How to Test a Desktop Application?
- May 29, 2014
Answer to a commonly asked question, “Are Desktop Applications Still Developed ?” is an absolute YES. Despite the influx of web and mobile apps, Desktop software will stay in fashion. Most of the enterprise applications are installation based and used hardware resources to run. Many real time systems are still desktop based due to their performance capabilities. Lets have a quick glimpse on how we can test these apps for ensuring smooth functionality.
Desktop applications run on personal computers and work stations, a specific environment acts as a baseline for your test plan. One can test the complete application broadly in categories like Graphical User Interface, Functionality, Load, etc. A desktop application is usually used by a single user at a time and needs to be installed as an exe file hence highlighting the need for installation testing.
NATURE OF DEFECTS IN DESKTOP APP
While testing desktop applications the nature of defects are usually different as compared to other apps. Most common defects in the desktop applications are:
- Incorrect shortcut icon
- Unauthorized features which the application might install without taking input from user
- The process may still be running in the background even after uninstalling the application
- Platform dependency issues
- Incorrect warning messages
- Unauthorized access to the restricted applications from other users
HOW TO DEVELOP A COMPREHENSIVE CHECKLIST FOR DESKTOP APP TESTING ?
Creating a testing checklist is an integral part of the process of writing test cases. With the help of such checklist one can easily create hundreds of test cases for testing desktop applications. Testing checklist for desktop applications may include the following:
1- Graphical User Interface Testing
2- Functional Testing
- Check for broken links
- Warning messages
- Resolution change effect on the application
- Theme change
- Installation Testing (Upgrade/Downgrade)
- Testing with multiple user accounts
- Sleep mode
3- Compatibility Testing
- Testing the application on different operating systems
- Long period of continuous use
- Generate “Power Efficiency Diagnostics Report” by running the command powercfg /energy
INDUSTRY TOOLS TO TEST A DESKTOP APP
Here is a list of some tools that are commonly used as an industry practice to test desktop apps.
Regression Testing Tools:
Stress Testing Tools:
- File Fuzzer
- Disk Hog
COMPARISON BETWEEN DESKTOP AND WEB APPLICATIONS
Desktop applications are different from web applications in many aspects. Following are the key differences between desktop applications and web applications which will help you to effectively test both the desktop applications and the web applications.
|Run on personal computers and work stations||Run on browsers|
|Need to be Installed separately on each computer||No installation required|
|Every change only reflects at the machine level||Every change in the program reflects everywhere|
|We can have a total control over the desktop applications and protect them from various vulnerabilities||Web applications have more security risks than the desktop applications, it is open to everyone on the internet|
|Specific machines/computers are needed where the applications are installed||Can be used from any PC with any web browser where internet is available|
|Performance depends upon the computer speed||Performance mainly depends upon internet speed|
|Data is stored on the same PC where the user is accessing the machine||Data is stored remotely|
|Major concern is to test the app on different hardware as well as on different Operating Systems||Major concern is to test the web app in different browsers|
|We cannot monitor the user actions||It’s easier to monitor every users’ actions, get full statistics and feedback|