Compliance Testing is a software testing in which all the non-functional and functional requirements are testing but not from the user's perspective but from the software standards' perspectives.
In this testing, it is tested whether the software meets all the standards whether country standards or international standard like the IEEE.
This is a very different kind of testing as in this testing, errors and bugs are not the main concern but the standard is the main basis of this software testing.
When a small software is developed, then the software can be tested, regulated and maintained by the software development alone. They are the testers, they are the test case creators, they are the analyzer and maintainer as well.
But when a bigger sized software is developed, it is used globally and so must be maintained by different types of engineers across the globe.
Now, to achieve this, there should be some standard which will be known to all the developing and testing companies. Therefore, compliance testing is the one which ensures that the software now can be maintained and troubleshoot by different companies across the globe.
Basically, there are two different types of compliance testing. One is the internal compliance testing and the other one the external compliance testing.
In the internal compliance testing, the testing is carried out on the software's internal part of the software such as coding style, style-sheets, inter-links, encryptions, etc.
On the other hand, in the external compliance testing, the testing is performed on the external parts of the software such as the interface-coding, or all the non-functional requirements.
There are different properties which have to be achieved in compliance testing. They are stated below:
All the non-functional testing we have seen so far focuses on usability, performances, efficiency, etc. The non-functional requirements are carried out to improve the quality of the software.
But, compliance testing is very unique in the sense that, it focuses on improving the standard of the software.
Due to the use of an internationally accepted coding style and commenting style, the software gains a fair and clean coding. The advantage of this is that the software can be modified and coded by anyone at any part of the world, after buying the property rights.
This enables the software manufacturer company to distribute their software in small software firms to get it developed. This huge contribution made to the software by developers across the globe is only possible because of the unique and standards maintained by the software at the time of its development.
Also, since there is a consistency in the coding style, therefore, it becomes possible to the debuggers to understand the coding easily and quickly.
Compliance Testing, as improves the standard of the system, it is therefore easily maintained by different developers. A software can only be maintained by different persons only when it is following a set of global standards and not local standards.
When we talk about maintenance, we mean maintainability of codes, maintainability of functionalities, maintainability of user experience and so on. And so maintain these properties, the core software developers team cannot reach different places across the world and work.
Instead, certain training and orientation programs are held to share knowledge about the software.
It does not matter how much reliable software it, training is a necessary part for any company to ensure the smooth running of its software in different places and spaces.
Training is done to share confidential knowledge about the software, to build an expert team for troubleshooting any kind of bugs or vulnerabilities in the software or to train normal users of the software to simple get started without any problem. Different kinds of training are there.
Now, the trainers are people who belong to the software manufacturing company, and it's not possible for them to visit all corners of the world. Also, when the software needs to be modified and coded, it is not possible to help in hand all the developers.
Therefore, it is required that compliance is maintained which is common to all. This makes a pre-knowledge about the software and thus pieces of training can be carried out at some distant places or remote places from the company premises itself.
There are also some softwares and software manufactures for whom, it does not matter whether the codes and the requirements or protocols of the software are following global standards or not.
But there are reputable companies like Google, Apple INC or IBM which accepts any code which maintains a standard.
When there are projects which have to be accomplished globally, then there is a need for maintaining global standards, otherwise, the developers and testers may not be able to carry out testing.
Maintaining standard codes and process in the software also results in the correctness of the software. Correctness means the accuracy of the result produced by the software.
The accuracy can only be maintained when the developers follow the process of coding which is based on standards.
Anything which is not following any standard cannot be optimized. Optimizations mean the elimination of huge codes with lesser codes with the same performance and efficiency. This is done so that the compile time is reduced and the software can work faster.
Now the codes can be optimized easily when the codes are using functions and syntaxes which are globally accepted. Also, outdated functions cannot be replaced by an updated function. If done so, should be done at all places and changes may be required in the database.
Therefore, when the software can be optimized only when it is following global standards, which is tested in Compliance Testing.
This is not fixed when Compliance Testing should be carried out. This testing can be carried out when the team feels that Compliance should be carried out or even the software may be rejected by agencies due to poor quality and there may be an urgent need for compliance testing.
Below are some of the scenarios which may demand Compliance Testing:
When the software's quality is seen as poor and the team feels that the software is facing the problem due to poor coding style or poor standards, then it may be required to perform compliance testing.
There may be mismanagement of codes, which means that the codes may be disoriented and may not look regular and thus may require a compliance check. Compliance test not only assures the standards but also at the same time check whether the codes are well-managed.
Therefore, if any complaint is logged by the third party developing company, stating that the codes are not understandable, at that time a compliance test may be required.
When a particular deal is canceled by the client, then the software firm must understand that the software is going through a potential risk and any time the software may get rejected from the market.
This may happen when if the software is not maintaining proper standards and thus may get some errors while installation in operating systems which are licensed, or may be software is not supporting the protocols which are being used.
That time the developer team should contact the concerned testing team and order for a compliance test.
Most of the softwares are installed directly from the internet and thus it is very much important that all the necessary packages and libraries or dependencies get installed into the system at the time of installation of the software itself.
Now, sometime, it is seen that the software when installing from the internet or from any downloading medium, certain packages, and libraries does not support which results in improper installation and leads to software hang or it may not work at all.
When this kind of scenarios occurs, that time also the team may prefer compliance testing.
To perform compliance testing, the first step is to collect standards for the software. There are different country standards and global standards such as IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers), ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library).
The next step is to collect information about the parts of the software which accounts for the poor quality or rejections from clients, companies or third party developers. There are cases when the total software may be contributing to poor quality.
In such cases, the compliance testing should be performed into the complete software.
The third step is to compare the part of the software which needs to be checked with the standard one. The result of the comparison is recorded. If the software does not meet the standards, it is fixed or removed. And if the comparison shows no difference, then it is ignored.
There may be other procedures which may be preferable for different companies, but the core process remains the same.