Every high-quality application and software suite you’ve ever used has been through end-to-end (E2E) testing. That is because the developers and testers must ensure the software can accomplish what the programmers intended it to. As such, end-to-end testing is a crucial part of quality control in the software development industry.
Exploring End-to-End Testing
So, what is end-to-end testing? End-to-end testing is a process where testers test an application in its entirety. They test from beginning to end, finding out what the user experience would be like. If problems show up during the evaluation, developers must resolve them.
End-to-end tests are also known as “user acceptance tests (UATs),” “smoke tests,” “browser tests,” or even “user interface (UI) tests.” However, calling them “UI tests” is not accurate since they cover more than the application’s UI.
How Does End-to-End Testing Work?
During the end-to-end test, the testers will open the software in a specialized browser. They will then test the program through interaction, with no stone left unturned. Among the things that testers check are:
- Application programming interfaces (APIs)
- Third-party integrations
- Browser compatibility
- Any involved hardware
What Are the Different Types of End-to-End Testing?
There are two primary types of end-to-end testing—horizontal and vertical. We discuss each of them below.
Horizontal End-to-End Testing
This kind of end-to-end testing evaluates an application in its entirety. To prepare for horizontal testing, you need to know you are testing a whole workflow across numerous applications. Since the systems and subsystems you use for the testing are essential, you will need to test these first independently.
There are several benefits to choosing horizontal end-to-end testing. One of these is its thoroughness and breadth. It also centers on user-friendliness since you get an exact idea of the actual user experience. If the software should interact with other applications, testers must also test this interactivity.
When a business uses software, testers may also focus on interacting with the target database and network infrastructure. Testers always do horizontal testing as the final step of the release cycle.
Vertical End-to-End Testing
With vertical end-to-end testing, testers first split the application into its component layers and test each independently in their hierarchical order. Some examples of application layers are API requests and UI database calls.
Vertical testing has some advantages. For one, it’s appropriate for software for which safety is incredibly crucial and code coverage is broad. You may also find the testing process faster than you would with horizontal end-to-end testing.
The software is typically tested along with UI layers, API integration, and network infrastructure. Vertical testing is more granular in approach than horizontal testing, although both types must ultimately address all details.
A significant difference between vertical and horizontal testing is that testers can do horizontal testing more independently. That means that the developer can have the horizontal end-to-end testing done without bringing in other stakeholders. Vertical testing, on the other hand, involves collaborating with other stakeholders, such as potential product owners.
End-to-End Testing Metrics
End-to-end testing is hugely dependent on quality testing metrics and the proceeding feedback cycle. There are hundreds of different testing metrics, all bespoke to the product and industry. However, conceptually, they all follow the same general trains of thought, providing data for systems and systems analysts to assess. Let’s take a look at some of the broader types of test metrics.
Weekly Test Progress
The weekly test progress metric gives testers progress data weekly. It tells them the number of developed tests and the success (pass/fail) rate. It also communicates the unexecuted and executed test rate.
Test Case Preparation Status
Test case preparation status measures the number of prepared test cases and sets this against the number of test cases planned.
Test Environment Availability
This metric shows the amount of time that testers have to test a specific environment versus the time spent testing every day.
Defect Status and Details
This metric tells testers what defects were detected during testing. It indicates how many open and closed defects there are in the application.
End-to-End Testing Use Cases
As we learned earlier, apps and software need end-to-end testing before developers distribute them to consumers. Without it, the developers won’t know if their apps will work as intended.
- End-to-end testing should be done on finished software before developers distribute them. It lets the developers know that the entire software works as it should. It’s an integral part of quality assurance.
- This testing should also be done if there are problems later detected in the software. When that happens, testers will check the system and analyze the data they find to determine the problem and how to fix it.
The Test Pyramid: 2 Other Tests
Before building an end-to-end testing scenario, there are other kinds of tests that should be done. These include the two other tests that makeup testers refer to as the “testing pyramid,” which comprises unit tests and integration tests.
Unit tests evaluate the tiniest code units, such as functions. This test will ensure that any coding, such as text strings and numerical values used for buttons, forms, or links, correctly function. If any function has external dependencies, you will have to use a different process.
Integration tests evaluate how two separate entities work together. It is useful if two developers worked on different modules that must operate together to perform a function. This kind of test takes longer than function tests.
For obvious reasons, end-to-end tests take much longer to complete than unit tests and integration tests. If testers detect problems during an end-to-end test, it takes a lot of time and effort to isolate specific areas. As end-to-end tests have the broadest scope of all the tests, they are challenging to create.
End-to-end testing is an essential process in software development. Before a product hits the market, all functions must be operating correctly and efficiently to heighten user experience.