# Decision Table Testing

How do you think the inputs affect the software? Enter “Decision Table Testing”, a method for figuring out how a system will react to different input combinations. This helps make sure your software hits all the right notes, like how a director makes sure a group plays well.

A well-organized table of causes and effects addresses software behavior problems. So, let’s understand, “What is a Decision table in software testing?” and learn “How Decision Table Testing Works?”

## What is a Decision table In Software Testing?

A software testing method called a “decision table” is used to see how a system works when given different inputs. In this method, the various input combinations and their corresponding system behavior are organized and recorded in a table.

This method is also called a “cause-effect table” because it shows both the reasons and the effects for a full test coverage. Decision table testing is a type of black-box testing that is often used to test data that fit together logically.

## What is Decision table Testing?

Decision table testing evaluates a system’s performance when inputs and circumstances are mixed. It requires making a table with all possible combinations of inputs and conditions, and then figuring out what actions or outputs are expected for each combination. Testing the system in every scenario verifies its functionality.

## Example Of Decision table Testing?

Imagine you’re a software tester, and your mission is to ensure a piece of software behaves flawlessly under various situations. That’s where Decision Table Testing comes in. It’s like your guide helping you make sense of complicated scenarios.

Let’s say you’re testing an online payment system. It’s not just about entering numbers; there are conditions like “Payment Amount,” “Payment Method,” and “User Type.” Each of these conditions affects how the system should respond. That’s where Decision Table Testing comes in.

Start by building a decision table. Think of it as a grid where rows represent different combinations of conditions, and columns show possible actions or outcomes.

For our payment system, one condition could be “Payment Amount > \$100,” and another could be “Payment Method = Credit Card.” In the decision table, you’d mark what should happen in each situation—like “Process Payment” or “Display Error.”

Now, here comes the cool part: As a tester, you create test cases from this decision table. For instance, you’d take a row where “Payment Amount > \$100” and “Payment Method = Credit Card,” and you’d expect the system to “Process Payment.” This becomes your specific test case.

But what if it becomes complicated?

Let’s say there’s a condition “Payment Method = PayPal,” and another “User Type = Premium.” Your decision table might say, “Process Payment with Discount.” That’s the beauty of Decision Table Testing—it helps you cover all these possibilities in an organized way.

So, while testing, you’re not just randomly clicking buttons. You’re following the roadmap the decision table provides. It ensures you’re not missing any situation where software might go wrong. It’s efficient too! You’re not writing separate test cases for each condition just referring to the decision table and creating cases based on it.

Decision Table Testing becomes your secret weapon against missing critical scenarios. It’s like a very well-organized checklist. A clear list that will help you in finding issues in your system. With those issues fixed, your product functions in hard times as well. Just as a detective gathers clues to solve a mystery, you, as a software tester, use Decision Table Testing to unravel the secrets of software behavior.

Let’s break down the conditions and actions and then construct the decision table:

Conditions:

1) Payment Amount > \$100

2) Payment Method

• Credit Card
• PayPal

3) User Type

• Regular

4) Actions/Outcomes

• Process Payment
• Process Payment with Discount
• Display Error

Now, let’s create the decision table:

 Conditions Actions Payment Amount > \$100 Payment Method = Credit Card User Type = Regular Process Payment

 User Type = Premium Process Payment with Discount Payment Method = PayPal User Type = Regular Display Error

 User Type = Premium Display Error Payment Amount <= \$100 Payment Method = Credit Card or PayPal

 Any User Type Process Payment

Now, let’s take this decision table and create some specific test cases based on it:

Test Case 1:

Conditions: Payment Amount > \$100, Payment Method = Credit Card, User Type = Regular

Expected Action: Process Payment

Test Case 2:

Conditions: Payment Amount > \$100, Payment Method = Credit Card, User Type = Premium

Expected Action: Process Payment with Discount

Test Case 3:

Conditions: Payment Method = PayPal, User Type = Regular

Expected Action: Display Error

Test Case 4:

Conditions: Payment Method = PayPal, User Type = Premium

Expected Action: Display Error

Test Case 5:

Conditions: Payment Amount <= \$100, Payment Method = Credit Card, User Type = Regular

Expected Action: Process Payment

Test Case 6:

Conditions: Payment Amount <= \$100, Payment Method = PayPal, User Type = Premium

Expected Action: Process Payment

These test cases are derived directly from the decision table, covering various combinations of conditions and corresponding expected actions or outcomes. This approach helps ensure comprehensive testing and provides a clear path to cover different scenarios systematically.

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## Scope Of Decision Table Testing?

1) Complex Business Logic: Decision Table Testing is particularly useful for testing software systems with complex business rules or logic, ensuring that all possible combinations of inputs and conditions are thoroughly tested.

2) Comprehensive Test Coverage: Decision tables help achieve comprehensive test coverage by listing all possible combinations of inputs and conditions, making sure that each combination is considered and tested.

3) Structured Test Case Generation: Decision tables provide a structured approach to generating test cases. The rows easily generate test cases depending on certain input-condition combinations.

4) Risk Mitigation and Efficient Testing: Decision Table Testing mitigates risk by identifying essential input-condition combinations that may cause unexpected behavior. This process prioritizes testing & ensures efficiency.

## Advantages Of Decision Table Testing?

### 1) Clear Representation

Business theories and requirements may be simplified with the use of decision tables. This helps testers (& others) understand what occurs when inputs are combined.

### 2) Efficient Test Design

Decision tables make test case design easier. Testers can create test cases for each input condition to make sure they don’t overlook important situations.

### 3) Traceability

Traceability is improved by decision tables linking input condition combinations to expected results. All requirements were evaluated and confirmed.

### 4) Bug Detection

Decision table testing is great for finding problems because it looks at many different ways things can be used together. This can catch errors like wrong math, bad inputs, or things that don’t work together like they should.

### 5) Automation

Tests can be run automatically with the help of decision tables. Because decision tables are organized, it’s easier to turn them into automatic test scripts, which speeds up bug testing.

## Disadvantages Of Decision Table Testing?

### 1) Complexity

Decision tables can get hard to understand, especially when there are a lot of inputs and exchanges. Handling and understanding a complex decision table can be tough, leading to possible mistakes or missing important situations.

### 2) Incomplete Coverage

While decision tables aim to cover various combinations of inputs, there is a possibility of missing certain scenarios, especially if the decision table is not well-designed or if the requirements are not thoroughly understood.

It can take time to update the decision table when requirements change. Maintaining the decision table to reflect new business rules or modifications can become a significant overhead.

### 4) Inefficient for Large Data Sets

Decision tables might not be efficient for testing systems that deal with large data sets, as the number of combinations can quickly become overwhelming, leading to impractical test cases.

### 5) Skill Dependency

Effective decision table testing requires testers to have a good understanding of the system’s requirements, business rules, and the ability to create accurate decision tables. Some teams might skip using this strategy due to skill dependence.

## Conclusion

Decision table testing has many kind of uses. Its table style makes business rules easier to understand.

It’s simple and easy for all organizations, but time, security, and skilled testers are needed. Even though it has some problems, decision table testing is a good way to check that software is good.