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A test case in software engineering is a set of conditions or variables under which a tester will determine whether an application or software system is working correctly or not. The mechanism for determining whether a software program or system has passed or failed such a test is known as a test oracle. In some settings, an oracle could be a requirement or use case, while in others it could be a heuristic. It may take many test cases to determine that a software program or system is considered sufficiently scrutinized to be released. Test cases are often referred to as test scripts, particularly when written. Written test cases are usually collected into test suites.
Test Cases are the implementation of a test case design which will help the software tester to detect defects in the application or the system being tested. This should be the primary goal of any test case or set of test cases. When I write a test case, I think of both types of test cases, positive test cases and negative test cases. Positive test cases are those which execute the happy path in the application and make sure that the happy path is working fine. Negative test cases as the name suggests are destructive test cases which are documented with some out-of-box thinking to break the system.
A Test Case should be documented in a manner that is useful for the current test cycle and any future test cycles. At a bare minimum each test case should contain: Sr No, Summary or Title, Description, Steps to reproduce, Expected Results, Actual Results and Status of the test case or remarks.
Test Case Summary or Title
The Summary or title should contain the essence of the test case including the functional area and purpose of the test. Using a common naming convention that groups test cases encourages reuse and help prevents duplicate test cases from occurring.
Test Case Description
The description should clearly state what sequence of events to be executed by the test case. The Test Case description can apply to one or more test cases; it will often take more than one test case to fully test an area of the application.
Test Case Steps to reproduce
Each test case step should clearly state the navigation, test data, and events required to accomplish the step. Using a common descriptive approach encourages reuse and conformity.
Expected Results of Test Case
The expected behavior of the system after any test case step that requires verification / validation - this could include: screen pop-ups, data updates, display changes, or any other discernable event or transaction on the system that is expected to occur when the test case step is executed.
Status or Remarks
The operational status of the test case - Executed or not executed etc.