Test Environment consists of elements that support test execution with software, hardware and network configured. Test environment configuration must mimic the production environment in order to uncover any environment/configuration related issues.
The following points need to be considered in a Test Environment Setup.
It is a combination of hardware and software environment on which the tests will be executed.
It includes hardware configuration, operating system settings, software configuration, test terminals and other support to perform the test.
It is the most crucial aspect of the testing process. Unavailability or faulty environment setup can ruin all the testing efforts.
Practically, the QA team cannot start actual work without having the right environment to test.
It is and independent activity and can be started along with test case development.
Most generically, this activity is performed by developers in technical aspects while requirement conditions can be done by Customers/Business Analysts.
Readiness of the test environment can be validated by smoke testing, and performed by the QA team.
Ideally, we can say that the Entry Criteria of this phase is the provision of Test Plan, readiness of Smoke Test cases and preparation of test data.
The exit criteria of this phase is that the test environment should be ready and smoke testing should be performed successfully with expected results.
The following activities are performed in this phase.
Following factors play an important role for the designing of a test environment.
Determine if test environment needs archiving in order to take back-ups.
Verify the network configuration.
Identify the required server operating system, databases and other components.
Identify the number of license required by the test team.
Analyze the environment setup requirements and prepare a list of software and hardware requirements for the setup. Get the official confirmation for setup of the test environment and configure to access the test environment.
Once the environment is set up and the QA team has the access to it, a quick round of smoke testing should be performed for validation of test environment build stability. If the results are as expected, the QA team can move to the next phase else point out the discrepancies and wait for deployment after fixes.