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Some of you may have read my blogs on SharePoint testing, I wrote several blogs on the topic such as SharePoint test and Quality Assurance – Testing SharePoint out of the Box Part 3. Often overlooked, any complex product that requires the amount of configuration and infrastructure that SharePoint does must be tested and tested ongoing especially when migrating between versions because of the user interface, data and security policy impacts especially when migrating to Office 365.

The blog will focus on the creating your test plan, test cases, report and presenting the results to manage expectations and correct any faults. Where possible I will provide documented example templates you can use to kick start you’re testing.

So where do you start? Create a test plan as follows:

  • Define the purpose of the testing – generally it’s to manage the risk associated with migration to understand the following:
    • Impacts of migration to end user from a usability perspective
    • New training required for end users
    • Determine initial impact help desk and support resources
    • refining communication plan
    • Verifying connectivity required between the environments
    • Verifying ability to enforce data and security policy
    • Testing migration tool sets to understand what can be automated
    • Identifying manual process tools wont address
    • Where additional scripting is required
    • Creating migration guides for the migration team (forms the basis)
    • Determining impact to servers, storage and network
  • Determine the staff and skills required.
  • Funding required for the staffing.
  • Defining the test environment from a technology perspective.
    • Source and destination environments (Servers, network, software etc.)
    • Network requirements (e.g. bandwidth, firewall rules etc.)
  • Defining the dataset that will be used (e.g. what datasets are available that mimic production? Must a dataset be assembled from scratch?)
    • Create manually (Takes a lot of time or use scripts)
    • I’ve implemented a mix of both to best try a mimic production
  • Defining key outcomes such as answering the six bullets above as an example.
  • Link to test plan template

Once you have completed writing your test plan, circulate the document for review and sign off with the key stakeholders such as the following:

  • IT Director – Executive responsible for environment. Depending on signing authority I suggest the CIO be looped in as well.
  • Product manager – owner of SharePoint / Collaboration service.
  • Service management – operation teams such as support, server, network, storage and directory teams
  • Quality Assurance Manager – manages QA team.
  • Engineering – engineering / architects responsible for the environment
  • Microsoft – your friendly Microsoft support person / team.
  • Third party – any third parties that support the environment such as staff augmentation our outsourcing.

Note it’s important to collect everyone’s feedback, answer their questions, educate each other and obtain sign off. By completing this stage correctly you will avoid organizational risk that could create roadblocks due to misunderstanding objectives and outcomes.

With the Test Plan signed off, you can now create your test cases and report documents. Your test cases document will contain a list of test cases which must follow the Rational Unified Process (RUP) format. Keeping its simple, each test case should contain:

  • Name – A descriptive name.
  • Description – Short description of the test case.
  • Data set – A description of the data set being used using the test.
  • Preconditions – What must be in place or is expected to occur be for test.
  • Post conditions – expected post conditions as a result of completing the test.
  • Steps – steps for tester to carry out test.
  • Outcomes – The results of the testing
  • Screenshots – Screenshots that show the outcomes where it makes sense (can be very effective in communicating).
  • Link to test cases template

With the above format in place, the following test cases are recommended:

  • Site Migration to destination environment(s) SP201x and or O365
  • Home page migration (especially from 2007 environments)
  • Permissions groups migration
  • Large list migration
  • Complex list migration
  • Custom site template migration
  • Custom list template migration
  • Custom workflow migration
  • Custom forms migration
  • Custom .Net code migration
  • Custom embedded HTML/Java code migration
  • Site migration duration 500 MB, 1 GB, 5 GB and 25 GB (Do for both SP201x and O365)
  • Broken links identification and correction (Update)
  • Impact on server work load
  • Impact on storage work load
  • Impact on network work load

The above items are some basic tests than you can start with and build from their depending on your environment. For example, you might want to test Content Editor WebPart migration that contain custom CSS and Java, third party application migration, test impact to version settings and recycle bin. From a manual process perspective you might want to test Large List cleanup processes (Views, Indexing etc.).

For monitoring during load tests you should monitor server, network and storage devices. For Servers you can use PAL, for network speak with the network team and monitor traffic between new and old farms and O365.

Some lessons learned include documenting everything, circulating and communicating results, dealing with problem employees quickly and managing expectations aggressively. Involve all stake holds and make sure they sign off in writing to avoid roadblocks and politics.

Found this helpful or have feedback? Contact me roncharity@gmail.com

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