Taking the Right Steps to Test a Property Management Portal

TEST COVERAGE BASELINING AND EXPANSION

A multi-national property management company was updating their user portal’s front-end and back-end software libraries without adding any new functionality. The client had a suite of regression test cases in their Microsoft TFS-based repository but wanted an independent analysis of their regression test coverage and identification of gaps in their test case repository.

FIRST STEP: INVENTORY THE APP

SPR started with a deep-dive into the portal, without consideration of the existing TFS regression test repository. The client provided test user accounts with different administrative-level permissions and default data configurations, giving the team a variety of views into the portal and inspiring a range of test scenario ideas. The SPR team looked at:

  • Functionality
  • User roles and permissions
  • Positive and negative use cases
  • Data combinations
  • Navigation
  • Data validation of back-end to front-end

An inventory of test scenarios was prepared for all front-end user and back-end capabilities of the portal, based on the range of permissions and application data provided. This inventory was thoroughly reviewed within the team and with the client Product Owner to ensure completeness.

SECOND STEP: MAP EXISTING TESTS

It was only after the inventory was completed that the SPR team shifted focus to the existing TFS test repository. By mapping the test scenarios to the existing test cases, the team highlighted:

  • Gaps in functional coverage
  • Need for additional negative tests
  • Missing permission-based tests
  • Data requirements to support full regression capabilities
  • Existing test cases needing improvement

THIRD STEP: TARGET AUTOMATION

The SPR team also identified the test scenarios that could be automated. The portal has several aspects (back-end architecture, data-driven interfaces, multiple administrative permission levels), which are valuable targets for an investment in automation. Automation was recommended to reduce the cost and cycle time of the regression test execution, as the number of tests would expand as the test coverage gaps were closed.

FOURTH STEP: EXPAND TEST COVERAGE

The client was provided with a complete set of test scenarios and identified data-driven cases, which would expand their full regression suite by almost 70%. Key improvement areas for test case rework were related to error conditions, negative test coverage, and administrative permissions. The client was able to use this information to not only create additional test cases, but to better measure coverage of their testing.

CONCLUSION

SPR’s independent analysis of the portal’s regression test coverage and identification of gaps in their test case repository provided immediate value to the upcoming portal release. The client acted on SPR’s findings about missing tests and closed these gaps, thus achieving more extensive testing of the portal and preventing quality issues. The client successfully launched the enhance portal without disruption to their business.