Maintenance Testing is a software testing type which the testing is carried out after the completion of the software for checking its durability, updates, flaws, errors, etc throughout its usages.
After the software is developed and launched in the market, it means that the software has either passed the system testing or the Beta testing. But it cannot be guaranteed that the software will continue to perform well in the future also when there is a lot of changes in the development industry.
Below we list some of the most important reasons for carrying out maintenance testing:
The software is tested and launched into the market after developing and testing it on the most popular operating system in that time. It is done because the software will be mainly installed in the OS which is popular. However, the software is also tested on different other platforms available.
But when a new Operating System enters the market and gains some popularity and comes to user's devices, our already developed software should be able to be installed in the new OS too.
Therefore, the software's version and release need to be updated from time to time, so that it can be installed with newer configurations of the new operating system. The problem arises in the fact that when new modules and functionalities are added to the software to make it compatible, the error also follows.
Therefore, the updated software has to be tested from time to time to check it's correct working in different platforms and scenarios. This is when we need maintenance testing.
Add-ons are subsidiary softwares which are used in softwares to add more some extra functionalities into the software. Add-ons are developed keeping in mind the human demand as well as the concerned software for which the add-ons are being used.
Now when there are new add-ons developed, sometime there are new and updated modules which may not work fine with the outdated modules of the software. Therefore, as per the new add-ons and plug-ins, the software feature also has to be updated, so that there is no future issue with compatibility.
This is also a part of the maintenance testing, that all subsidiary requirements are updated so that now new plugins and features face any issue of compatibility.
When software is built, it is built for different operating systems and devices. But no one can say when new devices would come up and will be running the same operating system which was prevailing. Now it has to be checked and tested whether the software runs the normal way or any modifications are required.
For example, the same PCs which used to the bigger sized cabinet is now a handheld device. Hardware technology is advancing in speed as stated by Moore. Therefore the addressable memory, channel bandwidth, and processor speed are increasing abruptly and has thrown a challenge to compatibility.
Therefore, the software has to be tested from time to see to check whether the updated versions which are being developed for inducing compatibility in the software, are working well.
No one can say when the software would crash. The load and performance test are just performed to check whether the software is performing well after the software's threshold for handling load is reached or is just crossed.
But when an overwhelming number of requests are made to a software, which is unexpected and so not tested earlier, can create chaos.
Different organizations, companies, banks, websites, server applications, etc faces security breach at least once in a year. This is because intruders excel in different field of technology and encryptions and try their expertise to break the security of different softwares. This will keep on happening.
Therefore, in the maintenance testing, this has to be checked always, whether the software is being compromised in any sense. This can be achieved by updating security algorithms, developing new encryption techniques, and hiding server-side encryptions.
When we say network changes, it may signify the change in the network topology, network protocol, network security, network bandwidth or network transmission speed. Due to a change in hardware technology, there is rapid development in the network. There were networks which could provide transmission of data at the rate of the 1Kbps, which is now nearly to some GigaBytes Per Seconds.
When there are revolutionary changes in the network, it is sure that the software must be updated as per the requirements. Also, new security elements are added such as firewall, etc which also must be integrated into our software.
Market Requirements :
Market requirements may arise at any time and there may be a need for change and update in the modules or functions in the software. For example, software like Tally which is used for accounting, suddenly demands new features like GST calculation.
Now when the GST feature is embedded into the software, then there also the chances that error are more likely to happen. This when a new module has to add or even removed, then the software has to be tested and also Regression testing has to be performed on the whole software.
Organizational Requirements :
There is software which is generally built for a particular group of people or any organization, has to be updated a lot more times than the general purpose software. This is because, in business, the requirements, workflow, and billing and accounting procedure are more likely to change.
To understand maintenance testing further, let us understand, that what are the different types of maintenances that software deserves:
Corrective Maintenance is all about checking and maintaining the correctness of the software. In this maintenance, it is checked whether all the errors an bugs which are fixed are working accurately now.
This maintenance is all about checking the software and perform updations from time to time to ensure that the software is able to adjust itself with the changing technological world and also supports all the new add-ons and features which are developed to be integrated on it.
This includes modifications and updations which are done to ensure that the software is customized as per the user requirements and is able to cope up with the performance and reliability issues.
This maintenance procedure is sorely focussed on modifications and updates so that no error occurs in the future. And also the software does not face many challenges when new technologies have to be adopted by the software.
This has to be kept in mind that, maintenance testing is not about developing a new way of testing, instead all the formal kind of testings which we learn earlier such as unit testing, regression testing, protocol testing, front-end testing, which were the combination of both formal and informal testing, are applied here.
Maintenance testing can be looked as- all the testings applied in groups again to the same software which is already tested.
Mainly as we have seen anything new can be added in the software in future which is the core requirement for maintenance testing. Moreover, all other attributes like security, design, etc also demands maintenance testing.
Therefore, while carrying out maintenance testing, we can use the majority of the tools which we use in all different kinds of testing.