Wednesday, November 29, 2023

How To Build End-to-End Test Cases

Last updated on February 11th, 2022 at 10:29 am

Implementing end-to-end (E2E) test cases allows developers to simulate real user scenarios and validate an application or software platform. 

In general, E2E testing is pivotal for verifying a workflow performs as expected from start to finish. It ensures that users have a quality experience when interacting with or using an application. 

There are many valuable insights available regarding several considerations to take into account when building an end-to-end test case, including: 

  1. The different types of end-to-end testing 
  2. How to write test cases 
  3. Examples of end-to-end testing 
  4. The benefits of constructing an end-to-end test case

Different Types of End-to-End Testing

There are two common methods of E2E testing: the horizontal test and the vertical test. 

  1. Horizontal End-to-End Testing 

Horizontal E2E testing is the most common. As its name indicates, this test takes place horizontally over numerous applications. It assumes a user perspective and approaches each element as if a user were performing a specific action.

  1. Vertical End-to-End Testing

In vertical end-to-end testing, each level of an application’s code from top to bottom gets tested. This method is less common due to the fact it is harder to implement. It also doesn’t usually involve user interfaces, focusing instead on overall quality. 

How To Write Test Cases 

How a tester writes the test case will determine how thorough the software’s E2E testing is and the quality of the resulting product the user ends up navigating. 

At its most basic, writing a test case includes planning the test, designing the test, executing the test, and then analyzing the results. 

A developer or tester would need to: 

  1. Map out each scenario and identify the expected results from each one. If testing from a user perspective, identify each step expected to take when performing a specific action. 
  2. Identify the hardware and/or software requirements. 
  3. Set up individual tests for each end-to-end testing scenario.
  4. Make a list of how each area should respond during the test. 
  5. Identify the required testing methods and specify language, tools, etc. needed to complete the end-to-end test.
  6. Design the test cases.
  7. Run the tests.
  8. Analyze the results and save them. 

If a problem or bug gets identified during an E2E test, a second test should occur. The final test runs once a tester can determine the issue and fix it.

Examples of End-to-End Testing 

E2E testing involves breaking down a user journey from start to finish. It is important to identify every possible action a user could take so potential areas of concern can be addressed before anything goes live. 

Take the next end to end testing scenario for an eCommerce clothing website. The tests would need to explore:

  1. The user sign-in functionality.
  2. How the site’s search bar functions. 
  3. The ease and functionality of browsing.
  4. If the chat and support features work correctly.
  5. Adding and removing items from a shopping cart. 
  6. Saving an item for later or adding it to a wishlist. 
  7. Making a purchase, including applying promo codes and discount coupons. 
  8. The checkout process, including adding shipping and payment information. 
  9. If and how the user received an order confirmation after purchase.
  10. How the rewards system functions and applies to a user’s profile. 
  11. The user sign-out functionality.

This next end-to-end testing scenario is for verifying the functionality of an email platform, like Outlook. This test would include:  

  1. Accessing the email account via a web browser or desktop application.
  2. Logging into an account with the correct username and password.
  3. Clicking “New Email” to write an email.
  4. Sending a finished email.
  5. Replying to and forwarding existing emails.
  6. Archiving or favoriting an email. 
  7. Address how incoming, sent, and draft emails are stored and accessed.
  8. Opening the Spam folder and ensuring emails are present in it.
  9. Email filter functionality. 
  10. Logging out of the account.
  11. Closing the web browser or application. 

The Benefits of End-to-End Testing

Building end-to-end test cases have a variety of benefits for both the development team and the testers. 

  1. Reduces future risk by identifying bugs and issues

A properly built E2E test helps reduce the risk of the application breaking or failing after updates are made to it. It identifies bugs and issues that can prevent 

  1. Increases the application’s quality and functionality 

Building effective E2E tests means an application is tested at every possible level. This ensures a quality end product that functions correctly on various platforms, web browsers, and devices.

  1. Appeals to a variety of individuals 

E2E tests are beneficial for developers and testers for the insight it provides on how an application is performing and identifies areas that need to be improved. It also greatly appeals to individuals who are not on the development team, including managers, and sales and marketing team members. 


End-to-end testing is a reliable software testing methodology. This is because there are numerous benefits of E2E testing for both the end-user and the developers. It ensures the software is working correctly by avoiding problems and detecting bugs. 

It also provides valuable insight for developers into how a user would interact with the software and how a potential failure would impact them.


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Jennifer Evans
Jennifer Evans
principal, @patternpulseai. author, THE CEO GUIDE TO INDUSTRY AI. former chair @technationCA, founder @b2bnewsnetwork #basicincome activist. Machine learning since 2009.