Black-Box vs White-Box Testing

5 Apr
5 Minutes
Security Testing

Table of content

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    Professional software testing is incomplete without black box and white box testing process. Here’s the difference you need to know.

    Table of Content
    1. What is Black Box Testing?
    2. What is White Box Testing?
    3. Difference Between White Box Testing and Black Box Testing
    4. Conclusion
    5. FAQ

    Black Box Testing in software engineering is a process that helps the tester evaluate the external behaviour of the software. It mainly requires dealing with manual functions even without the need for a programming language.

    On the other hand, white box testing involves focusing on the code and conditions. Hence, testers do a thorough analysis of the infrastructure of the software from start to end.

    Both types of testing are equally important to identify the defect and rectify them before the final production.


    Hence, you must learn and upgrade your skills for software testing. To understand the key difference between white box and black box testing, having in-depth knowledge is important. For that, have a look at the brief description of both the types.

    What is Black Box Testing?

    Black box testing in software engineering is also known as behavioural testing. For this process software testers analyse the functions of the software.

    However, it doesn't require the testers to have intense programming knowledge. They compare the output and the input value. Mainly, black box testing considers specifications which is why it is also known as "closed" or "opaque" box testing.

    Have a look at the following points to clearly understand everything about what is black box testing.

    • Black box testing is useful in understanding the user experience.
    • It is done after the development of the software is complete.
    • Focuses on the specifications of the software.
    • Gives extensive coverage for detecting bugs and fixing them on time.
    • Furthermore, it can be applied at all levels of testing such as integration, units, system, and finally acceptance.

    What is White Box Testing?

    White box software testing method is done to test the internal structure of the software. It covers the branches, code statements, and paths. Hence, it is also called "low-level" or "transparent testing."

    This method is applied mainly during unit testing. However, it can also be used during the other stages like the Integration tests.

    To implement white box testing, the tester should be an expert. This type of testing improves the security, usability, design, and usability of the software.

    It specifically detects hidden errors in the internal structure and optimization of code. Therefore, it is one of the robust tools for ensuring quality assurance.

    Important points to note down for understanding white box testing.

    • It is deployed for specific applications comprising security features such as payment remittance.
    • The tester should have a clear and extensive knowledge of the functions of the software, the required specifications of the document, etc.
    • It is an exhaustive process as you check every single step to spot any errors and remove them.
    • White Box testing also has other names such as transparent testing, code-based testing, transparent testing, etc.

    Differences Between White Box Testing and Black Box Testing

    From the above discussion, you can now have a basic understanding of both testing methods. To have a clear understanding of the difference between white box testing and black box testing, they are divided into different categories.


    1. White Box Testing vs Black Box Testing: Operations

    White Box Testing

    Black Box Testing

    The goal is to improve the integrity and quality of the software by optimising the code.

    Here, the goal is to improve the overall system for a seamless user experience.

    It is perfect for low-level tasks such as unit testing, integration, and others.

    This methodology is perfect for high-level tasks which include system testing and acceptance.

    Here, the tester must have extensive knowledge regarding the internal working of the system. Only then you will be able to evaluate the design and functions of the code.

    The tester highly relies on external assumptions for black box testing. It means that behavioural aspects of the application can be unknown to them.

    A developer can easily automate the method of white box testing.

    Significantly, it is not an easy task to automate the black box testing process for software testers. The reason is programming and testing work together.

    The granularity of white box testing is high.

    While the black box testing has a low granularity.

    2. White Box Testing vs Black Box Testing: Techniques

    White Box Testing

    Black Box Testing

    These are the important techniques used for white box testing.

    Branch Coverage

    Decision Coverage

    Statement Coverage

    Path Coverage

    Multiple Condition Coverage

    Data Flow Testing

    Here are some of the techniques used for black box testing.

    State Transition Testing

    Equivalence Testing

    Experience Based Testing

    Comparison Testing

    Graph-Based Testing

    Boundary Value Analysis

    3. White Box Testing vs Black Box Testing: Process

    White Box Testing

    Black Box Testing

    The process of white box testing is more targeted as compared to black box testing. It is effective to apply on smaller targets for critical functionality, components, and application.

    However, black box testing requires a comprehensive approach to analyse the particular application. Its main aim is to deliver a quality experience for the end users.

    A descriptive flowchart process is followed. Thus, it helps in ensuring flawless execution in the final stage.

    After detecting the bugs, they are stated in front of the development team to finally fix them.

    The first step is to identify the target, and then create a flowchart, and finally execute the task of fixing the bugs.

    In this software testing method, comparing the actual outcomes with the intended ones are important. Then, the failed tests are specified as defects or bugs.

    4. White Box Testing vs Black Box Testing: Demerits

    White Box Testing

    Black Box Testing

    Changing the code base rapidly can make automated tests less effective or useless

    Here, the automated test is important if you want to modify the applications frequently.


    In conclusion, both black and white box testing is important for a better experience for the users. From the above discussion, you can understand that they have their advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, the task of removing bugs, and improving the quality of the system becomes easier when done the right way.

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    Written by Nishil Patel

    CEO & Founder

    Nishil is a successful serial entrepreneur. He has more than a decade of experience in the software industry. He advocates for a culture of excellence in every software product.


    Is white box testing manual or automated?

    Yes, white box software testing can be both automated and manual. Software testers use the automated process to simplify the process of error detection at every step.

    What is another name of black box testing?

    Black box testing in software engineering is sometimes called behavioural testing or functional testing.

    Do you need code to conduct black box testing?

    No, you don't need code to do black-box testing.

    Syntax testing is a black-box testing- Is it True?

    Yes, syntax testing is one of the types of black box testing techniques. This process generates tests in large numbers. That's why the system inputs are automated.

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