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What is End to End Testing and How to Perform It?

What is End to End Testing?

End-to-end testing is a popular software testing methodology to test the flow of an application from beginning to the end. The objective of this testing methodology is stimulating real user scenarios and validating system for data integrity. Nobody wants to be known for their mistakes or negligence and the same is true for testers as well.

When testers are assigned an application to test, the application acts as the platform here to show their practical or technical testing skills. To make sure that an application is tested from start to end, it is necessary to perform “End to End” testing. Let us see how to perform end to end testing for an application successfully.

How to perform End to End Testing?

To conduct end to end testing, the most common steps performed are given as below:

  • Review the requirements first you will be using to validate end to end testing.
  • Outline the hardware/software requirements and set up the testing environment.
  • Define the possible system processes and integrated subsystems.
  • Define the role and responsibilities of each system
  • Brief the testing methodologies or testing standards you want to use for an application. It may be any programming language or testing tool.
  • Generate requirements to design the test cases.
  • List the input and output data for each system.

If someone wants to scale its testing efforts then end to end testing works perfectly here. As your application or system grows, you have to ensure that it works across a vast array of devices, operating systems, environments etc. Also make sure that it validates database interactions, APIs, or network communication functions etc as intended. The end to end testing not only increases the productivity of an application but makes you confident in your product before making it live.

What are the common types of End to End Testing?

There are two common types that are frequently used to perform end to end testing. It is a vertical end to end testing and horizontal end to end testing. Horizontal variation is more common with the end to end testing in which testing occurs across multiple apps. Let us focus on the diagram below to better understand the concept. What are the common types of End to End Testing? In the given scenario, the e-commerce platform not only works from a UI point view only but it needs to connect with the network, CRM platform, or any other third-party tools too. A horizontal test case entails or verifies each workflow or transaction from start to end and related processes simultaneously.

At the same time, a vertical end to end test case entails testing at each layer of a single application architecture from top to bottom. It means you will test each subsystem independent of each other at the granular level with unit tests and continuing thoroughly with different tests at both UI and API layers.

Both vertical and horizontal end to end testing accomplish the same goal but they have a separate set of prerequisites and advantages that will be discussed below.

Read: What is STLC? Learn Software Testing Life Cycle Phases

What are the Prerequisites and Advantages for Horizontal Tests?


With horizontal test cases, you may verify the entire workflow across multiple apps. To perform horizontal end to end testing, it is necessary that test environments and all related subsystems are set up in advance.


  • It entails tests from the user perspective
  • It prevents issues before reaching the production stage.
  • It ensures the coverage of business logic needs.

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What are the Prerequisites and Advantages for Vertical Tests?


As discussed earlier, a vertical end to end test case entails testing at each layer of a single application architecture from top to bottom. It focuses on development strategy more like test-driven development, behavior-driven development, or continuous testing etc. it will ensure that each stakeholder like a tester, developer, product owner, are completely involved in a project.


Read: Black Box Testing vs White Box Testing – What are the Key Differences?
  • It enforces high code coverage
  • It results in faster execution of test cases
  • It allows the more focused testing methodology
  • It is useful to deliver safety-critical software.

How to measure success for End to End Testing?

When you want to ensure that your time and money are not wasted on testing, the best way to do this is metrics. Here are the four key metrics to measure the success for the end to end testing.

Success for End to End Testing

  • Test case Status: It can be tracked through graphs; how much test cases are prepared actually against planned test cases.
  • Test case progress: The objective of this step is to check the progress of prepared test cases either daily or weekly. Also, you need to check how many new test cases are added to the list on weekly basis.
  • Defects details: Now you want to track the defects or bugs in test cases and how to correct those defects with the right testing methodology.
  • Test environment availability: Here, you need to focus on two key elements. First, you will check how much time is allotted to run each test case. Secondly, you will check how much time is actually used by test cases. It will help you to calculate how many hours are scheduled for testing per day.

Why perform End to End Testing?

A modern software system comprises of different subsystems and interconnections. It has made modern software architecture highly complicated. These subsystems can be used within the same organization or different organizations on the basis of requirement. Also, these subsystems can be the same or different from the current one. As a result, if there is some fault in the subsystem then it may affect the working of the whole software system badly.

These major risks can be quickly avoided with a suitable type of testing like End to End Software testing methodology. It checks and performs system flow verification. It increases the test coverage areas of all subsystems involved within a software system. It identifies the issues within subsystems and thus increases the overall productivity of a software system.

Now let us see how End to End testing is different from the System Testing. System testing involves a series of steps whose objective is to perform the complete test of the integrated system. It is basically a form of black box testing where the working of the software system is tested through users’ point of view keeping real-world scenarios in consideration. System testing involves the following things as discussed below.

  • It helps in testing a fully integrated application that includes the main system too.
  • It identifies components that are interconnected within a system.
  • It verifies the desired system output on the basis of inputs given.
  • It analyzes user experiences from various aspects of an application.

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Read: Significance of Performance Testing in Ensuring Holiday Readiness of Apps

Once you understand thoroughly what is End to End testing, how it is performed, common types of the end to end testing, why to perform end to end testing, and how is it different from the system testing, you can conclude the following:

For any commercial releases, End to End testing is considered utmost important as it tests the entire application within a testing environment that exactly imitates the real-world users like database interactions, network communication etc.

Mostly, the end to end testing is performed manually because automating such test cases is quite expensive and not affordable by small scale businesses. It is true that end to end testing is not only useful for system validation but external integrations too.

To know more on the different type of testing in Software Engineering, you should join the QA certification course at JanBask Training and learn to design or to execute test cases practically.

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