The Ultimate Guide To System Testing
You may wonder after performing unit testing and integration testing, what is the need for system testing?
Well, system testing is performed after the entire software has been developed and all the individual modules have been integrated. It is the first test done on the completed system.
System testing is crucial since it confirms that the software as a whole works properly. Additionally, it determines whether the software developed actually meets user expectations.
Even if you build an excellent software, if your software doesn’t comply with customer needs and business criteria, it will be seen as a failure.
If you want to learn how to do system testing, follow along with us on this ultimate guide to system testing.
We’ve discussed everything from what you’ll verify in this test to all the tools you can use to make system testing efficient.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
What Is System Testing?
System testing is a software testing technique where the fully integrated software is tested as a whole. Testing the completed software to evaluate compliance with functional, non-functional, and user requirements is system testing.
To perform system testing several entry criteria must be fulfilled. Unit and integration testing must be completed and all major bugs should be resolved.
Software development and integration must be completed.
Also, a testing environment resembling the actual production environment should be ready for system testing.
System testing includes a series of different tests to exercise the full system. Testers don’t need to have internal structure or design knowledge to perform system testing as it falls under black box testing. It’s also known as the investigatory testing phase of SDLC.
System testing is usually done by a separate team with no links to the development team. This is done so a completely impartial evaluation of the entire system can be generated.
What Does System Testing Verify?
System testing verifies several aspects of the completed software system, starting with whether the code converts into a functional program.
To assess how components work together as a whole, the fully integrated software and external peripherals are examined.
Additionally, testers operate the software as a user would and verify whether the software provides the expected output for each functional and non-functional requirement.
Software may not perform properly on all the platforms it was supposed to run on. This can be verified during system testing. Bugs, performance issues, and compatibility issues are also identified while system testing.
Types Of System Testing
Given that it includes all of the fundamental types of testing, system testing is referred to as a superset of all testing. It can include both functional and non-functional testing.
Some of the important types of system testing are:
Also known as functional completeness testing. It verifies that the software functionalities work as expected in accordance with requirement specifications.
Testers also try to find out if any functions are missing or if additional functions can be added to improve the software.
Usability testing examines software features to make sure users can access them conveniently and enjoys their experience.
It checks the functionality of the program as well as its aesthetic appeal because these aspects could influence a customer’s final judgment.
Recovery testing verifies that the software solution can recover from a hardware, software, or network failure and perform as expected after recovery.
This proves that the software is reliable and can successfully recover possible crashes post-deployment.
Software installation is the first interaction between the user and the software. Hence, installation testing is crucial to confirm that the software gets installed without any issues.
This testing also involves checking the software’s ability to check if the user environment satisfies software installation requirements and evaluating its capacity to deliver efficient instruction in the event of requirement failure.
Performance testing verifies that system performance remains optimum even under varying conditions like additional user surges and invalid data input.
This testing also checks whether the software is taking too much time displaying different pages. There are different types of performance tests for testing different performance characteristics.
Compatibility testing ensures that the end software is compatible with different operating systems, browsers, hardware platforms, and databases as per the requirement document.
It’s crucial to perform compatibility testing before deployment to make sure the software runs properly on all declared platforms.
Scalability testing determines whether the application can scale or grow to accommodate the rising demand.
The software might need to cope with scaling users, geographies, environments, or resources.
The main purpose of security testing is to verify that the software can differentiate between authorized and unauthorized access and prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data.
Security testing also helps to identify system vulnerabilities so that developers can resolve them before release.
Exploratory testing focuses more on execution than planning and doesn’t follow any scripted testing.
Tester has the freedom to pick the features he wants to test based on his previous experience, intuition, and intellect.
Exploratory testing can help testers to more accurately represent the viewpoint of a potential customer.
Other than these there are more types of system testing available for use. Such as:
- GUI Testing
- Migration Testing
- Regression Testing
- Stress Testing
- Adhoc Testing
- Sanity Testing
- Interoperability Testing
- Documentation Testing
- Exception Handling, etc.
The Different Purposes Of System Testing
System testing has different purposes such as:
- The main purpose of system testing is to evaluate the end-to-end system specifications by using extensive test scenarios.
- Another significant purpose of system testing is ensuring compliance with stakeholder and business goals.
- Additionally, system testing checks the system from a user’s point of view to make sure it matches user needs and expectations.
- Identifying usability issues and making the system more user-friendly.
- It also verifies and validates the software architecture.
- System testing examines how the software would perform in the production environment.
- Identifying and resolving performance and compatibility issues is another important purpose.
- Lastly, system testing strives to mitigate post-production issues.
What Type Of System Testing Should I Use?
There are more than fifty different types of system testing available in the testing industry. Additionally, test types that brought out effective results in another software may not be suitable for your project.
Therefore, it can become quite confusing to choose which type of system testing to perform on your software. To make an informed decision and pick out the most efficient system testing types consider the following aspects:
This is the first factor to consider while choosing a system testing type. Analyze the business requirements and discuss with stakeholders, project managers, and test managers to decide which aspects are most important and high-risk for your software. Then choose the system tests which will exercise those aspects.
This is a crucial factor to consider as some system testing types are more complex than others. So, you have to take into consideration the knowledge and competence of your test team while choosing a test type.
Budget plays a huge role in choosing the system test type. The more budget you have, the more testers you can employ, advanced tools you can use, and the more tests you can perform.
But if the budget is limited, you have to choose tests that have the minimum human effort and resource requirement.
Some system tests include several stages and require a longer time to finish. Moreover, if you choose multiple system tests, completing them will take more time.
If you have time, applying several tests can bring better results. But in case of time constraints, go for tests that can be completed in the shortest time.
Automation VS Manual
Automation system tests are more streamlined and can be completed in a faster time. So, companies looking to complete more projects in a timespan should opt for system tests that can be automated.
For having a human perspective on the end product, manual system tests should be chosen.
How To Do System Testing?
To perform system testing effectively, follow the given steps:
- Create a system testing plan including clear entry & exit criteria as well as proper test estimation.
- Generate test scenarios and write test cases. Try to include real-life test scenarios for better results.
- Follow the proper template for both test plan creation and test case writing.
- Once test cases are developed, create the required test data for effective test execution.
- Set up the testing environment before starting execution. Try to simulate a production-like test environment for better results.
- Execute the test cases. Record test case failures and the reason behind failure.
- Prepare defect reports including the recorded bugs and present them to the development team.
- After developers send back the resolved software, re-test the areas where bugs previously occurred to make sure bugs were successfully resolved.
- Repeat the cycle as many times as required.
- System testing can be done in a variety of ways, depending on the specific requirements and characteristics of the software system being tested. Here is an example of a simple system test written in Python:
# Import the necessary modules and libraries import unittest class TestCalculator(unittest.TestCase): def setUp(self): self.calc = Calculator() def test_addition(self): result = self.calc.add(2, 3) self.assertEqual(result, 5) def test_subtraction(self): result = self.calc.subtract(5, 2) self.assertEqual(result, 3) def test_multiplication(self): result = self.calc.multiply(3, 4) self.assertEqual(result, 12) def test_division(self): result = self.calc.divide(10, 5) self.assertEqual(result, 2) # Run the test suite if __name__ == '__main__': unittest.main()
In this example, we have a simple calculator class called “Calculator” that has four basic math operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division). We are using the unit test module of Python to create test cases for each of the calculator’s functions. The test cases are defined as methods in the TestCalculator class, which inherits from unit test.TestCase. Each test case calls the corresponding function of the calculator class and uses the assertEqual method to check if the result is what we expect it to be.
This is a simple example of how to do system testing, but it is important to note that in real-world scenarios, system tests will be much more complex and may include testing for performance, security, compatibility, usability, and other aspects of the system. Additionally, it is also important to test the system in different scenarios, with different inputs and user interactions.
Tools For System Testing
Detecting performance & compatibility issues by manual system testing can become difficult and highly time-consuming. Therefore, several system testing tools are used for efficient testing.
These tools make it easier and more effective to identify data overflow, resource limitations, and various external constraints.
Some of the most popular system testing tools are listed below:
- Galen Framework
Frequently Asked Questions
Are System Testing And Acceptance Testing The Same?
No, system and acceptance testing are two different techniques of testing. While system testing verifies the end-to-end functionality and performance of the software, acceptance testing only focuses on if user goals are met or not.
Another significant difference is that system testing is done by testers using test data but acceptance tests are done by customers using real production data.
What Should The System Test Plan Include?
Main things that should be included in the system test plan are your main purpose & objectives for performing this test, features that are in & out of scope, selected testing strategies, entry & exit criteria, test schedule, resources, tools to be used, and required environment details.
What’s An Example Of System Testing?
Let’s think of an e-commerce website. Developers code the software functionalities according to design documents and unit the individual components such as login, add to cart, search, etc.
After the entire website is completed, tests are performed to make sure the website allows login, the search feature brings up all the relevant products, the add-to-cart feature saves user choices, and the website doesn’t slow down during concurrent usage.
These are some examples of system testing. System testing will test the entire workflow of the system from sign up of a new user, to search results, add to cart, and transaction process.
System testing is extremely important and skipping it can cause critical post-production issues. Tons of functional and non-functional issues can’t be detected until the software is tested as a whole.
System testing is therefore a highly effective test for verifying the product is prepared for deployment, despite its high cost, large time commitment, and resource needs.
Hopefully, you have received a clear insight into how to do system testing from our article. To achieve the best results, replicate real-life scenarios for system testing.
Rahnuma is a technical content writer at software testing stuff. A software engineer by degree and a dynamic content creator by passion, she brings to table over 3 years of writing experience in tech niche. Combining her enthusiasm for writing and technology, she loves to share her thoughts on the latest tech trends.