Outsourcing Quality Assurance: System Testing
System testing is qualitatively different from integration and unit testing types. System testing focuses on investigating the entire system and operates at the level of user interfaces, as opposed to the last phases of integration testing, which operates at the level of modules interfaces. Purposes of these testing levels are also different. At the system level it is often difficult and inefficient to analyze the execution of each path in the program, or monitor and verify the correct operation of specific functions. The main task of system testing is to identify defects that may lead to malfunction of the entire system, such as unintended combinations of user-level data, the incorrect use of system resources, the incompatibility with the environment, missing or incorrect functionality, unintended use cases, unhandiness, and the like.
Outsourcing quality assurance to offshore experts, people manage to benefit their projects. They get their work done by competent cost-effective specialists, not directly involved in development therefore their test results are guaranteed to be the most unbiased.
System testing is carried out on the project as a whole, by using “black box” approach. The program structure does not matter at all, as testing is only done to verify inputs and outputs of the software system that are visible to the user. Testing is also performed on codes and user documentation.
Categories of system tests:
- Completeness of the functional tasks.
- Stress testing – testing done under intense workload to emulate a worse-case scenario to know if the system can gracefully handle the increases in workload.
- The accuracy and correctness of resource usage (memory leak, resource return).
- Evaluation of app performance.
- The effectiveness of protection against data corruption and incorrect actions.
- Testing of the installation and configuration across various platforms.
- Correctness of documentation.
Independent software testing is intended to verify digital production according to agreed requirements. It helps to improve app quality, speed up time to market, lower total expenses of ownership.
Since system testing is performed on the user interface, you get the impression that development of a special test automation framework is not always necessary. However the amount of data at this level is such that the more effective approach to take to verify them is a complete or partial test automation, which entails creating a test system that is much more complicated than the test system used to test the modules, or their combinations. It is almost impossible to do without IT testing services if you aim to build marketable software.