Testing is essential to ensure that the application is free of faults and fits the requirements. Before the release application undergoes various testing stages to uncover and fix as many bugs as possible and ensure that the app works as intended before it reaches the end user. In the software testing process, there are four main stages: unit testing, integration testing, system testing, and acceptance testing. Here we will discuss system testing.
The more the application is thoroughly tested, the more bugs will be detected;. ultimately results in higher-quality software.
System testing integrates all the modules of the application after their unit and integration testing, thereafter, testing is done on the entire system as a whole. The aim of the system testing process is to increase the quality of the application and better ensure that users get a positive experience when using the application.
So it is essential to understand how system testing works so that testers can identify areas of improvement in an application and provide actionable reports to organizations.
In this topic, we are going to learn all about system testing in detail. Here you will learn the benefits of this testing, its types, and how it is performed, and discover strategies to help you succeed in your testing. Let’s begin with what system testing is.
System Testing as the name suggests is testing the application as a whole. System Testing is one of the levels of application testing and should be tested in the development life cycle. A complete and fully integrated application is tested to ensure it meets its requirements and works as expected.
The objective of this testing is to evaluate the end-to-end system specifications, for example, identifying errors, gaps, or missing requirements in the overall functionality of the application. This is why it is also known as End To End testing.
System testing prevents application crashes and failures during its execution in the production environment. It is performed before acceptance testing and after integration testing. This level of testing plays an important role as most testing activities occur in this phase.
It is a type of Black-box testing that assesses how the application works from a user perspective. It only assesses the external working features of the application during the testing and does not require any internal knowledge of systems like the design or structure of the code.
System testing contains functional and non-functional areas of the application. It mainly focuses on the application’s functionality, its external interfaces, security, recovery, performance, usability, reliability, user’s smooth interaction with the application, and many more.
In system testing, all the components which are tested in integration testing are taken as inputs and then detect errors both in the integrated units as well as the whole system.
System testing is performed by testers who are independent of the development testing team and have not played a role in developing or testing the application.
Why Is System Testing needed?
- System testing is the first phase in which the whole system(both the functional and non-functional requirements) comes together for the first time for validation against expected output.
- Even after successful unit and integration testing bugs can enter anytime into the system that many remain undiscovered by earlier testing phases. Hence minor errors or defects can lead to a deviation from the requirements and the application may not work as per expectation. This is why it is imperative to test the application by combining all its components together. System testing helps to uncover these issues.
- The testing is performed in an environment that closely matches the final application environment. Hence the test team gets a good idea of the user’s reaction.
- This testing is an important way to understand the end-users requirement because it evaluates the application on the basis of the user’s point of view.
- Successful system testing brings a sense of confidence in delivering a high-quality application to the user.
- System testing is done to ensure that the application can function properly in a real-world environment. The purpose of this type of testing is to determine if the system will operate as expected and if any bugs have been found.
Objectives Of System Testing
System testing is a process by which the functional and performance requirements of an application are evaluated. System tests should be conducted at various stages of the software development life cycle to ensure that the system meets user requirements, complies with applicable standards, and works properly in all conditions.
The main objectives of system testing are to ensure that the system is not only operational but also meets all the requirements. Some of the other objectives are as follows.
- To provide information about how well the application meets its specifications, that is to fulfill its purpose and achieve its function and also whether it exhibits any unexpected behavior.
- To determine whether any error has been introduced into the application either accidentally or deliberately which may cause failure to perform correctly or safely in the normal course of use or operation of the application.
- To identify any potential limitations in the application design and operation.
- Aims to ensure that the application functions correctly and conforms to specifications. It also helps to identify any problems with the software, such as bugs or errors in configuration settings.
Process For Conducting System Testing
We have already discussed what system testing is and why it is performed. Now let us understand what steps are involved in executing this testing process. It is to keep in mind that the system testing process varies from project to project. But still, there are some common steps that are followed in the process of system testing.
Setting up a test environment- The first step is creating a test environment that matches the real-time scenario for better quality testing. This involves listing the testing tools, selecting programming languages, and frameworks to be used, and setting up necessary configurations and dependencies.
Test case creation- The next step is followed by creating test cases for a comprehensive testing process. This includes documents on all the precise details about the testing need and how tests it, and also include information on what constitutes a test to pass or fail.
Creating Test data- In this step random test data input is collected for the testing process. The data can be both positive and negative. It is important to keep in mind when creating test data, that all the critical fields are covered, and no important field is left out.
Executing test cases- Once the test cases with the test data are created they should be executed to know whether the test case has passed or failed.
Bugs/defects detection- The test case must show how the application behaves when it encounters an error or defect. To properly plan for system testing, we need to understand how defects are reported and fixed. In this step detection of detects takes place and is quickly reported if found.
Regression testing- Regression testing is done to verify that newly added features have not led to any new bugs and that the existing functionality has not been broken. In short it is to check if there are any side effects of the whole testing process.
Fixing Defects- It is important to have a plan on how to fix defects. Although all defects can be fixed, having a process to evaluate and fix them is key to success. In this step, all the defects are logged into the file and sent to the developers for fixing.
Retesting- Once the defects are checked and get fixed, the tester should verify that the fix works as expected. Not doing so can have the risk of undetected defects in the application. hence the whole test is repeated again till successful testing is not achieved.
Types Of System Testing
System testing has more than 50 types, and validating the functionality and performance of an application involves several types of tests. However, only a few important ones are put into practice. Here are some common types that are mostly used in practice.
Functional testing- This includes testing an application’s basic functions such as data entry or downloading an image file from a website. and ensure that the application is working as per the defined requirements.
Regression testing- checks for bugs that were fixed in previous versions of the application but have not been tested before being released to users.
Usability testing- Looks at how well the user interface works based on user feedback about usability issues that are encountered during testing.
Stress testing- It is done by increasing the number of users at a time on an application to an extent that the application breaks down. This is done to verify the point at which the application can break down. it checks for errors under extreme conditions such as unexpected crashes or other failures caused by heavy loads on the application.
Performance testing- This is done to check for delays in response time between actions performed by users and actions executed by application components under load conditions or when there are many users accessing the same resources at once.
Security testing- This testing identifies potential vulnerabilities in applications and helps to prevent security breaches. The purpose of security testing is to restrict unauthorized access into restricted areas within an application that could result in data loss, money loss, or the loss of other useful or sensitive information.
Scalability Testing- This type of software testing is carried out to check the application’s performance in terms of its capability to scale up or down the number of user request loads.
Regression testing- this is conducted to assess an application after an update is made and ensure that any new code modifications have been successfully implemented and have not caused any unexpected errors.
Compatibility testing- It involves checking whether an application can operate in different changing environments (different hardware, browsers, and operating systems).
Other than these some more types are- Reliability Testing, Documentation Testing, Graphical User Interface Testing(GUI), Sanity Testing, Smoke Testing, Exploratory Testing, Ad-hoc Testing, Installation Testing, Maintenance of Testing, and more.
Benefits Of System Testing
System testing is one of the important testing techniques for application testing. It is a technique that helps to identify errors, bugs, or defects, provides documentation and results, and helps developers improve the quality of their applications.
This testing technique has several other benefits that can assist you in boosting the quality of your application quickly. So let’s discover them.
- The application is tested thoroughly from a user’s perspective that is in an environment similar to that of the real-time production environment. This helps to evaluate the user perspective of the application, prevents the issues which can occur when the application goes live and discovers ways to make the application more user-friendly.
- Both the functional and non-functional requirements for the whole system were tested for the first time in this phase. It checks the entire functionality of the application with different test scripts and specifies how the application should behave.
- It covers end-to-end testing. That is the entire application is tested and easily detects the errors or defects that cannot be identified during the unit testing and integration testing. Hence, there are lesser probabilities of failure and risks later on.
- Being a form of black box testing the testers need not have much knowledge of programming to conduct this testing.
- Eliminates all the possible bugs, defects, future problems, crashes, and complaints from the end users, and boosts the development team to go ahead with acceptance testing confidently.
- Increases efficiency and improves the software quality. Increases user satisfaction and user experience.
- The testing team can assist the development team by detecting the mistakes made by them which helps to optimize the code and get rid of unwanted lines of code.
- When executed automatically Saves a lot of testing time.
- Reusable Test case.
- It helps in getting maximum bugs before acceptance testing and determining areas that need improvement.
- Problems like resource limitations, data overflow, & other external constraints are focal points of system tests.
System Testing Using LambdaTest
The point of having a robust system testing strategy is to identify bugs efficiently. Testers must be clear on how often a bug occurs and how it affects the application. The best way to detect all bugs is to run applications through real devices and browsers under real user conditions.
Be it manual or automated, testing cannot be accurately conducted without real devices. So that testers do not miss any bugs that may occur in real situations. Websites or applications must also be put through extensive cross-browser testing to function consistently, regardless of the browser they are being accessed by. For that, browsers need to be installed on real devices to guarantee cross-browser compatibility.
However, most teams may not have access to an in-house lab with the requisite number and variety of device and operating system combinations for real-world testing. In that case, to avoid the hassle of maintaining expensive in-house device labs, choosing a cloud-based infrastructure like LambdaTest is preferred when it comes to testing websites.
LambdaTest platform is equipped with a real device cloud of more than 3000 real devices, browsers, and operating systems to conduct automated as well as manual testing for web and mobile applications. It helps you to boost your system testing strategies, scale up the performance and provide accurate results.
System testing strategies are insufficient without adequate reporting and analytics. LambdaTest insight and analytics help you with that also. LambdaTest also provides an Automated dashboard that helps in visualizing the status of builds, sessions, queues, etc. It can also be integrated with CI/CD tools and platforms to further streamline the testing process.
To sum up it can be said that System testing is a crucial stage in the testing cycle. The aim of this testing is to have a complete check of the application for its efficiency. Hence this should be carried out in order to deliver a flawless user experience.