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Unit Testing Versus Integration Testing; 8 Key Differences

To achieve product quality and maintain customer satisfaction in a world of ever-rising expectations, organizations are performing software testing that involves many different types of testing.

However, we know that testing is the most significant stage in the delivery process of any application or software because it not only verifies the quality of an application but also delivers an opportunity for the developer to improve its product.

What is Software testing?

This method is used to check whether the original software product fits the expected requirements and to guarantee that the software product is Defect free. The benefits of testing include preventing bugs, improving performance and reducing development costs, etc. 

There are many different types of software tests, each with specific objectives and strategies, but today we will focus on unit testing and integration testing. Most people only consider unit tests, which makes sense, given that unit testing is one of the most feasible types of code. There’s also integration testing which, at first glance, is similar to unit testing. In this article, we’ll give you an overview of Unit testing vs Integration testing; which is better? Can integration testing be done without unit testing? What is the important goal of integration testing? What are unit testing tools?

This blog will give you answers to these questions. 

 Let’s dive into it! 

Read also: 10 Software Testing Trends you will need in 2023

What is unit testing?

Unit Testing is a type of software testing in which components or units of software undergo testing; its name is derived from the fact that tests are done on a unit-by-unit basis. 

Unit testing occurs during the application’s development phase to ensure that each software part performs design-specific functions.

        The main aim of Unit testing is to assist in decreasing the cost of bug fixes, as this way, bugs or errors in the code level are identified early in the development lifecycle. However, using unit testing, developers can assume whether the tested part is ready to use. Unit testing separates a part of the software to check it individually, which doesn’t affect other parts. Using the isolation technique, developers identify bugs in the early stage of development which keeps the cost of fixing bugs low.

What is integration testing?

Integration testing uses different units, modules or components of a software application tested as a combined entity. It also ensures that the interface between two software units or modules works correctly.

When using integration testing, developers can combine several modules of separate software and integrate the modules into an end product. This testing method allows the testing of the two modules to communicate properly with each other. 

Let’s examine the 8 key differences 

Unit testing vs Integration testing: 

  1. Bug detection

Unit testing is easy as developers check the piece of code, recognise the issue, and rewrite the code to fix the bug detection issue, while in system integration, testing requires more time as developers need to know the bug’s origin, find the solution and test the performance of the new approach. 

  1. Code accessibility

In unit testing, code accessibility is necessary as developers need to examine the written code, while integration testing does not require code access and ability, as developers only need to check the interfaces and module interactions.

  1. Team size

Unit testing does not need a team of developers to check pieces of code. A single developer can effortlessly perform it. On the other hand, integration testing needs a team of developers. The team of developers develops test plans, designs test cases, runs multiple tests and also identifies and fixes the main problem. 

Read also: How we build our software development team structure

  1. Maintenance level

Unit testing has very low maintenance, while integration testing has high maintenance. 

  1. Type of Testing 

Unit testing is white-box testing in which the Test executor knows the internal design of the software, whereas integration testing is black-box testing that doesn’t require the tester to know the internal design of the software. 

  1. System-wide issues

In unit testing, developers only check software parts, software functionality and modules for issues and don’t require checking any system issues.

Whereas integration testing checks for the connection between two or more modules. By doing this, developers test any system-wide problems that arise from the modules used for integration.

  1. Time

Unit testing is a quick write-and-run test which can be performed at any time, making the cost relatively low, while integration testing needs more time because it does its testing after the unit testing has been done but before the overall system testing and cost of fixing are higher due to its difficulty to find where exactly a bug has arisen.

Read also: What Is Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and Why Does Your Business Need It

  1. Specification 

Unit testing begins with a module specification, whereas integration testing begins with an interface specification. With external dependencies, Unit testing doesn’t verify the code with it, while integration testing verifies its code with external dependencies. 

Here are some of the common unit testing tools as follow: 

  • Junit: it enables conducting unit tests for Java programming language software applications. And assists in testing software data and code.
  • PHPUnit: PHP programmers can use PHPUnit for software unit testing, which enables you to check small pieces of code separately.
  • JMockit: JMockit is an open-source unit testing tool based on the Java framework, Which uses instrumentation APIs to alter code during runtime.

Summary

These two tests are the most important stages in the software development cycle. Both the Unit Test and Integration Test are very valuable and effective. None of these two tests can be assumed to be more important than the other. Developers skilled in unit testing or integration testing can help organisations develop excellent software efficiently and faster. 

Are you experienced in unit or integration testing?

Or looking for experienced developers to help your organisation in testing.

Soar Digital can help you get your dream job or help your businesses build and grow, having laid a solid foundation for achieving the best result in the digital world.

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