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Social Media, Cloud, Analytics and Mobility (SCAM)

Social Media, Cloud, Analytics and Mobility: These are 4 common buzzwords that we hear today. They are indeed very much inter-related as well!  Social media allows instantaneous interactions, sharing of news, photos, videos etc. From a technical perspective, this requires elastic omnipresent storage capability.  Cloud provides this for the Social Media. The moment something is on cloud, it can be big - big data. Small data can be hosted locally. If data is big, cloud is a good medium and the data can be leveraged for analytics. This facilitates informed decision making. For an end user, this should be omnipresent, thus available at fingertips. Mobility facilitates that.

Application development time has decreased significantly. Platforms and Wizards facilitate drag and drop 'app' developments in days, if not in hours. Rapid strides in the business space demands this. Validating or Testing these 'apps' or applications becomes a matter of utmost importance.  This blog explores the validation of social media based applications.

 

Businesses are increasingly using the social media as a platform to promote their service and offerings and to solicit feedback. It allows customer engagement and ability to interact. Marketing and advertising unlike the pre-digital age is highly dynamic. Previously, the customer reaction could be gauged only after weeks or months altogether, post analyzing the sales data. Increased presence of business on the social media makes it imperative to be monitored continuously. Below are some of the key aspects in validating social media content: 

·         Understand the reason for your existence in social media: drive sales, brand building, increase audience? Testing teams should validate the corporate apps, facebook pages keeping the above intention in mind.

·         Validation should also ensure if the business objectives are aligned with the social media objectives.

·         Beta testing teams can ensure and validate if the social media participants / users are the same as the target market for the enterprise.

·         Usability of the apps. There are 'n' number of browser / Operating system combinations today. Social sites like  Facebook, twitter etc. are available on almost every platform. Testers need to validate the 'rendition' / interoperability of their content on these various platforms.

·         Device specific validation: does the page render well on all common hard ware?

·         Performance: Validate the time for loading, first time loading etc.

·         Security Aspects: If the apps involve financial transaction capability or otherwise, security is of utmost importance. The last thing to happen is allow an intruder in through the social media channel.

·         Functionality: Referential integrity with the web based application and validation of the basic functionality.

Social media validation is more end-user centric and similar to erstwhile UAT in that aspect. However, there should be an increased focus on the underlying technology as well.  We will focus on the other 3 (Cloud, Analytics and Mobility) in the next blog.

Comments

Recently I happened to read about 'Google Analytics' service, which generates detailed statistics about a website's traffic and traffic sources and measures conversions and sales.

Looking forward to your next blog covering this topic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_analytics

Cheers

Nice in-depth Analysis!! Waiting for the next blog.

Sharing my view on Social networking site:-
As a part of SharePoint consulting, we have developed a Social Networking site for client FedEx.
This is a collaboration portal for FedEx , bit similar to Facebook , where employees post there queries, experiences, suggestion, events, announcements etc. This is a place where people interact at various level of their roles, access to information etc.
The main challenge in testing such site comes in gathering requirement on content that would be displayed in public portal or private portals. There are various open and closed communities where people have access to content based on their subscription in those communities or as guest visitor.
Once finalized requirements comes the next challenge is to clearly state the scenarios which a test team is going to execute. This needs a clear understanding on content, user access and community access polices. Tester has to check scenario based on access levels at community level and user level, both for private content, public content and personally shared content to them.
Another challenge is to check globalization of content, which involve multilingual talents. These sites have people across the globe and some users are those who work on floor level who do not communicate in common global languages.
There are various action available for users to act on certain contents , these actions needs to be tested against companies policies , for example in announcements which are from board members any user would not have access to Like or Dislike the content. There can be restrictions on file to be shared on portals which can be on either file type or size etc. This also becomes bit typical to list all such scenarios.
The best way to test such site is to start with basics of best practices like maintaining RTM , evaluating and business signoff on scenarios , clear mapping of test cases to business requirement and low level division of tasks based on requirements. Localization testing should be done by professionals who have good experience in that. Proper communities, users and roles should be created to test each level of information posted and received on various private and public pages. Branding becomes another concern if not tested well so must be kept on priority.
Once functional testing is done for a certain level then performance testing must commence parallel to ensure the response of web sites which is going to be used by thousands or more users. Performance testing must cover all major functional transactions as there are no limits of data posting in sites.

Manoj, crisp write up on SMAC validation

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