Syntel CQA Forum Effective Testing for E-Commerce CQA Doc No 22
issue in its own right, but also has potentialto impact on performance.
Middleware and Integration
Integration is the key to e-commerce. Inorder to build an e-commerce application,one or more of the following components areusually integrated:
Server-side application scripts/programs
HTML forms for user interface
Application scripts on the client
Scripts/programs to integrate withlegacy back-end systems The process of developing an e-commercesite is significantly different from developinga web site – commerce adds extra levels of complexity. One highly complex feature isthat of integration.If an application is being built that uses adatabase server, web server and paymentserver from different vendors, there isconsiderable effort involved in networkingthese components, understandingconnectivity-related issues and integratingthem into a single development (executable)environment. If legacy code is involved, thisadds a new dimension to the problem, sincetime will need to be invested inunderstanding the interfaces to the legacycode, and the likely impact of any changes.It is also crucial to keep in mind the steeplearning curve associated with cutting-edgetechnologies. Keeping pace with the latestversions of the development tools andproducts to be integrated, their compatibilitywith the previous versions, and investigatingall the new features for building optimalsolutions for performance can be a dauntingtask. Also, since e-commerce applications onthe web are a relatively new phenomenon,there are unlikely to be any metrics onsimilar projects to help with project planningand development. The maintenance tasks of installing andupgrading applications can also become veryinvolved, since they demand expertise in:
Web server administration.
Payment server administration.
Administration of any other special toolsthat have been integrated into the site. Technical support should also be borne inmind.Correctly functioning back-end and front-endsystems offer no guarantees of reliableoverall functionality or performance. End-to-end testing of complete integratedarchitectures, using realistic transactions, isan essential component.
Ten Key Principles of Effective E-Commerce TestingPrinciple 1. Testing is a risk management process
Effective testing adopts a strategy that istailored to the type of application or servicebeing tested, the business value of theapplication or service, and the risks thatwould accompany its failure Plans shouldinclude measures of risk and value andincorporate testing and other quality-relatedactivities that ensure development isproperly focused on achieving maximumvalue with minimum risk.
Principle 2. Know the value of theapplications being tested.
To manage risk effectively, we must know thebusiness value of success as well as the costof failure. The business community must beinvolved in setting values on which the riskassessment can be based and committed todelivering an agreed level of quality.
Principle 3. Set clear testing objectivesand criteria for successful completion
(including test coverage measures). The test programme must be properlyplanned, with test scripts giving preciseinstructions and expected results. There willalso need to be some cross-referencing backto the requirements and objectives, so thatsome assessment can be made of how manyof the requirements have been tested at anygiven time
Principle 4. Create an effective testenvironment.
Cross-platform testing is, naturally, animportant part of testing any multi-platformsoftware application. In the case of e-commerce, the term ‘cross-platform’ mustalso extend to include ‘cross-browser’.In order to ensure that a site loads andfunctions properly from all supportedplatforms, as much stress and load testing aspossible should be performed.
Principle 5. Test as early as possible inthe development cycle.
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