Testing Your Software Product’s Flow with End-To-End Testing

In many cases the primary cause of software start up failure tends to be poor quality assurance during the development process, this is where end-to-end testing can be used. End-to-end testing is one of the ways to prevent the release of poor quality software. Simply defined, end-to-end testing is a testing mechanism used to assess whether there are any interruptions in the flow of your software product. It is a comprehensive testing format measuring the product-user interaction from the start to the end. 

These tests are useful if you want to determine the functionality of an application prior to providing your customers access to the application. If you haven’t attempted end-to-end testing before, this article is your beginner’s guide.

Why is end-to-end testing required?

In today’s rapidly evolving world, technology plays a major role in almost every sector. Every technological application is an interconnected system of multiple parts which work together as a unified whole outside the application’s environment. This makes the flow of an application complex and thus, needs to be monitored for any possible defects.

End-to-end testing is a process that examines your database as well as the back-end layer within your software product. The prime functions of an application rely on both the database and the back-end layer. By assessing them, end-to-end tests help to determine whether the software is carrying out all essential functions.

If you wish to test an application in different parts of its lifecycle, end-to-end tests offer the ability to do so. You can execute repetitive tests and examine all aspects of your application. This enables owners to increase the coverage of tests and run a successful application.

With the emergence of so many cloud deployment services and PaaS providers, end-to-end tests have become very useful for testing software products that are deployed in a cloud environment. Testing allows managers to provide an experience to users which is uniform across any device and/or platform.

Steps involved in an end-to-end test

Every end-to-end test relies on the following components:

•      Go over the needs of the test thoroughly prior to setting it up

•      Organize the testing environment according to protocol

•      Assess the requirements of your software product

•      Examine all processes within your system and its components and determine their requirements

•      Outline the responsibilities of all systems

•      Describe the testing techniques that you will follow in addition to the testing standards and guidelines that you intend to follow

•      Outline the requirements for developing test cases and mention what tracking methods are in use

•      Record the input and output information pertaining to each system

Categories of an end-to-end test

To make our understanding easier, end-to-end tests can be categorized into three types:

Functions of a user

In this section of the test, you can determine whether the user is able to smoothly perform all functions in the software. Mention the features of the software and its interconnected systems. Monitor all actions performed and keep track of the input and output information. Assess if there is any relation between the functions performed by the user. Determine the nature of these functions and whether they can be used again.

Conditions influenced by functions of a user

Building conditions need to be set up in a manner that easily helps you detect errors in flow. It is best to develop conditions for every user function. Include conditions that test factors such as time, sequence, etc.

Developing test cases

Developing the test cases is the next stage in the process of setting up an end-to-end test. Build the test cases using testing parameters available to you. For each scenario and user function, set up more than one test. Also, mention every condition as an independent test case.

Metrics to measure the success of an end-to-end test

The best way to ensure that your testing process will be effective is to utilize testing metrics. Here are four important metrics that help indicate test success:

•      Defect information: You will receive a report that indicates the number of defects that were opened or closed every week. Monitor this information and assess whether each defect was severe or not.

•      Status of test case preparation: Tracking what stage of test case preparation you are in is essential for mapping progress. Use a graph to measure the progress of your test cases in comparison to the number of tests that you originally planned.

•      Test environment availability: This metric is used to track two factors. You will be tracking the total time scheduled for implementing tests in the testing environment each day. You will also measure the amount of time that has been actually spent in performing tests in the same environment. 

•      Progress of the weekly test: This metric assesses the progress of the tests that are being completed on a weekly basis. You will be comparing tests that have passed, failed, been completed, and not completed yet using this metric.

Conclusion

Before conducting end-to-end testing it is important to outline what it is you want to test and the metrics you are going to use to measure the software’s success. These tests are extremely useful when trying to deliver a top-quality offering and should not be underestimated by any organization.


Author information:

Erik Fogg

Erik is the MIT-educated COO and Co-Founder of ProdPerfect. He loves unleashing the potential of the great folks in the world and loves helping make decisions with facts. A couple of years ago he co-founded ProdPerfect, where he helps his team grow personally and improve their ability to help people solve QA problems. He also helps customers use actual live data–instead of educated guesses–when deciding what tests to write and maintain. In his spare time, he podcasts and writes books about making fact-based decisions in business and politics.

10+2 Superior Automated Testing Tools for Mobile Apps

A collection of the best Mobile test automation tools than you can use to test your Mobile Apps.

Testing Tools for Native or cross-platform applications

1. Appium

-free

An open-source mobile test automation tool to test Android and iOS applications. It supports C#, Java, Ruby, and many other programming languages that belong to WebDriver library.

2. Selendroid

-free

Being one of the leading test automation software, Selendroid tests the UI of Androids based hybrid and native applications and mobile web.

3. MonkeyTalk by Oracle

-close

MonkeyTalk automates the functional testing of Android and iOS apps.

4. Bitbar Testing

-from $ 99 / month

It is one of the best platforms to test your iOS and Android devices that are having different screen resolutions, OS versions, and HW platforms.

5. Calabash

-free

Calabash works efficiently with .NET, Ruby, Flex, Java and other programming languages.

6. SeeTest

-have trial

SeeTest Automation is a cross-platform solution. It allows to run the same scripts on different devices.

Android Automation Testing Tools:

1. Robotium

-free
-android

Again an open-source tool to test Android applications of all versions and sub-versions.

2. monkeyrunner

-free
-android

MonkeyRunner is specifically designed for the testing of devices and applications at the framework/functional level.

3. UI Automator

-free
-android

In order to test the user interface of an app, UI Automator creates functional Android UI test cases. It has been recently expanded by Google.

Automation iOS Testing Tools:

1. Frank

-free
-iOS

Frank allows to test only iOS applications and software. The open-source framework combines JSON and Cucumber.

2. KIF for iOS

-free, open-source

KIF stands for Keep It Functional. It is an open source framework developed for iOS mobile app UI testing. It utilizes the Accessibility APIs built into iOS in order to simulate real user interactions. Tests are written in Objective-C, which is already familiar to iOS developers, but not test teams. Apple’s switch to Swift makes its use of Objective-C a disadvantage going forward.

3. iOS Driver for iOS

-free

iOS Driver utilizes Selenium and the WebDriver API for testing iOS mobile apps. Its default is to run on emulators, where execution is faster and scalable. The current version works with devices, but actually executes more slowly in that case. No app source code requires modification and no additional apps are loaded on the device under test. iOS Driver is designed to run as a Selenium grid node, which improves test speed as it enables parallel GUI testing.


At the moment, there appear to be many test framework solutions looking for problems, but that is to be expected as mobile app development and testing tools continue to be developed at a rapid pace. Every framework has its pros and cons, each of which should be weighted relative to the needs of the testing organization and the software products being delivered.


Inspiration

How to Find Over 200+ Beta Testers for Free

Beta testing: the rehearsal before showcasing your app to the world. The beta testing phase is a critical one in your app’s life cycle and you need to make the most of it. Finding beta testers is an integral part of this process. You need them to test your app in every possible way to make sure that you weed out all the hidden corner case bugs. But where can you find these beta users and how many of them would be willing to try out your app? We’ll tell you where you can find these users and, lucky for you, there are tons of early adopters out there who would love to try out your app — and for free!

 

 

First, how many beta testers do you need?

 

A very important question that depends on the size and scope of your application. This number largely depends on the number of features and demographic characteristics of the app and its users (Beta Testing Guide). To be on the safe side, you’ll need between 100-300 beta testers to make sure your users go through all the use cases necessary to ensure your app is clean.

 

 

Where can you find these beta testers?

 

We’ve done the hard work for you and compiled a list of sources — use them!

A great way to get feedback on your product is to put it in front of a bunch of people who have already expressed a desired interested in a specific domain. You can leverage various forums and social media as platforms for displaying your product. However, you need to remember you should be a part of their community or else you will be perceived as a spammer or even worse: an advertiser.

 

1. HACKER NEWS

By far the biggest online grouping of tech enthusiasts in the Internet universe is Hacker News. If you’re looking for honest and brutal feedback, you won’t find a better place. This is where the smartest and most influential people in the tech world hang out, so it’s still definitely worth it because if you make it on HN, you’ve basically made it in life. Check out how to craft a successful HN post and don’t ever forget to follow the rules!

 

2. REDDIT

You may not think they have the most enjoyable user interface but they do have a passionate and extremely involved community. Just like HN, Reddit has its own dedicated community and usually welcomes those with karma with an open heart. The good thing about Reddit is that you’ll find a subreddit for literally EVERYTHING so make sure you target the right ones and make your post count. Check out our subreddit suggestions for startups and mobile apps and have a look at the Reddit rules while you’re at it:

 

3. PRODUCT HUNT

You will be hard pressed to find a more engaging platform than Product Hunt with such a passionate following and community. The world’s best and brightest product managers and tech lovers constantly stay up to date with Product Hunt to get a feel of what is going on in the tech world. Making a splash on Product Hunt would bring you a vast number of users who would be eager to use your app.

 

4. BETA DIRECTORIES

Another great way to get your idea out there is sharing it on a beta directory to attract passionate techies and early adopters. The downside is that these users are more curious than loyal and probably won’t be sticking around for too long. Since they’ve signed up to receive all kinds of beta products, they end up not being the most engaged. You’ll still end up with a bunch of beta testers and your SEO will benefit from the links these directories will provide. Here’s a list of the best beta directories you’ll find to get your beta users:

 

5. STARTUP DIRECTORIES

If you’re confident in your product and you’re ready to get even more users, I encourage you to list your startup in any of the popular startup directories that publish frequent reviews on the hottest apps and startups. Tons of early adopters and tech lovers follow and subscribe to these sites, so you’re bound to attract their attention. The best products will always get significant traction and conversions. Here’s a list of the startup directories we think will help you get the most beta users:

 

6. QUORA

Quora is one of those places with a fast-growing community that can have a very positive impact on your app’s success. The catch is that you’ll need to build up your own community by demonstrating expertise in a specific niche. Show your genuine care and passion for your domain by offering your insights on various threads within your niche. This will pay dividends and people will eventually be willing to help you in return with your own app or startup.

 

7. TWITTER

Nobody will be more willing to try out your app more than those who already hate your competitor. Hunt for them, find them, and show them. You will find that unhappy users are your friends.

 

 

Here’s a list of hashtags that could be useful to you:

 

8. HUSTLE

Let’s be real here: No app or startup grows without some true grit and hustle. Leverage social media to attract beta testers to your app. Don’t be afraid to try your own methods and see what works for you. Try Facebook groups, Twitter hashtags relevant to your product, follow relevant Twitter lists, try Pinterest, use your alma matter or high school if that could be useful. Don’t leave any stone unturned.