Volume testing is a kind of software testing where a large amount of data in input to the software and is seen whether the software is able to stand with that load of data.
It is the way of inputting values which are either higher in range or are many in numbers, sometimes more than what the software can handle.
The main objective of volume testing is to make a load test. The idea behind the fact is that any software may perform well when the data input to it is very small or not much load is applied to it. But when the software is made to handle a very large amount of data. Then it may fail.
The different reason to perform volume testing are as follows:
There are certain things which are to be checked while carrying out Volume testing. The are some attributes like performance, speed, efficiency, load balance, etc which are to be seen while performing volume testing.
It has to be mentioned that, performance testing, usability testing, are different topics and are discussed separately. But here, we deal with all the attributes while keeping in mind, that we are testing when the threshold for volume is reached or has been crossed.
There is certain software which needs to operate at a certain speed and less than the threshold is not required or does not fulfill the criteria for the software to be used in the practical field. For example, if large customers access to a commercial website causes the software to wait, it will not be eligible for practical use.
It is to be mentioned that, there are softwares which tends to get slower with the course of time. But that okay, because speed is always not the concern for software or system's performance.
This is the time, between making the request to the software and getting the output from the software. This is a major criterion for analyzing the performance of the software. Therefore, when the load is heavy, the response time of the software must be checked. And software hang is likely to occur while in load.
The software with bugs or memory address error, will also behave well and provide positive feedback while in the test with a normal load. But the same attribute may be largely manipulated while the load is heavier compared to the normal.
Memory resource availability is one of the main attributes of volume testing. It can be clearly understood that, when the load is higher on software, it is the memory which is responsible for addressing it. Now there may be many reasons for which the software is unable to address memory in the required time.
This may happen if, the software is designed in such a way, that heavy load was never a concern for software development. Also, the connection of the software to the memory may be poor, and the software may have a good addressable memory, but it may not be able to access that with that much speed.
This is one of the options that the software might choose when the load is higher. For the naive users or the user dealing with real-time data only, it may seem okay. Because no other data record which saves previously is required.
But the effect, which is done to deal with the data replacement is severe. To address the load, the software may be deleting the previous data or may be overwritten. In this case, the user may not find his/her own history later on.
This has to be analyzed whether, in the case of overload, there is any potential risk. It may happen that, the software is able to handle data overload and also the efficiency and all other attributes which are of main concern are normal, but still the risk factor may be there.
This is an example, where risk can be a major problem during the time when the software has to handle a large volume of data.
One may have a question in his/her mind, that, why to compare Volume Testing with Load testing. As mentioned earlier, the strategy of volume and load testing is almost the same, just the difference is their end-objective.
While in volume testing we apply maximum load and study the software behavior, in the load testing we apply minimum as well as maximum load and observe the software behavior.
There is no formal or defined way to carry out volume testing, instead, there are requirements and procedures which should be followed to get better results in volume testing.