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Home Guide What is System Testing? (Examples, Use Cases, Types)

What is System Testing? (Examples, Use Cases, Types)

By Tom Collins, Community Contributor -

System testing is also known as black-box testing because it focuses on the external parts of the system. It takes place after integration testing and before the acceptance testing. So this testing detects the issues within the integrated units of a system. In this way, it checks the design of the complete system and behavior per the end user’s needs.

What do you verify in System Testing?

You must verify the software requirements, architecture, design, codes, etc., and meet the business requirements and standards. Also, you should verify these software artifacts are error-free and built according to the specifications.

  • System testing covers the end-to-end functions of a system, and thus it provides reliability to the system.
  • It helps to solve bugs after post-production.
  • It tests the entire system architecture as per the business requirement.
  • This testing keeps the new and previous functionalities in a single system to help the user understand the benefits of the newly added features.

System Testing Process

  • Test PlanningThe test plan is a document that includes the information of your testing, like objectives, strategies, entry-exit criteria, software requirements, testing tools, guidelines, etc.
  • Test Case Design and Execution: Create a test case for every feature with the test scenarios, description, process, and more. Then perform the tests and execute them.
  • Defect Tracking and Defect ManagementTrack and record the defects with the defect tracking tools like- JIRA, Bugzilla, Trello, etc. Also, you must write about them for the developers to resolve them.
  • Reporting and Communication: Create bug reports about defect reports to send to the developers. Try to follow an organizational method for this.

System Testing Examples and Use Cases

  • Software Applications: Use cases for an online airline’s booking system – customers browse flight schedules and prices, select dates and times, etc.
  • Web Applications: An e-commerce company lets you search and filter items, select an item, add it to the cart, purchase it, and more.
  • Mobile Applications: An UPI app let you do mobile recharge or transfer money securely. So, first, you have to select the mobile number, then the biller name, recharge amount, and payment method, and proceed to pay.
  • Games: For a gaming app, check the animation, landscape-portrait orientation, background music, sound on/off, score, leaderboard, etc.
  • Operating Systems: Login to the system with your password, check your files, folders, apps are well placed and working, battery percentage, time-zone, go to the ‘settings’ for additional checkups, etc.
  • Hardware: Test the mechanical parts – speed, temperature, etc., electronic parts – voltage, currents, power input-output, communication parts- bandwidths, etc.

System Testing Types

A. Functional Testing     

1. Unit Testing

This testing process checks whether each system unit or component works accordingly. This is the first testing step performed at the development stage, and it helps to fix the bugs before the development cycle.

2. Integration Testing

This testing aims to validate the different software units working together to achieve the expected functionality. Thus it establishes a steady communication between several components and subsystems of software.

3. Regression Testing

It would be best to modify your software every time as per your needs. So, regression testing ensures the system is working without default after very few changes are made, and the changes should not damage the system.

Teams will independently perform regression testing as part of your SDLC, but it mustn’t be done in silos.

What is System Testing? (Examples, Use Cases, Types)

  • When legacy data is imported from an older system to a newer one, parallel tests are helpful to check if everything has been moved across seamlessly using an automated regression test suit.
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4. User Acceptance Testing

Generally, the end users perform this testing to verify the system meets the ultimate expectations. So, it goes through the users’ perspective. You have to do this testing at the last stage of the SDLC. 

B. Non-Functional Testing

1. Performance Testing

It checks the system’s behavior instead of a certain workload. So it clarifies the system’s speed, stability, responsiveness, memory usage, network usage, and more. It determines the system doesn’t break when multiple users try to access it.

2. Security Testing

You have to examine the weak area of an application with security testing, which means you have to find out the part of the coding where there is a high chance of attack by a hacker. So it would be best to try and solve the issues through an attacker’s mindset.

3. Usability Testing

Simply, usability testing checks the product’s usability. So, it aims to test whether or not the system is easy to use. This test ensures the application has a ‘user manual’ or ‘help menu’ to simplify the product’s usability to the end users.

4. Compatibility Testing

This testing examines the compatibility of a system with different browsers, platforms, operating systems, hardware, network, mobile devices, etc. So, it ensures the system can behave accurately with the variable models and devices.

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How to write system test cases?

Writing system test cases involves approximately 10 steps:

  1. Test case ID: Generate a unique ID for your test case.
  2. Test case scenario: Create a one-liner description for it.
  3. Pre-condition: Your test case must be ready with some predefined conditions. Ex. a registered email id and user name.
  4. Test steps: Write your test steps with the proper description.
  5. Test data: Include the data you need for your test cases. Suppose you’re testing an application form. You must include test data like the applicant’s name, address, contact number, email id, etc.
  6. Expected Result: You get the predefined test result. Ex. successful submission of an application.
  7. Post conditions: Some unique data will be generated. Ex. application ID.
  8. Actual result: As per the expectation.
  9. Status: Passed or failed.
  10. Review and revise: Finally, review and revise the test cases as necessary to ensure they are accurate and effective in testing the system requirements.

How to Perform System Tests?

  1. First, you need to make a test plan with the entry and exit criteria of the testing.
  2. Then, create the test scenarios and test cases. Follow an appropriate template for this purpose.
  3. After the test case generation, gather the required test data for proper test execution.
  4. Set up the test environment. It’s essential to execute the test cases in the production environment.
  5. Execute the test cases and record the results (passed or failed).
  6. Create the defect report and send it to the development team.
  7. After they send the rectified software, you have to test the previously affected parts of the software again and repeat the cycle as per the requirement.

What is System Integration Testing?

The SIT combines multiple integrated components. The components include different software, hardware, or both software and hardware. It’s a type of black-box testing that indicates software functioning well with the concurrence of another system.

Tools for System Testing

Automated Testing ToolsThe automation test tools convert your test cases into test scripts using the programming languages. Thus it saves your time and improves bug detection. Ex. Selenium, Cypress, etc.

Test Management Tools: The management tools track the overall activity of your test process. It can manage automation and manual testing with their plans, environments, data, etc. Ex. JIRA, Trello, Github, etc. 

With unified test management, manage all test cases on a single unified test management platform and leverage insights on testing trends to ship high-quality products faster.

What is System Testing? (Examples, Use Cases, Types)

Defect Tracking Tools: These tools trackmonitor, and report the bugs in your system. Ex. JIRA, Trac, Bugzilla, etc.

Challenges in System Testing

Time and Resource Constraints: These are the significant challenges in system testing. The QA team goes under pressure due to last-minute testing requirements. Additionally, an unstable environment can cause huge time delays. So, choosing the proper environment setup, testing tools, and communication helps to solve the problem.

The Complexity of Applications: To test complex applications, you must perform regression testing several times. So, it becomes time-consuming and creates pressure to finish the task on a tight deadline. Thus, proper planning, prioritizing the test case, and up-skilling the test team can solve the issue.

Lack of Test Coverage: The QA team can’t cover all the tests due to a lack of time, documentation, and inadequate testing. So, it would be best if you had a proper plan and prioritize the test cases according to the need. Also, you have to cover the test cases by performing both automation and manual testing.

Defect Management: Nowadaysmost  systems have become large and multilayered in codes. Thus there is a huge chance of missing any defect or bug, and they bother user experience, damage the system, and more. So you need to test with real devices, defect management tools, and automated testing tools to find, report, track, and solve the defects effectively.

Advantages and Disadvantages of System Testing

  • It checks the overall functionality of a system to fulfill all the business requirements.
  • As it checks the whole system, it easily detects the bugs and finds defects skipped in unit and integration testing. Thus it makes the product ready for acceptance testing.
  • You can perform the testing in a practical environment. Thus it helps to detect real-time bugs.
  • The disadvantages are-
  • This testing is time-consuming and expensive because it checks the full system.
  • System testing becomes challenging for large and complex systems.


1. What are the inputs of system testing?

You have to perform this testing just after the integration testing. So, the inputs of system testing are nothing but the outputs of integration testing.

2. Can we do system testing at any stage of development?

No, we can do this only after the integration testing and before the user acceptance testing. But you must ensure all the system components are working properly before this testing.

3. Can we achieve 100% accuracy in the system after this testing?

No, it’s impossible. According to the testing rule – no absence of error is a fallacy. So, a 100% accurate result is unexpected.

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