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Test environment for Software Testing

  • Last Updated : 17 May, 2021

Test Environment :
As we know for the development of a software application/product the development team follows a set of steps which are performed in different phases of Software Development Life Cycle(SDLC).  In SDLC Software testing is one of the important phase as it ensures the quality of the product. So, for that different types of software testing are performed to check different parameters or test cases. During testing phase depending upon the type of testing different5 members are involved like developer, tester and sometimes the customer/client also. But the basic thing to perform testing is a test environment. Because it provides a perfect setup for testing teams as a testing environment is equipped with various testing related tools and other elements which supports test execution with hardware, software and network configured. This test environment setup varies from product to product and its configuration completely depends on the application under test requirement.

What is Test Bed ?
Test Bed is very similar to Test Environment with a small difference. Test bed is also a type of test environment which consists of test data to verify functionalities of the software applications.

Key areas to set up Test environment :
Key areas to setup for test environment are:

  • Browser
  • Client OS
  • Network
  • Database server
  • System and applications
  • Test data
  • Front-end running environment

Importance of Test Environment :
To know about the quality and functionality of applications under process a test environment is very much important. Because it provides a dedicated environment for us to isolate the code and examine the application, so that other actions have no impact on output of the tests which are running on the server. In addition to this a test environment can mimic the work of production environment.

Process for setup of Software Test environment :
The test environment involves setting up of different areas like:

  1. Test Server – A test server setup to support the testing process.
  2. Network – A network setup like LAN, CAN or any wireless medium to fulfill the requirement of internet.
  3. PC setup – A PC setup for testing the application from different browsers and checking its accessibility.
  4. Bug Reporting – A bug reporting tools for bug reporting, documentation and analysis.
  5. Test Tool – A test tool setup to perform automation testing.

People are involved in test environment setup

  1. System admins
  2. Developers
  3. Testers

Test Environment Management :
|Test Environment Management mainly deals with maintenance and updating of test bed. Some of the activity involved in functioning of Test Environment Management includes:

  • Always maintain the test environment with its recent version.
  • Assigning the test environment to respective teams as per their requirement.
  • Continuous monitoring test environments.
  • Removing the outdated test environments and its tools , techniques and other details.
  • Identifying test environment issues and resolving those issues.
  • Frequent improvement to continuously and effectively evaluate the test environments.
  • Enable automation to reduce manual activities for improving efficacy.

Consequences in managing Test Environment :
Problems occur for poorly managing Test environments are:

  1. Testing process is delayed and number of bugs may spike up.
  2. May result in poor configuration and unwanted consequences.
  3. Bugs if found should be fixed at earlier stage only rather than later stage.
  4. Poor communication may lead to misunderstanding of testing requirements which may result in identifying important aspects.
  5. Some companies directly assign the application developers as testers to test the code in production which may lead to high risk of terminating software development process.

Below represents some challenges faced in test environment management :

  • Inefficient management and use of test resources deviates the testing process.
  • Simultaneous sharing of environment by both developers and testers may pose serious impact on test results.
  • It is difficult to manage and use remotely setup test environment.

Steps to follow for successful Test Environment Management :

  1. Recognize the test requirements and educate the team thoroughly.
  2. Check connectivity before starting the test.
  3. Check for required and available software, licenses, browser and versions.
  4. Plan a schedule on how to implement test environment.
  5. Check for automation tools and its configurations.

Finally, this testing environment provides a complete setup to the testing teams to perform various testing. Key area where test environment is needed to setup includes system and application, database server, test data etc. During setting up a test environment various challenges are faced which needs to be handled carefully.

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