Introduction to Test Environment
Every software developed has to undergo testing to make sure that it works the way it was developed for in the practical world. A test environment is a platform designed and built to execute multiple test cases on the software and its associated hardware with required network configurations. It is needed to validate the software and assess the software’s behavior when it is subjected to multiple test scenarios. A test setup also consists of a defect logging tool or mechanism. This setup should contain all the prerequisites of executing the software like Operating systems, servers, memory, drivers, operating systems and specific software, etc.
What is Test Environment?
A test environment can be defined as a test setup comprised of software, hardware, firmware and necessary network configured. It is a test bench where all the tests are performed, it consists of all the required infrastructure to perform the tests. The idea behind the test environment is to replicate the production environment as much as possible. This helps in identifying the issues (if any) during the tests. A tested is a part of a test environment that is specifically configured according to the requirements of a particular application. Most of the tests happen on the testbed itself. It is a combination of both test environments as well as test data.
organizations should be capable enough to produce software despite the changes. Having a test environment and automating tests helps in increasing productivity and efficiency. A poorly tested code is more likely to have bugs reported during its production stage. This is a huge disadvantage to the organization as the product to cost increases by many folds if they have to change the software in that stage.
Since it is excessively expensive to fix bugs in the production stage, test environments and testbeds are set up as close to the production environment as possible (This involves a lot of hardware and software simulations as well) to reduce the cost and identify as many bugs as possible by employing various kinds of testing and subjecting the software through all kinds of environments. This also includes exception handling to check whether or not the software is able to handle the conditions that it really shouldn’t be in and how gracefully it is handling the subjected situation.
Top 5 Factors of Test Environment
The test environment consists of certain factors and characteristics that are needed for testing. It would require people throughout the spectrum of software development as the software should be ideally error-free and test cases should be created in such a way that all areas are covered.
1. Servers and Databases
Servers play an important role in the test setup. Many times it so happens that the set up is a specific geographic location and it should be used by many people all over the world as most of the tests cannot be done on their local machines. In cases like these, a test server is set up and it can be used by everyone. Databases are used to store huge datasets, in this case, test results from the tests to be referred to in the future if needed.
2. Testing Personnel
Testing environment setup involves different types of people like:
- Developers who develop the software.
- Testers to test the software.
- The system admin provides backend support.
All the categories mentioned above create test cases to find out all possible bugs and defects.
The network is very important as there is no data transfer without it. Testing involves a lot of data (inputs, simulation data, etc.). Having a proper network, Internet, LAN setup or any private network is essential for a test environment.
4. Bug Reporting Tool
Reporting the issues and bugs is as important as finding them. A proper logging tool should be used by the test environment so that the developers know all the issues present and fix them. There are many open-source and licensed bug reporting and managing tools like Bugzilla, JIRA, RTC, etc.
5. Test Environment Management
Test environment management maintains the testbeds so that they are always in the right condition to perform tests.
This involves setting up testbeds based on the demands of the test teams. Setting up a central repository of all the needed and supporting software and keeping them up to date with version control. This also documents all the setup details, various tests executed and the results. This helps in designing the test cases in the future. The test results can be used as a reference in fixing the bugs as well.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Test Environment
Following are the different advantages and disadvantages of the test environment.
- This testbed is a big advantage for software that has legacy code and minor additions, fixes as the majority of the code remains the same. Tests have been set up already and reusing the existing ones saves a lot of time.
- Reduces production costs by finding the bugs in the early stages.
- Covering all scenarios for testing increases software reliability. It also helps in finding out missing implementations of software.
- In today’s agile work process, requirements keep changing all the time. As the software and its logic changes, testing has to be done all over again from the start. This is a disadvantage to any software development cycle that is iterative
- Continuous maintenance and effort are required as predefined tests are not applicable. Tests have to be written every time.
- Tedious to test all possible scenarios like out of bound testing, regression testing.
The test environment is essential for every team that develops software as it helps in finding out the faults efficiently and it helps reduce the production cost by identifying the issues in early stages. By designing smart test cases, testers, and developers and truly achieve error-free code.
This is a guide to What is Test Environment? Here we discuss the Introduction and top 5 factors of test environment along with its advantages and disadvantages. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –