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Developing Test Cases

Updated: March 28, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Before starting to test, develop and document test cases, which describe the tests to be performed and, if possible, the expected results. The number and complexity of test cases that you need depends in part on how extensively you need to test an application. The extent of testing required for an application depends on several factors, including the application’s level of compatibility, how critical the application is to your business, and how often the application is used. In addition, the extent of testing required depends on whether the application is a third-party product, has been customized, or was developed in-house. For third-party applications, the extent of testing also depends on whether the application is known to be compatible with the new version of Windows that you are deploying.

Applications that require limited testing fall into the following categories:

  • Applications that are listed as Compatible in the Windows Catalog

  • Applications that are not required to run the business

  • Applications that are required to run the business, but can be offline for long periods of time without impacting the business

  • Applications that do not impact the organization severely if they fail

Usually, you do not need to develop complex or wide-ranging test cases for these types of applications.

Applications that require in-depth testing fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • Applications that have been developed in-house

  • Applications that have been customized for your organization

  • Applications whose compatibility is listed as Unknown by the Application Compatibility Analyzer

  • Applications that are listed as Compatible with Issues by the Application Compatibility Analyzer

  • Applications that are not listed in the Windows Catalog

For these applications, you need to develop a wide range of test cases that encompass all the functionality required in your environment.

Applications that are listed as Compatible by the Application Compatibility Analyzer or in the Windows Catalog or that are listed as Designed for Windows XP in the Windows Catalog do not need to be tested as extensively as those in the preceding list. Even so, you should perform general testing to ensure that these applications perform as expected, given the way they are used with your hardware and software configuration. Develop test cases for the functions that are used most frequently and for any atypical functions or unique techniques that are used. For example, if your organization uses scripts to manage the desktop environment, test the applications with those scripts. If your organization hosts applications with Terminal Server, remember to include test cases to test the applications with Terminal Server.

The testing methodology that you choose for each application determines how you develop the test cases. Many testing methodologies exist, and you might already have one that you use. If you do not already have a methodology for developing test cases, use one of the following methodologies:

  • Windows Fundamentals Test Methodology, which helps you develop test cases when you have an in-depth understanding of the application

  • Windows Applications Exploratory Test Methodology, which helps you develop test cases as you learn about an application that is unfamiliar to you

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