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What is system integration testing?

What exactly is system integration testing? At what stage is it done? Do you need to prepare a separate integration test plan?

What exactly is system integration testing? Do we need to prepare a separate integration test plan?

System integration testing is testing performed when two systems, generally presumed stable themselves, are integrated with one another. For example, this could be when an inventory management system is integrated with a sales accounting system. Each system feeds into the other.

The goal of systems integration testing is to ensure that the data crossing the boundary between systems is received, stored and used appropriately by the receiving system. Until integration begins, testing of the isolated systems is done on mocked or replayed data and not on "live" data. Integration testing is the final step before customer acceptance testing.

Testing of these systems takes on an end-to-end view. This testing isn't focused on minute details, but more on generating real-life data or, better yet, scenarios. Replaying a day's store transactions, for example, is a great way to test the integration of a sales accounting and an inventory management system.

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