System Testing of Software: Everything You Need to Know

Every successful project has to undergo rigorous testing to be certified as being in optimal performance. In the case of software testing, this complete examination of the integrated system, along with all structural and functional units, is known as system testing.

Instead of testing each module individually, this is the ultimate test that you, as the programmer, will conduct for the entire project, within which all parts will have to be smoothly synced with each other.

System testing is a vital process, and at the same time, it can also be quite daunting. It is a black box technique, and that time can also come in a mixed form depending on the complexity and type of your project.

Here we will go through the key points you should know about testing software projects before they can be sent for either the final makeover or the external examination.

Usually, system testing at the initial stage will involve certain modifications or upgrades you want to make to your project. Let us look at what system testing is.

What is System Testing?

What is system testing?
Image source: eduCBA

System-level testing involves a continuous and multifaceted examination of your entire software project, which aims to get a full review of the proceedings and behavior of your project on an end-to-end flow (from start to finish).

This testing is often carried out along with many other types of testing, which is the major. The other testing processes help to retrieve more information and precise test results from this examination.

From such a point of view, it can be said that system testing is not just a set of procedures but a crucial step in manufacturing softwares

System testing involves a detailed exercise through which your software project has to display its application powers and how it will interact with the external environment. It means a good system testing process is also dealing with security factors.

While formulating this examination, the programmer and their team have to envision the wide range of incidents that may or may not occur once the software is launched.

What is the use of system testing?

The most important use of system testing is definitely to review the real-life performance of a completed software project.

However, there are some other interesting benefits of a testing system examination which are as follows:

  • It helps the programmer understand how the software will perform in real life against external environmental factors.
  • It helps the programmer to imagine other tangible scenarios against which the software is not currently protected. This way, the programmer can develop better methods for a wider range of products.
  • It is the stage where the interaction of different modules within the system is examined rigorously for the first time. A smoother connection between different departments of the software can now be built.
  • This examination records every potential malfunction or security breach against the software. Depending on these records, solutions are implemented.
  • It is also the stage where different upgrades can be brainstormed and added to the software, not just from a functional but also from an aesthetic point of view, to add more corporate value to the software if required.
  • The software testing process also evaluates how it will perform when its horizons are broadened, and other facilities are added to it in the future.
  • The evaluation process also reviews the performance of the software as a part of a broader system in which current collaborating software or potential participants are made to perform alongside our software project.

Types of system Testing

A test system includes so many different techniques that it will astound you. Because of this, system testing also comes in the widest variety.

What makes the types of system testing differ from each other?

The niche

The niche is the most important determinant of how and what techniques will be employed during the system testing. Some niches have a huge requirement for security, whereas others need proper documentation. Some rely on their software as an advertisement.

Therefore, the steps to test the system depend heavily on which genre it belongs to.

Immediate or cross-sectional testing

Even though system testing by nature should be as varied and expansive as possible, time is always a factor. In some cases, system testing is carried out to meet certain requirements.

Depending on the time at hand as well as which specific problem is being evaluated, certain techniques might be incorporated or left out from a system testing process.

Budget

Budget is a huge factor in determining how far we can go with our system testing processes. Comprehensive system testing can be very expensive both from the aspects of time as well as the tools used.

That means the budget the programmer is working with will impact how much can be done to test the software completely.

Scope and complexity of the project

Again the very nature of the project and how complex it is in its structure and functions will map out how many steps the system testing procedure will include.

A highly complex project will include many different steps, while a simple project will only have to go through a few crucial steps.

Usability and accessibility factors

Usability and accessibility comprise an entirely different area of the system testing process. It means that software that has an important user interface to address will have to undergo a certain amount of rigor in comparison to systems that have been created for easy practical use or as a B2B.

Depending on this, over 50 different steps and techniques are employed in the system testing of every software project.

The main types of system testing include

  • Sanity testing
  • Regression testing
  • Stress testing
  • Reliability testing
  • Scalability testing
  • Recovery testing
  • Compliance testing
  • Documentation testing
  • Functional testing
  • Security testing
  • Accessibility testing
  • Migration testing
  • Installation testing
  • Load testing
  • Usability testing
  • Performance testing
  • Adhoc testing

How to do system testing?

Certain basics make undertaking the system testing process possible. Before starting the system testing process, the following things should be ready.

  • Most importantly, the software should be completely ready with all different modules and any external linkages with functional units or data structures.
  • System testing also includes documentation; therefore, all documents should be completely ready and available during the system testing process.
  • All expectations for potential updates and changes should be listed.
  • A comprehensive test plan should be prepared, with sanctions from all departments working on the software.
  • They should be good documentation of a comprehensive test case generation which every individual or team undertaking the system testing process must follow as a guideline.

After these steps have been taken, the test environment needs to be set up. It is followed by test case implementation, which is a step concerned with implementing the test plan. After this, defect reporting should be done, which should be detailed as well as precise.

Regression testing, which comes after defect reporting, is another practical step of defect resolution. Defect resolution involves correcting everything wrong and advancing on every aspect which was not up to the mark.

After this, it is important to undergo re-testing. This cycle will continue several times before the software is perfectly ready.

Advantages And DisadvantagesOf System Testing

Advantages

  • All upgrades are done before the software is sent for external examination or prepared for launch.
  • Any bug or defect is corrected through the system testing process.
  • It is possible to make predictions and generalized assumptions about software performance depending on how one has determined the software to perform in real-life situations during the system testing process.
  • The system testing process is a black box technique, meaning it can be carried out without in-depth knowledge of programming or its languages.
  • The connections between all different modules are checked. Also, the flow of data in every task and process is already examined through this testing method.
  • Based on the system testing predictions, the teams can develop suitable marketing techniques and costs for their product.

Disadvantages

  • System testing still requires the expertise of individuals who are aware of the functional requirements of the software project.
  • This testing is a very expensive method that might require outside funding.
  • Good system testing also requires a lot of time. It can prove to be an asset back for those applications and software which require a speedy launch for financial or commercial reasons.
  • It requires the individual implementing the test to have in-depth technology and experience in the functional aspects of the software to provide a report that understands each defect’s implications.
  • It is a circular procedure, as the system tester needs to be in continuous contact with the programming teams to make a defect resolution.

System Testing vs. Integration Testing

System Testing vs. Integration Testing
Image source: Tech difference

As a student new to the practical world of programming, it is easy to confuse system testing and integration testing.

What is the major difference between system testing and integration testing, and what role do they play in evaluating a software project?

A major difference is that integration testing is not done from an application perspective. It does not involve looking into how the software will behave in the hands of the user in a real-life situation.

It is a much more scientific and detail-oriented testing that only involves the comparison of different modules from the perspective of each other. All modules are first tested individually and then in correspondence in integration testing.

A huge area of integration testing involves understanding and implementing all possible combinations between the modules to receive coherent reports.

The main ambition of integration testing is to understand the functionality interfaces between different modules.

The defects found from integration testing are not seen as defects of the software but as defects of each module. Therefore, integration testing can be more valuable from a developer’s perspective if you want a much more detailed testing procedure.

Final words

System testing is as much about understanding the nitty-gritty of the actual project as it is about making allowances for all potential situations. Therefore, this testing is a much more creative and collaborative process than is usually imagined.

System testing is also about understanding the vital aspects of each project and separating them from the peripheral concepts. It is as much based on planning and brainstorming as it is on executing approaches.

In order to be a good testing engineer, it is important to have in-depth knowledge of different fields and topics – scientific, technical, financial, commercial, aesthetic, and even legal.

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