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System testing of software or hardware is testing conducted on a complete, integrated system to evaluate the system's compliance with its specified requirements. System testing falls within the scope of black-box testing, and as such, should require no knowledge of the inner design of the code or logic.
As a rule, system testing takes, as its input, all of the "integrated" software components that have passed integration testing and also the software system itself integrated with any applicable hardware system(s). The purpose of integration testing is to detect any inconsistencies between the software units that are integrated together (called assemblages) or between any of the assemblages and the hardware. System testing is a more limited type of testing; it seeks to detect defects both within the "inter-assemblages" and also within the system as a whole.
Testing the whole system
System testing is performed on the entire system in the context of a Functional Requirement Specification(s) (FRS) and/or a System Requirement Specification (SRS). System testing tests not only the design, but also the behaviour and even the believed expectations of the customer. It is also intended to test up to and beyond the bounds defined in the software/hardware requirements specification(s).
Types of tests to include in system testing
The following examples are different types of testing that should be considered during System testing:
- Graphical user interface testing
- Usability testing
- Software performance testing
- Compatibility testing
- Exception handling
- Load testing
- Volume testing
- Stress testing
- Security testing
- Scalability testing
- Sanity testing
- Smoke testing
- Exploratory testing
- Ad hoc testing
- Regression testing
- Installation testing
- Maintenance testing[clarification needed]
- Recovery testing and failover testing.
- Accessibility testing, including compliance with:
Although different testing organizations may prescribe different tests as part of System testing, this list serves as a general framework or foundation to begin with.
Software commonly used in system testing
- Automatic test equipment
- Software testing
- Unit testing
- Integration testing
- Test case
- Test fixture
- Test plan
- Automated testing
- Quality control
- Software development process
- System testing vs acceptance testing
- Top down integration testing
- IEEE Standard Computer Dictionary: A Compilation of IEEE Standard Computer Glossaries; IEEE; New York, NY.; 1990.
- Black, Rex; (2002). Managing the Testing Process (2nd ed.). Wiley Publishing. ISBN 0-471-22398-0