AppTracker - How it Works
Quality Assurance (QA)
It's really important that organisations document and maintain guidelines for internal packaging standards. The objective here is to deliver applications to the business which have a standard look and feel and which operate in a predictable way. Here are the reasons we feel this is critical for all organisations:
- It improves the user experience because shortcuts are presented in a consistent manner
- It reduces support issues because there is a consistent approach to each application's look and feel
- It eases support of applications as files will be installed into standardised folders
- It allows you to locate and manage the application source files more easily due to standardised folder names and structures
- It can help to retain a clean user desktop reducing support issues
The internal packaging standards will differ for every organisation, but generally speaking they should cover:
- Application package format (MSI? App-V? Setup.exe?)
- Application naming standards (Include the vendor name? Include the version?)
- Application shortcuts standards (Are desktop shortcuts allowed? Should readme.txt and Uninstall shortcuts be removed?)
- Application installation folder (Always install into "Program Files"?)
- Automatic updates (Disable?)
- Uninstallation cleanup (Is it OK for files to be left behind?)
- Paths and settings (Should all paths and settings be variablised in MSI Properties?)
The key objective for the QA process is to ensure that the agreed standards have been met for every package before it gets passed to User Acceptance Testing (UAT). It saves a lot of time if problems are identified during the QA phase as they can be quickly remediated by the packaging team and re-run through QA. If however QA is skipped and the application goes straight to UAT, there is a chance that the UAT person will miss one of the QA checks (eg. auto-updates weren't disabled). The application will then get deployed out to live machines, auto-update will run and errors may start to appear as the users don't have local admin rights. This will cause support issues, and the application will need reworking and updating on all the machines. That's a lot of unnecessary effort.
If you are using AppTracker we provide a fully-customisable QA form which can be used by whoever is handling QA in the organisation. When an application enters the QA process it's simply a matter of the QA person checking each item on the form and filling in the results. They can then give an overall result (Pass/Fail) and move the application to UAT (or return it to packaging). As always the relevant teams will be instantly notified of the change.
You can view the QA results in the QA tab or the main Applications grid, and you can monitor how successful your QA has been historically in the dashboard (available in AppTracker 4.5, due Q2 2015):
Why is this process more efficient with a workflow tool such as AppTracker?
- Standardised QA process which is visible to all
- Customisable forms allow QA checks to be exactly as required by your organisation
- Web-based forms allow the QA team to complete the QA checks rapidly
- Dashboard provides "at a glance" QA performance historically
Managing the QA process using AppTracker allows you to make a significant time saving of approximately one-third for the reasons outlined above.
Next process: Testing (UAT)
To see what savings are possible for your organisation please refer to our ROI Calculator.