Understanding System Integration Testing: Why It Matters with Real Examples

Today, I’d like to discuss “system integration testing.” In simple terms, it ensures that external components seamlessly work with our system, following ISTQB guidelines. Since we can’t control these external parts, regular testing, especially during nightly builds, is crucial to promptly address any changes and keep our application up-to-date.

Here’s a real example: In a web app using Amazon’s external service to fetch product data, a problem emerged when Amazon’s service unexpectedly changed, providing the wrong image URL for out-of-stock products. This highlights the importance of not relying solely on third-party components, even from major companies like Amazon, as their changes or failures can disrupt our functionality. I don’t even trust components from other departments and recommend designing suitable system integration regression tests for them.

Personally, I prefer creating system integration tests for external parts using snapshot testing. This method involves storing received data from external components in CSV or JSON files with minimal effort. It’s crucial to use snapshot testing correctly to avoid high maintenance costs. I recommend consulting an expert in this area before implementing it.

If you’re dealing with external components and want to discuss testing strategies, feel free to reach out to me.

Your passionate tester, Andreas Hollmann

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