Software Application Testing in Insurance, Part III: Test Environment:

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21 January 2009
Previous posts about testing Topic 1: Automated TestingTopic 2: Getting Test DataTopic 3: Clean, Repeatable Test Data and Test Environment I've got a short but important point to add to the previous software application testing topics. A clean test environment makes the difference between valid results and frustrated QA. Running automated or manual tests against the same database over and over cannot guarantee the same results each time. That database changes with each test. I see many insurers who load a database once a week and then have their manual test teams run through a series of scripts every day. When results vary it’s impossible to determine whether it’s a bug or simply because the database contains different data than it did on the previous attempt. It is very important to have a stable, repeatable environment in which to run tests. If a test fails, it’s important to know that the test is failing because of a problem in the code and not because a previous test broke the system. Without a way to easily generate test data and to guarantee a clean environment, different groups that need to test will likely end up clashing in their attempt to utilize the test environment. In a future post I will talk about testing best practices, including more details on creating clean test environments.

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