Keeping your reporting tool up to date with the latest release can be a very beneficial practice for your business. Every new release has added feature functionality as well as bug fixes, so in theory, upgrading your tool to the new release will make your team’s jobs easier.
However, we all know that not every upgrade is created equal. There are also pitfalls that can come with upgrading. The biggest, of course, are newly introduced bugs. While the Development and Quality Assurance (QA) teams aim to make each new release as bug-free as possible, there is almost no way they can test everything to ensure that no new bugs are introduced. On top of that, the QA team cannot know how every customer uses the software, which makes it impossible to test every use case of every feature.
This makes in-house testing of upgrades very important for the customer. It is a common practice with on-premise reporting tools to install a test version of the latest release while still running the out-of-date version of the software in production. Essentially, this means you, the customer, have two instances of your reporting software, making it very important that all report updates are accounted for in both instances as well as tasking your team with adding “test the new version of the software” to their already loaded plates.
In order to test appropriately, you really need the folks who understand the software and who understand the data to go through and check all of your reports, all of the functionality that is used, and all of the numbers to make sure everything ties out, that there are no bugs affecting your current workflow, and that reports run successfully and in a reasonable amount of time.
This whole testing process can take quite a bit of time, time from people who don’t usually have much time to spare. What will usually happen is a couple of test reports get run, a couple of features are looked at, and if it all works, the upgrade is signed off on. Sometimes, this can work out fine, but a lot of the time, after moving to production on the new release, issues crop up. And once you are on production in an upgraded release, it is very difficult to go backwards to the old stable release.
All of this being said, the big issue is testing and making the appropriate time to run this new release through its paces, everything you and your team will need it to do. This is where Veras Partners comes in. We have certified software experts that can work with your team to get an idea of how the reporting tool is used. Once we get that information, our experts can run a full testing diagnostic on the upgrade version to make sure you will not run into any unexpected issues as you move to production. Contact us today to find out more.