Parallel Testing Techniques

Parallel testing is used to determine that the results of the new application are consistent with the processing of the previous application or version of the application.

What are the objectives of parallel testing ?
  1. Conduct redundant processing to ensure that the new version or application performs correctly.
  2. Demonstrate consistency and inconsistency between two versions of the same application system.
How to Use Parallel Testing ?

Parallel testing requires that the same input data be run through two versions of the same application. Parallel testing can be done with the entire application or with a segment of the application.

Sometimes a particular segment, such as the day-to-day interest calculation on a savings account, is so complex and important that an effective method of testing is to run the new logic in parallel with the old logic.

If the new application changes data formats, then the input data will have to be modified before it can be run through the new application. This also makes it difficult to automatically check the results of processing through a tape or disk file compare.

The more difficulty encountered in verifying results or preparing common input, the less attractive the parallel testing technique becomes.

What are the Parallel Test Examples ?
  1. • Operate a new and old version of a payroll system to determine that the paychecks from both systems are reconcilable.
  2. • Run the old version of the application system to ensure that the operational status of the old system has been maintained in the event that problems are encountered in the new application.
When to Use Parallel Testing ?

Parallel testing should be used when there is uncertainty regarding the correctness of processing of the new application, and the old and new versions of the application are similar.

In applications like payroll, banking, and other heavily financial applications where the results of processing are similar, even though the methods may change significantly – for example, going from batch to online banking – parallel testing is one of the more effective methods of ensuring the integrity of the new application.

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