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Monday, June 25, 2012

What are limitations and advantages of installation testing?

Imagine you have developed your software system or application properly and very carefully and it addresses all the requirements of your client. But what if your client tries to install your software product and it fails terribly? 
It means the installer of your software system or application was developed properly and was not tested also. Now imaging what effect will it have on your reputation in the eyes of your client? You will loose his confidence! Won’t you? 
The only way to escape such a horrible situation is that you carry out installation testing on the installer of your software product and see that it works with all the systems and with different configurations. Therefore the installation testing becomes very important since installation is the first thing with which the user interacts in a software application.

Limitations of Installation Testing

- The biggest limitation of the installation is the time factor since installation testing consumes a lot of time.
- To overcome this limitation one needs to automate the whole installation testing process.  
Even a single test case of the installation testing takes at the minimum up to 2 hours.
Now you can imagine how much time it will take if you will have to test the installer of a big software system or application. 
- However, the time consumed for each test case also depends on whether the application is subjected to one of the following options:
  1. Upgrading of installation and un- installation process.
  2. Partial installation and un- installation process.
  3. Full installation and un- installation process.
- The installation testing requires that both the software testing engineer and the configuration manager work in collaboration with each other.
- During installation, the software system or application is placed in to a pre- production environment or testing environment which may corrupt the code in some of the cases.
- From the testing environment there are 2 certainties as mentioned below:
  1. The code may progress in to production process or
  2. The code may not progress in to the production process.
- Since the code may get corrupted from other past as well as future releases, all these process need to be performed outside the software development environment which further aggravates the difficulty of the installation testing.
- There is just one simple approach to installation testing which involves running the install program commonly known as “package software”. 
- This package software makes use of a set up program which in some cases act as a multi- configuration wrapper and in other cases it does not! 
- Therefore, in the cases in which the set up program does not act as multi configuration wrapper, the software simultaneously cannot be installed on a variety of systems and configurations which again presents a headache. 
- Furthermore installation testing is limited to certain aspects regarding installation:
  1. Dependency of the software to be installed on other software and patches.
  2. Over installing of a new version over the older one.

Advantages of Installation Testing

- As for the advantages of the installation testing are concerned, the importance of the installation testing is the biggest advantage.
- Installation process is the first thing with which the user interacts and therefore it needs to be proper and efficient. 
- The installation testing keeps a check on this aspect whether it can be installed on a number of different systems and in different environments.

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