What is conformance?
A study by Gardner Group showed that 50 to 70% of all major software projects often fail because of the quality of the software and interoperability challenges. Developers can solve these challenges by conducting tests to ensure smart devices meet the requirements defined by its official specification. This procedure is what experts call conformance testing. So, what is conformance? According to ISO/IEC Guide, conformance refers to the fulfillment of software or a process of the specified requirements. These requirements are part of the conformance clause that states the criteria or all the requirements that should be satisfied by the device to achieve conformance.
Conformance testing is a test procedure that determines whether an implementation conforms to the specifications of the standard. The conformance test is used to verify an implementation against the conformance requirements described in the corresponding International Standard (IS) or ITU-T Recommendations.
The purpose of a conformance test is to increase the probability that different implementations of the systems will work together. Since the complexity of the protocols is extremely high, an extensive testing of all possibilities is neither reasonable nor feasible for technical and also economic reasons. Therefore, there is no guarantee that successful conformance tests will be successful in all aspects.
The OSI protocol Conformance Testing is specified as an international standard under ISO IS9646. The standard describes the procedures for conformance testing, the notation form TTCN for the creation of protocol test definitions and the form of the test report.
Developers need to conduct conformance testing to be sure they meet the specifications and requirements of the standards. It is a way of determining whether any deviations exist when it comes to the performance of the given process when compared to its requirements. If no deviations or eliminations are found, developers can rest easy with the knowledge that they have achieved conformance.
Conformance testing requires the use of test solutions. The test software consists of a range of test files that may include programs, scripts, and data that is necessary for testing every requirement in the specification to see if the results match the specifications of the software, process, document, system, or web page. Testing often results in validation, which is the process of checking if a particular device conforms to the relevant specifications or standards.
Importance of conformance testing
The main reason for conformance testing is obviously to spot any errors and ambiguities in a given device. If any problems are found, developers send them back to the R&D service to find the problem. The standard doesn’t modify the products, they just give a pass or fail for the test.
Without conformance testing, it would be difficult to identify errors and correct them accordingly, and this might likely result in the software, process, or program failure. Conformance testing is also useful to software developers since it helps them to improve the quality of their implementations.
It provides an environment for developers to identify areas of conformance early in the software development process, thus, enhancing their quality and performance. Without such tests, software creators would rely only on guesswork or luck for the success of their programs.
Different types of conformances exist and they all contribute to the successful working and implementation of a device.
They include requirements and design. Newly created Software or program to be launched has to meet the requested requirements using a specific design that has to conform to technical specifications . It is also important to follow official practices and processes which can’t be flexible to reach required standards .
Other conformances tests exist , which involve following an industry accurately, whether professional or internal. Rules and regulations also come into play when designing specifications so a program or software may work according to the expectations of developers. This means that conformance implies doing something to be productive. It is quite different from compliance.