SharePoint is a web application framework and platform developed by Microsoft. It integrates Intranet, content management and document management features. Efficient software testing of this platform requires some specific knowledge that will be discussed in this article with hints and tips.
Author: Svetlana Pravdina, A1QA CEO, http://www.a1qa.com/
Testing applications developed on SharePoint is quite a complex task, no doubts. In this article I would like to touch upon testing specifics like what should to be tested and what can be skipped, and, of course, I will say a few words about the platform itself.
What is SharePoint?
In fact, it is a Content Management System combined with a well-developed Document Management System. The possibilities of document management in SharePoint are quite impressive and it manages these tasks perfectly, but using it as a content management system takes a lot of effort. SharePoint is often used for development of corporate Intranet portals to ease the employees` interaction.
This web-oriented platform applied for teamwork and document management was developed and launched by Microsoft. In fact, it is a unified communication center and universal data storage. The solution can be used for corporate web-portal to storage and public use of various documents and specialized applications.
Data in SharePoint applications is organized in the form of lists (tasks, discussions and calendars) and documents` libraries. Functionality includes several web parts, which, in fact, are the control elements used to show the lists and edit them. These web parts are placed on the pages published on the portals. Users can access them via browser. To give more technical details about SharePoint, I can say that SharePoint is an ASP.NET 2.0 application that uses IIS to show web pages and SQL Server as a database to store the data.
What to test in SharePoint applications?
Starting the should testing process you should know all the specifics of SharePoint applications, because you are going to test not only the functionality, but the platform also.
Site Columns and Site Column Gallery testing is obviously mandatory. Site Column is an attribute managed by users. It can be a fragment of metadata in lists or content. The Columns are added to the web sites or lists; you can also give link to them in different content types. Checking these attributes helps to avoid potential defects in the application. If the project includes several site collections, each of them can use its own columns. In case like this, you have to check all them separately. Remember to draw your attention to the column’s name, data type, the group where the column is situated and to its settings.
Besides this, you should concentrate also on the Site Content Types, which is a set of parameters used several times. Content Types provide centralized management of metadata and documents behavior, elements and folders. Again, if the product you test uses its own content types, they are to be tested for every site collection.
In the software testing process you have to test:
- Name, description, group; it is good when the updated content is included in the group;
- The columns included in the content define what metadata can be included in the content and what the content goal is. Check that all the columns are the “descendant” to the standard content type, to avoid the problems when the content is updated;
- Check the automatic workflows, if they are included in your project.
- You should remember to check the settings of Libraries and Lists that will be used in the application to store documents and information (included in the web-parts). This activity includes the following things to check:
- Navigation settings: check that the library or the list is visible in the web site navigation;
- Versioning settings: they define if the added documents get moderated, documents are edited, draft copies are created and, in the end, who can see all that. The check-out setting can be included here, it allows to avoid simultaneous documents editing;
- Advanced settings: define if the documents of the library are included in the search results. Advanced settings are also in charge of creating new folders in the libraries, documents opening, new document’s templates recognition;
- Audience targeting settings: the option allows using targeting for library documents;
- Permissions for this document library: you can control it only if the library rights or the document should be unique. Otherwise, when a user gets rights to the web site he gets the rights to the library too;
- Content types: check if all the necessary types of the content added and which of them is set as default;
- Check also the Views of the list and library content, just in case the application views them in some awkward way.
You should give a special attention to the versioning settings, Advanced settings and Audience targeting settings, as they control the circulation of documents, the search function and library views in the web-parts.
Verify the page layouts and design, they should have all the necessary controls and comply with the design. There should be also no problems with the page view in the full screen or editing layout. Check that everything is on place and functions well.
Test how the web sites get created on the base of the Site templates. The settings are to be correct; all the lists and the libraries should be seen.
Apart from that, check the settings of the Web parts. When you test the Web Parts use lots of test data and check the Web Parts with the documents created for different groups. After the application installation check that the necessary user groups have no problems with Permissions. Check them on different accounts with different rights. As long as the Search function is often used check the availability of the fields and profiles.
About the author
Svetlana Pravdina is a high-skilled specialist with 14 years of experience. Prior to A1QA, she served on a number of top positions in leading software development and testing companies. Years spent on a leadership position allow her to manage a mature team of 400+ testing engineers. Svetlana holds a bachelor’s of degree in applied mathematics and certificates in the areas of business administration, management.