End to End Testing vs Integration Testing: Key Differences

Today we are going to talk about end-to-end testing vs integration testing and all the related concepts which one needs to know to get started with these testing techniques.

In the years of a pandemic, while almost the entire world saw a shirking economy trend, this also affected the QA budget of software companies which means that firms want more efficient and cost-friendly ways to check their software. This is where E2E and integration testing techniques become so important in the software QA world. Let's go through them one by one and lay down the differences.

End to End Testing:

As the name suggests, it tests the software from the starting end of its usage until the user is done using it at the other end. The entire user flow falls under this testing classification and replicates a random user using it. This also means that the technique will simulate all possible scenarios a user will face with this software. This is a rather expensive form of testing when done in complicated software codes and higher levels of testing. It is also favorable to get real-world results as the simulation and imitation it involves for a user is extremely related to actual problems a user may face when using this software.

Integration Testing:

The final software which we use every day is basically like a LEGO of small software units which are combined together to function together. integration testing techniques validate the "integrity" of these software units for the seamless working of the entire suite. In layman's words, it verifies if the entire software works properly with these individual units working under it flowing the information in the way they are supposed to. 

End to end testing vs Integration testing:

1. The E2E testing checks the site software suite without any further sub-levels while integration testing checks two levels of integration within a software. 

2. Integration testing is used from the very start of the development phase while the E2E counterpart is used in the final stage of development to check the entire software.  

3. integration testing can be used on daily basis as long as the development is being done and new versions are released. E2E can only be done when the entire software is being put into the final version.

4. The speed of execution is much faster as compared to the E2E testing.

5. The integration checks two blocks based on the inputs and outputs of the software units while the E2E checks the inputs and outputs of the entire software.

6. A third-party software checks a single process for its output and input. While E2E uses more than one process to check its inputs/outputs for different applications. 

7.E2E tests are integration tests but on a much higher level as compared to the integration testing itself.

8. It should also be pointed out that E2E is more complex as compared to integration testing techniques. Why? because it takes the entire software into its testing loop and makes the entire procedure more complicated and time-consuming as well. 

9. E2E tests also ensure that everything related to software is working in its final form, let it be UI, database layers, texts, colors, and everything in between which needs to be in order. Integrated, on the other hand, don't test like this, instead, their loop of testing is limited to certain inputs and outputs of a certain unit of the software inside the entire collection of "Lego" blocks.

Which one is for you?

The question of end to end testing vs integration testing is not like a black-and-white one. The differences between the two mark the fact that both testing techniques are applicable at different stages of your software development and have importance attached to each other. It's not a question of which one to go for but rather, which one to use during what period of software development. Both have their pros with them and using the software at the right time will bring benefits to your resting goals. 

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