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Shrey Ranjan Sinha | Posted on | 2 min Read

The Complete Guide to Integration Testing

Integration testing is an important type of testing where we check for problems when different parts of an app connect and work together. While it’s good to test each part on its own, that doesn’t show us how the application will behave when used together with other parts. In application testing, it’s smart to focus on finding problems where they are most likely to happen.  

Research shows that various applications tend to fail more often when different parts interact with each other. However, when we start testing how things work together, it can get really complex because there are so many ways they can connect. This means there could be a huge number of tests to run. 

Integration testing can also mean different things to different people. Some see it as part of the continuous integration process during application building, while others do it when they create or change application components. Some even perform integration testing at bigger levels like system testing or when different systems work together.  

In this article, we’ll look at the different levels of integration testing, automated integration testing and explain the difference between integration and interoperability testing. You’ll also learn how to create tests for systems that are highly integrated and complex. 

Steps for Integration Testing

Plan the Testing

Start by making a plan for the integration testing. This plan should include what parts of the application you’re testing, what you want to achieve with the testing, what things you need to check, and how to make sure everything works well together. This plan helps you know what to do. 

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Define Tests and Scenarios

Think about specific situations and actions you want to test. These are like little tests with specific steps and expected results. Also, consider when and how to use these tests. 

Run the Tests

Now, it’s time to actually run the tests. You interact with the application, but you don’t worry about how it’s built. You just want to see if it works accurately when you use it. 

Find Mistakes

Check if there are any problems or mistakes in how the different parts of the application work together. If you find any, you need to fix them.

Test Again After Fixes

Once you fix the mistakes you found, you need to test again to make sure everything is working better now. You want to be sure that the problems are gone. 

Keep Testing

Keep performing these tests over and over again until you don’t find any more mistakes. This makes sure that the application works really well and doesn’t have any hidden problems. 

Integration Testing Best Practices Made Simple

When it comes to integration testing, knowing the right practices and strategies can make a world of difference. Let’s dive into the top best practices for integration testing, simplified for you.

Separate Test Suites for Clarity

It’s a good idea to keep things organized by having separate test suites for unit testing and integration testing. Unit testing is all about quick feedback, while integration testing can be time-consuming, using automated integration testing can help accelerate the testing process. Mixing them up can lead to confusion and delays. So, dedicate separate suites for each to keep things clear and efficient.

Don't Mix Business Logic

Testing business logic alongside integration testing can be messy. Unit testing is faster and ideal for catching bugs in business logic. Integration testing, on the other hand, deals with multiple components and interactions. To keep things tidy, keep business logic separate and test it using unit testing. 

Embrace Extensive Logging When Needed

Small applications can be easily tested and fixed with unit testing, but integration testing involves more complexity. When integration testing fails, it can be a puzzle to figure out what went wrong. That’s where extensive logging comes in handy. It helps pinpoint the issue by providing detailed information about different application components. However, use extensive logging sparingly, as it can impact performance when overused. 

Integration Testing vs Automated Integration Testing

Integration testing verifies the interfaces and interactions between different components or modules of an application system, ensuring they work together as intended. It can be conducted manually by human testers or automated using specialized tools. On the other hand, automated integration testing specifically employs automated integration testing tools to execute integration tests, offering advantages such as speed, repeatability, and suitability for continuous integration and delivery practices. While both approaches aim to validate the integration points within the application, automated integration testing streamlines the process, making it faster and more efficient. 


Integration Testing 

Automated Integration Testing 


Can be manual or automated 


Test Case Creation 


Automated, often scripted in code 


Slower – due to manual execution 

Faster – thanks to automation 




Frequency of Execution 

Lower due to manual effort 

Higher due to automation and integration 

Human Intervention 

Requires human testers 

Minimal human intervention 

Suitability for CI/CD 


Highly suitable for CI/CD pipelines 

Maintenance Effort 


Initial setup might require more effort, but maintenance is lower due to automation 

Integration Testing Tools

When it comes to integration testing, having the right tools in your arsenal can make the process smoother and more effective. Here are some commonly used automated integration testing tools, explained in simple terms:


What it does: Selenium is like your web application’s detective. It helps you test how different parts of a website or web application work together.

Why it’s useful: You can automate different user actions like clicking buttons and filling out forms in a web browser, making sure everything functions as it should.


What it does: Postman is like a quality control inspector for APIs (the way different application components communicate).

Why it’s useful: It lets you test if APIs and microservices are talking to each other correctly. Think of it as making sure all the wires are properly connected.


What it does: Docker is like a magic container for your testing environments.

Why it’s useful: It helps you create and manage test environments that are identical to the real thing, making integration testing more reliable.


What it does: JUnit is like the referee for Java code. It checks if everything in your Java program plays nice together.

Why it’s useful: It’s a tool for Java developers to create, run, and keep track of their integration tests, making sure their application works smoothly.


What it does: TestNG is another referee for Java, but it’s known for easy reporting and in-depth testing capabilities.

Why it’s useful: It helps Java developers run comprehensive integration tests and provides detailed reports on how things are going.

These tools are like your trusty sidekicks in the world of integration testing. They help you ensure that different parts of your application collaborate seamlessly, whether it’s a web application, APIs, or Java code. With these tools, you can catch issues early and deliver reliable application to your users.

Final Takeaway

Integration testing is a crucial step in the application development journey. It ensures that all the different parts of your application work together as they should. Imagine your application as a puzzle, with each piece representing a module or component. Integration testing is like checking if those puzzle pieces fit perfectly.

By using one or more of the available integration methods, development teams can be sure that their solutions are robust and dependable. It’s like building a strong bridge that can withstand the weight of heavy traffic. Integration testing gives you the confidence to roll out your application without worrying about pieces falling apart.

In a world where applications are at the heart of almost everything we do, integration testing is the safety net that ensures everything runs smoothly. So, whether you’re testing web applications, APIs, or any other application, embracing integration testing is a smart move that helps you deliver top-notch solutions to your users.

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Shrey Ranjan Sinha

Shrey Ranjan is a tech enthusiast with a background in electrical engineering. He is passionate about exploring the latest technological advancements and writing about them. As a freelance content writer, he can write about technology, e-commerce, and product descriptions.

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