All you need to know about testing in production

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Testing in production means to do testing in the live environment which is available for the outside world. Carrying out testing operations in the production environment is important as well as very critical. Testers come to know about the critical issues or bugs which might be faced by the real world. It helps them to get assured about the way applications works and check if it is working according to their expectations or not.

As per the SDLC standards, testers have a separate QA environment for testing and they are not allowed to carry out testing in production. Only sanity and smoke tests are advisable to be carried out in the production environment.

These are many reasons why testing is important in the production environment. While you should also perform software testing at earlier stages of development, production testing is an important safeguard for early detection of issues that could cause significant problems for production code. While testing at earlier stages of development is very important, testing in production is necessary for early detection of issues that can create a problem for production code.

What’s the point of testing in the production environment

Keeping in mind the risks associated with testing in production, there are several benefits which need to be considered. One of the most important benefits of testing in production is that it gives you the chance to see how your application works in the live environment.

In the case of complex services testing in the production is very necessary. It is very difficult to mimic the production environment and ensure that the service will perform as expected. You should keep in mind that staging and production environment are very different from each other. It is said that the organizations who don’t have a budget to mimic the recreate the production environment consider to adopt testing in production.

Testing in production gives testers the confidence about the application because they can test and see their application in the live environment.

How to perform testing in a production environment?

Testing in production should be adopted in the daily testing routine. One of the ways is to create a checklist that includes all the features of the application. More than one QAs can be assigned for the smaller chunks of the application. It can help in maintaining the quality of the application.

Guidelines to Perform Testing in Production Environment

Below are some testing guidelines that must be kept in mind while testing in a production environment:

  1. Data set used should be unique.
  2. Load test should never be performed in the production environment.
  3. Tests should only be performed when there is less load on the application.

Risks involved

Keeping in mind what can be the result of the failure of this approach i.e. bad user experience, security issues or system crashes could all lead to a loss in profit or tarnish a brand.

Here is the list of some of the risks involved:

  1. Potential vulnerabilities can be exposed to the public
  2. Bad user experience
  3. Loss of brand reputation and revenue
  4. Keeping the application live and running
  5. No backup plan for your application runs the risk of loss of data
  6. Exposing potential vulnerabilities
  7. Unable to recover from unexpected chaos

The best way to approach the risks involved is to follow the right approached and by thinking about the outcomes.

Advantages of Testing in Production Environment

The ultimate aim of testing in a production environment is to ensure that the application is working as expected and is stable in the production environment. You will find many bugs that are not found in other testing environment activities. The identified bugs from production will help the development team to improve application quality, thereby providing a better customer experience.

It will start to encourage and empower developers to test more early on, and in production. The goal is to elevate quality by building various quality guards around the application.

Advantages of testing in the production:

  1. Monitor the application’s performance in real-time scenarios.
  2. Monitor the API responses at the time of peak traffic.
  3. Detect bugs and vulnerabilities which typically goes unnoticed while testing in QA environment.
  4. Helps in maintaining the quality of the application for better user experience.
  5. Testing with production data gives you the real picture.
  6. Eliminates the risk of frequent deployments on the production environment.

Conclusion

Testing in production should be part of a well-designed, scalable and highly resilient testing routine. You should continue testing early and often, and consider shift-right testing as part of your testing strategy.