Mistakes often leads to the wrong result. A fault is a manifestation of mistake in software (it is also called defect or bug). Such defects can result in a failure, which is a deviation of certain program from its expected maintenance or delivery.
Reliability means the probability that software will not lead to the system for failure over a certain time and in certain circumstances. Errors happen quite often as people work under certain restrictions such as delivery terms. Even one failure can cost you much. Exhaustive independent testing often takes a lot of resource and is almost impractical. The amount of executed tests depends on the risks.
Risk is crucial factor for allocating the test time (which is necessary to select the topic and focus of testing). Testing detects faults, whose removal improves the software quality. Testing serves as a basis for the assessment of software quality. We check if we have achieved a required quality by testing different factors such as accuracy, safety, ease of use, repairability and controllability.
Additional factors defining the testing may be contractual claims, or legal regulations, usually outlined in industry-wide standards, or found on best practice. It is difficult to define a necessary amount of testing.
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