What is System Testing? Types with Example

What is System Testing? Types with Example


5 min read

System testing is a crucial phase in the software development life cycle, where every component of an application undergoes thorough examination.

The goal is to ensure that these components seamlessly integrate, forming a cohesive and functional whole.

What is System Testing?

System testing examines every component of an application to make sure that they work as a complete and unified whole.

The System Viewing from the Customer's Perspective

System testing offers a unique viewpoint—looking at the system as a whole, not just its individual parts. This approach is essential as it considers:

  • The customer's experience

  • Anticipation of the future user's interactions

Many functions and system characteristics emerge from the intricate interplay of all components, making system testing indispensable.

Why System Testing is Black Box

They Are Two Category of Software Testing

  • Black Box Testing

  • White Box Testing

System test falls under the black box testing category of Software testing.

Black Box Testing

Black box testing, including system testing, focuses on assessing the external functionalities of the software.

Testers do not have access to the internal code and concentrate on validating outputs based on various inputs. System testing, being a black box technique, evaluates the overall system without delving into its internal workings.

Software Testing Hierarchy and System Testing

Understanding the hierarchy of software testing is paramount for ensuring the reliability and effectiveness of software applications.

Software Testing Hierarchy

Software Testing Hierarchy

Software testing is organized into a structured hierarchy to systematically verify different aspects of a software application.

This hierarchy typically consists of the following levels:

Unit TestingIndividual components or modules are tested in isolation to ensure their correctness.
Integration TestingFocuses on testing the interactions and interfaces between integrated components.
System TestingThe entire software system is tested as a complete and integrated entity.
Acceptance TestingConducted to evaluate whether the software meets the specified requirements and is ready for deployment.

Types of System Testing

System testing comes in various types, each serving a specific purpose:

1. Functional Testing

  • Ensures each function behaves according to specifications.

2. Performance Testing

  • Evaluates the system's responsiveness, scalability, and resource usage.

3. Security Testing

  • Identifies and addresses potential vulnerabilities to safeguard sensitive data.

4. Compatibility Testing

  • Confirms the system's adaptability to different environments and devices.

5. Usability Testing

  • Assesses the user-friendliness of the system.
    List of 10 types of system testing presented in a table format:
Type of System TestingObjectiveApproach
Functional TestingEnsure each function behaves according to specified requirements.Validate system features, operations, and user interactions to guarantee functionality.
Performance TestingEvaluate system responsiveness, scalability, and resource utilization under various conditions.Assess the system's ability to handle different levels of load, stress, and performance benchmarks.
Security TestingIdentify and address potential vulnerabilities to safeguard sensitive data and ensure data protection.Evaluate the system's resilience against security threats, including unauthorized access and data breaches.
Compatibility TestingConfirm the system's adaptability to different environments, devices, and external systems.Verify that the software functions seamlessly across various platforms, browsers, and hardware configurations.
Usability TestingAssess the user-friendliness of the system, ensuring an intuitive and satisfactory user experience.Evaluate the system's interface, navigation, and overall user interaction to enhance usability.
Regression TestingEnsure that new changes or updates do not negatively impact existing functionalities.Validate that modifications or enhancements do not introduce defects or disrupt established features.
Load TestingEvaluate the system's performance under expected load conditions to identify potential bottlenecks.Simulate realistic user loads to assess the system's stability and responsiveness.
Stress TestingTest the system's resilience under extreme conditions, pushing it beyond its normal operational limits.Introduce scenarios with high traffic, excessive data, or other stress factors to identify system weaknesses.
Recovery TestingAssess the system's ability to recover gracefully from failures or unexpected events.Intentionally induce failures and observe how quickly and effectively the system can recover.
Scalability TestingEvaluate the system's ability to handle an increasing amount of load or data.Test the system's performance as the workload or data volume scales up, ensuring scalability.

Common Mistakes In Testing

Common Mistakes In Testing

A common pitfall to avoid is testing in the customer's operational environment.

This can lead to:

  • Potential damage to the system in case of failures

  • Lack of control over the testing environment

  • Unpredictable influences from parallel processes

  • Difficulty in reproducing test scenarios

What to Verify in System Testing?

System testing involves verifying several aspects, including:

  • Functionality: Ensuring each function works as intended.

  • Performance: Assessing the system's responsiveness and resource utilization.

  • Security: Identifying vulnerabilities and ensuring data protection.

  • Compatibility: Confirming compatibility with different environments and devices.

Choosing the Right System Testing

Selecting the appropriate type of system testing depends on the project's requirements and goals.

Testers must carefully consider factors such as functionality, performance, security, compatibility, and usability.

Testing the System Environment

Executing system testing successfully demands a specific test environment, encompassing:

  • Hardware components

  • System software

  • Device driver software

  • Networks

  • External systems

  • And more


In conclusion, addressing the common problems and focusing on verification aspects, testers can contribute to the development of robust and reliable software systems.

System testing is a critical phase that ensures the software functions seamlessly, meeting user expectations and industry standards.