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I have a question about the term "Build Verification Testing". In the context of QA, when we run test automation, we aren't "building" anything. We are compiling and running tests against a module, component, or system. The system, module, or component we are testing is previously "built" by developers before the testers ever get to it.

So, my question is, why do testers use the term "Build Verification Testing" when referring to test automation when the term "System Verification Testing", or "System Verification and Validation Testing", seems more correct to me? I am suspecting that the word "build" is an artifact of white box testing QA terminology before test automation was popular? In the old days, unit testing would be followed by Integration testing and then a BVT (build verification test), previous to the web application revolution.

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If we take a look at the definition of BVT we can't find the statement that BVT belongs to white box testing approach. Just "a short set of tests, which exercises the mainstream functionality of the application software". And for system testing -- "testing conducted on a complete, integrated system to evaluate the system's compliance with its specified requirements".

I think, here we are mixing levels and types of testing: system testing is a sort of level (like unit and integration testing) and BVT is a sort of test type (like regression or confirmation testing).

  • +1 for noting multiple dimensions of testing: what is tested? at what level? against what risks? using what techniques? --- all those are dimensions. – dzieciou Sep 14 '14 at 11:08
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According to me terminologies in testing do not matter much provided the communication between the testers and other stakeholders goes successful. That is, the other stakeholders understand the reports delivered by tester and the tester understands their needs and that of the software correctly.

For example build verification testing could also mean to verify that the correct build/version of the software has been handed over to test team for testing.

If you feel that build verification testing should be called system verification testing then sure you can do that, provided the receivers of the message receive it correctly.

  • How can communication be successful without placing an emphasis on terminology (if terminology doesn't matter)? Yes coming to an understanding is important but that usually means settling on a definition among team members. – Chris Kenst Jan 5 '15 at 17:50
  • There are different meanings of different words to different people. It all depends on an individual's point of view and understanding of something. Like for example what some people call adhoc testing, others call monkey testing or gorilla testing. Now there are 3 names for 1 thing in this scenario. Yes a team with mutual understanding can define common terminology FOR THAT TEAM. But outside that team the difference will continue. – IAmMilinPatel Jan 23 '15 at 12:07
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So, my question is, why do testers use the term "Build Verification Testing" when referring to test automation when the term "System Verification Testing", or "System Verification and Validation Testing", seems more correct to me?

Build Verification Test (BVT) or Build Acceptance Test (BAT)

A set of tests run on each new build of a product to verify that the build is testable before the build is released into the hands of the test team. This test is generally a short set of tests, which exercise the mainstream functionality of the application software.

(from http://www.allthingsquality.com/p/testing-terms-glossary.html )

I don't know why other testers use this term, but I use the term when my team is verifying a build received from the Development team. For me, it doesn't matter who actually creates the build, BVT just applies to the testing that happens.

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Occasionally when software is built and packaged for installation something goes wrong, leading to a bad build or an uninstallable system. Such software can be described as "dead in the box". Formal hand over of software to a QA group or to a customer for to install and use can be expensive. Installing and attempting to use dead in the box software wastes money and time. BVTs can be used by both the producers of the software and by the users to avoid all that waste and to give confidence that the software is worth installing and being tested thoroughly.

As other answers say, BVTs try a few of the major functions of the software. Some organisations also include brief tests of new functionality and fixes for major bugs within their BVTs.

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