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Monday, June 25, 2012

What is the relation between installation testing and configuration management?

Installation testing as we all know falls under the genre of quality assurance work in the field of software engineering and is all focused up on what is to be done by the customers in order to set up and install the new software system or application successfully. 

Installation testing process is constituted of the following processes:
  1. Upgrading of installation and un- installation process.
  2. Partial installation and un- installation process.
  3. Full installation and un- installation process.

What is Configuration Management?

- Configuration management is somewhat self justifying and is looked up on as one of the best practices available for handling the changes that are made in the software system or application during the project development.  
- It is also used as a means for the identification of the physical as well as functional attributes of the software system or application at various points of time during the development process. 
- The configuration management takes up the systematic control of the changes to be made to the identified attributes with the following purposes:
  1. Maintaining software trace-ability throughout the software development life cycle.
  2. Maintaining software integrity throughout the software development life cycle.

Relation between Installation Testing and Configuration Management

Both the above mentioned processes i.e., installation testing and configuration management share a relation with each other.  

- Installation testing is performed by the software testing engineer in collaboration with the manager handling the configuration management process known as “configuration manager”. 
- The configuration management process shows up the need to trace the changes. 
- This process has the ability with the virtue of which it verifies whether or not the final developed software system or application has all the enhancements, features and functionality that are required to be in the release. 
- In a way we can say that the configuration management checks how correctly the installation testing has been implemented. 
- It is done by the means of four below mentioned procedures that need to be defined for all the software systems or applications in order to ensure that a proper configuration management process is implemented:

1. Configuration Identification: 
It involves identification of the attributes defining all the aspects of the configuration item.

2. Configuration Change Control:
It includes a set of approval stages and set of processes that are intended to change the attributes of a configuration item and re- baseline them.

3. Configuration Status Accounting:
By virtue of this ability the configuration baselines associated with all the configuration items at any instant of time are recorded and reported.

4. Configuration Audits:
It occurs at the moment of incorporating the change. These can be divided in to two categories:
(a)Functional configuration audits: ensures achievement of the performance and functional attributes of the configuration items and
(b)Physical configuration audits: ensures proper installation of the configuration item with the requirements mentioned in the design documentation.

- In installation testing a complied version of the code is placed in a pre- production environment which also acts as the configuration item for configuration management. 
- The configuration management is carried out outside the usual software development environment so that the corruption to the code is limited from the past as well as the future releases.
- The set up program used in the package software acts as a multi configuration wrapper and each and every configuration in it should be tested appropriately so that it can be released with confident. 

In a way we can say that these two processes i.e., installation testing and configuration testing are locked with each other to some extent and this is what that keeps them related to each other.

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