testing in production represented in a graphic illustration

Testing in Production: A Working Methodology

We have all heard that whatever we do, examining our work is crucial. Whatever the project, it is important to find our mistakes and understand the difficulties we face at every stage. Indeed, testing in production is quite important, whether in our everyday lives or for a technological project for business.

In this article, we will get to know about production testing in software testing scenarios. Production testing, also known as testing in production (TiP), gives us information to make our projects better.

In this article, we will explore the following topics:

  • What is testing in production?
  • Why is it required?
  • What are the guidelines?
  • Are there advantages of testing in production?
  • What are the disadvantages?

What Is Testing in Production?

Production testing means executing and performing different kinds of tests in the production state or in a lively mode. This ensures focus on the new functionalities end users will see. This aspect generally remains unscripted until the whole procedure is completed.

This type of testing is important because it allows the tester to detect programming errors. When those errors have been corrected, then the software product will operate according to customers’ needs and requirements.

Why Is Testing in Production Required?

While making or developing a software product, most developers deploy the application in production. This allows them to make changes as the project develops. However, when developers send the project to the QA team, that team’s changes can inadvertently result in new bugs in the application. These bugs can even result in major issues, including crashing of the application, causing frustration on the part of users.

For best results, you should do this sort of testing on a daily basis. Doing so eliminates risks due to frequent changes and deployment in the production process.

What Are the Guidelines for Performing This Type of Testing?

Below are some guidelines for performing this type of testing:

  • Create your own test data
  • Follow a common-sense protocol for naming the test data
  • Leave data of existing users untouched
  • Create credentials for accessing the application
  • Remember never to try a load test in a production environment
  • Also remember that you can only perform testing when there is less load in the application


What Are the Pros and Cons?

Every aspect has its both advantages and disadvantages, and so does production testing. Having both advantages and disadvantages, some testers might hesitate to test their application. But let’s have a look at the pros and cons.

What Are the Advantages of Production Testing?

The ultimate aim of testing an application is to ensure that it is stable and capable of running for a long term in the production environment. All in all, daily testing builds developers’ confidence that the application will run smoothly and hassle free under these conditions.

Some of the other advantages of testing include:

Gaining Real World Accuracy

Basically, the systems for testing in production are geared toward real-world usage. However, the non-production environment systems—such as quality assurance, staging, and development—while they have value to the application, cannot reflect the real world. This is because they run on different operating systems, patch levels, codes, and servers.

This means that the results you can gain from production testing yield starkly different outcomes.

Verifying Functionality

The two most prominent tests in the production environment are “smoke” and “sanity.”

Smoke testing refers to the test that checks whether the main functionalities are working properly. Sanity tests, on the other hand, verify whether bugs are fixed so that the product will function as it should.

Confirming Excellent User Experience

Performing usability testing gives businesses an understanding of the user’s experience in the production environment. For example, A and B tests offer two different versions to users. Using this type of testing can help to determine which version of the product is better. Such tests are performed when a new feature is added or when the market value of a product is unknown.

Preventing Crashes

No matter how much testing a team conducts, bugs will invariably show up in the production stage. Recovery time will be faster, however, if the DevOps team handles the issue or defect at the production stage.


What Are the Disadvantages of Production Testing?

Faulty Testing

Production testing is only meant for a particular stage in the production environment. However, it does not rule out other testing of the application.

Therefore, to make sure everything runs smoothly, the QA team should be completely reliable. They should use their time to perform tests that have to do with the product’s overall quality. Their work is critical to the final outcome.

Poor Test Timing

The timing for tests should be such that testing does not disturb users. When developers conduct testing during business hours, the result will be a poor user experience. Therefore, experts recommend running tests during times, such as during maintenance hours, so as not to affect users.

The Presence of Chaos Monkey

Chaos Monkey is a code that purposely creates chaos in an application. It is done to check whether the application is working according to expectations. However, when a code injects failure, this can cause trouble in the web server. So it is advisable to use Chaos Monkey carefully so as not to destroy application tiers.