What is System Testing?
System Testing refers to the overall testing of the system to evaluate whether the system performs exactly as it is designed to perform. Hence, System Testing should be performed after conducting Unit Testing and Integration Testing.
We can draw an analogy here with the process of bicycle manufacturing. First the manufacturer must get individual components of the bicycle tested – a process that we refer to as ‘Unit Testing’. Thereafter, some ‘units’ are integrated and the interactions among these units are tested – a process we refer to as ‘Integration Testing’. In the next stage, all the components are put together to make a bicycle and then this bicycle is tested to see whether it performs as intended or not. This step is call ‘System Testing’.
Generally, we make use of Black Box Testing methods for System Testing.
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Benefits of System Testing
System Testing is the third level in the ideal hierarchy of Software Testing. System Testing yields many benefits – it is possible to identify flaws at a macro level and test the integrity of the system. Sometimes, the ‘units’ and the integration of ‘units’ by themselves might be performing as designed and expected but problems may arise when such units do not yield the desired results working as a complete system.
It is possible to identify such loopholes at this third level and iron them out with effective debugging. It is important, however, that System Testing be carried out by a third party to ensure that the software is looked upon by an independent tester before it is floated out for use by the end users.