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Software Testing Life Cycle

Need an information management project software testing life cycle and want practical suggestions to ensure rapid project delivery?

ObjectivesSoftware Testing Life Cycle

The objectives of the quality assurance testing phase is to ensure that all software components meet requirements and are ready to transition to production.

Why is this important?

Think of an airplane and consider all of the various components that comprise the aircraft. Key systems include airframe, wing assembly, power plants, fuel system components, navigation components, landing gear, electronic components and others.

Each major component is comprised of subcomponents e.g. an engine may be comprised of fuel systems, turbines, injectors, etc.

Before the aircraft is certified air worthy, each component must be tested:
  • To ensure that the fuel injector’s work and that they work in the engine as expected;
  • To ensure that the engine integrates with the airframe and other key components such as warning systems and that key component tests were not compromised because someone forgot to execute some of the tests;
  • To ensure that defects discovered during testing were not remedied and re-tested
  • To ensure that performance tests confirm that the engines can power the aircraft in a variety of operational situations;
OK—you get the idea...

Would you fly without some assurance that this testing was complete?

Information management systems must also be tested. There are a lot of moving parts and many places things can go wrong.

You cannot be sure that the solution will work properly without a carefully planned set of quality assurance tests conducted by a qualified test team.

Prerequisites
  • Unit test results must be available and a code review has certified unit acceptance test;
  • All system and database components must be in place prior to start of initial test.
  • All system tests must be specified and system tests must be performed as each component is built.
Tasks
  • Formulate test data strategy;
  • Complete test data acquisition and baseline all test data;
  • Create test environments;
  • Document test cases;
  • Create and validate test scripts;
  • Perform load testing, or performance testing,  to confirm that the system is operating correctly and can handle the required data volumes and that data can be loaded in the available “load window”;
  • Specify and conduct reconciliation tests to manually confirm the validity of data;
  • Conduct regression testing to ensure that the new software does not cause problems with existing software;
  • Test load manager process;
  • Test warehouse manager process;
  • Test infrastructure and operations components;
  • Carefully manage scope to ensure that perceived defects are actually requirement defects and not something that would be “nice to have but we forgot to ask”.
  • Ensure ongoing defect management and reporting; and
Deliverables

This phase will deliver:
  • A set of repeatable system integration, volume and aggregation tests;
  • A set of test data that can be reused as necessary; and
  • A set of repeatable manual reconciliation tasks.
How long should this take?

The software testing life cycle is carefully “time-boxed” to ensure that it does not “drag-on” too long.

An experienced test team should be able to complete an information management software testing life cycle in a four to six week time frame.

Tools

Numerous testing tools are available to during the software testing life cycle.

Mercury Test Director and IBM Rational Test Manager are two good software-testing tools.

Any test tool selected should allow the testers to create test cases and test scripts and to record test results.

Additional features such as forwarding test defects to the technical team for resolution are also highly desired.

Summary...

The objective of the quality assurance testing phase and software testing life cycle is to ensure that the overall solution meets requirements and is ready to transition to production

An experienced test team should be able to complete an information management software testing life cycle in a four to six week time frame.




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