Why do you want to test Microsoft Dynamics 365 Updates?

In the last blog of the Platform Optimization series – Lowering your Anxiety over Microsoft Dynamics 365 Upgrades – we discussed common issues faced during Microsoft Dynamics 365 Updates and how Celsior Technologies® can help mitigate them to ensure a smooth transition and minimum disruption during updates. The third blog of the series provides insights into the importance of testing Dynamics 365.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a top-notch solution on the market today for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Employee Resource Planning (ERP). According to industry sources, over 50,000 companies use some version of Dynamics 365 to accelerate business, expedite communication, and improve customer relationships.

As businesses implement Dynamics 365, they become aware of its complexity and the challenges due to its continuous updates. Thus, testing Dynamics 365 updates is a crucial step in the software lifecycle for a number of important reasons. Some of them include –

  • Quality Assurance: Updates, patches, and new versions of Dynamics 365 may introduce changes to the system. Testing helps ensure that these changes do not inadvertently cause issues or disrupt the application’s existing functionality. Furthermore, it helps maintain the quality and reliability of the software.
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  • Bug Detection: Even with the best development practices, software can have bugs. Testing updates allows you to identify and fix any new issues introduced during the update process.
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  • Compatibility: Dynamics 365 updates might interact with other software components in your environment, such as customizations, integrations, and third-party applications. Testing ensures that these components continue to work seamlessly with the updated Dynamics 365 version.
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  • Customizations and Extensions: Many organizations customize or extend Dynamics 365 to suit their unique business needs. Testing updates help ensure that these customizations remain functional and don’t conflict with the new version.
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  • Data Integrity: Updates can sometimes affect data storage, retrieval, and processing. Testing verifies that your data remains intact and accurately processed after the update.
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  • Performance: Updates can impact the performance of the system. Testing helps identify any performance bottlenecks or slowdowns before the update goes live.
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  • Security: Updates often include security enhancements and patches for vulnerabilities. Testing ensures that these security improvements are effective and the system remains secure.
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  • User Experience: Updates can change the user interface and user experience. Testing helps ensure that users can still navigate and use the system comfortably and efficiently.
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  • Regulatory Compliance: If your organization operates in a highly regulated industry, you need to ensure that updates don’t introduce non-compliance issues. Testing helps identify and address any compliance-related concerns.
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  • Rollback Preparation: In case the update causes critical issues, having thoroughly evaluated the rollback process allows you to confidently revert to the previous version while you address the problems.
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  • Cost and Downtime Minimization: Detecting and addressing issues before they affect your live environment can save significant costs and minimize downtime caused by unforeseen problems.
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  • User Acceptance: By involving end-users in the testing process, you can gather valuable feedback about any changes to the system’s functionality and user interface. It helps ensure that the update meets their needs.

 

Testing Dynamics 365 updates is a critical process to ensure the successful implementation of new features, fixes, and changes to your software environment.

 

Following is a detailed overview of the steps that Celsior Technologies® recommends for Dynamics 365 update testing, whether you do this yourself or whether you take advantage of our expertise:

 

Preparing for Testing:

First, create a backup of your existing Dynamics 365 environment, including data and configurations. It ensures a safe restore point in case something goes wrong during testing.

Next, set up a separate testing environment that mirrors your production environment as closely as possible. This environment will include the same customizations, configurations, integrations, and data.

Finally, develop a comprehensive test plan that outlines the scope of testing, testing scenarios, and testing objectives. It will guide your testing efforts and ensure thorough coverage.

 

Types of Testing:

  • Functional Testing: Test the new features and changes introduced by the update to ensure they work as intended. Verify that existing functionality remains intact and check for any unintended side effects.
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  • Regression Testing: It is crucial to ensure that existing features and functionalities that were previously working continue to work after the update. Thus, test scenarios covering all critical areas of the application.
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  • Integration Testing: Test how the updated Dynamics 365 version interacts with other applications, third-party integrations, and custom components. Ensure data flows correctly and integrations remain stable.
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  • Performance Testing: Assess the performance impact of the update. Test for factors like load times, response times, and overall system responsiveness. Identify and address any performance bottlenecks.
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  • User Acceptance Testing (UAT): Involve end-users to validate that the update meets their requirements and expectations. Gather feedback on usability, user interface changes, and any issues they encounter.
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  • Security Testing: Verify that the update does not introduce security vulnerabilities. Test access controls, user permissions, and data protection mechanisms.

Of course, you have limited time, budget, and personnel for doing all of this testing so automating these various types of testing to the greatest degree possible is of very high importance.

Execute Testing:

We recommend following the test plan meticulously, executing each testing scenario, and documenting the results. Log any issues, defects, or unexpected behavior you encounter during testing. Prioritize and categorize the issues identified based on severity and impact, and work closely with the development team or consultants to address the issues. Test the fixes thoroughly before proceeding.  Again, significant manual work can be avoided in these processes through automation.

User Feedback and UAT:

It is important to involve end-users in the testing process, especially during user acceptance testing (UAT) to gather feedback and insights about the update’s impact on their daily tasks. Address any usability concerns or issues raised by users before proceeding with deployment.

In summary, testing Dynamics 365 updates is a proactive approach to ensure that your software environment remains stable, secure, and functional as you implement changes and improvements. It minimizes risks and potential disruptions that could arise from applying updates without proper validation.

Look forward to our upcoming blog on “Why automation is critical for successful updates?” to understand in more detail why you should automate the Dynamics 365 update process.

About the Author

Jyotsna Vanapalli
Celsior Technologies®

 

Read other blogs of the series:

Optimizing Your Microsoft Dynamics 365 Implementation & Maintenance Environment

Why is test automation critical to successful Dynamics 365 upgrades?

Lowering your Anxiety over Microsoft Dynamics 365 Upgrades

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