In this article, let’s dive into End-to-End testing, also known as E2E testing. It refers to a software test type that confirms if a system completes the business requirements from beginning to end. E2E testing is crucial because the system is interconnected with various applications. Therefore, the information must pass accurately throughout multiple components. The components can be software pages, databases, etc.
Table of Contents – End to End Testing
- What Is End-to-End Testing
- Benefits of End-to-End Testing
- Main Challenges With End-to-End Testing
- Best Practices For End-to-End Testing
- End-to-End Testing vs Other Test Types
End-to-End testing (E2E) is a type of testing that checks whether the entire product behaves as expected from start to finish. The integrated components operate systematically in an organized workflow. Sometimes the workflow is complex.
If one component fails, the whole scenario fails with a risk (unwanted problem). As a result, a risk assessment is performed to discuss elements of the risk such as the impact of the failure. The main purpose of E2E testing is to repeat real use scenarios and validate the Application Under Test (AUT).
Like most test types, E2E testing has the following activities via its Life Cycle 🔁
- Analyze Requirements – identify and collect business needs.
- Set Up Environment(s) – configure and deploy test servers, test data, databases, etc..
- Plan, Design, & Execute Tests –
- Test Plan: the process of describing the objectives, resources, and procedures.
- Test Design: the process of preparing and creating test cases.
- Test Execution: the process of executing the test cases.
- Analyze Test Results – investigate the test summary and/or details.
There are many benefits of E2E testing. Some of the most important ones include:
- Locating Defects
- Reducing Cost
- Establishing Correctness Of The Application
Locating a defect is when the application does not work as the business requirements intended for it to function. Therefore, locating a defect and fixing the defect improves the quality of our product. With E2E testing, we can find a defect while analyzing the requirements before code is written for the product. It can be a missing requirement, incomplete requirement, or gap in the requirements.
The cost of developing software is reduced when a flaw is detected early. Software defects and other mishaps should get resolved as soon as possible. When time goes on, a bug becomes more difficult and expensive to fix. In the process of bugs remaining unidentified, the price generates a high cost-to-fix report 📜
Nevertheless, the application is established correctly because E2E testing verifies a system from a user’s perspective. It promotes a good user experience. The user is satisfied when there are no or minimal issues with the product. From end to end, the application is tested successfully before reaching production.
The main challenges with E2E testing are the test environments and executing all user scenarios. A test environment provides the critical resources for executing our test cases. The challenge is setting up a test environment that operates like an exact copy of the production environment. This factor is important to harness the power of E2E testing.
Although significant, both environments rarely imitate each other. Most of the time, there is a difference between test data, hardware, configuration of the environments, and configuration of the networks. It’s difficult for a software development team to build a test environment that matches the production environment.
When it comes to user scenarios, they are detailed actions carried out on the application. The challenge with user scenarios is all scenarios may not be executed prior to production. There are scenarios that testers, product owners, etc. missed or did not think to run.
The best practice for E2E testing always involves a plan. A plan for the requirements, environment, test scenarios, and test results. The software development team must invest resources and time for success. Here’s a list of best practices for E2E testing:
- Communicate With End-Users – receive advice and understand issues experienced by the end-user.
- Mimic The Production Environment – set up the test environment to resemble the production environment.
- Document All Test Progress – keep track of all observations, results, etc..
- Create Test Cases for Maximum Coverage – write tests for positive outcomes and negative outcomes.
In addition, it is a best practice to design test cases for parallel execution. Parallel execution allows our test to run fast because multiple tests are executed at the same time. TestProject has a new feature that executes Mobile or Web Test via parallel execution. After execution, a test report is generated automatically to view the test results. The report can be exported as a summary report or a full report with all necessary information (steps, screenshots, & statistics) to analyze the results 🧾
The following table compares E2E testing to Unit test, Functional testing, and System testing.
|Validates an individual unit||Validates a specific function of the entire system||Validates the system according to the requirements||Validates the entire system which includes interconnected sub-systems according to the requirements|
|Executes test cases during the development cycle||Executes test cases after Smoke Testing is complete||Executes test cases after Functional Testing is complete||Executes test cases after System Testing is complete|
|Identifies the required unit without a dependency||Identifies required functional dependencies||Identifies system dependencies and verifies that the information is passed accurately within the system||Identifies system dependencies and verifies information is passed accurately within various systems|
The purpose of E2E testing is to test whether the product flow performs as expected from beginning to end. This type of testing comes with many benefits such as ensuring the application is correct ✅
Due to challenges, the software development team can’t guarantee there will be no risks when releasing the product to the market. However, utilizing a best practice like talking to the end-user can increase testing coverage and minimize defects. With that coverage, E2E testing is different from other test types because it identifies system dependencies and verifies that information is passed accurately within various systems.