Glossary of QA Terms

Become more fluent in all things QA

Doris Sooläte avatar
Written by Doris Sooläte
Updated this week

A/B TESTING - A/B Testing is when two or more variants of web or application functionality are randomly allocated to testers. It is used to figure out which variant performs better.

ACCEPTANCE CRITERIA - Acceptance criteria are the conditions that the software must meet to be accepted by users, customers, and other stakeholders. They should have a clear pass/fail results so developers and QA will know when an issue is complete.

ACCESSIBILITY TESTING - Accessibility testing is a software testing type that makes sure that the application under testing is usable for people with disabilities like color blindness, difficulty hearing, etc.

AGILE TESTING - Agile testing is a type of testing where it is necessary to continuously interact with developers, customers, managers, stakeholders, and testers. The main objective of agile testing is to ensure high product quality.

ANALYTICS TESTING - Analytics Testing at Testlio involves verifying that streaming applications and websites are outputting the correct data when different events take place within the applications and websites.

ANDROID STUDIO - Android Studio is the official platform for Android development. It also provides a way to get application logs, take screenshots, and take videos of up to three minutes from Android and Amazon devices. Read more here.

API - An API is an Application Programming Interface. Web-based APIs are used to return data in response to a request made by a client. Different organizations make their data available to the public using APIs.

API (Application Programming Interface) TESTING is an end-point testing for input/output consistency and performance. While API testing is often automated, manual testing is typically done through tools such as Postman and SoapUI.

AUTOMATED TESTING - Automation testing is conducted by a tool in which human intervention is not required.

BACK-END TESTING - Backend testing is a type of testing where the server-side or database is being checked. Data that has been entered in the front end will be stored in the back-end database. For example SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle, DB2, etc.

BETA TESTING - Beta testing is considered the last stage of testing, and it involves distributing the product to beta test sites and real users with the goal to detect any issues before the public release.

BLACK BOX TESTING - Testing that is done without access to the source code. ie - not knowing what is inside the box and looking at it from the outside.

BROWSER TESTING - Any form of web-based testing within a given web browser. Usually done across various devices and platforms as well.

BROWSER COMPATIBILITY TESTING - Testing is done to ensure a website or web app's consistency in design and functionality across various browsers, platforms, and devices. Synonymous with 'Browser Testing'

BUILD TESTING - Build testing focuses on software application’s package verification. Scenarios include installations, upgrades, and downgrades on different environments and devices.

CHARLES PROXY - Charles Proxy is an application that records and decodes network calls and web traffic from applications and websites.

COMPATIBILITY TESTING - Compatibility testing is a software testing type that checks whether the software is capable of running on different operating systems, hardware, applications, or network environments. Compatibility testing is a non-functional type of testing.

COMPLIANCE TESTING - Compliance Testing verifies whether or not the software meets industry and company standards and regulations.

CONTENT TESTING - Content testing involves tracking content and product usage for compliance and more. For instance - is relevant content - such as media, documents, etc - available at the right time for relevant users in relevant regions.

CONTINUOUS TESTING - A test strategy that involves enforcing quality through every step of the development process, Usually using the mantra of test early and test often to ensure that all quality testing is not done at the end of a development cycle.

CROSS BROWSER TESTING - Testing of a web site or web app across various browsers to ensure compatibility and consistency in design and functionality. This should ensure users have a consistent experience no matter what browser they may be using.

CROSS-PLATFORM TESTING - Cross-platform testing is a type of testing that determines the behavior of the application or website under testing in different environments. It helps to identify issues such as consistency, user interface, as well as issues regarding usability and performance with different platforms or configurations.

DESIGN TESTING - During design testing, software concepts and prototypes that are often delivered in PDFs or mock environments are validated against user expectations.

DEVICE TESTING - Device testing, often referred to as device compatibility testing, focuses on the application’s compatibility, suitability on unique hardware/OS combinations.

EMULATOR - An emulator can be a desktop application that mimics the hardware and operating system of the mobile application. It provides the same functionality as provided by an actual mobile phone.

END TO END SOFTWARE TESTING (E2E) - End-to-end testing tests whether the flow of an application is performing as designed from the start to finish. It is performed in circumstances as close to live as possible and simulates real user scenarios to ensure that the application and sub-systems are all working correctly.

ENGAGEMENT MANAGER (EM) - An Engagement Manager is a client-side type of position at Testlio, s/he is responsible for successfully controlling and closing a client’s project.

ERROR LOGS - An error log is a record of errors and other information generated by the application, operating system, or server while in operation. They are useful when troubleshooting issues to help determine the root cause.

ERROR MESSAGES - Messages that display when an invalid input has been entered or an invalid action has been taken. The messaging should briefly describe the problem at hand and what needs to happen to correct it.

EXPLORATORY TESTING - Exploratory testing is a type of testing where you are not following test plans and check the system on the fly instead. Exploratory testing is a testing type where you need to discover, investigate, and learn at the same time. It is a more open way of testing and it emphasizes the responsibility of the individual tester.

EXTERNAL FACTORS TESTING - Mobile device applications must also contend with interactions and interruptions from other device features like various network connection types, SD cards, phone calls, and assorted device settings.

FRONT-END TESTING/GUI TESTING/USER INTERFACE (UI) TESTING - Front-end testing is testing the Graphical User Interface (GUI), functionality, and usability of a website or application. It tests everything that is visible to the users.

FUNCTIONAL TESTING - Functional testing is conducted to ensure that the application meets all the specified requirements, all its features are responsive, and it serves the end-user as expected. Identifying who the target end-users are and which purpose the application serves are prerequisites for any type of functional testing. Read more here.

INCIDENT REPORTS - Incident report is a written description of an incident that has occurred during testing. It can be defined as a difference observed in a system behavior from what is expected.

INSTALLATION TESTING - Most of the software systems need to be installed first before they can be used for their main purpose. Installation testing is a type of testing that checks the process of a software system installation.

KEYWORD-DRIVEN TESTING - Keyword-driven testing is an automation technique that allows domain experts to define test scripts with action keywords. The automation framework translates the keywords into code.

LIVESTREAM TESTING - Livestream testing is the process of testing live broadcasts, such as sporting events, TV premieres, and more. Read more here.

LOCALIZATION TESTING - Localization Testing is verifying that translations of content are correct and that no User Interface (UI) layout issue is created. Read more here.

LOW-LEVEL RESOURCE TESTING: MEMORY USAGE, AUTO-DELETION, ETC - Testing designed to find software issues that impact computer resource utilization. Examples are memory leak detection and CPU utilization.

MANUAL TESTING - Manual testing is a type of testing where testers play the end-user role and manually test the software for issues. During manual testing, testers usually use most of the features of the application to ensure that they all work as expected.

MEMORY TESTING CASE - A test designed to test the accuracy of the computer memory. These tests are frequently performed by low-level system software at start up time.

MOBILE APP TESTING - Mobile application testing is a type of testing where the software developed especially for a mobile device is tested for its usability and functionality.

NEGATIVE TESTING - A form of testing in which the tester does not follow the "happy path" of desired usage and functionality. Rather, invalid inputs are entered in an attempt to break the application or test how a field handles them.

NETWORK SECURITY PROTOCOLS - Network security protocols protect the data being transferred over a network connection from attempts to review and/or extract the data. Different protocols use different methods to achieve this goal. Some examples of Network Security Protocols are HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Secure Shell (SSH).

OK/NOK - OK - Acceptance criteria was met, NOK - Acceptance criteria wasn't met.

OPERATIONAL TESTING - Testing the capability necessary to operate a computer system, including functions such as installation, upgrade, backup/restore, roll-back, and monitoring.

OUT OF SCOPE (OOS) - The scope of a run defines what areas of an app under testing are supposed to get tested, what functionalities to focus on while testing, and what are the out of scope areas. If in run details there are mentioned out of scope areas, it means that mentioned areas should not be tested. It's crucial to stay in the scope in every run on the Testlio platform.

OVER-THE-TOP (OTT) - OTT refers to the delivery of film and TV content via the internet rather than through a traditional cable or satellite provider.

PAYMENTS TESTING - Payments testing focuses on real financial transaction flows done by real payment instruments. Read more from here.

PERFORMANCE TESTING - Performance Testing is defined as a type of software testing to ensure software applications will perform well under their expected workload. The goal of Performance Testing is not to find bugs but to eliminate performance bottlenecks.

PLATFORM COVERAGE - Measuring the degree of testing performed across the supported platforms (computer architectures and operating systems)

PRIORITY - Priority specifies how quickly a bug needs to be resolved.

PRODUCTION TESTING - Production testing focuses on already released and available software experiences. Often this is done to gain additional confidence in released software behavior in real conditions or for validating flows which are unavailable in testing environments.

PROVISIONING - Provisioning means putting a computer system into practice. This includes installation, power, networking, and storage.

QA METRICS - QA Metrics are a collection and presentation of data of completed tests to provide accountability and insights into the quality of the system under test and the QA team's progress and productivity.

REGRESSION TESTING - Regression Testing is defined as a type of software testing to confirm that a recent program or code change has not adversely affected existing features. Regression Testing is nothing but a full or partial selection of already executed test plans which are re-executed to ensure existing functionalities work fine.

RELEASE PLANNING - Release Planning is creating a document that sets out the scope, timeline, and, in some organizations, resources, and costs connected with a release.

ROLE TESTING - Role testing focuses on coverage of products with multiple key user types (e.g. buyer and seller).

SANITY TESTING - Sanity Testing is a subset of regression testing. It is done to verify that code changes are working properly.

SETUP TESTING - Setup testing focuses on software offerings with multiple configuration options - e.g. where initial or ongoing configuration drives key differences on how software behaves and which functionality is available to the end users.

REPRODUCIBILITY RATE - The reproducibility rate is the rate at which you were able to reproduce the issue. For example, if you tried to reproduce an issue 3 times and were able to reproduce it 2 times, then the reproducibility rate will be 2/3.

SDLC (SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT LIFE CYCLE) - The Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) is the entire process of developing software from Design > Development > Testing > Releasing > Improving.

SECURITY CERTIFICATE - A security certificate is a small data file issued by a Certifying Authority (CA) that verifies the identity of a web site.

SECURITY TESTING - Security Testing is used to reveal flaws in security mechanisms and find the vulnerabilities or weaknesses of software applications that could be exploited by intruders.

SEVERITY - Severity indicates how critical an issue is, what the level of impact is on data and users.

SESSION HIJACKING - Session hijacking is an attack where a user session is taken over by an attacker. It most commonly applies to browser sessions and web applications.

SMOKE TEST - Smoke Testing is used to determine if a build is stable enough to proceed with further testing. It involves only verifying that the most important functions are working.

SQL INJECTION - SQL Injection is an attacker using SQL (Structured Query Language) to insert malicious code that will affect the database. The attacker could gain access to sensitive data and take control of the database server.

SSL - SSL is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browser remain private. (

TEST - A test defines an action to take to verify that software meets the requirements and functions correctly. Each test consists of one or more steps that detail the specific actions to take.

TEST COVERAGE - Test Coverage is a measure of how much of the functionality of the software is being tested.

TEST RUN - A Test Run is a collection of one or many test executions.

TEST DATA - Test data is data that has been entering into a system for testing purposes or data that is entered during the execution of test plans. Test data is used so live data will not be affected and so the expected results can be predicted.

TEST EXECUTION - Test Execution is performing the testing and comparing the expected and actual results.

TEST LEAD - Test Lead’s main responsibility is to make sure that the run is completed successfully. They manage the communication between testers and Testlio internal Services team. Test Leads duty is to go through end reports and make the needed adjustments. Read more about Test Leads typical task here, and also qualities that define a great Test Lead from here.

TESTING COORDINATOR (TC) - A Testing Coordinator is a partner of the Engagement Manager and Account Director, and handles the everyday operational activities of our testing projects, such as test scope planning, test run management, results reporting and overall project improvement initiatives. One is also responsible for setting the testing strategy and solving related testing and technical challenges for the accounts they contribute to.

TESTING MANAGER (TM) - A Testing Manager owns and is responsible for Test Runs success. One is a hands-on partner of the Engagement Manager and Account Director, and handles the everyday operational activities of our testing projects, such as test scope planning, test run management, results reporting and overall project improvement initiatives. One is also responsible for setting the testing strategy and solving related testing and technical challenges for the accounts they contribute to.

Testing Managers are an operational point of contact for client-side stakeholders and are responsible for driving testing strategy and Run-related communications. The Testing Manager works closely with our Test Leads and other regional Testing Managers to ensure fastest turnaround of a Test Run and prompt support to the customer within the agreed SLAs

TEST PLAN - A Test Plan is a set of Tests arranged into a testing task for Testers to follow.

TEST SCRIPT - A test script is a written set of instructions that need to be executed on the application under test to see that the app functions as expected

TEST PLAN SPECIFICATION - A Test plan specification is a document that describes a detailed summary of testing scenarios, testing methods, and testing cadence for a given feature. It defines the purpose of a specific test, identifies the required inputs and expected results, and also provides a gradual procedure description for test execution.

TEST SUMMARY REPORT - A Test Summary Report is a document that contains a summary of the activities and final results of the test. Software release decisions will be made based on the test summary report.

TESTFLIGHT (TF) - An application that is used to distribute Apple applications for testing.

TESTRAIL (TR) - Web-based test plan management software where test scripts are executed for many projects at Testlio.

UNABLE TO TEST (UTT) - Testlio run execution option when the functionality described in the test step cannot be tested. You can choose one of the following reasons why you were unable to test:

  1. Blocked by another issue - there is an issue that blocks testing the feature completely i.e the video player crashes while loading, so it’s not possible to test play and pause functionality. If that happens, make sure to link the blocking issue from the issue browser. All issue-related information should be included only in the issue.

  2. Functionality out of scope

  3. Don't understand - if the test description is hard to understand and you did not receive help from the Test Lead. Please note it’s not ok to mark it as ‘Don’t understand’ without talking with a Test Lead first.

  4. Other - When the reason does not match any criteria above, please specify the reason via comment. For example, "Could not log in because of staging environment problems"

UNIT TESTING - Unit Testing is testing the smallest testable parts of an application to verify they are working correctly. In Unit Testing the purpose it to make sure the units of code are behaving as the developer intended.

UI TESTING - UI Testing is testing the visual elements of an application.

USABILITY TESTING/USER EXPERIENCE (UX) TESTING - Usability testing is a type of testing that tries to understand how people would like their applications to be. The main goal for this type of testing is to make sure that the interface of the application is built to meet the expectations of the end-user. It is all about the users' experience and feeling throughout their interaction with the application. Read more here.

VOICE TESTING - Voice testing includes audio command response systems coverage (such as smart home assistants).

WEB SERVICE TESTING - A Web Service is a mechanism for two applications or machines to exchange data or services. Web Service Testing is verifying that the data or services are being exchanged correctly. The two main web service protocols are SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) and REST (Representational State Transfer architecture).

WHITE BOX TESTING - White Box Testing is a method of testing the internal structure of an application by performing validations against the code. To perform this type of testing coding knowledge and access to the application structure is required.

WIRESHARK - Wireshark is a software used for analyzing network packets. It is often used at Testlio for Analytics Testing on Roku devices. Read more here.


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