What is Recovery Testing in Software Testing? [A Quick Guide]

What is Recovery Testing? [Definition]

Recovery testing is a non-functional testing technique used to determine how quickly and effectively software can recover from common failures like software/hardware failures, network failures, power failures, common failures, external server issues, and lost data connection. This kind of testing falls under the umbrella of reliability testing and is a critical part of ensuring a software’s robustness and resilience.

By conducting reliability testing, you ensure that the software performs satisfactorily from performance aspects as well. While performing non-functional testing, it is important for you to perform recovery testing parallelly with performance testing, accessibility testing, and load testing.

All these testing are internally connected and helps you to create a reliable software solution. If you are unaware of another non-functional testing, then you must check our detailed guide on software testing types which includes information about all the types of testing types you should perform before making your software live. As you understand recovery testing, let’s now know about how disaster recovery testing works.

How Does Recovery Testing Work?

Here are the steps that you need to follow to conduct a recovery test.

  • Trigger software failure: As a tester, your first step is to cause a system crash in a safe, controlled way. This is like intentionally tripping the system to see how it reacts.
  • Observe the response of the software: Next, you need to monitor the system closely. Your aim is to check if the software can get back up on its own and how fast. This is known as recovery analysis which you need to do.
  • Conduct a post-recovery check: After the software is back up and running, it’s time to ensure everything is in order. Check that all the data and functionalities are just as they were before the crash as well as a network connection that gets automatically connected if available.
  • Identify and report issues: If anything is out of place or not working correctly, you flag these issues. Think of this step as writing a report card on the system’s recovery performance and sending it to the development team for improvements.
  • Repeat the process: Lastly, don’t stop with just one test. You repeat the entire process, simulating different types of failures, until the software recovery is properly performed by testing in all scenarios.

So this is the entire recovery process which helps you to avoid hardware failure or software failure when deployed on the servers. However, conducting recovery testing is a time-consuming process but results as effective when you want to develop an error-free solution in the long run. The life cycle of recovery is conducted to ensure your software is automatically able to recover from failures.

While designing the recovery process of the software, ensure to follow all standard compliance requirements. The reason is there are certain regulations that require software to have specific recovery capabilities to avoid major penalties. Understand the meaning of compliance testing from this post if you are unsure.

What is the Importance of Recovery Testing?

First of all ask yourself, what if your software solution suddenly crashed or had critical failures? The unexpected downtime can lead to massive losses and your brand reputation could get ruined. That’s where recovery testing comes in to play an important role. Check the following benefits of recovery testing in software.

With recovery testing, you can:

  • Verify if the software can return to normal condition after a failure or crash.
  • Discover potential data loss incidents after a software breakdown.
  • Identify and rectify problems that may occur during a software recovery process.
  • Contributes to overall software robustness and reliability, which is vital for maintaining user trust.

An Example of Recovery Testing

Here is a recovery testing example. Suppose you are testing a web-based banking application in a test environment. Here is what recovery testing looks like.

  • Simulate a crash: During a transaction, you cause a server crash.
  • Monitor recovery: Observe the system’s automatic switch to a backup server.
  • Check data: Verify if the transaction data from the time of the crash is preserved.
  • Identify defects: If there’s data loss or transaction failure, log it as a defect.

Which Tools are Used in Recovery Testing?

Using the right tools can make the recovery testing process more efficient. Here are the names of popular recovery testing tools used in software engineering.

  • LoadRunner
  • IBM Rational Test
  • Apache JMeter

Remember, choosing the right tools for performing recovery testing helps you to identify potential failures.

As you know, all the testing is internally connected and helps you to create a reliable software solution. Beyond these tests, another essential non-functional test you should be aware of is portability testing.

Portability testing ensures that your software can be easily transferred and function across different environments and systems, making it crucial for applications meant to operate on various platforms or configurations. For a better understanding, read our definition guide on what is portability testing.

In conclusion, recovery testing is a pivotal technique in ensuring software reliability, as it allows teams to plan for and address potential software failures effectively. Remember, your goal should not just be to create software that works well, but also software that can bounce back effectively after a stumble.

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Rakesh Patel

Written by

Rakesh Patel is the Founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies (Canada). He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books – Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311

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