For developers, performing end-to-end testing is essential for finding bugs in software as well as ensuring the right flow of information among the various components. But how does it work, and what good would it do you?
This article explores the primary reasons that E2E testing is considered fundamental to software testing prior to product release. In this comprehensive guide, we first take a quick look at what E2E testing is, how it works, and why you should not overlook it.
Let’s get started!
What Is E2E Testing?
End-to-end testing, otherwise known as E2E testing, is a software testing approach that comprehensively checks whether the flow of an application works as required. This software testing fundamental is typically achieved by employing real-world scenarios geared towards simulating the end user’s experience.
It involves ensuring that all integrated components such as database, network, and hardware are all communicating with the application seamlessly. E2E testing is usually executed after functional and system testing.
Since the testing is carried out from the end user’s perspective while analyzing the backend process, it hence gives a wholesome outlook on the operation of the application.
How Does E2E Testing Work?
End-to-end testing is implemented by the following process:
- A keen analysis of the requirements of how the app is designed to function
- Set up the test environment
- Analysis of software and hardware requirements
- A detailed description of how the system and dependent sub-systems should respond
- Enumerating the various testing methods and other tools such as standards that are being used
- Design the test scenarios
- Running the tests, studying and saving the input and output data
Upon the initiation all through to the completion of E2E testing, there are some best practices that ought to be followed. They include the following:
- Working from the end user’s perspective when designing the test
- Coming up with as many scenarios as possible in order to create the test cases
- Thoroughly testing every existing part of the software application
- Crafting and running various test cases to run the different scenarios that have been formulated
What Are the Elements of E2E Testing?
The outline of an E2E test typically includes the following activities:
These entail the functions that will be user-oriented. In order for one to build user functions, the following must be executed:
- Annotate the features of the software and associated sub-systems
- Track and save the input and output data for each function
- Find relations between user functions
- Identify how the user functions behave, i.e., whether they are recyclable or are independent
These include the multiplicity of factors that could influence real-world scenarios, and thus affecting user functions such as time and data. Here, the software developers need to brainstorm and prepare a specific set of conditions before every user function.
To build successful test cases for E2E testing, one must:
- Design more than one test case to examine the operation of every user function scenario
- Make sure every test represents one condition
What Are the Performance Metrics of Evaluating Any E2E Test?
The following are the relevant factors that track the progress of end-to-end tests:
Availability of the Test Environment
This is a parameter that compares the time scheduled to carry out the software testing against the actual time spent testing.
Test Case Preparation
This involves crafting suitable test cases and comparing the rate at which current and prospective test cases are being created.
Tracking Weekly Progress of the Tests
Here, one evaluates the failed, executed, and yet to be executed test cases and gauges progress, percentage-wise.
Defect Identification and Resolution
This involves keeping track of the bugs that pop up while testing and their consequent resolution.
Most if not every application is interconnected and merged with many other systems and subsystems outside its domain. As such, the application’s workflow is incredibly complex in nature.
End-to-end testing, therefore, comes in handy to establish whether the flow of information between the various components is working as efficiently and as accurately as possible.
Why Is E2E Testing Important?
Here are the top five reasons why E2E testing should be done before product releases:
1. Helps In Detecting Bugs In a Heterogeneous Environment
End-to-end testing is most commonly used on applications that are heterogeneous, distributed, cloud, and SOA-based environments. It is used to identify errors in applications harbored in such environments as they constitute multiple components and E2E is extremely comprehensive as a testing methodology.
2. Evaluates the Operational Functionality of the Back-End:
E2E testing deals not only with the application’s front-end but also its back-end and database layers. Since the back-end database determines the application’s principal functionality, verifying it helps demonstrate that the software is ready for deployment.
3. Checks App Response In Multi-Tier Systems:
End-to-end testing is pretty instrumental in testing the response of the application in question over a multi-tier intricate architecture system as well as the overall function of the system as dictated by the interaction between individual tiers.
4. Guarantees a Smooth Experience for the End-User:
Because end-to-end testing also tests the front-end and UI components, it ascertains that the app will provide a user experience that will be compatible with multiple platforms, environments, and devices, ensuring a smooth, constituent experience.
5. Promotes Redundancy In Tests:
End-to-end testing allows for repeated tests, which are executable at different points of every process. This is because, despite E2E testing being heavily manual, parts at low risk can be automated. This automation enables the developers to scale the re-run of tests to happen after each debug session, which makes it economical.
Given the importance of end-to-end testing, it goes without saying that it should be done before the launch of an application. This wholesome process is an inclusive test that tests all the layers of an application – from the core of the software, its back-end, and corresponding database as well as all other interfaces to the front-end aspect of the application.
Performing E2E tests ensures that the application is thoroughly tested from various angles, all of which are based on the end user’s perspective, which helps guarantee a smooth, error-free experience when the application finally launches. End-to-end testing should be viewed as an integral part of the testing process, as it saves the user from avoidable disruptions.
|Erik is the MIT-educated COO and Co-Founder of ProdPerfect. He loves unleashing the potential of the great folks in the world and loves helping make decisions with facts. A couple years ago he co-founded ProdPerfect, where he helps his team grow personally and improve their ability to help people solve QA problems. He also helps customers use actual live data–instead of educated guesses–when deciding what tests to write and maintain. In his spare time he podcasts and writes books about making fact-based decisions in business and politics.|
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