Use Case, Test case, Test scenario

Use Case VS. Test Case

Both of them are essential when solving customers’ problems. However, there are still some differences existing between use case and test case.

A use case is prepared by a business analyst (BA), which is a pictorial representation of client or customer requirements. It describes how we are going to solve problems for clients or customers and the flow of events of an application, and provides us with the story how people is going to interact with a software system to achieve a goal at the same time. A use case will always be done at the beginning phase.

In contrast, a test case will be done by a test engineer or analyst at the end phase when the software or an application has been developed. It defines a set of conditions or variables under which a tester will determine whether an application, software system or one of its features is working as it was originally established for it to do. The root of the test case is the framework of the use case. Instead of that a use case always interacts with users, a test case interacts with the results. It kinda likes a document which contains actions, events and the expected result of a particular feature of an application.

For example, when a customer come and want us to solve a particular problem, let’s say inventory management. A business analyst will start communicating with this customer, learning this customer’s problems and issues, and write use case which captures the customer’s requirements related to system functions, or say how the customer will interact with the system. Such use case can help the development team understand precisely what the customer expect the system to do, and what functionalities the system can provide.

Then, after the development team has finished their jobs, like building a software system or application for the customer, testing team will come and start writing the test case, which is used to validate whether the requirements have been met or not. So here, the functions that were agreed upon by the BA and customer will be listed on the test case, and such test case will be used to perform the actual testing activities.

So to simplify it, a use case describes the customers’ requirements, and it provides a baseline for the development team and testing team. But for a test case, it depends on the use case and it describes the testing requirements that the project needs to accomplish to ensure that the quality requirement expected by the customer is met.


Test Scenario

A test scenario, aka test condition, is any functionality that can be tested. It is the high-level classification of test requirement grouped depending on the functionality of a module. The purpose of scenario testing is to test the end-to-end functionality of a software application and to ensure the business process and flows are functioning as needed.

For example, when we are doing the writing part of a testing project, say we are testing a website, we need to identify test scenarios and test cases. One of the test scenarios can be that: “The Login Page”. Under this test scenario, we can have several test cases, e.g. “To verify the “Register” button”, maybe.


The difference between test case and test scenario is basically that: test scenario is “what to be tested”, whereas test case is “how to be tested”.

Test Case Test Scenario
Test case consist of test case name, Precondition, steps / input condition, expected result. Test scenario consists of a detailed test procedure. We can also say that a test scenario has many test cases associated with it. Before executing the test scenario we need to think of test cases for each scenario.
Test cases are low level actions and it can be derived from test scenarios. Test scenarios are the high level classification of test requirement grouped depending on the functionality of a module and it can be derived from use cases.
Test case is give detailed information about if any pre-condition, what to test, how to test and expected result etc. Test scenario is one liner statement which tell us about what to test.
Test case means detailed documenting the cases which help executing while testing. Test Scenario means talking and thinking requirements in detail.
Test cases are set of steps which performed on system to verify the expected output. Test scenario is thread of operations.
Test cases are more importance in case where development is happening onsite and QA is happening Off shored. It will help to understand and make both developer and QA in sync. Test scenarios are more important when time to write test cases is no sufficient and team members are agree with the detailed one liner scenario.
Writing test cases is one time effort which can be used in future while executing regression test case.
While reporting defects it will help tester to link the defect with test case id.
In new software testing generation it is new idea and time saver activity. The addition and modification (easy maintainability) of test scenarios is easy and independent on specific person.
The detailed test case document is full proof guard for new software tester. If developer missed something then it is easy to catch while executing these full-proof test cases. One of the most positive point about test scenario is good test scenarios reduces the complexity and repeatability of product.
It requires more time and resources due to detailed test case which talks about how to test and what to test. If the test scenario not detailed enough then it might take some time to discussion and understand what test scenario is exactly talking about.


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