E-commerce testing

By: Slav Kurochkin

I recently discover very interesting book about software testing The Art of Software Testing, so I decided that will start my posts about e-commerce testing with chapter from that book.

An Internet-based application has many failure points that you should
consider when designing a testing approach. The following list provides
some examples of the challenges associated with testing Internet-based
applications:

Large and varied user base. The users of your website possess different
skill sets, employ a variety of browsers, and use different operating
systems or devices. You can also expect your customers to access
your website using a wide range of connection speeds. Ten years
ago not everyone had broadband Internet access. Today, most do.
However, you still need to consider bandwidth as Internet content
becomes ‘‘richer’’ and more interactive.

Business environment. If you operate an e-commerce site, then you
must consider issues such as calculating taxes, determining shipping
costs, completing financial transactions, and tracking customer profiles.
These requirements may necessitate a number of external links
to third-party servers or databases to manage these billing and shipping
tasks, for example. The developer must thoroughly understand
the structure of the remote system, and work closely with its owners
and developers to ensure security and accuracy.

Locales. Users may reside in other countries, in which case you will
have internationalization issues such as language translation, time
zone differences, and currency conversion.

Security. Because your site is open to the world, you must protect it
from hackers. They can bring your website to a grinding halt with
denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, or rip off your customers’ credit
card information.

Testing environments. To properly test your application, you will need
to duplicate the production environment. This means you should use
Web servers, application servers, and database servers that are identical
to the production equipment. For the most accurate testing
results, the network infrastructure will have to be duplicated as well,
which includes routers, switches, and firewalls.

Presentation
Ensure fonts are the same across browsers. Confirm that all links point to valid files or websites. Verify that graphics are the correct resolution and size. Spell-check each page. Have a copy editor check grammar and style. Check cursor positioning when page loads to ensure it is in the correct text box. Confirm that default button is selected when the page loads. Check for consistent and user-friendly feedback on interactive operations. Check for business- or industry-specific terms and style.

Business Logic
Verify proper calculation of sales tax and shipping charges. Ensure documented performance rates are met for response times and throughput rates. Verify that transactions complete properly. Confirm that failed transactions roll back
correctly. Ensure data are collected correctly.

Data Layer
Ensure database operations meet performance goals. Verify that data are stored correctly and accurately.
Verify that you can recover using current backups.
Test fail over or redundancy operations. Test for proper data encryption and security (credit card and user’s personal information, in particular). Test backend data entry and management routines for usability and accuracy.

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