Volume Testing in Software Development

Volume testing is another type of non-functional part that is used to test a software application with a volume of data to determine its capacity to handle such data. The objective of subjecting a software application to volume testing is to determine the performance of the system with different volumes of data from the database.

Volume testing is done against the efficiency of the application. Huge amount of data is processed through the application (which is being tested) in order to check the extreme limitations of the system. Read a pdf tutorial about Experiments with High Volume Test Automation after this article.

Volume Testing, as its name implies, is testing that purposely subjects a system (both hardware and software) to a series of tests where the volume of data being processed is the subject of the test. Such systems can be transactions processing systems capturing real time sales or could be database updates and or data retrieval.

Volume testing will seek to verify the physical and logical limits to a system’s capacity and ascertain whether such limits are acceptable to meet the projected capacity of the organization’s business processing.

The checklist for volume testing

To verify the ability of the system to handle the volume of data fed into it, compare the outcome of the test with this checklist.

  • Verify if any data is lost during the process.
  • Pay attention to the system’s response
  • Check the correctness of the data storage method.
  • Check the data’s integrity whether it is overwritten during the testing without prior notice or not.


Paying close attention to these will offer a helping hand in identifying any loopholes that need to be blocked to promote the overall performance of the software.  Why is volume testing in software development important? A discussion of the benefits of conducting volume testing will answer this question.

The objectives of conducting volume testing in software development

The main objectives of performing volume testing on software applications are:

  • To determine the load or volume at data at which the stability of the system will be compromised.
  • To identify the issues that can prevent a system from reaching the desired volumetric targets or service level agreements.

Ensuring that a system is tested with these objectives in mind will assist the developers to have a system that meets the required benchmark.

Volume testing characteristics

The basic characteristics of volume testing are these:

  • A small quantity of the data is taken for a test during the development stage of the software.
  • As the volume of data used for the testing is increased, the performance of the program will nosedive.
  • Design documents form the basis for generating test data.
  • The data may be incorrect since it is only used to have an insight into the performance of the system.
  • When you are through with the testing, the tester will log and track the results as the final step towards the completion of the test.

Volume testing examples

To drive home what volume testing really means, some typical examples are given below:

  • If you are designing a system to be used on 1,000 computers, you should simulate the use of the system on the same number of computers. That is volume testing. All the real-life activities that will be performed by the users should be simulated and performed. This will include opening files, creating files, and processing data or any use the end user will likely use the system for.
  • If you want to test the application with a database of a specific size, the database of the system should be expanded by adding more data to the system database until it meets the target.

Performing either of these activities or a related one will serve as an effective volume testing technique that will possibly give the best result.

A comprehensive and effective volume testing involves the following processes:

  • Test management.
  • Building test labs.
  • Test plan development.
  • Preparation of test strategy
  • Preparation of the automation testing frameworks.
  • Test scenario development.
  • Creating test script.
  • Executing test cases.
  • Test scenario development.
  • Providing measurable test reports.

When everything is put in place, a very simple and effective volume testing will be done to add more to the credibility of a software application to meet the objective it is designed for