The way organizations “consume” enterprise software has changed dramatically since the advent of cloud computing and the widespread adoption of SaaS propositions. Instead of a major, disruptive upgrade project every three to five years, software updates are released (and deployed) on a much more regular basis.
With its Cloud Applications, Oracle delivers new updates every quarter. This means every three months you’ll receive new functionality to help you efficiently and effectively manage your business. The subtext here is that anyone responsible for managing and supporting an Oracle Cloud Application running within a business needs to decide what features need to be switched on. Whether you’re an end-customer or a systems integrator, you have to understand what’s new each quarter; what features are delivered enabled, and what features you might want to “turn on” that are now available, but disabled.
Whether you choose to enable anything every quarter or not, our experience tells us that you still need to test. Regression testing every quarter will ensure Oracle has not inadvertently introduced bugs or code-changes that will negatively impact system performance or user experience. With enterprise application software, it’s not prudent to simply trust without testing. If you’ve chosen to turn on a new feature, you need to consider how that feature is going to impact current processes and procedures. Downstream problems could have major implications for operational efficiency, so even small changes need to be tested.
Remember, a good project plan always includes plenty of time for testing. Don’t underestimate the amount of time you’ll need for this. In our experience, as much as 65% of the total project effort can be dedicated to testing. So at its heart, change involves risk, and testing is all about managing and mitigating risk.
With Oracle Cloud Applications, more frequent updates mean more frequent testing. If you’re responsible for the functional testing of Oracle Cloud Applications, we’d like to hear from you. Specifically, we’d like to know how you’re tackling the testing challenge. We’d welcome the opportunity to share our own experiences and discuss how test automation can help ease the burden of more frequent testing.
I welcome your comments here and invite you to a webinar I’ll host on this topic Oct. 20. My colleague Shaun Meyer and I will share our approach to making this quarterly testing effective and efficient during “Test Automation in the Cloud: Smaller, Faster, Smarter.” If you have questions you’d like to hear us address during that session, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author
Patrick Neary, DWS
Pat has more than 35 years’ experience in the enterprise applications software industry. He has designed, developed, implemented and sold a number of different solutions. Most of his career has been spent working in the JD Edwards community.