Software testing is an important aspect of software quality assurance. It represents the final process to ensure the correctness and fineness of the product. A quality software product always increases the customer confidence and satisfaction. In other words, a premium product means zero defects, bugs and errors, which are derived from a better quality process in testing.
Designing and creating a software is a difficult process, because it needs proper testing by using different methods. Many software products are very complex and they have different concurrent subsystems that perform different functions almost simultaneously.
As software developers work hard to assemble comprehensive systems from different components and later merge those systems across diverse computing platforms, they will be acutely aware of the severe restriction of present day testing procedures in providing a qualified test result summary. The perimeters between software applications are splitting wide open now while changing components at different levels could have negative effects and debilitating risks.
As a response, firms are beginning to spend quite a lot in building enterprise level testing environments. Like an efficient office, firms are beginning to test very critical systems together before launching them to the competitive market. Software quality is witnessing tremendous improvements these days as firms are treating software quality as something that belongs to a business domain. Software testing sector is witnessing a different kind of testing today. An end-to-end test is perhaps the most talked about testing procedure today.
Some of the considerations you should note include understanding the software behavior, knowing the status of the system, having the necessary tools that can analyze the data flow, and having the tools to automate the system process. All these tools are very essential to conduct a successful end-to-end testing procedure.
Understanding End-to-End Testing
To illustrate how the end to end testing works, it is important to look into the banking industry. For example, when a salesman makes a sale he needs to give the order to the trader who will then initiate the transaction. The results will then be found in the risk management and the accounts department. These processes involve different levels of transactions that involve many systems that can be difficult to test. When you look at this situation, you can see that the end to end test will have to be comprised with the sale entering the entire system and then ending at the risk management and the accounts department.
There are two distinctive methods to perform end-to-end testing. The most commonly used method is that occurs horizontally, and across multiple applications’ context. For example, a Web-based order-taking system might relate to the back-office accounts, inventory, and shipping sections. On the other hand, a horizontal end-to-end test consists of verifying and evaluating transactions through each web order application and right from the start to finish,.
This kind of application integration may occur within a sophisticated single enterprise resource planning (ERP) application. However, most of the firms employ a delicate mixture of applications. On the contrary, vertical end-to-end testing means testing each individual layer of single applications’ built from top to the bottom. In a typical web order-entry system that uses HTML codes to reach a web server, you will need API situated on the transaction server where it will generate SQL transaction codes against the mainframe database.
Other applications might share the same API and SQL components. All these applications need proper and dedicated testing. Testers may need to conduct a dedicated individual and vertical end-to-end test to validate such a complex computing scenario. Both API and SQL interfaces are like “orphans” because they lack a user interface. This necessitates the most common manual testing mode that eventually makes the process very difficult.
Before using the end-to-end testing, you should also know the backgrounds of two major techniques in software testing. One of the major techniques is white box testing. White box testing relies on the knowledge of the tester about the design code and the different components inside the program. The tester also needs to know the classes and the methods employed to create the software in white box testing.
On the other hand, the other type of technique is the black box testing. Black box testing is widely referred to as the functional testing. In truth, these two are quite different, because functional testing is simply one of the methods used in black box testing. Black box testing concentrates on the functions of the system, whether the system produces the desired output or not. Both the white box testing and the black box testing techniques are used in different levels of software development, depending on the software that is being developed.
End-to-end testing associates itself with both black box testing. End to end testing combines the benefits of both the black box testing and white box testing. It approaches the program from both the functional point of view and the architectural perspective. The steps required to perform an end-to-end testing include the test design, which is just makes an appropriate test that will validate the functions of the system.
The next step is deriving the test results, so that you will know whether it meets the expected output or not. In addition, the last step is the test results analysis that can analyze the different problems and issues observed in the system. Because of the importance of these steps, it is essential that you look deeper into these considerations.
Designing the test design for end-to-end testing purposes should include the following guidelines:
• It should focus on the designing a test from the end user’s perspective,
• It should have a comprehensive scenario that must be used to create multiple cases,
• It should focus on testing some of the features of the existing system.
In addition, the end-to-end test should also include different sets of tests that expose the system to multiple scenarios. An end-to-end testing can be organized into a hierarchy of the user functionality and features. The next consideration you need to look into is the test results themselves. If it produces the expected output, then your system will have passed the end to end testing. However, if it failed to live up to your expectations, then further improvements or retests are necessary. You should also analyze the reasons why your system failed the end-to-end test, so that you will be able to avoid it in the future.
Basic Principles of End-to-End Testing
An end-to-end testing is another important test that tests the entire program in an environment that is ready for commercial release. With this test, you can check a complete application in an ambiance that imitates the real world use, like interacting with a database, using network communication, or working with other hardware, applications, or systems. Most of these tests are manual in nature because the cost associated with automating the end-to-end testing, is too high.
There are numerous reasons for conducting this test on a manual basis, even though it is quite complicated to carry out this test. Most of the testers use an interface centric type of testing, when conducting the end-to-end test. In addition, most of the testers may not have the necessary skills in program development to design and create the tools that are necessary to enable the organization to have an automated end-to-end testing.
In many cases, software testers use ready-made software applications like Windows Runner to conduct the test. Manual testing is not recommended to conduct end to end testing, because the systems they are testing are constantly evolving and changing; it is not static like other programs.
Many testers argue that the changes in the program are minor and that they will not have an effect on the other systems that are also part of the software. There are also instances when evolution is significant enough to warrant a rerun of end-to-end testing for the entire system. However, this might result in an inordinate delay in delivery and other issues.
You should also set up a safety measure, in case your system fails the end-to-end testing process. There are many alternatives that you can use, such as restarting the whole system or having the test rerun again, when you finish modifying the system. However, you may face some possible side effects when rerunning the system.
Manual tests could not have proper order and in many cases disorganized. However, these tests are justifiable when the risks are not too many. Therefore, the better alternative to this issue is to automate the end to end testing, so that the service you provide will have a consistent and guaranteed quality.
An automated end-to-end testing may be the best alternative, because of the multifaceted needs and requirements. Automated testing has many advantages and benefits, including the faster introduction of new functionalities and other related purposes.
Objectives of the End-to-End Testing
The main objective of the end-to-end testing is to know and understand the exact status of the system and in what manner it behaves in a real-time ambiance. The user interface is not a significant part of end-to-end testing, because this is merely a representation of what lies underneath. Rather, the important aspect that needs check, when you are conducting an end-to-end test is the underlying data that causes the user interface to act and function. You may also need to know the scenarios that cause the system to behave the way it does and its subsystems.
End to end testing is an important test that organizations will need to conduct to improve their efficiency and productivity. There are many advantages and benefits that you can realize when you conduct this test on a regular basis. However, you should note that designing an effective test is essential, because these will address the issues that affect your system. Automated end-to-end testing is always better than manual testing. In addition, when you upgrade to automated testing, you may entail some expenses on the part of the organization. Ultimately, the benefits of end-to-end testing will be worth its name when you use it in the right method.