[TIP] Difference between functional test and integration test

Martin Pool mbp at sourcefrog.net
Sun Feb 10 03:24:59 PST 2013

On 10 February 2013 14:43, John Wong <gokoproject at gmail.com> wrote:

> I am posting the same exact question on Stackexchange:
> http://programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/186523/difference-between-functional-test-and-integration-test
> It's more nicely formatted. I have posted on here before on using mock so
> I figure I can try here as well (and people on this mailinglist are usually
> really really experienced programmers!)
> That being said, I really have a hard time differentiating functional test
> from integration test.
> Sidenote: I understand people use different terms in different
> organization (ex. at Google they use small, medium and large instead of
> unittest, and integration test), but for most organizations, they enjoy
> using "standard terms".

I think Hakan Deryal's
answer<http://programmers.stackexchange.com/a/186542/7398> on
that question is good: integration tests emphasize testing an entire
assembled fairly-realistic system.

It is a matter of degree and as you say the terminology is quite
inconsistent so it will always be a bit subjective exactly how to
differentiate them.

One way to look at is to ask what kind of statement the test is intended to

"I'm calling the external system as intended" - more like a unit test

"Calling the external system in the way I do has the expected effect, and I
haven't misunderstood how to use it" - more like an integration test.

Some would say that "functional" is not a counterpoint to integration
tests, but rather "functional" is contrasted with eg performance tests.

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