Another Take on Time Shift Testing

Timing can be everything when it comes to enterprise software applications.

Maybe you have a deadline set up where in order for people to be eligible to win a sweepstakes or contest you have to get their entries in by midnight on a certain date. Or perhaps you are offering a special online sale for a limited time and the price goes up after 11:59 p.m. Eastern on a certain date.

Or you may just need to run reporting about sales two quarters ago to get a snapshot in “real-time.” Of course, there is also the forecasting need to be able to see if an application will work two years from now.

Proper time management with software applications doesn’t just involve the use of a clock; a calendar is also a timepiece, since many business processes run on a daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly bases.

No matter how you slice it, your software application does and will get tested at various times (and days) provided it is running 24 hours a day. Through some basic market research you can find pretty quickly that you have periods of the day and times of the year when the software is really not being used at all, and other times where there is a huge rush because the majority of your customers use it either during work hours, during peak periods, or during down time.

And with such variations in traffic and use based on the time of day and date on a calendar, your software application needs to be reliable all the time, not just when conditions are right.

Time shift testing can be a valuable tool in testing software to make sure it works at all times of day, all days of the month, and all months of any year without any hiccups that can affect customer satisfaction. Time-shift testing can be most vital when the home office is not staffed with IT professionals in the middle of the night EST and yet your software is being used and accessed by those in Europe or Asia.

Having reliable software all the time—whether measured by a calendar or clock—can make a huge difference in the viability of your company, even if most of your customers are near your time zone. You never know when a customer will have insomnia and just has to use your application. Aggravating them by having a problem without IT support will make them the opposite of drowsy.

Your company may be operating on an 8-to-5, Monday-through-Friday shift, but your software is not. It can be an around-the-clock, around-the-calendar window into your company. So do the proper time-shift testing to ensure your window is clean of bugs and presents reliability, integrity and accuracy to all your customers, no matter where they are or when they access your application. Even five years in the future.