When considering how to test a software, there are two major options: white box testing and black box testing. Both are uniquely useful depending on the purpose of your test.
White box testing is a technique that examines the code and internal structure of a software. This technique is often automated and used within CI / CD pipelines. It is intended to focus on the implementation and architecture of an application’s code. As such, this testing technique is useful in identifying security risks, finding flaws in the code’s logic, and testing the implementation of the code’s algorithms. Some examples of white box testing include unit testing, integration testing, and static code analysis.
Black box testing is a technique that tests a system and requires no knowledge of that system’s code. This technique involves a tester providing input to the system and monitoring for an expected output. It is meant to focus on user interaction with the system and can be used to identify issues with usability, reliability, and system responses to unexpected input. Unlike white box testing, black box testing is difficult to fully automate. In the event of a failed test, it can be difficult to determine the source of the failure. Some examples of black box testing include functional testing, non-functional testing, and regression testing.
Grey box testing exists in addition to these. It is a combination of white and black box testing which tests a system from the perspective of the user but also requires a limited understanding of the system’s inner structure. This allows the application to be tested for both internal and external security threats. Some examples of grey box testing include matrix testing, regression testing, and pattern testing.