If you know Oracle Cloud applications, you know the quarterly updates. In theory, these updates improve your applications with new features and enhancements. In reality, they often lead to delays, breakages, and operational freezes.
How can you turn these updates into opportunities for growth and innovation, rather than stress?
The answer lies in testing. A robust testing strategy is your buffer against breaks, your solution to unexpected changes, and your pathway to software success. Since your Oracle Cloud apps are configured to your unique needs, your test plan should also be customized. That’s where Opkey, Oracle’s number one rated app, comes in.
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All testing plans should share some core key elements. Let’s dive in.
Best Practices for Certifying Oracle Cloud Quarterly Updates
1. Review and Understand Readiness Material Early
This should be the first step in your update process. Start about a month before the test environment is delivered. Your team should review and thoroughly understand the New Feature Summaries from Oracle’s Application Readiness site. Each summary provides you insights on functional updates and security role changes.
- A New Feature Summary that gives you a snap-shot look at the new features delivered in the update.
- Features with Opt In Expiration provides information about expired Opt In features, as well as Opt In features that will expire in an upcoming update.
2. Update Test Plans
Once you’re done with the material review, you need to update your test plans to include steps to run through your main business processes.
3. Check Test Environment
Next, sign in to your test cadence environment to make sure it is working as expected and is a good representation of your production environment. If you haven’t been actively changing the setup and configuration of the test environment since the last update, and the environment is working as expected, you’re done with this step.
It’s a different story if you have been actively developing in your test environment. If it’s no longer similar to your production environment, you’ll need to schedule a Production-to-Test Environment Refresh to align with the real production environment.
4. Prepare Integration Tests
Next, review integration tests to confirm all APIs will still work. This also exercises your agents and back end processes.
(Please note, all steps leading to this point need to be performed four weeks or more prior to Oracle quarterly updates are rolled out in the test environment. You don’t want to be scrambling to attempt these steps soon before the actual update.)
5. Preserve Custom Reports
One to two days prior to the launch of the quarterly updates in the test environment, preserve the custom reports to ensure that they are not overwritten during the update.
For this, you need to move all of your customized reports in a "Safe" folder. A "Safe" folder refers to a "Custom" folder under "Shared Folders". Keep your reports here if you want the report to be available to others. Otherwise, keep customized reports in "My Folders” (if you are not sharing the report).
On the first day after the quarterly updates are rolled out in the test environment, start testing to ensure that updates have not negatively impacted your existing business processes. Keep in mind that you only have two weeks to test Oracle Cloud quarterly updates. Be thorough. This is where automated testing is a massive advantage over manual testing, and can save you thousands of hours of repetitive labor.
Some of the recommended tests include:
- Execute integration tests to confirm APIs (such as XML, REST) still work and exercise your agents and back end processes.
- Test third party external systems (such as rating, distance and service time engines).
- Test key business process flows for different roles in your organization.
- Test critical custom reports and custom workflows including saved queries and direct SQL updates.
- UI tests that cover the user's day-to-day activity and address screens that trigger agent actions.
- Tests new enhancements that will apply to you.
7. Log Service Requests In Case of Issues
Log service requests if you find something that worked before the update doesn’t work after it. While logging service requests, indicate that the issue didn’t exist before the update. It is recommended that you should file a separate Service Request for each issue.
8. Preserve Custom Reports Again
One to two days before the update is applied across the production environment, again preserve custom reports so that they aren’t overwritten during the update.
9. Perform Regression Testing Again in Production Post Update
Do a quick check of your main business processes to make sure that the environment was updated with no unexpected impact to your current processes.
Follow these steps closely to ensure a risk-free Oracle Cloud quarterly update certification. Each Oracle Cloud quarterly update requires at least two rounds of testing. This means that over a year you’ll test at least eight times. It is not recommended to test Oracle updates manually. The level of complexity is simply too high and the two-week window too short.
Test automation is strongly recommended for the safety of your company operations (and your own sanity). Test automation maximizes coverage and streamlines the test process to a startling degree.
We are proud to be the industry standard in test automation, as well as an innovator in testing strategies. Opkey is a truly revolutionary no-code platform that enables non-IT employees to create and scale test automation without complex know-how. Ramp up time is days, instead of weeks or months, and Opkey consistently cuts our client’s Oracle update windows down to three days.
How do we do it? We mine our client’s environment to surface the tests they’re running, both automated and manual. Opkey also mines process logs, and compares these processes to the tests they’re running, which identifies their gaps in coverage.
Opkey’s library of 30,000 pre-built test cases enables you to immediately increase test coverage at the click of a button. (No more long nights or weekend coding.) You’ll automatically be informed of which scripts need attention when changes are pushed to an application. With Impact Analysis, you’ll have assurance that you’re only testing what you need to test.
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Opkey’s automated self-healing test scripts can be healed autonomously with one click, reducing test maintenance effort by 80%. Other test automation platforms, like Selenium, require an immense amount of maintenance with every app or integration update (which is frequent).
Full End-to-End Testing Capability
According to recent research, the average enterprise utilizes 40 SaaS applications. While APIs allow these apps to connect to each other and enable complex business processes, most testing frameworks do not support end-to-end tests. Opkey does.
Why just take our word for it? Click below to see for yourself how Opkey can shorten your Oracle update windows, radically streamline your testing process, and protect every aspect of your ERP environment.