Software Testing Lab: Basic Tools of a Tester

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There are many tools used by testers to verify software products in the most effective way. This equipment is often available in software testing lab to be within easy reach when necessary. There are many programs of the kind: these are designed to compare two files and then inform if they differ from each other – provide a list of the discrepancies if any. The best of the programs generate a list of changes to be made to one of the files so that to get the other.

The simplest utilities are often supplied together with operating systems. However, if you find a program that is better suitable for your needs – you should buy it without any hesitation. The tools (utilities) may be intended for different purposes: comparing binary files (graphics, compiled code, compressed data and so on) and comparing a text. Depending on their goals, comparison results may vary.

File Comparison Utilities

  • File viewers. These programs allow you to view the data saved in a variety of file formats.
  • File converters. These utilities convert data files (text, graphics, etc.) from one format to another. For example, text can be converted from a one word processor format to another.
  • Utilities to create screen captures. These utilities allow save screen contents or the current window to a disk file. You will likely need even more such programs, since some of them are not compatible with certain types of software. Screen shots are useful for analyzing the errors and identifying their causes, and also demonstrating the error to programmer. It is often easier to provide him with a copy of the screen than to describe its contents in written or spoken words.

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  • Utilities to search for text. With the help of this utility you can find text strings in the compiled code. The simplest of them just investigate the program file and write all ASCII strings contained therein to a text file. The result is a list of all the built-in text items and error messages. Perhaps, a programmer or project manager will try to convince you that it is not worth wasting time over such work, since all the text is stored in the resource files. However, this statement should be verified because the programmer can still insert a couple of short messages into the program, especially those about critical errors.

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