What is the difference between verification and validation?

validation vs verification

21 February 2022 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Manual testing, QA

…or is there even a distinction between validation and verification?

Testers get asked these questions on a daily basis – “Have you verified the system? Have you validated the feature?” The terms validate and verify are frequently used interchangeably, but what exactly do they imply? Is there a distinction? Yes, and you must do both in the worlds of software development and quality assurance. It’s even more critical for the tester to grasp what they are, what each entails, in a world where continuous delivery is the new norm.

Example for Software Validation vs Software Verification

Let’s take an example. Let’s say you want to drive to your friend’s place. During your ride, you would constantly verify the route taken and compare it to the numerous landmarks that emerge. That’s called verification.

Once you’ve arrived, the validation effort is unconcerned about the route you took; all that matters is that you’ve arrived and that everything is as expected. Your friend will confirm and thus validate that you arrived at the right spot.

In software development, both verification and validation are required to ensure that the correct path is taken and that the correct end results are achieved.

Testing Verification

Verification is a testing technique that can determine if the program fulfills the original specifications or criteria.

The purpose of the procedure is to answer the question, “Did I build what I said I would?”
The IEEE-STD-610 Software Engineering standards formally describe “verification” as:

A test of a system to prove that it meets all its specified requirements at a particular stage of its development.

The stage of development is a crucial factor to consider. The term “verification of development” refers to the process of checking an application that is still in development to confirm that it meets certain requirements. Code reviews, walkthroughs, and inspections are all part of the verification process. Verification does not necessitate actual program testing.

Testing Validation

Returning to IEEE-STD-610, validation is defined as follows:

An action that assures that the genuine demands and expectations of an end product stakeholder are met.

So to sum it up:

  • Validation occurs after a module or the full application has been completed, but verification occurs while the product is still in development.
  • Validation ensures that a stakeholder receives the product they requested.
  • Validation is a type of high-level testing that includes regression, user, and performance testing, among other things.

Continuous Validation is used in Agile workflows when short development cycles are combined with continuous feedback from users/customers.

Validation vs. Verification: What’s the Difference?

The purpose of verification is to generate a product that meets specifications. Validation will test and “verify” the finished product to check that it was built correctly.

Verification involves little or no code execution, whereas validation necessitates it.

Reviews, walkthroughs, inspections, and desk-checking are examples of low-level verification activities. High-level activities such as black-box testing, white-box testing, and non-functional testing are required for validation.

Validation is a dynamic process of testing the real product, whereas verification is a static way of examining documents and files.


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