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  1. #1
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    What is shrinkwrap?

    Can someone explain in detail what shrinkwrap is? what is shrinkwrap testing in software applications?.

    [This message has been edited by gee (edited 02-26-2003).]

  2. #2
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    Re: What is shrinkwrap?

    Umm - you mean that clear plastic packaging that you can't get off of boxes without a pocket knife?

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    Scott Barber, Sr. Performance Engineer
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  3. #3
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    Re: What is shrinkwrap?

    Shrinkwrap is a plastic film which is normally used to wrap a product, sealing it with a hot wire apparatus and then using a hot air blower to shrink it tight onto the contents.

    In the software business, a shrinkwrap product normally refers to a software package intended for retail sale (as opposed to custom software for a specific client), since it traditionally is packaged in a shrinkwrapped box.

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    Charles Reace
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  4. #4
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    Re: What is shrinkwrap?

    Shrink Wrap software is software sold to the general public, or more than one client. It gets it name from being packaged in boxes covered in the shrink wrap plastic.

    From a testing methodology stand point, testing shrink wrap applications is a little different than testing a custom software application for one client.

    For shrink wrap applications you have to worry about what the end user will be running it on. You would have to test to make sure it can run, say on Win95, Win98, ME, NT, Win2k, XP, and maybe even Mac and Linux. This is just the Client Side. Add to it the Server Side, if servers are involved. Then DBs, mail packages, APIs and yes, versions of each. The combinations get very ugly very fast.

    With a custom application you have a lot more control over what it will be running on.

    For Shrink wrap you have to test that the Install Software works on all the environments it will be installed on.

    For Custom applications, this is not that big of a problem.

    For Shrink Wrap, you have to make sure the Final Master Release Media is complete with everything that is suppose to be on it. Once this is done and it is duplicated you should check to make sure the duplicates work. Test a few of them.

    You do not have this issue with one client software.

    In general, with Custom Applications for one Client, what type of Hardware, Middleware, OSs, Browsers, third party software (Outlook vs. Groupwise) is limited and most companies control these very tightly so your "Environment" testing is limited. Usually your testing environment will mirror what is in Production.

    For shrink wrap Applications, you have no control over what the end user's environment will be. The only thing your company can do is say what they Certified the Software on (actually tested it on), and what environment configurations they support. Basically Supported environments are configurations that the company may have not actually tested on, but say their software will run on. This you need to get agreement from Management up front. Get them to sign-off on the agreed to testing environment configurations and what level of testing you are going to do on each. Then give them the list of hardware and software packages you need to purchase, with deadlines, to support what they just agreed to. It may be better to let them know this prior to their sign-off, just to be nice.

    In the past, I generally used one, the most common in the real world, environment as the main testing environment to make sure we got the business functionality correct, then moved it over to the other agreed to environments to see what changes are needed to make the applications work on those configurations. These changes are regression tested on all testing environments.

    You cannot test all real world environment configurations, and you cannot test everything on the environment configurations you agreed to test on. Get sign-off on the level of testing on each environment you will be testing on also.

    The front end testing tasks on each type of application are basically identical, entrance testing, functional, system, regession, performance. Once you are passed these and the application is functioning to the business requirements, this is where the different type of testing comes into play.

    Shrink wrap applications require more time to test.

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  5. #5
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    Re: What is shrinkwrap?

    Shrinkwrap application is also a buzzword that the govt sector really likes to use for their projects. Buying Shinkwrap software means that they won't have to do custom development. These kinds of project seem to get funded readily because if it is shrinkwrap you won't have to test it much right? Depends it the software was intended to do the job in the first place or whether the 'integration' of the different projects is possible or not.

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    James Soderborg
    http://www.ameliortech.com
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