COMPASS Testing Team begins formal Release 1 testing May 15

COMPASS Testing Team begins formal Release 1 testing May 15

With the overall goal of ensuring excellence in performance, accessibility, and security across the various COMPASS projects such as the Student Information System (SIS), the COMPASS Testing Team is preparing to begin its formal testing period May 15 for Release 1. The project will remain in various testing stages until after SIS Release 7. 

The team is comprised of UFIT’s Joyce Kosak, Gary Grossheim and Jamie Burgess, along with consultant Maureen Avery.  Kosak, the current team lead, will be replaced by Burgess in early May following Kosak’s promotion to UFIT project manager.

“Gary, Jamie and Maureen are extremely detail-oriented and capable professionals,” Kosak said. “I have no doubt that between their more than 30 years of testing experience, they’ll be successful in any and all of their work on COMPASS.”

Although the formal testing period is just beginning, testing work began in 2016 with the planning and mapping of the various stages of testing through the completion of the SIS project.

Functional unit testing (FUT) for Release 1, which tests the configuration of Campus Solutions and any UF-specific customizations, has been underway by the Admissions and Campus Community Teams for several weeks now.

However, systems integration testing (SIT) denotes the start of the formal testing period and tests end-to-end business process functionality.

“In systems integration testing, we execute two cycles, which we cleverly call SIT1 and SIT2,” Avery said. “SIT1 for Release 1 lasts four weeks and is the main guts of the testing.  Then we’ll refresh the testing environment and spend another two weeks testing with the corrections that have been made, this time in SIT2.”

After identifying, locating and resolving any issues arising during SIT, the team will begin a two-week user integrations testing (UIT) period, allowing the Admissions and Registrar employees who will use these systems to perform their job functions to ensure that said functions can be carried out accurately and completely.

“We can do all the testing in the world, but the main question is: ‘Does what we’ve developed allow UF end-users to do their jobs and do their jobs well?’” Burgess said.  “That’s what UIT is about, ensuring that the systems we’re implementing live up to the high standards set forth by the University of Florida.”

The COMPASS Testing Team, however, doesn’t just test whether or not system components work.  The team must also ensure that new systems meet UF’s performance standards. This requires a performance testing period, which runs simultaneously to systems testing.

Performance testing itself has a number of components, which are designed to not only ensure functionality but the aforementioned performance, accessibility and security:

  • Volume testing – ensuring systems function when processing high loads
  • ADA accessibility testing – ensuring compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Cross-browser testing – ensuring systems are functional within the supported internet browsers
  • Security testing – ensuring security roles will admit or deny users as appropriate
  • Ethical hacking testing – ensuring systems are secure from internal and external security threats
  • Regression testing – ensuring previously implemented functionality is not negatively impacted by new modifications

Performance testing will last two weeks, preceded by a five-week performance scripting period, in which the Testing Team designs testing scenarios.

“Planning is really a huge part of the testing process,” Burgess adds. “Because there are multiple testing instances and, at times, testing on multiple releases simultaneously, our planning chart ends up looking, and even moving, a lot like a game of Tetris.  We make the pieces fit, and that keeps us on an efficient and succinct schedule.”

After the completion of performance testing for Release 1 and each subsequent SIS release, the now fully tested system will move into a production environment, meaning it’s ready for real, everyday use by end-users.  In other words: primetime.