What is Blockchain?
In today’s technology, blockchain is a new innovative way of using databases across multiple computers that are linked through a “community”. In fact, most financial services are picking up on this approach in order to reduce security breaches involving financial transactions. A blockchain is an encrypted database that records the current transactions and once those transactions are completed, they are shifted to a more permanent type of database that is secure.
A block is what technologists are referring to as this “current” set of transactions described above. The term “blockchain” can be thought of like this to the average consumer: the blocks are all interconnected, or linked by a “chain”. When a current block is completed, a new block is generated waiting for the next set of transactions. The blocks are linked in chronological history to show a historical record of all transactions. In other words, a full blockchain is a full history of all these financial transactions.
In order to utilize this type of exciting technologies, it must be tested by software testers to ensure that it is safe and secure.
What is Blockchain Testing?
Software Testing should not be thought of as “anyone can do this.” Especially with blockchain testing. Blockchains use databases and database testing is just one of the many facets in testing. Blockchain technology will bring changes to the way testing is conducted today through the facets of security, peer to peer trust levels and data integrity. At the same token, it will require the standard approaches to testing including but not limited to functional testing, integration testing, regression testing, security testing but will also require specialized additional capabilities in testing.
Peer or Node Testing
Every single node has to be exactly the same with the sequences and transaction sets. Testing in this aspect must validate for consistency to ensure that the data transactions are stored in the right sequence as well as validating for the anomalies. Testers must test for cases in which the nodes will fail. Resiliency in data must also be validated to show that the nodes are accurate when the network is restarted or synced.
Smart Testing can also be considered business process testing. These tests are automatically executed to validate transactions based on defined conditions and business rules/logic. For each and every contract, all permutations are validated by the tester under specific scenario. This type of blockchain testing will involve the use of automation. In regards to automation, it is not recommended to use record and playback.
Performance and Security Testing
Blockchains need to be tested for performance and security. The size of the network, the chain, the transactions, etc will affect the performance and security of the system. It is also imperative to test that the fact that the network is a “community”, the ledger of transactions must be validated that there is no breach or invasion of privacy. Selective permissions of users touching the system must also be validated.
As you can see, blockchains are becoming more and more popular amongst financial organizations, especially those involving BitCoin or IPN network, banks, and others in terms of grounding and securing their data. It does, however, open up for new challenges and opportunities for everyone. While this technology is ground breaking and can be seen as the next level for the testing community, it is also an opportunity for developers to take advantage of. Blockchain can be the next level of data security, which will help the world against things like the Equifax breach, identity theft and more.