A Typical Testing Plan for Large Oracle Projects | TTC Global

A Typical Testing Plan for Large Oracle Projects

How Organizations can Modernize their Testing Approach

Donna Faithfull headshot
  • Donna Faithfull
  • 13 October 2023

When you’re running testing for a large Oracle project, it can be difficult to know where to start. During my time as a Quality Assurance manager running large projects and now as a consultant advising organizations on how to modernize their testing and quality engineering approaches to Oracle testing, I have developed a model for running testing for large Oracle projects.

High Level Oracle Test Plan
High Level Oracle Test Plan

It’s important to remember that every project is unique, may utilize different delivery methodologies, and may have different names for various phases. The complexity of large real-life programs exceeds what is showcased here, but this provides a strong starting point for us. I have used the Oracle Unified Method (OUM) as a reference for this project plan, as it is a widely used methodology for Oracle projects. The OUM consists of five phases: Inception, Elaboration, Construction, Transition, and Production.

Overall Project Plan
Overall Project Plan

  1. Inception: The inception phase is the initial stage of the project, where the business requirements are gathered, a feasibility study is conducted, and the project objectives are defined. This phase includes the definition of the project scope, the development of a high-level project plan, and the identification of potential risks.
  2. Elaboration: The elaboration phase is focused on refining the project objectives, defining the architecture and design of the solution, and identifying the technology components required. This phase involves the creation of detailed project plans, including schedules, budgets, and resource requirements.
  3. Construction: The construction phase is where the actual development work takes place. The solution is built and tested to focus on meeting the project objectives. This phase includes the development of test cases and test plans, the implementation of automated testing, and the preparation of user documentation.
  4. Transition: The transition phase is where the solution is prepared for deployment to the production environment. This phase involves the final integration and testing of the solution, the preparation of training materials and user support documents, and the transfer of the solution to the production environment.
  5. Production: The production phase is where the solution is deployed and used in a live environment. This phase involves the ongoing maintenance of the solution, the resolution of any production issues, and the continuous improvement of the solution.

Again, your project methodology may use different names for the phases, but they are all attempting to achieve the same thing and can be mapped to this methodology.

Overall Test Plan
Overall Test Plan

For the test plan, I split it out into four key phases: Test Strategy & Planning, Preparation, Test Execution, and Production Regression Testing.

  1. Test Strategy & Planning: In this phase, I start by conducting an assessment to determine the test team’s readiness to take on the project. If this is a smaller project or a team that I am very familiar with, this may be an informal assessment; if it is a larger project or a team I am not familiar with, I do a more formal assessment. At TTC, we utilize what we call a Quality Maturity Assessment (QMA) which is conducted to ensure that the organization has the appropriate testing practices to support such a critical project. The QMA will help identify any gaps in the current testing practices and provide recommendations to improve the overall testing process. In this phase, I also define the test strategy, including the scope of testing, the testing methods, and the testing tools to be used.
  2. Preparation: In this phase, the testing environment is set up and the test data is prepared. This phase also involves developing test cases and preparing the test execution schedule.
  3. Test Execution: This is the phase where the actual testing is carried out. The testing is divided into several sub-phases, including Unit Testing, Functional Testing, Data Migration Testing, System Integration Testing, Performance Testing, and User Acceptance Testing.
  4. Production Regression Testing: After the application has been deployed to production, regular regression testing is carried out to ensure that the application continues to function as expected.
Overall Test Plan - Test Execution Phase
Overall Test Plan - Test Execution Phase

In the Test Execution phase, the following sub-phases are carried out:

  1. Unit Testing – This is the testing performed by developers to ensure that each unit of code works as intended.
  2. Functional Testing: Testing for functional testing should be a combination of manual and automated testing, leveraging a risk-based approach to cover critical business workflows. Automation is a key part of modern projects, and I typically aim to achieve 60-80% regression test coverage via automation.
  3. Data Migration Testing: Data integrity and data migration testing ensure that the data is accurate, complete, and consistent across the application and analytics ecosystems.
  4. System Integration Testing: System integration testing focuses on verifying the interaction and interoperability between systems. With Oracle projects, this is particularly focused on third-party applications that integrate with Oracle and any customizations that are required. Test Automation tools can be used to support this phase and significantly reduce the ongoing effort required.
  5. Performance Testing: Performance testing focuses on applying load to a system and identifying performance related issues.
  6. User Acceptance Testing: UAT is a key testing phase in a migration to ensure business readiness and sign-off. UAT is also a critical change management component, and with many non-testers engaged, it is important to have strong Test Management with centralized control and visibility.

Once the project has been completed and the overall project is in the production phase, there is still a requirement for testing. This is particularly true with the move to the Cloud, as there is a higher release cycle than on-prem solutions, meaning an even larger on-going requirement for testing. A key benefit of the approach outlined above is that you will now have significant automated assets, which reduces the burden of the testing effort. Functional Test Automation is a critical component of this, but you can also leverage the unit test, performance test, and data test assets that have been developed. This allows you to reduce the cost associated with each update as well as decrease the risk.

The above information describes a typical Oracle project and test plan that provides a foundation to build on. However, it is important to remember that every migration has unique components. This can include the specific business needs, the components that are being migrated, and the other systems that are integrated. Each project needs to be evaluated on its own merits.

At TTC, we have accelerator packs with collections of testing assets, including test strategies, test plans, and even pre-built test cases (automated & manual) for specific Oracle applications. This allows us to provide a jump start on your Oracle testing, resulting in an increase in efficiency and a reduction in cost.

In our joint eBook with Tricentis, we cover the core concepts of running testing for large Oracle programs in more detail. Check it out by clicking on the following link: [link].

If you’d like to chat about testing plans or Oracle testing in general, feel free to contact me at donna.faithfull@ttcglobal.com!