What is the difference between scripted testing and exploratory testing?

Though exploratory testing and scripted are considered being a part of each other, there is a lot of difference between the two.

The scripted testing is performed by a set of test scripts which can be defined as a set of instructions that are to be performed on the software system or application under the test to test a particular functionality as required.

 There are following ways of executing test scripts:

1. Automated testing:
- It can be easily repeated and is faster than manual testing.
- It is very useful when it is required to run the same tests over and over again.
- It is performed as a part of regression testing.
- Automated tests are poorly written and they may break during the execution.
- They only test what has been programmed into them.
- They only ensure that old bugs do not reappear.
- Manual testing and automated testing should be mixed together and used for exploratory testing.

2. Manual testing:
- This is the oldest and the most rigorous forms of testing.
- The test cases are reviewed by the whole testing team before using them.
- The test cases are either created at the basic functionality level or at the scenario level.

3. Short programs or test scripts written in a programming language (C#, C++, expect, TCL, java, Perl, PHP, python, power shell) or a special automated functional GUI test tool (like Borland silk test, HP quick professional test, rational robot etc) can be used to test functionality of a software system or application.

4. Short programs that have been extensively parameterized or data driven testing.

5. Table driven testing or keyword driven testing i.e., using reusable tests created in a table.

- Scripted testing is considered to be as a waste of resources by most of the testers.

- According to them the scripted manual testing inhibits the mind of the tester to use their creativity.

- Also, this testing requires heavy documentation as well as considerable amount of resources to create them.

- They often get out dated since the changes in the system are inevitable.

- Though being so criticized manual scripted testing is used by many organizations.

- The test cases are made repeatable and easy enough for a tester to perform testing with minimum supervision.

- Manual scripted testing is used in contracts where contractual agreement states that written requirements and specifications of the software must be met.

- Scripted test cases are useful where the tests are used as benchmark and have to be executed in the same way, every time.

- In contrast to scripted testing, exploratory testing is a usual approach to software testing and can be defined as a test designing, test execution and simultaneously learning process.

- Exploratory testing is a kind of software testing that is emphasized and focused up on the responsibility and the personal freedom of the software tester.

- Exploratory testing is a kind of software testing that is emphasized and focused up to optimize the quality and effectiveness of his /her work continually by taking in to consideration mutually supportive activities like test designing, test related learning, test result interpretation and test execution.

- The activities run in parallel to each other.

- Exploratory testing basically heeds to exploiting the creativity of the tester or the programmer.

- During the testing of the software, the tester comes across various new things to learn together with experiencing them.

- Exploratory testing can be thought of as a black box testing methodology or technique instead of thinking of it as an approach to testing that can be used for any type of testing methodology and also at any phase of development of the software system or application.


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