Ever wondered, why QA teams require multiple environments like development, test, and production? How much did you invest in setting up a test environment? What is the ROI of a test environment? Well, these questions can be answered by deciding whether you allowed users to be down during business hours because a change did not work as intended. Downtime can have a drastic effect on the cost of a business. However, a company can potentially save a lot of money by having a separate test environment.
What is a Test Environment?
A test environment is set up for testers where they can execute test cases in a safe manner. This environment comprises software, hardware, and network configurations. A test environment is critical so that if there are any adverse impacts on the environment, downtime in the production stage can be avoided. This environment can serve multiple testers and requires a variety of skill sets and experience to build and manage it. A complete setup assists testers to perform their tasks without any interruptions and issues.
The Need for Test Environment
The impeccable testing and quality assurance checks have supported businesses to adopt more technology-driven processes. QA is an important part of deploying high-performing and error-free applications, which results in achieving business goals. Since organizations are moving to the shift-left approach to enhance an app’s quality, there are several constraints and factors that define the validity of a test result. Thus, there is a need to establish a test environment close to real-life conditions. Testers also utilize test management tools for the execution of test cases.
The Importance of Test Environment Management for Well-Maintained Test Environments
Test Environment Management (TEM) helps in developing a stable and usable environment that consists of the necessary hardware, software, databases, and networking components to allow the execution of test scenarios and identification of bugs. It works as a support for running software testing cycles smoothly. However, the risks associated with low returns against high investments are creating roadblocks in adoptions of TEM practices. A few enterprises have successfully integrated a TEM strategy into their app development process.
Organizations can win at achieving success with the right test environment management strategy in place, which includes the following factors:
Planning and Coordination – Due to the lack of separate test assets for testing teams, the test environment managers should plan, coordinate, and communicate the schedules for developing and testing teams. This is important to avoid conflicts that can arise from shared usage. Test management tools are used to streamline testing activities and avoid unnecessary delays in product releases.
Standardize and Automate – The dependency on manual testing is reduced, and by using automated TEM tools the number of test environments required in a testbed is decreased. This reduces costs while improving test environments.
Secure the Test Data – It is extremely important for organizations to mask their data and avoid using real user information in the testing phase. They can ensure this by using ETL automation and data fabrication to ensure that the source data is compliant with PII standards.
It is important to embed transparent end-to-end testing processes to ensure a successful test environment strategy. With the help of resource management, efficient planning and test automation are the key factors that drive the TEM strategy. This strategy can help organizations succeed in maintaining test environments in a better way.