Software integration testing is a phase in the development of a computer program where different components are merged and tested if they will interface flawlessly. In software development, different modules are created by several developers. These modules have different functionalities and application. The individual modules are tested by their developers. Once it passed this unit testing stage, each module will be integrated into a single functioning program. It will be tested then in order to determine if these individual modules will interface flawlessly.
If the interface suffers no glitches, then software integration is achieved. This is a critical phase of the development because the integrity and functionality of the software will be determined if its individual component could interact with each other. If the software fails the integration testing stage, then unit developers would have to rewrite their program and develop its capability to interface with other applications.
Usually, software development project leaders will carry out integration testing based on simulated end user behavior. The software will be deployed on a workstation and loaded with processes that mimic actual usage. This is a positive testing process because it tries to achieve software integration and functionality based on its expected output. If the positive integration test has been carried out successfully, the next step would be to calibrate testing by determining the extreme limits of the application. This test will determine if the integration process will still work if the software is subjected to stressful usage. After integration testing, the software will now be ready for systems testing and final deployment.
Software QA testing specifically determines the quality of the application being developed. There are certain standards that developers must meet so that their software can be distributed to end users. These standards are normally provided by international quality standards organizations. Testing software quality involves many processes and stages. From writing the program to actual performance testing, software quality assurance is always implemented.
During the initial development phase, the documentations and the required coding systems of the software will be checked if it conforms to industry accepted standards. This is normally checked by a software testing professional in close coordination with the software developer.
After the initial phase, actual build and design of the software will also be checked and will be subjected to different quality testing. This ensures that the software fully conforms to the required standards of the IT industry. Deployment and distribution of the software will only be possible after the software underwent different performance and functionality testing. Performance testing is a long process wherein developers determine the actual capability of the application. It is carried out in stages and usually involves limited number of testers.
There are quality testing however that involves full distribution of the software and allowing end users to determine if the software functions based on its intended output. The software will be subjected to different computing tests so that developers could study how it behaves and reacts to end user commands. This stage of quality testing is critical because commercial production and distribution of the software is dependent on the result of the actual QA testing.