What is Test Architecture Design? I have used Test Design Specification and Test Case Specification before but have not heard of a Test Architecture Design document before. I'm not sure what I should write for this testing document.

My project is an embedded software device. I need to re-engineer the device and produce a Test Architecture Design. So far, the only reference I have found is http://qualab.jp/materials/SOFTEC2012-2.pdf

I need to deliver the Test Architecture Design document before I start creating another testing document such as a Test Design Specification. My guess is that this is a combination of static testing and dynamic testing (blackbox testing technique).

2 Answers 2


Like software developers create a software architecture describing how to software is built from a very high level perspective, you can do the same from a testing point of view.

In my cases (involving software testing), the test architecture contains many elements which are also present in the software architecture diagram.

It differs from the software architecture in those elements which you want to replace for testing purposes, e.g. you could replace hardware by a simulator. For the same reason, I often have many test architecture diagrams, each differing in a small number of components replaced by a simulator for testing a specific aspect of the product.

Next, a test architecture may includes a setup for load testing. From that diagram, one should be able to figure out how much hardware/software you need in order to generate the load.

In my latest test architecture, I use virtualization in order to store specific states and versions of the software product. From the test architecture it is possible to figure out how many states I expect, what disk space is needed and how many CPUs and how muh RAM the virtualization server is expected to have.

The test architecture described before is mainly for PC software. This may differ for embedded products, e.g. you may want to explain how the device's inputs and outputs are triggered (e.g. via Labview) or how you want to test power surges and what additional hardware is needed to create those surges.

You may also want to describe the data flow, e.g. way you get test data into the device and results out of the device.

  • Look like you familiar with this testing document. Can you recommend me standard such IEEE or books or opensource TAD that suitable for me to refer. Plus more,if you can share some TAD checklist that would helpful to me to prepare the TAD. . Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 21:20
  • @RobbNesp: I'm not very sure if there is a formal definition, otherwise I would have linked to it. ISTQB calls it gTAA and uses it in the context of automation (see istqb.org/certification-path-root/expert-level/…, column 3). I use architecture also in the context of manual testing, mainly to convince someone (the boss) that the testing approach will actually work. If the test architecture is plausible, you get the money to do it as defined. Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 6:58
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    @RobbNesp: who told you to create a test architecture? Would it be possible to ask that person what he thinks a test architecture should contain or define? I always had company-internal template documents as a basis, which was very helpful. Unfortunately I can't publish them. Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 7:00
  • For some company that i have sign NDA. but sir, how about share some checklist with me? So can arrange the document properly Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 13:29
  • A good answer but perhaps make the point that Automated Testing is software develop/engineering explicit rather than implicit and therefore any best practices for development are also best practice for automation. Commented Mar 5, 2017 at 8:38

Test Architecture Design

Determine what to do in each of the 4 agile testing quadrants:

  • unit
  • integrated
  • performance
  • exploratory

Determine how to structure your test pyramid (representing the volume of tests) with more unit tests on the bottom and less exploratory testing at the top

 Integrated Tests  
Lots of Unit Tests

Determine the desired speed of change.

Companies wishing to release changes daily will need testing strategies that match it. Same for companies that release quarterly. Note that top companiies (apple,

Determine the business value/risk of doing / not doing manual testing

Determine the business value/risk of doing / not doing automated testing

Determine the testing and QA/QE process

  • What will be the definition of done ?
  • How will QA/QE integrate their work with development ?
  • How will Code Reviews be shared ?
  • How will agile processes will be used ?

Determine Software Standards to be followed in test development

I'll admit though that this is more aimed at software / agile organizations. It would need to be adapted for hardware / non-agile shops but I think most would still apply.

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