system testing vs end to end testing which is better
System Testing vs End to End Testing comparison

In the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), testing takes a significant role to the quality of the end products. Many testing types and methods are used to make sure the software meets the highest quality standards. Each testing type is designed to be used in different phase of the development process and cover different testing areas, such as function/unit, module, system, inter-systems, performance, security, usability, compatibility, and scalability, etc.

The most common known testing types in software development may be System Testing and End to End Testing. These terms are often used interchangeably to describe the same thing, but they are in fact quite different. Therefore, it is vital that developers and clients understand what sets these two testing types apart, and how they are both used to ensure a software application meets the highest standards.

What is System Testing?

System Testing is carried out on the whole system in the context of either system requirement specifications or functional requirement specifications or in contest of both. System testing tests the design and behavior of the system and also the expectations of the customer. It is usually performed after Unit Testing and Integration Testing has been completed. Unit Testing is where the individual units of the software are tested before being integrated into the software. Integration Testing involves testing the individual units of the software after being integrated into the entire software product.

Advantages of System Testing

Confirms that the software meets the client’s unique requirements

System Testing is usually carried out near the end of the software development cycle. This makes it the perfect chance to confirm that all of the work done, up until this point, aligns with the client’s initial scope. It also confirms that the software is viable from a technical, business, and functional standpoint.

Identifies bugs, errors, vulnerabilities, and areas of improvement

Any bugs, errors, or faults that were not found in Unit Testing or Integration Testing, will surely expect to be shown up in System Testing. It is one of the last steps in the quality assurance process in the developer’s side, before the acceptance testing (in the end-users’ side) and launching of the software.

Simulates the real-world scenario

System Testing is all about discovering what the software is like to use in a real-world scenario. That’s why System Testing is performed, as close as possible, to a real-world production or business environment. It gives the developer and the client a clear, thorough overview on the current state of the software, in the most optimal operating environment.

For this reason, every aspect (both functional and non-functional aspect) of the software is tested.

What is End to End Testing?

End-to-end testing (E2E testing) is a type of system testing used to test whether the flow of a software from initial stage to final stage is behaving as expected. The purpose of end-to-end testing is to identify system dependencies and to make sure that the data integrity is maintained between various system components and systems.

During End to End Testing, the tester in the role of end-user will typically interact with the software in many ways. They may create a profile, navigate the app, load different pages, and even perform more complex tasks like making online payments. The idea behind this is to confirm that the software does everything the user asks of it, and that each action produces an outcome that matches both the developer and clients’ expectations.

Advantages of End to End Testing

Helps optimize the user experience

End to End Testing is a great way to gather valuable feedback from real people. It can help you identify problems in the software that you previously did not consider. For example, a user may report that the location of the ‘Menu’ button is in an inconvenient place, and that it would be better suited elsewhere. Prior to this, you may have assumed that its location was fine; but with this new insight, you can change where it is placed, making it easier to find and navigate the rest of the app.

Reduces the cost of building and maintaining the software

End to End testing makes it easier for testers and developers to catch problems before they escalate into serious issues. This is because most End to End Testing is carried out manually, by real testers, as opposed to automated scripts.

As a result, testers can write End to End Tests that are based on the user’s behavior, which means they are more likely to pick up on problems that an automated script may have overlooked. This can greatly help reduce the cost of building and maintaining the software, as well as improve the quality of the initial launch version.

Replicates the real-world user experience

End to End Testing is the closest a developer can get to seeing the software in action in a real-world environment. This allows the development team to assess aspects of the software that previous tests could not. The most important of those is the user experience.

But other external factors can be tested as well, such as how well the software integrates with other hardware and software-connected components that were not present in previous tests.

Is One Testing Method Better Than the Other?

In reality, neither System Testing vs End to End Testing is better than the other. They are both designed to test different aspects of the software, reveal different findings, and achieve different outcomes.

The argument as to whether one sort of testing is better than the other comes from the false assumption that both testing type are the same when in fact, End to End Testing is consider a sub-set, or an approach of System Testing that uses specific method to achieve system testing results in a different perspective.

System Testing vs End to End Testing comparison table

System TestingEnd-to-end Testing
In system testing, whole software or application is tested at a time.In end-to-end testing, behavioral flow of the software is tested.
System testing only tests the specific software system.It tests the software system and the connected systems both.
The functionality of the software is tested.Flow from end-to-end is tested.
It validates the software system as per standards and specifications.It validated all the interfaces of the software.
Knowledge of interconnected systems is not required.Knowledge about interconnected systems is required.
It is carried out once integration testing is performed.It is performed after the system testing.
It is performed both manually and automated.It is generally performed manually.
It is the super set of end-to-end testing.It is considered as subset of the system testing.
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