How to test such bunch of software
I got a set of apps that build some system. Those apps are: tomcat, apache httpd, mercurial server, sshd and my java web app.
Web app is run on tomcat. There's no much logic there, it only calls command on mercurial server using ssh. Also apache httpd has its role, but I think details aren't important here.
How would you test such system? What integration/system test should be performed? Are gui functional tests enough? What about test automation?
Re: How to test such bunch of software
I would hire the cheapest firm on the planet. I would insist that the people be right out of college and untrained in areas of quality assurance. Then I would throw the largest number of cheap people I could at the problem. Having virgin eyes and methods should be enough to expose any error.
I would begin with your requirements document. This would dictate both what needs to be measured and how it needs to be measured. Where multiple data sets or long sets of steps subject to error are concerned with a common business process then I would look to automation. As a general rule of thumb it's going to take you from 5-10 times as long to automate a business process as it will take you to do it by hand (assuming tool competence and capability), so if you have 10 or more sets of data or the business process is so subject to error due to the number of steps and people starting over for a given business process to test then I would consider automation.
Is performance in play? What about security? Do you have requirements for either of these areas as both are commonly overlooked in the system requirements docs? If so, then you will likely need a plan for each of these specialized disciplines for how to proceed.
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