Question 6 :
What if the application has functionality that wasn't in the requirements?
It may take serious effort to determine if an application has significant unexpected or hidden functionality, and it would indicate deeper problems in the software development process. If the functionality isn't necessary to the purpose of the application, it should be removed, as it may have unknown impacts or dependencies that were not taken into account by the designer or the customer. If not removed, design information will be needed to determine added testing needs or regression testing needs. Management should be made aware of any significant added risks as a result of the unexpected functionality. If the functionality only effects areas such as minor improvements in the user interface, for example, it may not be a significant risk.
Question 7 :
How can Software QA processes be implemented without stifling productivity?
By implementing QA processes slowly over time, using consensus to reach agreement on processes, and adjusting and experimenting as an organization grows and matures, productivity will be improved instead of stifled. Problem prevention will lessen the need for problem detection, panics and burn-out will decrease, and there will be improved focus and less wasted effort. At the same time, attempts should be made to keep processes simple and efficient, minimize paperwork, promote computer-based processes and automated tracking and reporting, minimize time required in meetings, and promote training as part of the QA process. However, no one - especially talented technical types - likes rules or bureacracy, and in the short run things may slow down a bit. A typical scenario would be that more days of planning and development will be needed, but less time will be required for late-night bug-fixing and calming of irate customers.
Question 8 :
What if an organization is growing so fast that fixed QA processes are impossible?
This is a common problem in the software industry, especially in new technology areas. There is no easy solution in this situation, other than:
â€¢ Hire good people
â€¢ Management should 'ruthlessly prioritize' quality issues and maintain focus on the customer
â€¢ Everyone in the organization should be clear on what 'quality' means to the customer
Question 9 :
How does a client/server environment affect testing?
Client/server applications can be quite complex due to the multiple dependencies among clients, data communications, hardware, and servers. Thus testing requirements can be extensive. When time is limited (as it usually is) the focus should be on integration and system testing. Additionally, load/stress/performance testing may be useful in determining client/server application limitations and capabilities. There are commercial tools to assist with such testing. (See the 'Tools' section for web resources with listings that include these kinds of test tools.)
Question 10 :
How can World Wide Web sites be tested?
â€¢ What are the expected loads on the server (e.g., number of hits per unit time?), and what kind of performance is required under such loads (such as web server response time, database query response times). What kinds of tools will be needed for performance testing (such as web load testing tools, other tools already in house that can be adapted, web robot downloading tools, etc.)?
â€¢ Who is the target audience? What kind of browsers will they be using? What kind of connection speeds will they by using? Are they intra- organization (thus with likely high connection speeds and similar browsers) or Internet-wide (thus with a wide variety of connection speeds and browser types)?
â€¢ What kind of performance is expected on the client side (e.g., how fast should pages appear, how fast should animations, applets, etc. load and run)?
â€¢ Will down time for server and content maintenance/upgrades be allowed? how much?
â€¢ What kinds of security (firewalls, encryptions, passwords, etc.) will be required and what is it expected to do? How can it be tested?
â€¢ How reliable are the site's Internet connections required to be? And how does that affect backup system or redundant connection requirements and testing?
â€¢ What processes will be required to manage updates to the web site's content, and what are the requirements for maintaining, tracking, and controlling page content, graphics, links, etc.?
â€¢ Which HTML specification will be adhered to? How strictly? What variations will be allowed for targeted browsers?
â€¢ Will there be any standards or requirements for page appearance and/or graphics throughout a site or parts of a site??
â€¢ How will internal and external links be validated and updated? how often?
â€¢ Can testing be done on the production system, or will a separate test system be required? How are browser caching, variations in browser option settings, dial-up connection variabilities, and real-world internet 'traffic congestion' problems to be accounted for in testing?
â€¢ How extensive or customized are the server logging and reporting requirements; are they considered an integral part of the system and do they require testing?
Some sources of site security information include the Usenet newsgroup 'comp.security.announce' and links concerning web site security in the 'Other Resources' section.
Some usability guidelines to consider - these are subjective and may or may not apply to a given situation (Note: more information on usability testing issues can be found in articles about web site usability in the 'Other Resources' section):
â€¢ Pages should be 3-5 screens max unless content is tightly focused on a single topic. If larger, provide internal links within the page.
â€¢ The page layouts and design elements should be consistent throughout a site, so that it's clear to the user that they're still within a site.
â€¢ Pages should be as browser-independent as possible, or pages should be provided or generated based on the browser-type.
â€¢ All pages should have links external to the page; there should be no dead-end pages.
â€¢ The page owner, revision date, and a link to a contact person or organization should be included on each page.
Many new web site test tools have appeared in the recent years and more than 280 of them are listed in the 'Web Test Tools' section.