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Most organizations remember that QA refers to ways of ensuring quality of the products throughout their development lifecycle. Accordingly, their executives choose to use QA service as often as required to improve quality of the processes by which the software are created.

Most programs are designed to work with a very wide range of hardware configurations and operating environments. For that reason, before proceeding to test any software one may ask the following questions:

  • What printers do work with software under test?
  • What kinds of graphics card and chipsets, video modes and types of monitors are compatible with the program?
  • What positioning devices can work with the software and which of their drivers are suited for it?
  • What are the characteristics of the main hardware resources required by the program, for example, what is the minimum and maximum amount memory that the program will need to perform certain operations, which of its types will match the program?
  • What is hardware platform designed to host the program? (for instance, Macintosh, or IBM), what models of compatible computers are good for it to work with?
  • Which software supported platform is designed to run the program (i.e. type of operating system and its versions, additional system software that the program may require – for example, the program shell, the memory management programs, the basic functions of the ROM BIOS).

All of these components make up the system configuration – once one of them is changed, the new configuration appears. Configuration testing is a process that involves checking whether the program is compatible with the hardware configuration and system software it must work with.

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No matter how important the thoroughness of this type of testing is, but even the most basic calculations show that it is absolutely impossible to check how the program will work with all possible configurations of the environment. Even if you select only one of the aspects, such as testing of a graphics program to check its compatibility with the video equipment then after examining the video market, besides becoming aware of a number of standards you will realize that there are even hundreds of models of video cards and monitors in the marketplace.

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