Blockchain applications are not like most applications on the market. While the performance, functionality and user experience of a blockchain application often parallels other applications, the structure of its data system adds another level of complexity when it comes to QA testing. So much so that it requires particular tests to be performed, specific tools to aid the testing process and specialized skills for your QA testers to acquire.
But what is blockchain testing? What is blockchain used for? Why is it important to perform blockchain QA testing? And how does somebody start to test blockchain applications?
This tutorial aims to answer your most pressing questions about blockchain testing so that your QA team can fully understand and properly test your blockchain application.
What is Blockchain Testing?
Blockchain is a digital data structure that exists in many places simultaneously because of its reliance on a peer-to-peer computer network. The data within a blockchain is decentralized, meaning that a copy of the blockchain exists on every computer within the network. Every addition to the blockchain can be seen across the network, with transactions cryptographically connected to the previous transaction, making it difficult to pull off fraud.
Unlike many data structures, blockchain only allows users to add to—never delete from—the blockchain. A full history of all transactions and data details are retained as long as the network supporting the blockchain exists. This approach to data architecture minimizes the chance of record manipulation by an unauthorized user, thus making transactions and record-keeping more secure.
So, it is the process of testing the blockchain application to verify the security, functionality, and performance of the digital data structure. It requires maintaining a secure testing environment while working remotely or onsite as well as QA engineers with strong knowledge of blockchain testing framework and experience with blockchain testing tools.
What is Blockchain Used For?
Because of its highly secure data structure, blockchain appeals most to the automotive and financial industries, particularly private banks and cryptocurrencies. Beyond financial security, blockchain technology has also been applied to supply chain management, insurance, energy trading and, surprisingly, video games.
Business leaders and entrepreneurial investors predict (and expect) blockchain to enhance additional industries in the future, from infrastructure security and education to ride-sharing and music streaming.
Why Blockchain Testing Is Important
Within the technology of a blockchain are smart contracts, or sets of rules carried out through programming that are automatically enforced when predefined conditions are met. And it’s the enforcement of these smart contracts that validates the importance of blockchain QA testing.
Unlike most data structures, once a smart contract is deployed to the blockchain, changes can never be made. In order to prevent a mistake that can never be deleted, it’s up to your QA testers to perform comprehensive and quality tests.
What happens when a defect is discovered in production? The smart contract can’t be updated or rolled back. A new version of the smart contract must be created and deployed. And new versions of existing smart contracts must be manually created by applying the previous data into the new contract all over again—an endeavor costly in time and resources.
Here’s How to Test Blockchain Applications
Set your testing up for success with a solid blockchain testing framework developed by QA professionals skilled in using testing tools and decentralized data architecture. From blockchain penetration testing to security testing, ensure that your testing process includes each essential test case for successful, safe deployments.
In this type of testing, your QA team may rely on Agile and DevOps practices to enhance the quality of their development and testing efforts. Through a shift left approach, your QA team can perform a variety of tests early in the development cycle and reuse those tests time and time again. This early feedback decreases the bug count later in the development process.
We recommend that QA teams include these primary tests within their blockchain testing framework.
How well does your blockchain application interact with internal and external applications? Since blockchains can transmit events, blockchain activity can be triggered by events from external systems or external calls.
Transactions must be validated against specific rules to generate an order for the blockchain to distribute. The API then receives a confirmation that the blockchain has received new data for this transaction.
To follow API testing automation best practices, validate the interaction of APIs in and out of the blockchain at each step of the process. Blockchain testing tools as well as external API testing services can verify that API requests and responses are formatted and managed accurately.
Assess all business circumstances and processes as well as the effectiveness of all use-case scenarios. QA testers should also review block size, chain size, data transmission and the ability to add blocks to validate the functionality of the blockchain application.
Is your blockchain application completely secured to withstand attacks, including viruses and malware programs? Any outgoing transaction or transfer of data cannot be stopped, so QA testers must uncover any potential threats through security testing. Your QA testing process should also validate that the blockchain system prevents processing any faulty or damaging data before it causes consumer risk so that users always interact with a safe, healthy digital application.
Cyberattacks and fraudulent hacking are extremely difficult to do within a blockchain—that is, when the right software rules and smart contracts are in place. Yet, any mistake within the sophisticated math or software rules can leave the front door open to unauthorized users with malicious intent.
Blockchain penetration testing allows your QA engineers to create and execute test cases identical to the behavior of cyberattackers—without the malicious intent, of course—in order to verify that the blockchain blocks out any unauthorized user. They include blockchain penetration testing that simulates real-world scenarios by attempting entrance through network service, wireless networks, social engineering networks and the blockchain application.
Thorough blockchain testing should include reviewing performance metrics, identifying performance bottlenecks and assessing the application’s readiness for consumer use. It’s important for your QA testing process to examine the sequencing of transactions at every node, dependency on production environment, transaction processing speed and any network latency. Many performance test cases can be executed through blockchain testing tools and, when additional resources are required, with the assistance of a performance testing services provider.
While this tutorial is comprehensive, you may still need assistance in testing blockchain applications. Because thorough blockchain QA testing is essential prior to market launch, it’s important to implement the right tools and enlist the support of all specialized testers onto the project.
Does your team need additional assistance with blockchain testing? You can choose to partner with a QA services provider like QASource. Our experienced QA engineers are skilled in all approaches to blockchain testing and are well-versed in managing its tools. Our team of experts, can create a proper framework for your blockchain application so that it is tested thoroughly and accurately. Get in touch with a QASource expert today.