Terms and Definitions

Test Case

Test cases are one of the most important building blocks of automotive testing and are used in all different kinds of testing methodologies. A test case defines an autonomous unit that describes one particular test that can be specified, executed, and assessed.

In the following, we will present three different but well-used definitions of “test case” and compare them. We will not choose the right definition out of these terms, since they are quite similar and the exact choice depends on usage.

Using the current definition of the International Software Testing Qualification Board (ISTQB), a test case can be defined as:

“A set of preconditions, inputs, actions (where applicable), expected results, and postconditions, developed based on test conditions.”

The current ISO standard (ISO 29119) omits the postconditions (which are optional and could be results of the test) and defines a test case as:

“A set of test case preconditions, inputs (including actions, where applicable), and expected results, developed to drive the execution of a test item to meet test objectives, including correct implementation, error identification, checking quality, and other valued information.”

This can be shortened to:

“A set of preconditions, inputs, and expected results, developed to drive the execution of a test item to meet test objectives.”

The previously mentioned actions are part of the general inputs of the test case. The latter definition is a very probable candidate for being used in the new ISO standard.

As stated in the second paragraph, these three definitions are quite similar, with only the necessity of stating postconditions and actions as part of a test case being debatable and without effect on the usage of the term in the rest of this document.

If a scenario-based test approach is used test cases may reference scenarios for environment simulation.

Referenced Standards:

  • ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119



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