. Internal security lapses and escape clauses.
  2. Discontinued pathways during coding.
  3. The advancement in additional benefits of the code.
  4. Anticipation of yields and return.
  5. The practicality of circles that are modified.
  6. Verification of solitary proclamations and capacities in the paths of software code.

Primary Objectives Of White Box Testing

Glass box testing is a type of box testing that can be utilized at different levels of code progression strategy. For instance, it can be used during incorporation, at the unit level, and level of framework formation.

A core objective of the straightforward box testing approach is to test the functioning of an application. Moreover, it involves the verification of selection and classification of preexisting contributions against a selection of normal yields. This indicates that if it doesn’t work or some parts have issues, there’s a glitch.

Types Of White Box Testing

White box testing can be classified as follows:

Mutation Testing

This type is mainly concerned with the internal components and structure of a code or software to identify an error or path that may negatively affect the functioning of the software. It is suitable for unforeseen collapses and glitches in the software system.

Unit Testing

This type of White Box Testing is meant for testing the components of an application. All the units of the application structure are tested via this method to check whether they are functioning up to the mark. It helps in the swift detection of faults while the development of software.

Integration Testing

This Coverage method combines solitary units of the source code to cover them as a combination. This integrated approach is meant to reveal any faults that can occur while the components of a software are interacting with each other.

White Box Penetration Testing

This testing strategy is meant for checking the effect of external errors on software. The software’s combination with outside factors and faults that can collapse the software’s system is tested by this method.

Static Code Analysis

Every line of code is checked by this method for faults and errors. After identifying basic faults in the software code, they can be rectified, and the faulty parts can be exchanged with the correct ones if they are not up to the mark.

Constraints Of White Box Testing Techniques

It might have some limitations for large systems as it cannot test every single path present in the software loops. Thus, it is impossible for white box testing to be suitable for exhaustive coverage in large systems.

Such limitations don’t render White box testing ineffective. It can practically be made effective by choosing paths that are logically important and have an appropriate data structure.

How Are White Box Testing Techniques Performed?

White box testing or glass box testing has been classified into the following two essential steps. The software testing individuals use the straightforward testing technique by following these steps.

  1. Comprehension Of The Source Code
  2. The source code of an application is the foremost entity to be comprehended and grasped well by the software testing individual.

    As it is mentioned that the glass box testing or the white box testing techniques verify the internal functioning of a code, program, or application, the tester needs to be well versed with the programming language used in the application.

    Safe coding practices leading to foolproof security are the next most important thing the software testing individual should know.

    The software testing team applying box testing techniques needs to identify security breaches and threats by applying box testing techniques. They should be capable enough to contribute to the prevention of security attacks against the injection of malware codes inside the application.

  3. Generation Of Test Cases And Their Application

The second most essential thing that needs to be done to perform white box testing is the trial of the program’s source code. This step is essential for data flow testing and analyzing the application’s structure. 

To use this method, the software testing individual must be aware of the code. It is mainly used by developers. Other testing methods are also available, namely the trial and error method, manual testing, and testing tools usage.

Functional Process Of White Box Testing

Input: The input includes Requisites, working specifications, blueprint documents, and source code.

Processing: Doing a risk study to guide the tester through the whole procedure.

Planning the test: Formulating test cases to serve the whole code. Then apply them till a point is reached where there is no error. The results should be known clearly by th3 testers.

Output: This test involves the preparation of a definitive report and a final document regarding the testing process

What Are The Main White Box Testing Techniques?

Code Coverage Analysis

It is a widely used White box testing technique. Code Coverage analysis bridges any gaps present in Test suites.

It recognizes regions of an application that the test suite cannot practice.

After identifying gaps, test cases are created to verify those parts of the code that have not undergone testing. This enhances the software’s caliber and raises its standard. Mechanized tools are available to carry out Code coverage analysis.

Code Coverage Analysis Techniques

Statement Coverage

According to this technique, all the statements in the code should be tested during the testing process, even if it’s just once. This is essential in the software development lifecycle.

Branch Coverage

 Under this technique, all paths that could possibly exist in software are analyzed and tested.

Compound Condition Coverage

This technique is suitable when multiple conditions are at hand. Each condition needs to be covered with more than one path. Here multiple paths are combined to get access to a particular condition.

Data Flow Testing (DFT)

In this technique, particular variables are tracked through estimate and calculation. In this way, it defines intermediate path sets through the code.

 Data flow testing highlights the dependent entities after a series of manipulation of data. In a nutshell, this technique tracks data variables and verifies their usage.

This technique, thus, reveals glitches like some variables that are used and not formatted or are announced but not utilized.

Path Testing

Path testing highlights and tests all the paths. It is done through the software code.

Loop Testing

This technique tests single loops, nested loops, and concatenated loops. This technique covers loops of independent and dependent codes and values.

All the techniques have their unique properties of coverage of a software code. Branch Coverage and Statement Coverage techniques provide enough coverage to all parts of the software code. That’s why they are more popular techniques of White box testing.

The Purpose Of White Box Testing

White Box Testing ensures that the independent paths are tested and executed even if it’s one time. It also enables logical conclusions and decisions to be verified based on their false and true values.

It causes the loops to execute on their functional limits and ensures the validity of the internal structures of data.

White box testing reveals different types of glitches in the software. Logical errors penetrate the design and implementation functions outside the program while working on them.

There can be a glitch when errors in the design arise due to the differences in the data flow of the software and its real application.

There can be faults typographically, and syntax errors can also arise.

White Box Testing Tools

The main White box testing tools are mentioned below:

  1. Veracode
  2. Veracode’s tools are economical and can identify and resolve errors in software swiftly on a budget. The languages of different applications that it supports include C++, NET, and JAVA programming language. Moreover, it is capable of testing the computer system’s security as well. In addition, it can also test the security of the network and Applications.

  3. EclEmma
  4. Eclemma is mainly used to test Java code and has many beneficial properties.

  5. RCUNIT
  6. This white box testing tool is mainly for the coverage of C programs. It is utilized according to the MIT license terms. This tool can be used for free.

  7. Cfix
  8. This White Box Testing tool is essentially meant for C/C++ language applications. Its purpose is to simplify testing suite formation. It is designed especially for Win32 and NT Kernel mode.

  9. Googletest
  10. This White box testing tool is Google’s framework that tests C++. Some testing properties of Googletest includes non-fatal and fatal failures, Death tests, Value parameterized tests, Discovery of Tests, and Generation of XML test report. Other features possessed by Google tests include Symbian, Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.

  11. EMMA
  12. It is a convenient White box testing tool that is used for testing JAVA.

  13. NUnit
  14. This coverage tool is an open-source coverage tool. No manual interference is required to assess the test results. All the NET languages are supported by it. The tests which are under the shell of NUnit are supported by it. Tests driven by data are also supported by it. NUnit 3 comes under the MIT license, allowing free use without boundaries.

  15. CppUnit
  16. CppUnit is a framework for testing in C++. It is rendered as the port for JUnit. The test result of CppUnit can either be in text format or XML format. It can also create unit tests and run them in testing suites. It has an LGPL license.

  17. JUnit
  18. This framework is relatively simpler. It is suitable for coverage in Java Programming language. It is favorable for Test Driven Development and reports Testing coverage as well. It has an Eclipse Public License.

  19. JsUnit

The testing framework acts as a port of JUnit to javascript. This testing unit is open source and is in favor of Javascript at the side of the client. It has GNU Public license 2.0, Mozilla Public License, and GNU Lesser Public License 2.1.

Differences And Similarities Between White Box Testing, Grey Box Testing And Black Box Testing?

Adequate information has been provided regarding White box testing already. So following is an elaboration of the black box testing and grey box testing that would help clarify the difference between them.

Black Box Testing

Black box testing, also known as discovery testing, is a method in which the testing individuals are unaware of the source code and the inner structure of the software. The testers thus don’t need to be well versed with the coding language of the application. 

The testing individuals just need to form a connection with the UI, test the presence of the UI in various circumstances, and make sure that the information and product requirements are conventional.

A free testing entity performs discovery testing from the client’s point of view. It intends to contribute to the advancement strategy of the software or code.

The testing body would provide data sources that are not valid and see the result against the conventional result. 

The unexpected results are taken into consideration and forwarded to product engineers to take important steps for improvement. This is essential because it can deal with errors and faults in the initial stages.

White Box Testing

In contrast to Black box testing, which is mainly concerned with the yield and productiveness of programming, the main purpose of White box testing is to examine the internal structure of the software. It is thus rendered as rationale-driven testing.

This method requires higher expertise in the field of software engineering and programming languages than black and grey box testing. The product’s components must be fully accessible in this type of box testing to test the structure thoroughly.

Owing to these properties, white box testing comprehends the internal structure of the software, analyzes how its different parts communicate with each other and rectifies the faults encountered during testing.

The results of this kind of testing can be recognized best at the unit testing level. It is mainly present as a testing technique for combination and relapse testing.

It recognizes any glitches that hinder the functioning of the code and then enables the analyzers to tackle them. 

It also adds additional design before making any additions to the code being tried. This approach minimizes any mistakes in the final stages of improving programming.

Grey Box Testing

Grey box testing is seen as the combination of the pros of black box testing and white box testing. It shuns the cons of both of the other types of box testing. It thus is a more balanced type of box testing. 

The grey box testing ensures that the other two techniques provide maximum coverage and that all the product components are tested in the best possible manner.

The functionality and interfaces of the software are tested via grey box testing while testing the internal components simultaneously.

Dark box testing is capable of dealing with complicated frameworks with a transparent and simplified approach to discovery.

This makes it possible for software engineers, end clients and other analyzers to carry out these tests. It prevents the usage of the product inappropriately by eliminating any glitches and bugs during testing.

Grey box testing is mainly used at the coordination testing level. It tests the applications on the web as they don’t possess source code which complicates the testing process via the white box testing. Dark box testing can similarly be used for business space testing to ensure that the software fulfills the requirements.

Conclusion

In software engineering and programming testing, white box testing is an effective method to exercise the practices of a well-versed client who is knowledgeable of the coding language and the framework’s goals. 

It allows the analyzers to be aware of the applications inside components. This gives empowerment to the analyzer regarding the recognition of several primary provisos.

This testing method ensures the software code’s quality, security, and dependability.

Derik Belair

As President and CEO, Derik leads the vision, strategy and growth of Augmentt. Prior to founding Augmentt, Derik was the Vice President at SolarWinds, leading the digital marketing strategy for SolarWinds’ Cloud division. Derik has been working in the channel for over 20 years, starting his career as a channel sales rep at Corel Corp. and eventually becoming the first employee at N-able Technologies in April of 2000.

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