When faced with the decision whether to implement the next PeopleSoft Update Manager (PUM) Image, an organization must consider the amount of testing that will have to take place before the updated features are rolled out. Before PeopleSoft Test Framework (PTF), this meant having a lot of PeopleSoft users performing tasks outside of their normal duties or perhaps having a special QA department that would do the testing. PTF provides the tools to minimize the testing effort and thereby reduces the resources needed for regression testing.
PTF includes delivered reports (the Maintenance Report and the Coverage Report) and utilities that provide information that quickly identifies possible regression tests created by the new PUM Image. These reports make it possible to identify issues without re-running the test scripts. The main utility provided is the Log Manager which displays the latest results for the PTF tests so the user knows that all the tests were successfully completed prior to the PUM.
The Maintenance Report is similar to the long-established Compare report used when doing an upgrade/update to PeopleSoft. It compares the database before the update to the database after the update. Additionally, the report looks at the changed objects and compares them to the definitional of the PTF scripts and identifies the scripts that are affected. Keep in mind that PTF only looks at certain objects, such as menu, page, record, and field. PeopleCode and Application Engine changes are not included in this analysis.
The Test Coverage Report identifies changed objects that are not included in any of the PTF tests. These need to be manually tested in the appropriate business processes. After running the Test Coverage Report to determine which areas are not included in test coverage, you can edit your tests to make sure that these areas are also covered.
When we, Sierra-Cedar, discuss PTF with our clients, we also provide tools to augment the delivered reports. Since PTF is part of PeopleTools, all the information is available in query-able tables. We offer our clients a PTF Workbench that quickly identifies the status of the tests and enhances the integrity of the entire process. Our clients can edit and run the tests right from the Workbench.
In addition to the PTF Workbench, Sierra-Cedar developed a PUM Workcenter that offers enhancements to the delivered PTF reports. These enhancements are drillable queries that can identify interesting high-level information and allow drilling down to the detail.
Using PeopleSoft Test Framework results for PUM planning will enable you to deploy a PUM Image more quickly and will lead you to apply PUM Images more frequently due to quicker handling of regression testing. Keeping your system up to date can give you a greater return on your investment by offering simpler processes and improved security. New features may allow you to remove a customization that is no longer needed. Remember that PTF is included with your PeopleSoft license. The investment of developing testing scripts usually pays for itself in 2–3 update cycles, and best of all, it provides you with a higher level of confidence that the system will perform as expected.
For more information about PUM or PTF, please contact Sierra-Cedar.