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5.3 Software Functionality and Transactions

All software applications are built to perform a set of transactions to move data from inside to outside the application boundary or outside to inside the application boundary with or without mathematical or logical operations. Thus software system is a collection of transactions that represent dynamic behaviour of the system by moving the data around.

A transaction is an elementary process which is a smallest unit of activity that is meaningful to the user(s)‏ and is self-contained and leaves the business of the application in a consistent state. Based on the primary intention, a transaction can be classified as External Input (EI); or External Output (EO); or External Query (EQ). Each transaction has the beginning (birth) and the termination (death).

A transaction is referred to as External Input (EI) if it is an elementary process that has capability to accept the data or control information that enters the application boundary and its primary intention is to move the data either to alter the behaviour of the system or to maintain the data in the system’s storage. It may involve mathematical operations, derivation of data, conversion of data from one form to another, and prepare and presenting the information outside the application boundary.

A transaction is referred to as External Output (EO) if it is an elementary process and its primary intention move the data is to prepare and present information outside the boundary along with performing at least one of the operations that involve perform mathematical operations or update data storage or create derived data or alter the behaviour of the system.

A transaction is referred to as External Query (EQ) if it is an elementary process and its primary intention move the data is to prepare and present information outside the boundary and it shall not perform any mathematical operations or shall not update data storage or shall not create derived data or shall not alter the behaviour of the system.
 
 
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Arunkumar Khannur, Software Testing - Techniques and Applications, Published by Pearson Publications, 2011 (ISBN:978-81-317-5836-6; Pages:341 + xxii)
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