Covers documents and activities needed to get all the parts, projects, sub-projects, modules, libraries, packages, etc. that are part of the release working together for the first time as a cohesive system.
What this is
This phase is about getting all the parts, projects, sub-projects, modules, libraries, packages, etc. working together for the first time as a cohesive system. The focus is on testing interfaces between the various software entities, not the entities themselves.
Earlier, plans were made for integrating these software entities and plans were made for testing the interfaces between these entities. This phase is where those plans are executed and completed.
Why it's useful
During the Development Phase, each project focused on implementing their designs and testing them to determine if they execute as they were specified. System Test phase will determine the robustness of all of these projects as a combined product. Integration is a step to determine if the various interfaces or boundaries between the projects work. It is the initial step leading up to the more robust System Test.
Integration is also a formal method of monitoring and controlling the process of building on each previous partial integration to control the number of variables as each part and piece of the whole system is brought into interaction with the other parts.
How to use it
Review the phase deliverables suggested in this document. Adjust for your particular organization, project type, or company.
See the included Checklist for documents included in this phase. NOTE: See the Software Release Life Cycle Team Member Glossary if you have questions about the roles listed as Driver and Contributor for a deliverable.
Follow the Release Integration Plan and execute the Release Integration Test Plans. These plans should contain decomposition of the projects, processes and plans for building a partially integrated system as building blocks upon each other until all the software entities in the release have been added.
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