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Equivalence Partitioning Technique

Equivalence partitioning is a technique of software testing in which input data is divided into partitions of valid and invalid values, and it is mandatory that all partitions must exhibit the same behavior. If a condition of one partition is true, then the condition of another equal partition must also be true, and if a condition of one partition is false, then the condition of another equal partition must also be false. The principle of equivalence partitioning is, test cases should be designed to cover each partition at least once. Each value of every equal partition must exhibit the same behavior as other.

The equivalence partitions are derived from requirements and specifications of the software. The advantage of this approach is, it helps to reduce the time of testing due to a smaller number of test cases from infinite to finite. It is applicable at all levels of the testing process.

For example, assume that there is a function of a software application that accepts a particular number of digits, not greater and less than that particular number. For example, an OTP number which contains only six digits, less or more than six digits will not be accepted, and the application will redirect the user to the error page.

Equivalence Partitioning Technique
Equivalence Partitioning Technique

Let's see one more example.

A function of the software application accepts a 10 digit mobile number.

Equivalence Partitioning Technique
Equivalence Partitioning Technique

In both examples, we can see that there is a partition of two equally valid and invalid partitions, on applying valid value such as OTP of six digits in the first example and mobile number of 10 digits in the second example, both valid partitions behave same, i.e. redirected to the next page.

Another two partitions contain invalid values such as 5 or less than 5 and 7 or more than 7 digits in the first example and 9 or less than 9 and 11 or more than 11 digits in the second example, and on applying these invalid values, both invalid partitions behave same, i.e. redirected to the error page.

We can see in the example, there are only three test cases for each example and that is also the principal of equivalence partitioning which states that this method intended to reduce the number of test cases.


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