Manual vs. Automated vs. Integrated- What's Best for Modern App Testing?

September 23, 2022

Software testing and quality assurance is a wide landscape that consists of various categories like regression testing, black-box testing, functional testing, etc. Out of the different types of testing, some of these categories work better with automated testing, while others perform desirably with manual testing and integrated testing.

Software testing and quality assurance services have seen an increase in the last few years. Software testing and quality assurance are performed to check whether the created software fulfills the expected requirements and is free from bugs. This involves the execution of software with the help of an automated or manual or integrated testing approach to check for the points of interest.

This well-organized guide will tell you about each of these testing approaches and help you make the right choice.

Manual Testing 

Manual testing is a process where the tester or the testing engineer executes the app manually without using any automated tool. Manual testing stimulates the working of the app according to the end-user perspective and checks if the app is working properly.

The main purpose of this approach is to find and resolve the faults, defects, and other issues occurring in the software. 

Benefits of Manual Testing:  

  • Real-time testing- Minor changes are to be investigated on a priority basis.
  • Quick- Relatively quick to launch.
  • Flexibility- The testers using this approach have the freedom to question things and also employ creative suggestions.
  • Low on cost- Manual testing is a fundamental approach and is cheap as compared to automated testing.
  • Adaptability- The testing engineers can use and verify the new features or any changes in design at any point in time, without any scripts or prior preparation.
  • Custom Feedback- The manual tester’s report can be used as a potential user’s feedback.
  • User-Interface Feedback- UI is an important part of the software and plays an essential role, therefore manual testing is necessary.

Limitations of Manual Testing:

  • Not all types of testing can be processed manually.
  • Regression testing has repeated tasks to be done and that can be boring for testers.
  • Such testing has possibilities of inconsistency and human error.
  • Compared to automated testing, manual testing takes more time and is less efficient.
  • Manual testing sometimes gets to be very expensive for large projects.

The common use of Manual testing:

Manual testing is frequently used with those testing categories which involve various functionalities and business utilities like:

  • Functional testing
  • Usability testing
  • Low-volume regressions
  • Hotfix testing
  • Exploratory testing, etc.

Manual testing is suited for small-size projects that require few tests or have complicated user situations.

Automated Testing

Automated testing is the process where the tester performs automated testing efforts using scripts and various other automated tools.

*(Test Scripts are a set of limited instructions that are to be performed while performing automated testing over certain targeted platforms to validate an expected outcome or a feature.)

Automated testing requires frameworks to perform tests. Each of these frameworks is scripted with the set of rules of automation specified for the software that is to be tested.

The framework is integrated with different modules like function libraries, object details, test data sources, and other reusable components.

Benefits of Automated Testing

  • Re-usability: After creation, the test codes can be used multiple times as per the requirements.
  • Cost Optimization: choosing the right automation framework could optimize the testing process by providing high performance at low maintenance costs.
  • Efficiency: Automated testing is proven to be more efficient.
  • Quick-functioning: Compared to Manual testing, this test is faster in terms of functioning. 
  • Instant Results: Test results become available automatically and that too in real-time.
  • Automated Tests are free from human errors.
  • Reduced Cost: When used in the long run, automated testing offers low cost.

Limitations of Automated Testing

  • Complicated: some of the automated tests are too complicated to perform.
  • Time-consuming: these tests take time to develop and launch.
  • Additional costs: Test code verification, maintenance, and testing tools increase the cost.
  • Professional Skills: These tests require domain knowledge and professional programming skills for operation.
  • UX testing is not possible with automated testing.
  • Automated testing tools can be having their bugs.
  • Automated tests investigate only the pre-defined problems.

The Common uses of Automated Testing

Automated testing is generally used with various types of testing mentioned below:

  • Performance testing
  • Data-Driven testing
  • Unit testing
  • Functional testing (repeatable)
  • Warehouse testing
  • Regression testing (high-volume), etc.

Automated testing is better suited with long-lasting and large enterprises and also with relatively stable projects.

Integrated Testing

Integrated testing is a type of testing where software modules are integrated and tested as a group logically. A typical software consists of multiple modules, coded differently. The purpose of this testing is to find out defects between these modules while they are being integrated. There exist varieties of strategies for the execution of Integrated testing. 

The main focus of this approach is to check data communication between these modules.

Benefits of Integrated Testing

  • Appropriateness: Integration testing ensures the appropriateness of the modules and results.
  • Stimulation: This testing stimulates the interaction between different modules.
  • Broader test coverage: Integration testing provides broader test coverage covering multiple modules.
  • Smoothening: This testing helps to smoothen the transitions among interfaces.
  • Efficiency: Integrated approach impacts the overall testing efficiency of the software.

Limitations of Integration testing

  • Time Taking: The modules take time to integrate and cause a delay in operation.
  • Inadequate testing: lower-level modules are tested inadequately. 
  • Early prototypes in Integration testing are not possible.
  • Null pointer exception occurs while performing this test.

Manual Testing Vs. Automated Testing Vs. Integrated Testing

Basic Definition

  • Manual testing is a type of software testing where a functionality test of the software is performed manually by a testing engineer. 
  • Automated testing is a type of software testing where functionality tests are done using automated tools and scripts.
  • Integrated testing is a type of testing where software modules are integrated and tested as a group logically.


  • Manual testing is not reliable as there exists a possibility of human error.
  • Automated testing is more reliable because testing is done using tools and scripts.
  • Integrated testing reliability depends on the approach used for testing because it can be performed using different approaches and each approach has its disadvantages.


  • In manual testing, investment is required in human resources.
  • In automated testing, investments are to be done in automated tools.
  • While opting for mixed-integration testing, separate investments need to be made for top-level and lower-level modules.


  • In manual testing, frameworks are not used.
  • In automated testing, different frameworks like Hybrid, data-driven, keywords-driven, etc. are required for faster automation.
  • In integrated testing, modules are used instead of frameworks.

Knowledge and skills

  • In manual testing, product knowledge is considered to be more important than programming knowledge.
  • In automated testing, one can’t prepare scripts without having programming knowledge and skills.
  • In integration testing, different knowledge and skills are required depending on the approach of integration.


  • Manual testing is more time-consuming due to human resources usage.
  • Automated testing is faster than manual testing and saves more time. 
  • Integrated testing takes more time because it consumes a lot of time for the modules to integrate.

Batch Execution

  • In manual testing, batch execution is not possible.
  • In automated testing, this is possible because all the written scripts can be executed simultaneously.
  • In integrated testing, batch execution is possible to a degree as it includes both manual and automated approaches.

Performance Testing

  •  In manual testing, performance testing is not possible.
  • In automated testing, performance testing is done to check the performance of the application, using load and stress testing.
  • In integrated testing, performance testing is possible only for an automated approach.

Since each testing approach has its specific pros and cons, so choosing one as the better option would be immense. While automated testing can handle complex tasks, manual testing is believed to have a lower risk for false negatives.

To deliver successful software, you need to have a manual and automated testing approach. Adding automation makes your manual approach more efficient and reliable.

Consagous Technologies is one of the best software quality assurance service providers that you will come across for your needs. 

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