A testing environment is a setup of software and hardware for the testing teams to execute test cases. Therefore, it supports test execution. Hence, with hardware, software and network configured.
What is a Test Environment
Test bed or test environment is configured as per the need of the Application Under Test. On a few occasion, test bed could be the combination of the test environment and the test data it operates.
Setting up a right test environment ensures software testing success. Any flaws in this process may lead to extra cost and time to the client.
Areas to Set Up in Test Environment
- System and applications
- Test data
- Database server
- Front-end running environment
- Client operating system
- Hardware includes Server Operating system
- Documentation required like reference documents/configuration guides/installation guides/ user manuals
Test environment Setup Process
Setup of Test Server
Every test may not be executed on a local machine. It may need establishing a test server, which can support applications.
Network set up as per the test requirement. It includes,
- Internet setup
- LAN Wifi setup
- Private network setup
It ensures that the congestion that occurs during testing does not affect other members.
Test PC Setup
For web testing, you may need to set up different browsers for different testers. For desktop applications, you need various types of OS for different testers PCs.
A bugs report or defects report is a list of bugs found out by testers while testing a software product in testing phase under a testing environment.
Creating Test Data for the Test Environment
Many companies use a separate test environment to test the software product. Hence, the common approach used is to copy production data to test. This helps the tester to detect the same issues as a live production server, without corrupting the production data. Furthermore, testers or developers can copy this to their individual test environment. They can modify it as per their requirement.
Basically, privacy is the main issue in copy production data. Thus, to overcome privacy issues you should look into obfuscated and anonymized test data. Also, if you are using production data, you need to be smart about how to source data. Querying the database using SQL script is an effective approach.
Challenges in setting up Test Environment Management
- Proper planning on resource usage: Ineffective planning for resource usage can indeed affect the actual output. Also, it may lead to conflict between teams.
- Remote environment: It is possible that a Test environment is located geographically apart. Hence, in such a case, the testing team has to rely on the support team for various test assets.
- Elaborate setup time: Sometimes test set up gets too elaborated in cases of Integration Testing.
- Shared usage by teams: If the testing environment is used by development and testing team simultaneously, test results will be corrupted.
- Complex test configuration: Certain test requires complex test environment configuration. Therefore, it may pose a challenge to the test team.
Test Envirnment Management Best Practices
- Understand the test requirements thoroughly and at the same time educate the test team members.
- Connectivity should be checked before the initiation of the testing
- Check for the required hardware and also software licenses
- Browsers and versions
- Planning out the Scheduled use of the test environment.
- Automation tools and also their configurations.
Testing is a very critical stage of the SDLC and can therefore decide the ultimate fate of the quality of software being released into the live environments. Therefore, it is very important to ensure that the test environments used for testing the software are reliable and as close to Production as possible.