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Destructive Testing in Software Testing

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Destructive Testing :
A destructive test is one type of  software testing which is quite similar to Bebugging in Software Testing. As in Bebugging process we add some known bugs into the software and monitor the rate of detection of error. Similarly in Destructive testing different points of failure in the software program are detected. With the help of this test, an application is intentionally performed to fail so that robustness of the application is is checked as well as various points of failure are also identified. As we know there are different types of software testing methods which verifies performance of software, stability of software, compatibility of software, security of software etc. like that by destructive testing we check the unwanted and unpredictable abnormal user behavior within the application.

In destructive testing (or Destructive Physical Analysis, DPA) sample failure tests are performed, in order to understand the performance of the sample or the behavior of the materials under various loads. As compared to non-destructive tests these tests are usually much easier to perform and also easier to interpret. The destructive test is most appropriate, and economical, for things to be mass-produced, as the cost of destroying a few samples is negligible. Usually, this test procedure is not economical since only one or very few items are produced (for example, in the case of a building). The destructive failure mode is often analyzed and documented using a continuous high speed camera recording (film loop) until the failure is detected. Failure can be detected with a sound detector or barometer that produces a signal to operate the high-speed camera.

The important thing is that even if you do not have knowledge of the original requirements of a software product then also destructive testing can be performed. However, some knowledge can help develop a good testing strategy.

Importance of destructive testing :

  • Helps to identify scenario based problems.
  • Helps to verify software product durability.
  • Helps to easily detect any point of failure.
  • Helps to understand robustness of software product.

What it achieves in this test ?

  • Appropriate behavior of the program
  • Inappropriate program behavior
  • Improper use
  • Incorrect input data
  • Appropriate output data

How are these test done ?
Destructive testing includes many activities such as designing a set of test scripts, executing test scripts, raising errors, closing errors, and providing metrics for success or failure to stakeholders at the end of iteration.

For a destructive test, there are many ways in which it can be tested. Let’s see some examples –

  • Failure Point Analysis Method –
    This is a detailed tour of the system that assesses errors that can occur at different points. For this strategy, help can be obtained from BA (Business Analyst).
  • Peer Testers Review –
    This test is performed by a fellow tester to analyze the test cases and reviewing those who is less familiar with the system / function.
  • Business review of test cases –
    End users or experts may think of many valid scenarios that testers may not think about or miss at times because their focus will be entirely on testing requirements.
  • Take an Exploratory Test Using Run Sheets –
    An Exploratory Test using Running Sheets will help determine what is tested, repeat tests, and allow you to control your test coverage.

Methods of destructive test : 
The following are the various destructive test methods 

Techniques of destructive testing :
The following are destructive testing techniques that can be used with modifications:

Lastly in this technique, an application is intentionally performed to a program failure to verify the robustness of the application even with zero knowledge of the original requirements of a software product.

Advantages of Destructive Testing :

  • Identifies software weaknesses by testing under unexpected conditions.
  • Improves software quality by identifying and fixing issues.
  • Reduces risks associated with software failure.
  • Increases customer satisfaction by delivering high-quality software.
  • Cost-effective by identifying issues early in the development cycle.

Disadvantages of Destructive Testing :

  • Destructive testing may cause damage to the system or its components, leading to increased costs and downtime for repairs.
  • It requires specialized tools and equipment, which can be expensive and limit accessibility.
  • Destructive testing has a limited scope and may not cover all possible scenarios or issues.
  • It may not fully replicate real-world scenarios or user behavior, leading to missed issues or inaccuracies in test results.
  • Destructive testing may not be suitable for all types of software, particularly those that are critical or sensitive in nature.


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Last Updated : 15 May, 2023
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