Integration testing is that second rung in the testing process, following on from unit testing, where individual units are combined and tested as a group. As the purpose of integration testing is to expose faults in the interaction between units, you need to be confident that your tests are reliable and as such are written to a high quality standard.

As with most things relating to software, an efficient way to ensure quality in your tests is to follow best practice guidelines. So should you find yourself seeking quality, have a look at these testing guidelines, and you should find that by making a few simple changes to how you work you should begin to see an improvement.

Assemble A Test-Plan Document

The number of units that make up a software system is often far from insignificant, and with Integration testing you are expected to look at the interactions between each of them. So why would you even consider diving in headfirst without outlining how you will ensure to include each unit.

Taking the time to prepare a test-plan document will help your test team to map out a logical sequence for the testing process. Not only does this help to ensure greater code coverage, but it also introduces a common document that the entire team can reference helping to avoid miscommunication and misunderstandings.

Assemble An Integration Test Plan

As an additional benefit in having this document project managers will have access to all they need to know about the testing process, greatly improving the ability to allocate resources accordingly.

Complete Unit Testing Prior To Integration Testing

The aim of running integration tests is to examine how each of the units that make up a software system interact with each other. However. If you don’t test your units first to ensure they are functioning correctly, how can you expect to save time and run reliable integration tests.

By running unit tests, you have the means to check code and reduce the amount of bugs testers and users will experience as they start to conduct tests on the wider aspects of the system.

Have A Software Test Management System In Place

Use A Test Management System

No matter the type of development, the source code will always experience modifications. Unfortunately, as you add features and integrate bug fixes, you significantly increase the potential for unexpected consequences to arise.

If you were to implement a test management platform, you would provide yourself with a single point-of-control for all your testing activities, dashboards and fail/pass reports. Having all this information in a single location not only allows team members to have a real-time view of current testing statuses and preparedness, but also allows the comparison of these results to historical results ready for analysis to identify trends over time.

Automate Testing When Possible

Testing software to a high standard takes time, and for many development projects time is a very precious resource. More often than not, you will see organisations sacrificing the quality of their tests simply for the sake of saving time. However, before you go making sacrifices it would be beneficial to see if it is possible to automate your tests as much as possible.

Automate Your Integration Tests

Manually checking for defects is tedious, time-consuming and in a number of cases ineffective. By automating your tests, development teams are able to continually make progress whilst they wait for tests to be completed. Additionally, having tests that can easily be run repeatedly and rapidly greatly increases the chance of identifying small defects, and can give developers more time to make appropriate fixes.

Contact Zircon

Address: Telephone: Key Contacts:
Bellefield House
Hilperton Road
Trowbridge
Wiltshire
BA14 7FP
Tel: 01225 76 44 44
Fax: 01225 75 30 87
Sales & Marketing Director: Phil Cooper
Business Development Manager: Arron Dando