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What are Development Stages, and how those are used?

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Benefits of Providing Development Stages

Many users, as they start their journey of testing their products with Applause, tend to focus on the testing results of an individual test cycle. This has a lot of sense to it – quality testing at speed and scale is what the testing community specializes in, and clearly if quality digital experience is what users are after, then granted they would like to get the issues, test case results and product reviews, and act on them. 

But, as you keep testing your product with Applause, some other questions may start to interest you as well. Is your product quality improving over time? How can I factor in impact of finding escaping issues in production vs. those found on early stages of development? What do other leading companies expect of quality along their Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)? In short, you may start looking for context that may explain the aggregated results collected over time. And, in order to achieve that, it is required to have proper understanding of the stage in the SLDC the results were obtained in. 

Examples

Here are few example on how we can use the development stage data, when captured properly:

  • Accurately rate the value of found issues based on how far they were found in the life cycle, properly weighing results obtained on production environments vs. pre-production versions.
  • Understand the trend of change in quality as your product builds move between the SDLC, and manage goals accordingly.
  • Benchmark like-products and against the quality obtained on like-stages in the development life cycle.

Development Stages Management in Applause Platform

Managing development stages in Applause Platform includes 2 parts: Defining the development stages your product builds may be tested with Applause, and assigning the accurate development stage a certain test is executed on for every test cycle.

Defining the Product’s Development Stages

Generally speaking, you’ll be required to define the development stages for your product only once, when it is created. Obviously changes may be made over time. 

To define your product’s development stages:

1. While In the Product wizard, as you either create a new product or edit an existing one, navigate to Step 1: Basic. Learn more about how to manage your products here

Note: this option might not be available for you, depending on your role.

2. Next to Development Stages, create an entry for each stage. While there is no limit on number of stages you can define, make sure to only define stages in your SDLC your product will be tested with Applause so that assignment of stages for the test cycles will be easier. 

3. For each development stage, provide the following details:

  • Label: Use the terminology used at your product team. This will be the value users will use when assigning the stages to the test cycle.
  • Life Cycle Phase: Select the proper phase in the SDLC (Development, Alpha, Beta, Release Candidate, Release, Other) .
  • Deployment: Select the environment the software will be deployed on (Development, Integration, Testing, Staging, Production, Other).
  • Availability: Select the scope of rollout to your install base (Pre-Release, Canary Release, Limited Release, General Availability, Other).

Here are few examples you might use: 

  • “Prod“ (Release / Production / General Availability)
  • “Beta” (Beta / Staging / Limited Release)
  • “UAT” (Development / Testing / Pre-Release)

Assigning a Development Stage for a Test Cycle 

Once the development stages are set at the product level, you will be required to assign it whenever a new test cycle is created.

To assign the development stage:

1. While creating or editing a test cycle, navigate to the Overview tab. Learn more about how to create test cycles here.

2. Next to Development Stage, select the corresponding development stage matching the SDLC phase, deployment environment and availability of the build during the test cycle.

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