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Maintenance Testing


Maintenance Testing
Most of the tests are conducted on software during its pre-release stage, but some tests are done once the software has been released. One such procedural testing is known as Maintenance Testing.

What Is Maintenance Testing?

Once software has been launched, it runs for years. But during the course of its natural life, this software needs to be upgraded or enhanced and sometimes even migrated to other hardware, in order to add more years to its successful run. The testing that is conducted during the enhancement stage or migration cycle of already deployed software is known as Maintenance Testing.

Need For Maintenance Testing

As the wishlist of the end-user increases in terms of new features that they would like to see in existing software, it becomes a compulsion for the software development firm to deliver on the same. In the same manner, the end-user might wish to migrate on to a newer Operating System or platform or a newer version of hardware etc. Each of these end-user requirements can be met only through modifications to the current software. But, before these modifications can be actually made available they need to be tested in order to validate them. As such the need arises for Maintenance Testing.

Points To Remember While Conducting Maintenance Testing

While carrying out Maintenance Testing two very important points need to be kept in mind. These are:

  • Test Every Modification Completely – no matter how big or small the proposed modification is, it still needs to be checked as thoroughly as possible to prevent any downtime and functionality issues.
  • Functionality Of Existing Software Should Not Be Affected – no matter what the proposed modification, it should not hamper the functionality of the existing software. The aim is to ensure that the modification does not bring down the entire software.

Types Of Maintenance Testing

There are two basic types of Maintenance Testing. These are:

  • Confirmation Maintenance Testing - during this part of Maintenance Testing the modifications and errors are tested and retested until its execution becomes flawless. While retesting the original environment is maintained with the exact data inputs to make sure that no more errors occur and the validity of the modification or migration is confirmed without any doubts.
  • Regression Maintenance Testing – once it has been confirmed that no more errors occur in the modification, it is now time to test that unintended defects have not spread elsewhere in the software. The test conducted to find out the spreading of accidental and incidental errors is known as Regression Testing.

When Confirmation Testing and Regression Testing are conducted strictly as per the guidelines laid down, together they form the complete Maintenance Testing ritual.

Conclusion

Changing needs and environments leads to changing demands in terms of software requirements. If these demands are not met in a timely and effective way, then the software will die its natural death soon after its release. In order to ensure as little as possible downtime along with highly efficient and upgraded software, it is necessary to closely stick to Maintenance Testing.