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The management of Test Environments is an important part of overall IT Quality Assurance and Testing governance and has a significant influence on test effectiveness and efficiency:

Predictability of successful runs
Accuracy of test data
Integrity of test runs
Environment availability
Cost of operating Test

Test Environment Management is the management of the various components, infrastructure, interfaces, tools, data, test applications and releases, in the environment(s) designated for testing. The effective management of these environments has a significant impact on cost, timeliness and delivered quality.

The degree to which the Test environment(s) is a good proxy for production, the timeliness of their availability and their reliability are at least as important as SQA process and tooling.

The degree to which test professionals work within an integrated environment which fully supports the SQA and Testing Operating model has a significant impact on overall productivity and delivered quality.  This covers test applications and data, tool support and the artefacts used by testers e.g. specifications, test case suites, defect reports etc.

The Metisure© framework contains a set of best practices in Test Environment management

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Security

Reflecting target production environment Supporting allocation of Test environments Segregation of access to preserve Test Team independence and integrity Integrity of test data and test runs

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Tooling

Deployment of selected Test tools
Maintaining availability and stability
Reflecting target production environment e.g. scheduler.  This is especially relevant for Performance/Stress Testing

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Release Management

Handover schedule for new release/”fix” releases
Handover documentation/release notes
Manage releases through environments into Production

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Configuration Management

Source code/module version control
Building releases to deploy to environments
Migration of releases to environments

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Data

Base of historical data Creation of new data Masking sensitive data Conditioning data for specific tests

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