System Testing | What is it, Why, Types & How to Perform?

Dive into the intricacies of System Testing with our comprehensive guide. Explore best practices, tools, and methodologies crucial for ensuring your system performs flawlessly under various scenarios.
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Currently, where technology is rapidly evolving, software testing has become essential for any organization that wants to deliver high-quality products. System testing ensures the software meets the customer’s requirements and specifications.

System testing is necessary because it helps to identify any defects or issues that may arise when the software is deployed to the end users. It is also an effective way of ensuring that the software conforms to the specifications and meets the business requirements. 

This blog post will discuss the different types of system testing, the techniques used, and the importance of system testing in software testing. We will also provide some real-world examples of this testing.

So, if you want to learn more about system testing, this blog post is for you!

What is System Testing?

System testing is a form of black-box testing that assesses the complete functionality and performance of a fully integrated software system. It is conducted after integration testing and before acceptance testing

It aims to identify any flaws in the integrated components of the system and to guarantee that the system complies with the specified requirements and operates as expected by the end users.

What is System Testing

Why should You Consider System Testing?

There are a few reasons why you should consider it:

  • Ensure the system meets all requirements and behaves as the end users expect. This testing is the last stage before the software is released to the end users. The black-box testing technique focuses on the system’s overall functionality. By this testing, you can identify any defects or errors in the system and fix them before the software is released.
  • To improve the quality of the software. This testing can help improve the software’s quality by identifying and fixing defects and errors. This can help to prevent problems and improve the user experience.
  • To save time and money. You can save time and money by identifying and fixing defects and errors early in development. This is because fixing defects early on is less expensive than fixing them after the software has been released.

In short, system testing is an important part of the software development process. It can ensure that the software meets all requirements, behaves as expected by the end users, and is of high quality.

What is the Purpose of System Testing?

The purpose of system testing is to ensure that the system meets all requirements and behaves as expected by the end users. This includes testing the system’s performance, scalability, and security.

Here are some specific tasks typically performed during system testing:

  1. Verifying that the system meets all functional requirements
  2. Testing the system’s performance under different load conditions
  3. Testing the system’s scalability to handle increasing numbers of users
  4. Testing the system’s security against unauthorized access

System testing is an important part of the software development process. It helps to ensure that the software is of high quality and meets the needs of the end users.

Scope of System Testing

The scope includes the following:

  • Functional testing verifies that the system meets its requirements and performs the intended functions.
  • Non-functional testing verifies the system’s non-functional requirements, such as performance, reliability, usability, and security.
  • Interface testing verifies the system correctly interfaces with other systems and components.
  • Stress testing verifies that the system can handle high traffic or load.
  • Recovery testing verifies that the system can recover from failures or errors.

The specific tests performed in system testing will vary depending on the system. However, system testing aims to ensure that the system is ready for use by the end users.

Basic Requirements of System Testing

Here are the basic requirements in points:

  • Functional requirements: The system must meet all of its functional requirements. This means that it must be able to perform all of the tasks that it is intended to perform.
  • Non-functional requirements: The system must also meet all of its non-functional requirements. This includes requirements such as performance, reliability, usability, and security.
  • The system must be tested in a realistic environment: It must be tested in an environment similar to the environment in which it will be used. This will help ensure the system works correctly in the real world.
  • The system must be tested thoroughly: The system must be tested thoroughly to ensure that all potential problems are found and fixed.
  • A variety of users must test the system: The system should be tested by a variety of users to confirm that it is usable by everyone who needs it.

What Do You Verify in System Testing?

  • Functional correctness: The system must meet all its functional requirements. This can be verified by creating test cases that exercise all of the system’s features.
  • Non-functional requirements: These requirements are not directly related to the system’s functionality but are still necessary. For example, the system must be able to handle a certain amount of traffic, it must be able to recover from failures, and it must be secure.
  • Interfaces: The system must interface with other systems and components correctly. This is important because it ensures the system can communicate with other systems and components.
  • Error handling: The system must handle errors and exceptions gracefully. This means the system must not crash or hang when an error occurs.
  • Performance: The system must perform at an acceptable level. This means that the system must be able to handle a certain amount of traffic, and it must be able to respond to user requests on time.
  • Reliability: The system must operate without failures for an acceptable time. This means that the system must be able to withstand a certain amount of stress, and it must not crash or hang frequently.
  • Usability: The system must be easy to use by its intended users. This means that the system must have a user-friendly interface, and it must be easy to learn how to use.
  • Security: The system must be protected from unauthorized access, modification, or destruction. This means the system must have security features to protect its data and functionality.

How Do You Write System Test Cases?

Here are sample steps to show you how to write a system test case:

  1. Identify the system requirements: The first step is identifying the system requirements. This includes the functional requirements, non-functional requirements, and any other relevant requirements.
  2. Create test cases: Once the system requirements are identified, you can create test cases. A test case should describe a single test scenario. It should include the following information:
    1. Test case ID: A unique identifier for the test case.
    2. Test case description: A brief description of the test scenario.
    3. Preconditions: The conditions must be met before the test case can be executed.
    4. Steps: The steps that need to be taken to execute the test case.
    5. Expected results: The results that are expected from the test case.
    6. Actual results: The actual results that were obtained from the test case.
    7. Pass/fail criteria: The criteria that determine whether the test case passed or failed.
  3. Review the test cases: Once they have been created, they should be reviewed by a team of testers. This will help ensure the test cases are complete, accurate, and feasible.
  4. Execute the test cases: Once reviewed, they can be executed. The results of the test cases should be recorded and analyzed.
  5. Report the test results: The results of the test cases should be reported to the development team. This will help the development team to identify and fix any defects in the system.

Here are some additional tips for writing system test cases:

  • Use clear and concise language.
  • Be specific and avoid ambiguity.
  • Use realistic test data.
  • Consider all possible scenarios.
  • Prioritize the test cases.
  • Document the test cases.

How to Perform System Tests? – Explained with Examples

Here are the steps to perform :

  1. Plan the testing: This includes identifying the test objectives, developing test cases, and creating a test schedule.
  2. Create test cases: Test cases are instructions describing how to test the system. They should be created for all of the system’s features and functions.
  3. Execute the test cases: This involves running the test cases and verifying that the system behaves as expected.
  4. Analyze the test results: This involves identifying any defects found during the testing.
  5. Fix the defects: Any defects that were found should be fixed by the development team.
  6. Re-test the system: The system should be re-tested to ensure the defects are fixed.
  7. Document the test results: The test results should be documented to improve the system.
  8. Review the test results: The stakeholders should review the results to ensure they are satisfied with the system’s quality.

How to Do System Testing Manually?

Here are the steps on how to do manually:

  1. Analyze the requirements. The first step is to analyze the requirements of the system. This includes understanding the system’s functionality, features, and limitations.
  2. Create a test plan. Once you have a good understanding of the requirements, you can create a test plan. The test plan should document the specific tests you will perform and the expected results.
  3. Write test cases. This step is to write test cases. Test cases are detailed descriptions of the tests that you will perform. They should include the test’s steps and the expected and actual results.
  4. Execute the test cases. Once you have written the test cases, you can execute them. This involves following the steps in each test case and verifying that the expected results are produced.
  5. Log the defects. If any defects are found during the testing, they should be logged. The defect log should include the defect description, the steps to reproduce the defect, and the severity of the defect.
  6. Retest the defects. Once the defects have been logged, they should be retested to verify that they have been fixed.
  7. Generate the test report. Once all the tests are complete, you should generate a test report. The test report should document the test results, including the defects found and the steps taken to resolve them. Get here the list of Test Reporting Tools

How to Do System Testing in an Automated Way?

To automate system testing, you can follow these general steps:

  1. Choose a test automation tool. Many different tools are available, so you need to select one suitable for your needs. Consider the type of system you are testing, the features of the tool, and your budget.
  2. Determine the scope of automation. Not all tests can be automated, so you must decide which tests will most likely benefit from automation. These are typically repetitive, time-consuming, or error-prone tests.
  3. Design and develop the test scripts. The test scripts are the instructions the automation tool will follow to execute the tests. They should be written in a language the tool understands, such as Java, Python, or C#.
  4. Run the test scripts. This can be done manually or automatically, depending on the tool.
  5. Analyze the test results. Look for defects in the results and report them to the developers for fixing.
  6. Maintain the test scripts. As the system updates or changes, you must update the test scripts to ensure they remain effective.

System Testing Techniques

System testing is a significant stage in the software development life cycle that involves testing the complete system to ensure that it meets the specified requirements. 

During system testing, various techniques are used to identify defects, validate the system’s functionality, and ensure its overall quality.

Here are some commonly used techniques:

Functional Testing:

  • Black Box Testing: Testers focus on the system’s inputs and outputs without knowing its internal code. This helps ensure the system functions as expected from the user’s perspective.
  • White Box Testing: Testers know the internal code and structure of the system. This technique is helpful in validating the flow of data and control within the system.

Non-Functional Testing:

  • Performance Testing: Here, testers assess the system’s responsiveness, scalability, and stability under various conditions, such as load testing, stress testing, and scalability testing.
  • Security Testing: Here, testers identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses in the system’s security measures to protect sensitive data.
  • Usability Testing: Here, testers evaluate the system’s user interface, navigation, and overall user experience to ensure it meets usability standards.

Regression Testing:

  • Ensure that new changes or enhancements do not negatively impact existing functionalities. This involves re-executing previously executed test cases to verify that existing functionalities work as intended.

Compatibility Testing:

  • Assess the system’s compatibility with different environments, operating systems, browsers, and hardware devices to ensure a consistent user experience.

Installation and Configuration Testing:

  • Verify that the system can be installed, configured, and uninstalled without causing any issues. This is particularly important for software that needs to be deployed on various platforms.

Reliability and Recovery Testing:

  • Evaluate the system’s ability to recover from failures or crashes. This involves testing backup and recovery procedures to ensure data integrity and system availability.

Interoperability Testing:

  • Check how well the system interacts with other external systems, ensuring seamless communication and data exchange.

User Acceptance Testing (UAT):

  • Involve end-users in testing to ensure the system meets their expectations and requirements. This is typically one of the final phases of testing before the system is released.

Exploratory Testing:

  • Testers explore the system without predefined test cases, allowing them to uncover unexpected defects or issues.

Boundary Testing:

  • Validate the system’s behavior at the boundaries of input ranges to ensure it handles extreme values correctly.

It’s important to note that the selection of testing techniques depends on the nature of the system, its requirements, and the goals of the testing process. 

Combining multiple techniques helps provide comprehensive test coverage and ensures the reliability and quality of the software system

Types of System Testing

Here are some of the most common types that a large software development company would typically use:

  • Usability testing: This type focuses on the user’s ease of application use. It ensures the application is easy to learn and use and meets the users’ needs.
  • Load testing ensures the application can handle high traffic or load. It is essential for applications expected to be used by many users.
  • Regression testing: This type of testing ensures that any changes made to the application have not introduced new defects. It is essential to regression test the application regularly, especially after major changes have been made.
  • Recovery testing ensures the application can recover from failures or errors. It is essential for applications that are critical to the business.
  • Migration testing: This testing ensures that the application can be moved from one environment to another, such as from a development environment to a production environment.
  • Functional testing: This testing ensures the application meets its functional requirements. It is essential to functional test the application thoroughly to ensure it is ready for use by the end users.
  • Hardware/software testing: This type of testing ensures that the application works correctly with the underlying hardware and software. It is essential for complex applications that require a lot of resources.

These are just a few of the many types of system testing that can be performed. The specific types of testing will vary depending on the application being tested and the business’s specific needs.

What Types of System Testing Should Testers Use?

The specific types a tester uses will depend on several factors, including

  • The size and type of the organization: Large organizations may have the resources to perform more extensive testing than small organizations.
  • The complexity of the software: More complex software will require more testing.
  • The time and budget constraints: The tester may need to prioritize certain types of testing based on the available time and budget.
  • The experience and expertise of the tester: The tester’s experience and expertise will also affect the types of testing they choose to perform.

Here are some additional factors that can influence the types of system testing that are performed:

  • The risk tolerance of the organization: Some organizations are more risk-averse than others and may choose to perform more extensive testing.
  • The regulatory environment: Some industries are subject to more regulations than others, which may require more testing.
  • The specific needs of the users: The tester will need to consider the users’ needs when determining the types of testing performed.

Yet, system testing aims to ensure that the software is ready for use by the end users. The specific types of testing that are performed will vary depending on the specific circumstances.

System Testing Examples and Use Cases

Here are some examples and their use cases:

  • Functional testing: This type of testing ensures that the system meets its requirements and functions as expected. For example, you can test the functionality of a login page by entering invalid credentials and verifying that the user is not allowed to log in.
  • Performance testing ensures the system can handle the expected load and performance requirements. For example, you can test a website’s performance by simulating many concurrent users.
  • Security testing: This testing ensures the system is secure from unauthorized access, modification, or destruction. For example, you can test the security of a website by trying to hack into it.
  • Usability testing: This type of testing ensures the system is easy to use and navigate. For example, you can test the usability of a website by asking users to complete a task and observing how they interact with the website.
  • Reliability testing: This testing ensures that the system can operate without failures for an expected period. For example, you can test the reliability of a website by running it for a long time and monitoring its performance.
  • Stress testing ensures the system can handle unexpected or extreme loads. For example, you can test the stress of a website by simulating a large number of concurrent users and a high traffic volume.
  • Recovery testing ensures the system can recover from failures or errors. For example, you can test the recovery of a website by simulating a crash and verifying that the website can be restored to its previous state.
  • Compatibility testing: This type of testing ensures the system can work correctly with other software or hardware. For example, you can test the compatibility of a website by verifying that it can be used with different web browsers and operating systems.
  • Acceptance testing: The customer or end-user performs this testing to verify that the system meets its requirements. For example, you can test the acceptance of a website by asking users to complete a survey and providing feedback on the website.

These are just a few examples and their use cases. The specific types of testing will vary depending on the specific system and the users’ needs.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Here are the advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages of System Testing
  • Ensures overall system integrity and functionality: Testing ensures that the system meets its requirements and functions as expected. This includes testing the system’s performance, reliability, and security.
  • Identifies defects and errors in the system: Testing helps identify defects and errors early in the development process when they are easier and less expensive to fix.
  • Validates system performance under different conditions: Testing validates the system’s performance under different conditions, such as loads, environments, and user inputs.
  • Verifies system compatibility with other software or hardware: Testing verifies that the system can work correctly with other software or hardware that it will interact with.
  • Provides confidence to stakeholders that the system is ready for use: Testing provides confidence to stakeholders that the system is ready for use. This includes customers, users, and management.
Disadvantages of system testing
  • Time-consuming process: Testing can be time-consuming, especially for large or complex systems.
  • Requires significant resources: Testing requires significant resources, such as testers, time, and money.
  • May disrupt normal business operations during testing: Testing can disrupt normal business operations during testing, as the system may not be available to users.
  • Limited scope: Testing can be limited and may not uncover all possible issues or scenarios.
  • Can be complex to plan and execute: Testing can be complex to plan and execute, requiring skilled testers and tools.

It is essential to be aware of the challenges and to plan accordingly.

System Testing & Test Automation

Test automation is using software to execute tests without any manual intervention. This can reduce the time and effort required for testing, and it can also improve the accuracy and repeatability of the tests.

Tools

Here are some exciting tools you can rely on.

Testsigma

Testsigma is a no-code test automation platform that can automate system testing. It provides a variety of features that can help to make this testing more efficient and effective, such as:

  • A library of pre-built NLP’s that can be used to automate. 
  • A robust reporting engine that can help track testing progress and identify defects.
  • Once after the run, you can download the reports easily.

Testsigma can be used to automate a wide range of this testing tasks, such as:

  • Functional testing verifies that the system meets its requirements and works as expected.
  • Performance testing verifies that the system can handle the expected load.
  • Security testing verifies that the system is secure from unauthorized access or attack.
  • Usability testing: This testing verifies that the system is easy to use.

By automating this testing with Testsigma, organizations can improve the quality of their software, reduce the time and cost of testing, and free up testers to focus on more creative and strategic tasks.

Here are some of the benefits of using Testsigma for system testing:

  • No-code automation: Testsigma does not require coding knowledge, making it easy for anyone to create and run automated tests.
  • Reusable test cases: Testsigma allows you to create reusable test cases that can be used to test different system versions.
  • Parallel testing: Testsigma supports parallel testing, which can help to reduce the time it takes to run tests.
  • Reporting and analytics: Testsigma provides detailed reporting and analytics to help you track testing progress and identify defects.

Selenium

selenium -system testing tool

Selenium is a free and open-source tool for automating web-based applications. It can automate testing tasks, including functional, regression, and load testing.

Ranorex

Ranorex -system testing tool

Ranorex is another commercial tool for automating Windows, Mac, and mobile applications. It offers a user-friendly interface and a wide range of features, including scripting, object identification, and reporting.

JMeter

Jmeter -system testing tool

JMeter is a free and open-source tool for load testing. It can be used to simulate many users accessing an application.

LoadRunner

Loadrunner

LoadRunner is a commercial tool for load testing. It offers many features, including scripting, object identification, and reporting.

The best tool for system testing will depend on the project’s specific needs. Some factors to consider include the size and complexity of the application, the budget, and the testers’ experience.

The choice of tools will also depend on the specific types of testing that need to be performed. For example, if the application needs to be tested for usability, then a tool that can simulate user interactions would be required.

As a tester, you should still understand the application and the test cases to interpret the results.

Challenges

Here are some of the most common challenges system testers face: 

  • Time and budget constraints: Testing can be time-consuming and expensive, especially for large or complex projects. This can be a challenge for organizations with tight deadlines or budgets.
  • Complex systems: Testing can be challenging for complex systems with many components and interactions. This can make testing all possible scenarios difficult and ensure the system functions correctly.
  • Changing requirements: System requirements can change during development, making it challenging to keep test cases up-to-date. This can lead to defects being missed or needing to be tested thoroughly.
  • Lack of resources: Testing can require a lot of resources, such as testers, time, and money. This can be a challenge for organizations with limited resources.
  • Dependencies: Testing can be challenging if the system depends on other systems or components. This is because the system may not function correctly if the other systems or components are not working properly.

In addition to these challenges, system testers may face challenges such as: 

  • Inadequate test data: The test data used for Testing must represent the data the system will encounter in production. The system may only be tested thoroughly if the test data is adequate.
  • Unrealistic test environments: The test environment used for Testing must be realistic. If the test environment is not realistic, then the results of the tests may not be accurate.
  • Lack of communication: Communication between the testers, developers, and stakeholders is essential for successful Testing. Identifying and fixing defects can be difficult if there is a lack of communication.
  • Technical debt: Technical debt is the accumulation of technical problems that must be addressed promptly. Technical debt can make Testing more difficult and expensive. Read here – Test Debt.

Despite these challenges, system testing is an important part of the software development process. By carefully planning and executing system testing, organizations can improve the quality of their software and reduce the risk of defects.

Conclusion

Wrap-up time! 

So, if you look into System testing, it is a complex and time-consuming process. But it is also essential to ensure the quality of the software. By investing in system testing, businesses can avoid costly defects and ensure that their software meets the needs of their users.

Happy Testing!

Frequently Asked Questions