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how do I test a database to make sure all is working correctly?

Discussion in 'Information Technology' started by Belinda, Jul 28, 2006.

  1. Belinda

    Belinda
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    Guest

    Hi I have developed a database with tables, queries, forms, reports, macros
    and a switchboard. What is the best way to test the database to make sure all
    is working okay as designed?
     
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  3. Larry Linson

    Larry Linson
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    Guest

    "Belinda" <Belinda@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote

    > Hi I have developed a database with tables,
    > queries, forms, reports, macros and a
    > switchboard. What is the best way to test
    > the database to make sure all is working
    > okay as designed?


    Create test scenarios and test scripts based on the requirements and design
    documents (if any; if none, you are already in a heap o' trouble). Execute
    them and validate that you obtain the expected results.

    It's simple to describe; not necessarily so simple to do. Volumes have been
    written on the test process, both manual and automated.

    If it is a multiuser application, first test singly, and then test will
    multiple concurrent users to detect any problems that concurrent users may
    encounter.

    Larry Linson
    Microsoft Access MVP
     
  4. Tony Toews

    Tony Toews
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    Guest

    Belinda <Belinda@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote:

    >Hi I have developed a database with tables, queries, forms, reports, macros
    >and a switchboard. What is the best way to test the database to make sure all
    >is working okay as designed?


    Give the database to the users. Wait five minutes. They'll find a
    problem. <smile> No matter how much testing you do.

    Tony
    --
    Tony Toews, Microsoft Access MVP
    Please respond only in the newsgroups so that others can
    read the entire thread of messages.
    Microsoft Access Links, Hints, Tips & Accounting Systems at
    http://www.granite.ab.ca/accsmstr.htm
     
  5. Martin \(Martin Lee\)

    Martin \(Martin Lee\)
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    Guest

    What Tony said is fun, and true : )

    Martin Lee

    "Tony Toews" <ttoews@telusplanet.net>
    ??????:f1b9a2tkoeo8mer0an1s7entr4utkg97u8@4ax.com...
    > Belinda <Belinda@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote:
    >
    >>Hi I have developed a database with tables, queries, forms, reports,
    >>macros
    >>and a switchboard. What is the best way to test the database to make sure
    >>all
    >>is working okay as designed?

    >
    > Give the database to the users. Wait five minutes. They'll find a
    > problem. <smile> No matter how much testing you do.
    >
    > Tony
    > --
    > Tony Toews, Microsoft Access MVP
    > Please respond only in the newsgroups so that others can
    > read the entire thread of messages.
    > Microsoft Access Links, Hints, Tips & Accounting Systems at
    > http://www.granite.ab.ca/accsmstr.htm
     
  6. Adam@nospam.com

    Adam@nospam.com
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    Guest

    Make sure that your specific with your requirements if you give it to
    the users to test. Otherwise they'll come back complaining that the
    colour of the application doesnt match there mouse matt !

    Martin (Martin Lee) wrote:

    > What Tony said is fun, and true : )
    >
    > Martin Lee
    >
    > "Tony Toews" <ttoews@telusplanet.net>
    > ??????:f1b9a2tkoeo8mer0an1s7entr4utkg97u8@4ax.com...
    > > Belinda <Belinda@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote:
    > >
    > >>Hi I have developed a database with tables, queries, forms, reports,
    > >>macros
    > >>and a switchboard. What is the best way to test the database to make sure
    > >>all
    > >>is working okay as designed?

    > >
    > > Give the database to the users. Wait five minutes. They'll find a
    > > problem. <smile> No matter how much testing you do.
    > >
    > > Tony
    > > --
    > > Tony Toews, Microsoft Access MVP
    > > Please respond only in the newsgroups so that others can
    > > read the entire thread of messages.
    > > Microsoft Access Links, Hints, Tips & Accounting Systems at
    > > http://www.granite.ab.ca/accsmstr.htm
     
  7. Ron2006

    Ron2006
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    Guest

    Also, that way the users accept some psychological ownership of the
    application.

    Have fun with it. Give a certificate to the person who finds the most
    inconsistencies - they are not bugs anymore. Listen to their problems.
    If you can, watch them operate it - this can lead to changing tab
    sequence and ordr of fields that can speedup and ease their work.

    The constant complaint is that programmer/analyst/designers think
    differently than users and operators. And they are right. So watch them
    use it and think of ways by which they can do more of the work using
    the keyboard instead of bouncing between keyboard and mouse.

    Ron
     
  8. Tony Toews

    Tony Toews
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    Guest

    "Ron2006" <ronnemec@hotmail.com> wrote:

    >Also, that way the users accept some psychological ownership of the
    >application.
    >
    >Have fun with it. Give a certificate to the person who finds the most
    >inconsistencies - they are not bugs anymore. Listen to their problems.
    >If you can, watch them operate it - this can lead to changing tab
    >sequence and ordr of fields that can speedup and ease their work.


    As well as getting a feel for how they do things. I much prefer
    working in the next office or cubicle or desk in the corner just so as
    I'm easily accessible. I also respond very quickly to relatively
    minor things just to get some of their irritants out of the way.

    That said they also know it's best to send me an email or grab me when
    I'm grabbing some coffee or water or a bathroom break. They know
    that, unless it's important, to not break my concentration.

    >The constant complaint is that programmer/analyst/designers think
    >differently than users and operators. And they are right.


    I'm told that one of my strengths that I can design an app that is
    easy to use by the users.

    > So watch them
    >use it and think of ways by which they can do more of the work using
    >the keyboard instead of bouncing between keyboard and

    --
    Tony Toews, Microsoft Access MVP
    Please respond only in the newsgroups so that others can
    read the entire thread of messages.
    Microsoft Access Links, Hints, Tips & Accounting Systems at
    http://www.granite.ab.ca/accsmstr.htm
     
  9. James A. Fortune

    James A. Fortune
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Tony Toews wrote:
    > "Ron2006" <ronnemec@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Also, that way the users accept some psychological ownership of the
    >>application.
    >>
    >>Have fun with it. Give a certificate to the person who finds the most
    >>inconsistencies - they are not bugs anymore. Listen to their problems.
    >>If you can, watch them operate it - this can lead to changing tab
    >>sequence and ordr of fields that can speedup and ease their work.

    >
    >
    > As well as getting a feel for how they do things. I much prefer
    > working in the next office or cubicle or desk in the corner just so as
    > I'm easily accessible. I also respond very quickly to relatively
    > minor things just to get some of their irritants out of the way.
    >
    > That said they also know it's best to send me an email or grab me when
    > I'm grabbing some coffee or water or a bathroom break. They know
    > that, unless it's important, to not break my concentration.
    >
    >
    >>The constant complaint is that programmer/analyst/designers think
    >>differently than users and operators. And they are right.

    >
    >
    > I'm told that one of my strengths that I can design an app that is
    > easy to use by the users.
    >
    >
    >>So watch them
    >>use it and think of ways by which they can do more of the work using
    >>the keyboard instead of bouncing between keyboard and


    This is a topic that's often on my mind. With two degrees in
    engineering and one in mathematics I have an interesting perspective
    about knowing when a solution is "correct." Pragmatically, if you do
    not do any testing it is quite likely that the solution is "incorrect."
    So user testing, as suggested in these posts, is essential but it is
    not the end of the story.

    Users can't try out every possibility so how do you know that someday
    they won't discover an error? Some companies make testing software that
    goes through many possible combinations of code branches and thus do a
    better job than most users in trying to discover glitches. But that's
    not the end of the story either.

    The mathematician in me would like everything to be so airtight that you
    can prove that everything is correct. That's rarely possible. The
    engineer in me would like everything to be so airtight that the users
    will almost never discover any problems. That's a little easier, but
    not always possible either. In addition, engineering tries to balance
    theory with experimentation so that the result is theories that model
    reality accurately.

    My users feel that if it doesn't break it's fine. Maybe not. Part of
    the process I use in testing software involves thinking about whether
    the process is correct or not. That's part of the reason that soon
    after I finish testing, the software often runs without glitches for
    many years. Sometimes I overlook things and need to go back, but much
    of the time I discover those omissions without the users discovering
    them first. If I cannot prove that I have done things correctly then
    the code is always "open" as far as correctness is concerned. My users
    are unaware that I sweat over correctness issues. My main problem
    occurs when I have a well-running app that is integrated and, in
    general, satisfying from a correctness standpoint, and then major
    changes are requested. Small changes can often be integrated in with
    blinding speed since they are in line with the design principles. Major
    changes require spending time thinking about how the changes affect the
    overall design paradigm. Requested changes that violate the primary
    design principles take much longer to integrate. Customers have a knack
    for requesting increased complexity in a way that demonstrates a short
    memory for the original design principles. But that's partly my fault
    because they had no clue what design principles were and I had to take
    my best guess as to what they should be. You can only communicate so
    much of the design principles to people who don't even know that they
    need design principles.

    From what I've seen so far from the PDC 05 presentations, the new
    Access is not just an Access paradigm change or an Office paradigm
    change; it is based on a complete OS paradigm change. VBA seems to be
    in a direction that, while not opposite to the thrust of the new
    paradigm, does not coincide well with it either. Since I agree with
    that paradigm change in principle, though not yet in it's practical
    implementation, I am trying to adjust my mind as quickly as possible as
    to how I will interact with that new paradigm in the near future. In
    other words, I have a new dimension of correctness to consider.

    Finally, although I have learned much of value from participation in NG
    discussions, I have been too lax with being in touch with the data.
    Users don't see a lot of what goes on behind the scenes to make sure
    that the UI and data work together efficiently and correctly. Am I
    looking out for potential problems BEFORE they happen? Am I getting any
    data that just doesn't make sense? Are some forms slowing down? How
    large are important tables getting? Am I slowly modifying code to take
    advantage of good practices that I read about in the NG's? Do I even
    follow my own good advice? These are things to ponder.

    James A. Fortune
    MPAPoster@FortuneJames.com
     

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