Test Bed

What is Test Bed

An environment meant specifically for testing a software solution, is termed as 'Test Bed'. In the modern day, test bed is a terminology used quite often as a reference to the 'software test execution environment'.

Test bed or environment is an environment or a platform where the correct blend of components - operating system, servers, database, network configurations, browser installation and so on are put to use in order to verify the accuracy of a product being tested.

Be it automation or manual testing, configuring the required components is an essential factor to efficiently test an application under test, by incorporating correct blend of features.

Test Bed Components

Design considerations for Test Environment:

  1. The first thing is to identify if test environment needs storing any backup.
  2. Test the network configuration to verify that it fulfils the desired needs of testing.
  3. Determine the components required to fulfil test bed requirements such as operating system, database, browsers, external devices etc.
  4. Carry out a study of the number of licenses required by the test team.

Test Bed - Challenges:

  • Setting up Test Bed at a Remote Location: Test environment could be at various locations, that is, testing of an application may not take place at a centralised location. In a diverse environment as today’s, where businesses are spreading its wings irrespective of locale boundaries, the need to pace up and work coherently has become a need of the hour.

    Thus setting up a centralised environment despite the geographical boundaries is an imperative ladder to prosper.

  • Collaboration Among Teams: Teams in the context of software testing comprises of developers, testers and business analysts who form the core team working on a software development project. Therefore assimilating resources in a centralised location is a great way to minimise cost, time and the overall effort required to complete project's objectives.
  • Complex Test Configuration:'Test Configuration' takes into account all the components/artefacts that are essential in conducting tests for a system, which includes human skills in terms of technical knowledge. Employing the right people at the right place is what really matters to configure an apt test configuration.
  • Time Consuming:Test case implementations may vary as they require varying test configurations. The reason could be availability of wide range of technologies that are required to be applied to the current testing. The complexity lies in the assimilating the different aspects together, as they must follow a consistent approach.

Environmental Configuration:

A typical example of a test bed configuration is somewhat like the following: (in the context of a web application)

  • Operating System: Linux - Red Hat/ Mac
  • Database: Oracle Linux 6
  • Web Server: Apache Tomcat
  • Browser: Google Chrome, Safari
  • Programming language version: Java 7, Turbo C


The aforementioned list is just a sample depiction of a typical pattern of test bed configuration and are not exactly in combination. Combination of all the components depends upon project specific requirements.

We understand by now what is the significance and relevance of a test bed. Now we try to elaborate test bed in terms of mobile application testing and desktop testing.

Both require similar set of consideration while opting for a test methodology only differing in the fact that a mobile application needs testing on different platforms.

A brief snapshot of Mobile Testing:

Mobile application testing involves testing an application for a range of operating system platforms available these days such as - iOS, Android, Windows, being the primary ones apart from Symbian, Blackberry.

The different types of mobile application testing are native, hybrid and web app. Testing an application on a mobile thus requires considering an OS's version, browser versions, device specific considerations and so on.


Quality assurance activities play a major role in deployment of a software application be it - mobile or web. A tester is expected to be a keen observer to facilitate right blend of resources so that the test process is accomplished fruitfully.

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