Throughout the whole software development life cycle (SDLC) process, there is a large number of tests that should be run to ensure that the software works perfectly in every aspect. This article will present the differences between these two valuable test types: System Testing and Integration Testing. Both of those tests play a key role in every software development process and every tester should become familiar with them.
Definition of System Testing
System testing is defined as the process of running tests on the entire software as a whole from a user point of view. The goal of this test is to check if the product is meeting the user requirements and needs while finding bugs and defects that must be corrected in order to do so. System testing is also referred to as an end-to-end test because of the full cover the test is providing and the advanced development stage the test is performed in.
The system testing is executed mostly by test engineers and only after the integration testing is done. In system testing, there is no need for internal code knowledge because it includes black-box testing techniques only. This particular testing can be categorized into functional testing (unit testing, regression testing, etc) and non-functional testing (performance testing, security testing, and more).
Definition of Integration Testing
Integration testing is when performing tests on multiple different modules and components together. The purpose of this testing is to examine how those various modules interact with each other. Firstly, every module is tested separately to make sure it works smoothly and afterward the integration test is executed to check the performance of those modules collectively.
The integration testing is performed before the system testing and after the unit testing. This specific testing can be executed by QA testers, test engineers, and also developers. There are a few ways to perform integration tests like big-bang integration testing, top-down integration testing, bottom-up integration testing, and so on. Using a test plan could help significantly in the process of integration testing.
Advantages of System Testing
- End-to-end test that involves all the software components as a whole and checks for defects
- Examine the software from a user point of view and simulate real-life scenarios
- Covers both functional and non-functional testing elements such as performance, usability, regression testing, and more
- No need for internal code knowledge
Advantages of Integration Testing
- Helps to understand how different modules communicate with each other
- Finds bugs and defects in the interface between various components
- Can be performed by a wider variety of staff members
- There are different approaches with different benefits to consider when performing integration testing like top-down integration, bottom-up integration, and big-bang integration
Differences between System Testing and Integration Testing
|System Testing||Integration Testing|
|Purpose||Testing the entire software as a whole and understanding if it meets the user requirements||Testing several modules together and understanding how they interface with each other|
|Executed by||Test Engineers||QA Testers, Developers and Test Engineers|
|Type of testing||Both functional and non-functional tests such as performance, security, regression testing, unit testing, etc||Only functional tests. Can be performed in different approaches like top-down, bottom-up, big-bang, and more|
|Technique||Black-box testing||Grey-box testing|
|When to perform||After Integration Testing||Before System Testing and after Unit Testing|
In a nutshell, there is a wide range of different testing that should be run on software across its development life cycle. Among those important tests, we can mention the system testing and the integration testing which are performed one after the other. While those two tests are intended to ensure the software is working smoothly without bugs and defects there are some differences that we detailed in this article.
Furthermore, the use of these two valuable tests is crucial in every software development in order to create a product that answers the user's needs and meets the business requirements. Also, using a document like a test plan or PractiTest’s test management tool could substantially help trace and manage all the important aspects of testing.