Software Testing Environment

The software testing environment is a set-up of software and hardware arranged and made ready to start executing the test. Therefore, all the requirements such as software and hardware along with the prerequisites are made ready for a test start.

It may be noted that the test bed and test environment are similar things. But in some cases of complicated software, it is seen that one or more test set-up may constitute a single test-bed.

software-testing-lab

For complicated software such as the testing of banking software, there may be different requirement elements beside software and hardware only. There may be a need of antivirus which runs as a remote system, or may a security protocol that may be assigned a new session while running the test.

The right set-up ensures the right software testing and does not put the software to deadlock. Any corrupt, missing or non-supporting software in the testing environment may cause the total system to hang during the test process.

Testing Vs Debugging

Testing Environment Set-up

No one should think that just we should set-up in one place only. Instead, the set-up should be done in several places, or we may say areas. Let us see where we have to make changes or install our software to get started with the setting.

  • Test Data: This is the required data for the test case.
  • Database Server: Changes should be made to the database server, telling it to maintain the properties required to act accordingly during the test.
  • Application Softwares: If during the test, any other application software is being used, then it has to be modified with some settings and conditioned.
  • The operating system of the client: Changes should be made in the operating system of the client itself.
  • Browser: If the test is performed where the browser is involved, then, of course, the browser settings or plugins may be altered to perform the test.
  • Server Operating system: Changes should also be made to the server operating system so that the server becomes ready to handle the test outputs and allow us to retain the data there.
  • Network: There could be significant changes which should be made to the software, for the smooth running of the test process.
  • API: If the test procedure is going to have its own API, then also we have to reset all value before our new test is performed, as we do not want any values to be overridden or manipulated.
  • Documentation: The documentation may be needed to be changed, not always, but sometimes.
  • Local server: If there is a local server involved, then, of course, the required settings may need to be deployed.
  • Sensor Node Operating system: This is the operating system, which is present in the different sensors, which may be configured or changed at the time of the test.
  • The software which is undergoing a test: All the phases which are required to be tested may not be tested altogether. That is why, the part which is to be tested, is required to be made ready or configured.

Security Testing

Steps of software test environment set-up

Setting up the Test Server:

It may be noted that all the time our test server is not going to be the local machine, sometimes, we may require to use the remote server as our test server. This may need to establish a test server, which will support our applications, configurations, etc.

For example, the SSH may be required to be configured to use the connection of our test software to the remote server. Another example is fedora set up for PHP etc. For JAVA uses the machine virtualization should be turned on.

Test Computer Set-up

For testing related to the website or any connected set-up the test may be carried out by different PCs, and their local browsers. Therefore, it is required to set up the individual machines, to fulfill the required Application or the required operating system.

For example when we are setting up a testing environment for a Windows Application, then the following testing set-up is required:

  • Visual Studio Installation.
  • Windows Phone Emulator.
  • And assigning the windows phone to the tester.

Another testing example of set up, when we are trying to make an Android Application. For this, we require the following elements for the testing:

  • JDK Installation
  • Android Studio
  • Hardware with a good amount of RAM and disk space.
  • Android Emulator.
Bug Reporting:

Bug reporting should be done, by providing necessary tools and softwares to the tester. Bug reporting should be done throughout the entire test duration.

Creation of the test data:

The creation of data may be done in many ways, some ways to do that is just copying the data which are already used in case of the execution of a similar kind of application. It is not always that, the tester will have knowledge about the test.

But many companies and institutions recommend to use their existing data as they are already used in some cases, and thus they have trust in their test data and they can also keep the data intact for later use. The test data can be copied from existing data, but some things should be kept in mind:

  • Set up a complete procedure for copying the entire data as per the common test scenario.
  • The data which are not relevant should be removed from the data collection or the test data.
  • All PII(Personally Identifiable Information) should be modified when other sensitive data is also changed.
  • We should not just copy the data because it is ready, on the other hand, we should take data only from a trusted source. This is to keep in mind that, sometimes, the own company's data also may be corrupt or may not be good enough to perform a new test.

Now that we have seen how we can use other's data or previous data to use at our test case. Now we shall see how we overcome the privacy issues and how to deal with anonymous data which we can use for our test.

For anonymization of data, some approaches can be taken, One is called the black-list approaches, in which all the data fields should be left unchanged, excepts the fields which are specified by the users.

The other is the white-list, in this approach, it is seen that by default, the data are automatically anonymized and expect the list of fields which are permitted to be copied. A white-list means, that is permitted to copy the data as it is and for that data field, anonymization is not required.

This is a good practice, however, if someone is using production data, then it may turn dangerous sometimes, to use the copied data. Because the data may be currently irrelevant or the data may drag out something out of the database which is confidential or may cause harm to the database.

Managing the test environment:

Test environment managing means, how the testing environment is managed. The following activities must be done for the fulfillment of the management of the test environment:

  • The test management has to be managed by the team and must be done in the way the team demands.
  • The management team must be able to create a new environment, as there are new requirements out there.
  • The management team must be able to monitor the environment, from time to time.
  • Deletion and updating should be done from time to time so that the outdated elements are removed.
  • The management team should be able to investigate all the issues from time to time.
  • The management should be in a mode of coordination until an issue is resolved.
Elements to be checked in Test Environment:
  • Hardware: The hardware has to be checked and see whether the hardware is available which is required to carry out the checking. Along with that, all the peripheral devices are also to be checked, so that the system does not fail for a simple poor connection of a peripheral device.
  • Software: The software required has to be checked thoroughly, whether it is updated and has all the pre-requisites for the testing to be carried out smoothly. Along with the software, the needed extensions, plugins, and add-ons are also to be installed if required for the entire test.
  • Environmental data: The data needed for the check has also to be checked, and tested whether they are concise and perfectly modified and arranged for the test. If required, then copyright claim has to be accepted, in case of data which is someone else's data.
  • Procedures: The procedures have to be followed, and the credentials which are required to accept the data should also be present there, in the time of the test. Along with that, the test data has to maintained with required tools also in case, the data is vulnerable to attacks.
  • Confidentiality: There has to be some confidentiality, in the sense that, whether the test environment is being set up in the same place where the software is being developed or whether the test environment is located in some remote areas. Is it good to outsource the test environment or not.
  • Timings: Since all the elements and set-ups are to be kept active during the test set-up, therefore, it is required to estimate or fix the time, up to which the set-up is going to be held or the test will continue.
  • Protocol standards: This has to be kept in mind, whether all the standards which are to be used while testing will be internal or external. Internal means, the set of standards which are developed by the software team or the company itself. And external means which are laid by international organizations.
  • Ready-made set-up: This has to be kept in mind, whether the same kind of testing technique is being carried out at any other branch of the company or the same kind of set up is already available. If yes, then whether the same set-up can be used in our current testing as well, reducing the set-up cost.
Problems in Setting-up Test Environment:

Despite all the knowledge of having the environment, set-up, there are problems and challenges which are to be met with an utmost sincere approach. Some of them are listed below:

  • Remote environment-setup: Sometimes, it may be required that the entire test environment, is located somewhere in remote areas, that area may be vulnerable to attack due to lack of security or also may be a geographically backward place, where there is no reach for good internet connection, etc.
  • Estimating Resources : This may be a challenge when there is a requirement for high-cost set-up. In that case, the resource required has to be estimated whatever required during the test. Therefore, due to a miscalculation of resource, there may be a shortage of resource usages in the time of the test.
  • Non-sharing of test environment : It is very important to note that, if there is any case when the software developing team and testing team is using the same set-up environment, then in those cases, the actual output data may be corrupted.
  • The complexity of the test environment: It is not every time, that the test-setup will require simple hardware and software to carry out the test. Sometimes, the testing may require a critical environment for the testing to be carried out, in this case, the testing team has to follow a set of defined protocols.

Things to take care of while setting-up test environment:

  • To know the requirements in a detailed manner, so that the team members should be made aware of all the requisites. And also training should be organized for the team members, to train about the entire test.
  • All sorts of connectivity, plugins, peripherals are to be checked as working before the test environment could be initiated.
  • If internet browsers are involved in the testing, then all the browsers need to be updated as per the testing scenario.
  • Planning about the entire schedule, that is the planning the timings when the test would end, which would give us the time of the sessions, and many other secure credentials which are to be kept active.

Load Testing

Summary

Software testing environment is that technical environment where the software testing can be carried out. While carrying out the testing, resources such as processor, memory (primary & secondary), network, internet, software dependencies, etc are to be installed.

Software testing environment is the most important factor that can affect the testing. A lack of resources may lead to an improper result.

A good environment should have all the hardware and supporting software installed so that the testing can be considered as a real-world simulation of the test cases.

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