The IBM i® test team performs a full end-to-end test, which provides a pre-GA readiness assessment of the ability of IBM i to be installed and operated in customer-like environments. Our test environments focus on the total solution from a customer's perspective. This includes:
We gather information on existing customer environments, practices, implementations and future directions. We use that information to drive the design and evolution of our test environment and test solutions. Those test solutions are developed to exercise the operating system, the software stack, and related products in a manner similar to customers’ businesses. The intent is not to replicate a particular customer, but to represent a composite of various customer types in the target market.
Reliability and availability of the IBM i platform have always been key to customers. We place the same emphasis on system reliability and availability in our test environment. We try to incorporate and use new technology exactly as our customers would, with the thought that any outage seen in our environment could also be seen by thousands of end users in our customers' environments. We want to experience those outages and find problems first, so that our customers never will. It is inevitable that we will not find every single bug in the millions of lines of code that are shipped in the software stack of IBM i. However, we perform field escape analysis, and incorporate new test cases from that analysis into our test plan, to prevent similar problems from making their way into the field in the future.
The introduction of new products and new technology in a new or existing environment may lead to many challenges and questions. We face many of the same challenges and questions in our test environment that our customers will face when incorporating new technology into their production environments. The work we put into getting past those challenges and getting those questions answered can be quite invaluable for our customers. We document that work in magazine articles, red books, and experience reports located in the Library.