Why are test environments configuration important for performing software testing?

I want to know about importance of test environment. Does it play important role while performing software testing.

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In short…Yes.

When we are testing software we are limiting the value of our testing if what we are looking at is not a true representation of what our clients are using. Often we will find issues which can only be reproduced under very specific circumstances and by not using a realistic test environment the chance of finding these hard to find bugs are reduced.

For example, if a race condition exists in your application which will only manifest itself if the system is performing at a certain level then your test environment being unrealistic could cause you to miss the bug.

There are many factors to consider in a test environment (configuration, hardware, software and OS to name a few) and each one could have an impact on your testing. I would recommend always trying to test as close to production as possible so that you have the maximum chance of catching issues :slight_smile:


Great question! I believe it has a role in testing and it depends on your organization and the type of testing you want to perform.

An ideal test environment allows testers to explore and exercise new and changed products while developers continue to build products in a separate test environment. In this manner, testers evaluate code that does not change often. That is the ideal.
However, products change frequently so I believe it is important to establish understandings around how often the separate test environment accepts updates. This communication is important so the project team knows what resides on the test environment. Organizations sometimes have two or three environments depending on size and information objectives of testing.

A separate test environment can be used to explore product behaviors (requirements or risk based testing), or how well a product performs under load (performance and stress testing), or to simply verify configuration, connectivity, and security (smoke tests). These explorations could also be executed on separate servers.



Absolutely your test environment is important and for many different reasons. Here are some of them, all of which I’ve encountered:

  • Testing in production includes the possibility of crashing a production system - which, if your application holds information critical to your customers or does time-sensitive business, is a Very Bad Thing. A separate test environment means anything that could potentially damage customer data or bring the system down is happening in a safe environment.
  • A test environment that is as production-like as possible (including running the same operating system and database versions) reduces the likelihood of introducing a new feature that is not compatible with the production OS/database.
  • Test environments can be set up to include all the possible configuration combinations your system supports. This - or in multi-tenanted applications with multiple configuration options using cleansed customer data to serve the same purpose - means you can more easily cover testing new features against targeted configuration and/or data sets.
  • You also get more options for load tests and security/penetration tests - using a cleansed copy of live data in a copy of the production environment gives you a realistic test with no possibility of accidentally causing damage to the real system.
  • You can develop and run automated tests against your test environment without needing to worry about interfering with the production environment.
  • You can also enable debugging and verbose logging on a test environment, something you absolutely don’t want on a production environment.

A test environment is a basic aspect in term of testing. A testing environment is configured to perform the software testing of a build of any application release. It is a setup of software and hardware on which the software testing team performs the testing on newly build of software product. The physical setup includes hardware of varying configuration and logical setup that includes server/client operating systems, databases. This setup should be done based on client application specifications. As any deviation from the requirements will result in inappropriate testing results functionality wise. All the required hardware and software application components should be properly installed and configured. This testing setup should be same at both the server and client ends.

The top software testing companies builds the software applications by strictly keeping in mind all the client specification and so is for the testing environment. An application is developed with Oracle 11g version as database and Tomcat 8 as an application server with JDK 1.8. Once the build is ready, the testing team will intentionally configure testing environment with Oracle 11c and Tomcat 7 and JDK 1.7 which may pass the testing and will give expected results also at QA end. But, when the product was released and implemented on the vendor side, then the product did not perform as per expectation and re-testing are needed.

Now, this directly affects the product cost. Thus a very small ignorance at both client and vendor end make a recursive effect on the vendor’s profits and future projects assignments too.

In nutshell, all the qa testing services provider have to make sure that along with development environment different testing environment used for functional testing services, mobile testing services etc should adheres to the client specifications. As, any missing feature in the testing environment could go wrong in the vendor environment and cause troubles. So, before release, it is highly recommended to set up the test environment using target software and hardware configuration.

Hope this information will be helpful for you.

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When the software is intended for multiple installations, in different environments, there can be many required configurations. Examples include consumer applications to run on different PC/Mac operating system versions, automobile software that integrates the operation of systems that are different in different models, etc. Testing all required configurations can get out hand quickly when there are several configuration choices. The number of test configurations must be kept to a manageable number. If you have this situation (too many configurations), combinatorial test designs can help, by limiting the number of configurations while covering the interactions between different configuration choices.

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Ashok, when you have questions of that nature, try turning it around - “does test environment play UNIMPORTANT role while performing software testing”?
Also, try to always first answer it yourself and let people comment on your thoughts, you will learn form it better.


Short answer:

A comparison would be testing a website in a mobile phone when your targets (users and maybe more) only use desktops.

Testing one thing (your app above the stack A) but your target is testing another (your app above the stack B). You would be answering the questions (a.k.a. testing) with a lower level of certainty, you would be betting the difference is irrelevant.

If you dealing with a Python “Hello World”, betting the Linux and Mac is the irrelevant is relatively secure. If you dealing with a highly data/rendering-driven website, betting that an Android 4.0 and Desktop Chrome is the same is quite insecure.