Black-box testing

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Black box systems
Black box diagram.svg
Black box · Oracle machine
Methods and techniques
Black-box testing · Blackboxing
Related techniques
Feed forward · Obfuscation · Pattern recognition · White box · White-box testing · Gray-box testing · System identification
A priori information · Control systems · Open systems · Operations research · Thermodynamic systems

Black-box testing is a method of software testing that examines the functionality of an application without peering into its internal structures or workings. This method of test can be applied virtually to every level of software testing: unit, integration, system and acceptance. It is sometimes referred to as specification-based testing.[1]

Test procedures[edit]

Example of a black box model where a certain input produces a certain output

Specific knowledge of the application's code, internal structure and programming knowledge in general is not required.[2] The tester is aware of what the software is supposed to do but is not aware of how it does it. For instance, the tester is aware that a particular input returns a certain, invariable output but is not aware of how the software produces the output in the first place.[3]

Test cases[edit]

Test cases are built around specifications and requirements, i.e., what the application is supposed to do. Test cases are generally derived from external descriptions of the software, including specifications, requirements and design parameters. Although the tests used are primarily functional in nature, non-functional tests may also be used. The test designer selects both valid and invalid inputs and determines the correct output, often with the help of a test oracle or a previous result that is known to be good, without any knowledge of the test object's internal structure.

Test design techniques[edit]

Typical black-box test design techniques include:[4]


In penetration testing, black-box testing refers to a method where an ethical hacker has no knowledge of the system being attacked. The goal of a black-box penetration test is to simulate an external hacking or cyber warfare attack.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jerry Gao; H.-S. J. Tsao; Ye Wu (2003). Testing and Quality Assurance for Component-based Software. Artech House. pp. 170–. ISBN 978-1-58053-735-3.
  2. ^ Milind G. Limaye (2009). Software Testing. Tata McGraw-Hill Education. p. 216. ISBN 978-0-07-013990-9.
  3. ^ Patton, Ron (2005). Software Testing (2nd ed.). Indianapolis: Sams Publishing. ISBN 978-0672327988.
  4. ^ Forgács, István; Kovács, Attila (2019). Practical Test Design: Selection of Traditional and Automated Test Design Techniques. ISBN 978-1780174723.

External links[edit]