Test Environment in Software Testing
In this article, I am going to discuss Test Environment in Software Testing. Please read our previous article where we discussed Severity and Priority in Software Testing. At the end of this article, you will understand the following important pointers which are related to Test Environment in Software Testing.
- What is Test Environment?
- What is Test Bed?
- What is the Importance of the Test Environment in Software Testing?
- Explain the Types of Test Environments in Software Testing
- Mention the Key Areas to Setup the Test Environment
- Explain the Process to Setup the Test Environment in Software Testing
- Explain the Test Environment Management
- Explain Challenges Faced During Test Environment Setup
- How to Create a Test Environment Using the Best Practices?
- What Distinguishes a Test Environment from a Test Bed?
- What are the Advantages of a Test Environment in Software Testing?
- What are the Disadvantages of a Test Environment in Software Testing?
What is Test Environment?
The hardware and software setup for the testing teams to conduct test cases is known as the test environment. The configuration of this test environment varies from product to product and is entirely dependent on the needs of the application being tested. Automating a test environment is the simplest approach to set it up.
- The testing teams test the software in the test environment in order to uncover faults and maybe solve them.
- Before an application is released, the quality of the software and its impact are evaluated in a test environment.
- It allows the tester to examine various components of the program while utilizing various configurations and data setups.
A software and hardware configuration known as a testing environment is used by testing teams to carry out test cases. In other words, it enables test execution with configured networks, software, and hardware.
What is Test Bed?
With a minor exception, Test Bed and Test Environment are fairly similar. The testbed is another kind of testing environment that includes test information to validate the functionality of software programs. For software testing, the staging environment is a replica of the production environment. This is used in order to do final testing before the software is actually deployed. An environment for software development serves as a test bed in software testing. It enables programmers to test their modules without having an impact on the operational production servers. Testers also use test beds, therefore they are not just for developers. A rigorous and open testing environment for emerging technologies is what it is known as.
What is the Importance of the Test Environment in Software Testing?
It is crucial to understand the functioning and quality of applications that are being tested. Since it offers a dedicated environment, we can isolate the code and study the application without worrying about how other activities may affect the results of the tests that are currently running on the server. Furthermore, a test environment can perform similarly to a production environment. The following are a few advantages of using the test environment:
- Locate bugs: The testing environment makes it easier for the tester to locate application flaws and come up with a fix for them.
- Offer a standardized environment: The test environment offers a standardized setting that aids in validating application behavior and enables the tester to test the application safely.
- Launching the secure application is made easier by properly configured test environments, which aid in finding vulnerabilities and launching a tested and secure application.
- Accurate feedback is provided by the test environments regarding the features and operation of the application.
Explain the Types of Test Environments in Software Testing
The various types of test environments are listed below:
- Integration Test Environment: In the environment used for integration testing, software modules are combined, and integrated behavior is tested. In this situation, one, two, or more modules may be combined, and functional testing may be used to verify the application’s functionality and accuracy. It ought to closely reflect the setting for manufacturing.
- Performance Test Environment: Based on objectives like throughput, stability, response time, etc., the performance test environment predicts how well a system will operate. Given the need for extremely careful selection and infrastructure configuration, the setup in this case is quite complicated. It is necessary to do performance testing in various settings with unique configurations by adjusting the RAM capacity, data volume, etc. Performance testing is time- and money-consuming.
- Security Test Environment: The testing team uses a security test environment to check for any vulnerabilities in the software’s confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity. Making sure the system is not left unattended and that the test environment is isolated and separate from production data is necessary for setting up a secure testing environment.
- Chaos Test Environment: In this environment, the major goal is to identify a precise point that can make an application fail before it can result in unfavorable user feedback. The tester attempts to correct the problem after locating it.
Mention the Key Areas to Setup the Test Environment
An effective test process and consistent performance from the application being tested are both made possible by a stable test environment. The main locations to configure the testing environment for the testers to run the test cases are listed below:
- Database: One of the most crucial software programs to have in the testing environment is the database. It can take any form, including client-server, mobile, or application. Every aspect of the backend requires the database.
- Operating System: The operating system is a program that is installed on a computer system and controls all of the installed applications. Operating systems for clients and servers are included.
- Network Protocol: These are the network configurations that the software requires and that must be set up in accordance with the application’s specifications. For testing, wireless networks, LANs, and private networks all have different requirements.
- Test Data: One of the most crucial components is test data. For testers to create efficient test cases, they must have complete, accurate, and consistent test data.
- Manual Testers: Manual testers will manually execute test cases while examining the application’s quality.
- Automation Testers: Developers who program, design, and test any new or old software are known as automation testers. They automate the creation and execution of test cases using automated testing tools.
- Documentation: To comprehend the system and create useful test cases, documentation such as setup instructions, installation manuals, and user manuals is necessary.
Explain the Process to Setup the Test Environment in Software Testing
Some of the individuals participating in the testing of the application include system administrators, developers, and testers. Setting up several spaces for the testing environment includes:
- Test Server: Not all applications that are tested can be tested locally. It might be necessary to set up a test server. For instance, Fedora configuration, Java-based applications, etc.
- Network: A network setup to meet the needs of the internet, such as a LAN, CAN, or any wireless medium. It makes sure that other team members, including developers and designers, are not negatively impacted by testing-related traffic.
- PC Setup: PC setup may involve configuring various browsers or operating systems for various testers.
- Bug Reporting: A bug reporting tool needs to be included in the testing environment.
- Testing Instrument: A testing instrument set up for automation testing.
- Test Data: The typical strategy is to replicate the production data in the test environment. By doing so, the tester can find the same problems without tainting the production data. The primary issue with using production data is privacy. Look at test data that has been anonymized and obscured to go around it.
Explain the Test Environment Management
The primary focus of test environment management is the upkeep and updating of test environments. The following are some of the activities involved in the operation of test environment management:
- Maintain the test environment with the most recent version at all times.
- Distributing the test environment to the appropriate teams in accordance with their needs.
- Environments for testing are continuously monitored.
- Removing the old test environments, along with the equipment, methods, and other information.
- Locating problems in the test environment and fixing those problems.
- Frequent development to analyze the test settings continuously and effectively.
- Reduce manual tasks by enabling automation to increase efficiency.
Explain Challenges Faced During Test Environment Setup
The following are some of the difficulties encountered when setting up the testing environment:
- Planning resource utilization: Planning how to use resources effectively is crucial since it can have an impact on the outcomes and cause disputes between the teams. The testing process is erroneously managed and used when doing tests.
- Dependency on external environment: In some cases, the test environment is dependent on the outside world. The testing team in these circumstances must rely on the support team for a variety of test assets, such as hardware, software, etc.
- Remote test environment: The testing team must rely on the support team for the test assets when the test environment is geographically remote.
- Collaboration across teams: When the test environment is shared by several teams, it is possible that the test findings will not be reliable.
- Complex test setup: A few of the tests call for a highly customized test environment. To conduct sophisticated tests, the team may need to take into account variables like time and resources.
How to Create a Test Environment Using the Best Practices?
Some recommended best practices for creating the testing environment are listed below:
- Software specifications: It is a good idea to thoroughly identify the software specifications of the test environment and ensure that all currently available software is compatible with the test environment.
- Hardware specifications: Before setting up the test environment, it is crucial to establish a list of the necessary hardware components and, if any hardware installations have been made, to test them.
- Tools: Verify the configurations of automation tools. For example, all the tools required for defect reporting and debugging must be accessible.
- Availability of Test Data: Checking the availability of test data is essential to determining whether it is already present in production or has to be developed.
What Distinguishes a Test Environment from a Test Bed?
Although the phrases test environment and test bed are sometimes used interchangeably, they do not. It’s important to understand their differences.
- Test Environment: This is a setting that enables you to execute test cases in accordance with user requirements. The hardware (RAM, CPU speed, and network configurations) are integrated. The physical components and the software environment in which the tests are run are together referred to as the test environment.
- Test Bed: A setting for performance or execution that is specifically created for testing. Test data are contained in testbeds, which are used to validate the features and functionality of other software/applications.
What are the Advantages of a Test Environment in Software Testing?
The benefits of the Test Environment are:
- Isolation: A test environment offers a regulated and separated space for software testing, guaranteeing that testing operations do not impact the production environment.
- Replicability: Testers can reliably reproduce bugs and problems in a dedicated testing environment, which makes it simpler to identify and resolve them.
- Risk reduction: By carrying out testing in a different setting, the chance of interfering with crucial business processes or data loss is reduced.
- Testing many features, modules, or versions simultaneously in a test environment enables efficient and quick test execution.
- Scalability refers to the ease with which test environments can be expanded or contracted to meet various testing requirements, such as handling greater user loads or testing on various hardware configurations.
What are the Disadvantages of a Test Environment in Software Testing?
The drawbacks of the Test Environment are:
- Limited Realism: Test environments frequently don’t have the complexity and variety of actual production environments, which results in scenarios that aren’t faithfully recreated.
- Costly Setup: Creating and maintaining a test environment can be expensive because it requires purchasing hardware, purchasing software licenses, and setting up infrastructure.
- Time-consuming: The test environment’s setup and configuration might take a long time, which can delay testing and time-to-market.
- Problems Reproducing Production Issues: It may be difficult to find and fix major defects because test environments don’t always replicate all production problems.
- Dependency Issues: It can be challenging to manage and coordinate updates or modifications when test environments depend on numerous external systems, databases, or third-party integrations.
In the next article, I am going to discuss Defect Management Process in Software Testing. Here, in this article, I try to explain Test Environment in Software Testing. I hope you enjoy this Test Environment in Software Testing article.
About the Author: Pranaya Rout
Pranaya Rout has published more than 3,000 articles in his 11-year career. Pranaya Rout has very good experience with Microsoft Technologies, Including C#, VB, ASP.NET MVC, ASP.NET Web API, EF, EF Core, ADO.NET, LINQ, SQL Server, MYSQL, Oracle, ASP.NET Core, Cloud Computing, Microservices, Design Patterns and still learning new technologies.