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I think I understand the difference between the two, and I've found a lot of resources that explain the difference between the two, but I haven't found any explanation of why you should have one or the other or both.

Here's my current thoughts. You start with test cases as a simple way to cover the detailed functional requirements, which you can do before any software is written. However, given the application, it's probably more efficient to execute a realistic test procedure that groups test cases, and explicitly states how to do that with the actual application.

Sound about right?

Follow up question: Do a lot of organizations use both? From my research, it seems like a lot of organizations stop at the test cases.

UPDATE: My definition of the terms "test case" and "test procedure" are primarily influenced by the book Systematic Software Testing.

  • For what you explained, "test procedure" is just the execution of testing (beign scripted or exploratory). I got it right? – João Farias Apr 25 '17 at 23:11
  • What's your definition of "test procedure"? – FDM May 26 '17 at 5:46
  • @FDM I think a test procedure is a list of instructions that excercises one or more test cases, using actual the actual UI. For example: 1) Type a valid username into the username field. 2) Type a valid password into the password field. 3) Click the Login button. – Tomas Ramirez May 29 '17 at 6:13
  • @TomasRamirez your 1-2-3 list is one test case. If that's a test procedure for you, they are equal in meaning. – FDM May 29 '17 at 8:16
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A procedure defines a process:

an established or official way of doing something

A case is only a single item in a process and not a process on its own.

There is a thin-line between test-procedure and or test-case. As both define steps how to execute testing work. I would argue that the procedure would be higher-level explaining why, what and how we are testing, more like a strategy, a way of working. While a test-case is a detailed isolated piece of functionality being tested.

Maybe it is better to call the test-procedure a test-plan or test-strategy. This shows a clearer difference between the two.

As with all terminology it depends. There is not a official defined definition. When in doubt ask in your company or team what they mean with it.

Yes, most companies should use both. We have a high-level testing strategy describing how we build high-quality products. There is also a separate strategy for each of our four products. We also group tests in test-suites and execute test-cases manual and automated. Although most if not all our test-cases are automated.

  • I agree, Niels - what you have described sounds more like a "test plan" to me. – Tomas Ramirez May 29 '17 at 6:21
  • On the highest level yes, but a procedure could also be that during the executing of a user-story the process contains an exploratory testing session. Making it more part of a work-process than a test plan. Here an example sentence I think I could use: "The test procedures for our user stories is that we create test-cases up-front, they contain at least 65% code-coverage, that two people have tested it, we executed an exploratory testing session." – Niels van Reijmersdal May 29 '17 at 8:19
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As per you say that test case and test scenario are same as to each other. I have agreed with you, but we can also its differentiate like,

Test case: Test case consist of a set of input values, execution precondition, expected results and executed post condition, developed to cover certain test condition. The test case is written by using the functional requirement.

Test scenario: Test scenario is covered that all possibility of all case, it's covered the business point of the view all cases covers.

Please read more in below link:

http://www.360logica.com/blog/test-case-vs-test-scenarios/

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