The testing of the application with multiple OSes, different software, or entirely different platforms, is called as software configuration testing. It is a process that takes up a lot of time due to the installing and the un-installing of different software is that has to be used for testing.
A popular way to test software configuration is to test on virtual machines. On a software, there is an environment that will be downloaded which acts as a physical hardware and users have the same feel of that of a physical machine, this is called as a virtual machine. Real-time configurations are simulated by virtual machines.
The better way would be to install the application or software in the virtual machine and to continue testing rather than installing and uninstalling the software in various machines again and again which is very time-consuming. Having virtual multiple machine makes the job easier for the tester and this process becomes smoother.
The software configuration testing process can commence once the configure ability requirements that are to be tested are defined, the test environment is ready, The team performing the test is properly trained in configuration testing and The build being released has passed the unit and integration test.
The typical test strategy that is used to test the software configuration is to perform the functional test suite across various software configurations to confirm that the application being tested is working as wanted and is without any bugs or errors.
Another way to make sure that the system is working efficiently is by manually filling the test cases and verifying it for efficiency.
Let’s say that there is a banking application that has to be tested to see if it is compatible across multiple browsers and when the application is in an environment where all the prerequisites are present does it pass the unit and integration testing in the test lab.
Although, the same application if placed and installed in a client‘s place and the machines are missing and some of the software updates of the versions on which the application is directly dependent or indirectly dependent, there maybe situations that the application might fail to perform. This situation can be avoided by failing the tests manually to remove some of the configure ability requirements and then proceeding with the testing.
Hardware Configuration Testing
Places where there are physical machines and different hardware attached to them is where generally hardware configuration testing is performed.
The software has to be installed in all physical machines where the hardware is attached every time a new bid is released and the test suite has to be run on each machine to make sure that the application is working efficiently.
A lot of effort is required to install the software on every machine to attach the hardware and to manually run or to automate the above process also requires a huge amount of effort. Specification of which type of hardware has to be tested is to be done compulsorily because there are a lot of computer hardware and peripherals which make it extremely difficult to run all of them together. Hence, it is the responsibility of the tester to find out which hardware is going to be used by the users the most and try to make the most test based on that, making it a priority.
All in all, in the scope of software engineering, configuration testing must be provided the same amount of significance as other testing methods. If configuration testing is not performed it is very hard to understand the optimal system performance and the software might also have compatibility issues.