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Sunday, December 18, 2011

What are different characteristics of system testing?

System testing is a word heard often. But what is meant by that actually? As the name suggest, one make out that it has got something to do with testing of systems. Scientifically it can be defined as the testing of both the components of the system and hardware.

- The system testing is carried out on a finished, complete, and integrated system to check the system's cooperation according to the specified conditions and requirements.
- System testing is categorized under the category of black box testing, and therefore doesn’t require any knowledge of the internal structure and design of the source code.
- According to the rules and regulations of the system testing, only the integrated components that have passed the integration testing successfully can be given as input for software system.
- The software system that has been incorporated successfully with the appropriate hardware system can also be taken as input to the system testing.
- The system testing aims at detecting all the discrepancies, defects and constraints.
- The software system itself integrated with any other software or hardware system and has successfully passed the system integration testing can also be considered as an input for the system testing.
- System testing deals with the inconsistencies and flaws that are present in the system software which is made up of integrated software and hardware components. - System testing like other testing methodologies is a much limited kind of testing.
- System testing is concerned with the detecting of defects within the assemblages i.e., inter- assemblages as well as within the software system as a whole entity.
- Unlike integration testing and unit testing, the system testing is carried out on the whole software system as one unit.
- System testing mainly deals with basic and important contexts namely functional requirement specification (FRS) and system requirement specification (SRS).
- System testing is not only about testing the design of the software system but, also its behavior and the expected features of the customers.
- System testing also tests the software system up to the limits and also beyond the limits and conditions specified for the software and hardware components.
- System testing is performed to explore the functionality of a software system.
- System testing is carried out before the system is assembled and after the system has been finished and completed.

There are various testing techniques that together make up a complete system testing methodology. Few have been listed below:
- Stress testing
- Load testing
- Error handling testing
- Compatibility testing
- Performance testing
- Usability testing
- Graphical user interface testing
- Security testing
- Volume testing
- Scalability testing
- Sanity testing
- Exploratory testing
- Smoke testing
- Regression testing
- Ad hoc testing
- Installation testing
- Recovery testing
- Reliability testing
- Fail over testing
- Maintenance testing
- Accessibility testing

While carrying out the system testing it is very important to follow the systematic procedures.
- Only specifically designed test cases should be used for testing.
- Examiners test he system by breaking in the system i.e., by giving incorrect data.
- Unit testing and integration testing form the base of the system testing.
- System testing forms a crucial step of the process of quality management.
- System is tested to determine if it meets all the functional requirements and also helps in verification and validation of application architecture and business requirements.

Conditions to be followed before system testing is carried:
- All the units must have successfully passed the unit testing.
- All the modules or units must have been integrated and successfully passed the integration test.
- The surrounding environment should resemble the production environment.

Steps that should be followed during the system testing:
- A system test plan should be created.
- Test cases should be created.
- Scripts should be created to build environment.

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