eCommerce – and its support – is big business. Numerous enterprises serve companies that want to create or expand a web presence to sell their products and/or services. These service companies understandably focus on sales of their services and development of sites.

Who Needs SQA to Create an eCommerce Site?

In the array of business tasks and processes that these web development companies pursue, Software Quality Assurance (SQA) typically isn’t high on anyone’s list until necessity demands it. This demand can come from a simple realization that the engineers who are writing code are not the best agents to test it or from customer complaints about expensive defects that went undetected until after product delivery. When the need for SQA becomes obvious there is a basic quandary to be resolved.

The web development company has hired a group of very talented and expensive engineers to develop web pages, middleware, and the like. It has probably hired people to look at the web pages in their customers’ projects and test the links. Unfortunately, this results in a set of not-very-descriptive bug reports that require the expensive, over-scheduled development engineers to troubleshoot.

Worse, this testing process is likely to leave some of the more subtle defects undiscovered…especially those that lurk in the processes that operate behind the web pages. These problems require engineering talent to ferret them out and discover their causes: they require an SQA process and engineers to support it.

Over the next few days, this blog will address the array of SQA processes that support web system and services development. The function and purpose of each specific quality initiative will be defined, and a description will be provided for each initiative’s implementation and integration with development projects.

SQA processes address quality activities across the scale from micro to macro. SQA functions are addressed as daily support operations, iterative verification tools and proof tests.

  • Daily Support is concerned with on-going verification of features and pages as they are integrated into the site structure. This includes consistent updates to the defect tracking data and alerts to development when major functional impacts are discovered.
  • Iterative Verification, which includes regression tests and sanity checks, is focused on the system as a whole and assuring its integrity as defects are corrected and features added.
  • Proof Tests are performed at strategic intervals as demonstrations of major functionality. These are commonly considered to be milestones in the development process where progress from one phase of development to the next is predicated on the demonstration of the most recently released feature group.

We will cover each of these three areas in-depth over the next several days, so stay tuned!