Thursday 5 March 2009

Microsoft LOB Application Compatibility

Microsoft has recently released a new whitepaper on application testing and application compatibility. This whitepaper focuses on some of the challenges encountered by Microsoft's own IT department (MicrosoftIT).  Some notable quotes from this whitepaper include;

"Microsoft IT tests approximately 4–6 percent of the application portfolio prior to each internal product release. "

There are some really novel/interesting ideas presented here on the testing paradigm used by MicrosoftIT. As the document explains, Microsoft has a very large application portfolio, and just like everyone else, is not able to afford (time/money/resources) to test each application in their portfolio everytime a new platform update is released. Instead, MicrosoftIT identifies a small number (around 60) of key/critical applications and thoroughly tests those applications. These selected applications are referenced as "indicator" applications. The thinking here is that if any platform update is going to break anything - it will be break these selected applications.   

What is quite reassuring about this approach is that Microsoft makes testing non-Microsoft applications a priority. I assume that the reasoning for this is that since Microsoft does not "own the code for these 3rd party applications, any compatiblity issues will likely require more time to address and resolve and therefore any issues should be highlighted as early as possible. 

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