During development, software is often built as subsystems or independently operating units. After unit testing, developers want to ensure that the pieces of the development project work well together before deployment. Pieces of software, or software modules, may work successfully individually or in isolation, but how will they integrate as a whole? The evaluation of these interactions is known as System Integration Testing (SIT).
SIT can be performed by developers or designated software testers. As the name implies, SIT is a combination of integration testing and system testing.
System Integration Testing Definition
System Integration Testing is the overall testing of a system, mainly done to verify the interaction between independent modules or subsystems. The goal is to ensure that the subsystems can coherently perform in unison to achieve end-to-end functionality. When hardware components are involved — such as in IoT applications — the complete hardware and software system interaction is set up end-to-end to perform SIT.
When Does System Integration Testing Occur?
System Integration Testing is performed for both new systems being rolled out and for existing systems when new functionalities are added. It involves the verification of high and low-level system requirements specified in the design document. This happens just before the developed application or new features are ready to be deployed to the production environment.
What is the System Integration Testing Process?
A plethora of things can be validated in the SIT environment besides the functionalities that are scheduled to be delivered. These may include
- performance testing
- cross-cutting concerns testing like centralized logging
- testing for security vulnerabilities
- telemetry data of the system under test, and more.
It is also very common that UAT (User Acceptance Testing) is done in the SIT environment. SIT environments are production-like environments where the sanity of the system under test is maintained much higher than the development or the quality assurance environments. Typically, this would be a staging environment or sometimes a QA environment depending on the team’s preference.
What are the Benefits of SIT?
One of the most important benefits of system integration testing is early bug detection. This allows the development team to make necessary changes or corrections before deployment, widespread implementation, or use of the system. SIT is a way to determine that everything is running smoothly. Taking the time for thorough testing reduces the chances of finding errors that will drive up maintenance costs later on.
If you can verify a successful system integration, then you can move on to User Acceptance Testing to determine whether the complete system meets requirements and provides the necessary functionalities. This will bring your software solution one step closer to deployment.
System Integration Testing Checklist
At 7T, we normally have Dev, QA and the Stage environments set up for all our client projects. SIT is conducted in the Stage environment, sometimes along with UAT after the first level of SIT is done by 7T internally. We let the testing run for a few days to mitigate any performance or security issues before it is turned over to the client for User Acceptance Testing.
The following checklist items guide the UAT process with the client in the SIT environment:
- Have the complete end-to-end environment ready.
- Identify the Business flow processes/functionalities that need to be tested.
- Document inputs and the expected outputs at each step of the business flow.
- Have the ability to reset the data/subsystems in order to redo the testing if needed.
- Share a bug tracking system with the client to identify the items that need to be resolved during UAT in the SIT environment.
- Agree on the level of severity of issues being discovered so that they can be prioritized (have an effective triaging procedure in place).
- Have a reporting system in place that can generate timely reports on the issues being resolved during UAT in the SIT environment.
Work With 7T
System Integration Testing is an important part of the software development and testing process. Our team takes pride in making sure that all subsystems are well integrated and operate cohesively. Additionally, we work hard to develop high-quality software that meets the unique needs of our clients.
If your business is interested in custom software development, data governance, cloud and system integrations or another development project, work with the team at 7T. Our team takes a “Business First, Technology Second” approach to understand your operations and provide technology consulting and development services that deliver a quality ROI in 12-18 months. To get started on your development project, reach out to our team today.