Configuration testing: How to Perform?

September 7, 2023Kiruthika Devaraj
Configuration testing How to Perform

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As technology continues to advance, software applications are becoming more intricate. But why is configuration testing becoming crucial? Research conducted by the Standish Group has shown that configuration issues cause 40-60% of software defects. Fixing a flaw discovered during production can cost 100 times more than addressing it during testing.

Thus, it is necessary to perform configuration testing as different configurations may affect the performance of a system. This encompasses operating systems, web browsers, databases, and other software and hardware components. Automating this can offer time and cost savings.

Let’s dive into the process and explore how it’s done!

Configuration testing

What is Configuration Testing?

Configuration testing is a type of software testing that verifies the performance of a system under different configurations of hardware and software. It is important to perform configuration testing because different configurations can affect the system’s behavior. For example, if the system is configured with different hardware, it may need to be able to run faster and more efficiently.

Here is an analogy to help you understand configuration testing:

Imagine you are buying a new car. You want to ensure the car performs well, so take it for a test drive. However, you do more than test-drive the car once. You test drive it on different roads, in different weather conditions, and with different types of cargo. This is because you want to ensure the car performs well in all possible configurations.

Configuration testing is similar to this. You are testing the system under different configurations to ensure it performs well in all possible configurations.

Configuration Testing Example

A company is developing a new software application that customers will use on different operating systems. The company must perform configuration testing to ensure the application works correctly on all supported operating systems.

Here are some of the things that the company might need to test:

  • The application’s ability to install and run on different operating systems.
  • The application’s ability to use other features of different operating systems.
  • The application can handle various errors and exceptions on other operating systems.

The company could perform manual configuration testing by manually installing the application on different operating systems and testing the application to see if it still works correctly. Or, the company could use an automated configuration testing tool to automatically install the application on different operating systems and then test the application.

By performing configuration testing, the company can help guarantee that the application works correctly on all supported operating systems and is not vulnerable to attack.

Pre-requisites for Configuration Testing

Here are the pre-requisites for configuration testing in bullet points:

  • Clear understanding of the system: The tester must have a clear account of the system, including its components, interfaces, and dependencies.
  • Complete configuration documentation: The tester must have complete configuration documentation, which should include the different configurations that need to be tested and the expected results for each configuration.
  • Access to the system: The tester must have access to the system to test it.
  • Tools and resources: The tester must have the necessary tools and resources to perform configuration testing, such as configuration management and test automation tools.
  • Time and budget: Configuration testing can be time-consuming and expensive, so the tester must have the necessary time and budget to complete the testing.


Here are the objectives:

  1.  Verify the software system is correctly configured according to the specified requirements and settings.
  2. Identify any configuration errors or inconsistencies that may impact the functionality or performance of the system.
  3. Ensure all components, modules, and dependencies are correctly installed and integrated.
  4. Validate the compatibility of the software with different hardware, operating systems, and network configurations.
  5. Test the system’s ability to handle configuration changes or updates without causing disruptions or failures.
  6. Assess the security measures implemented in the configuration to protect against unauthorized entry or data breaches.
  7. Evaluate the system’s scalability and performance under different configuration scenarios.
  8. Confirm that all configuration settings are correctly documented and can be easily replicated or restored.

Types of Configuration Testing

Two major types are:

Software Configuration Testing: 

Software Configuration Testing involves testing the Application Under Test with various operating systems and browser versions. This process is time-consuming as it requires installing and uninstalling different software used for testing. The testing begins after the build has passed the unit and integration tests.

Hardware Configuration Testing: 

Testing hardware configurations is typically done in labs, where physical machines are connected to various hardware. Whenever a new build is released, the software must be installed on all physical machines with attached hardware, and the test suite must be executed on each device to ensure that the application functions correctly. 

To accomplish this task, considerable effort is required to install the software on each machine, connect the hardware, and manually run the test suites. Even if we automate this task, significant effort is still necessary. Moreover, as previously mentioned, during hardware configuration testing, we specify the type of hardware to be tested, and there are countless computer hardware and peripherals, making it nearly impossible to perform all tests.

How to do Configuration Testing

Here are the steps on how to perform configuration testing in a step-by-step process:

  1. Plan: This involves identifying the configurations that need to be tested and the expected results for each configuration. The tester must also consider the time and budget constraints and the availability of resources.
  2. Create test cases: The tester must create test cases verifying the configurations. The test cases should be clear, concise, and repeatable.
  3. Execute the test cases: The tester must execute the test cases and record the results. If any defects are found, the tester must report them to the development team.
  4. Analyze the results: The tester must analyze the results of the test cases to identify any trends or patterns. This information can be used to improve the test cases or to identify areas where the system is more likely to have defects.
  5. Retest the system: If any defects are found, the system must be retested to ensure they have been fixed.
  6. Document the results: The results of the configuration testing must be documented so they can be used for future reference.

How to automate your configuration Testing with Testsigma:

Testsigma offers features to help with configuration testing, which include; 

  • Creating test cases tailored to configurations. 
  • Running test cases on different machines. 
  • Tracking the outcomes of test cases across the set configurations. 
  • Generating thorough reports displaying the results of configuration testing.

To set up configuration testing in Testsigma, follow these steps; 

1. Develop a test plan outlining the configurations you wish to assess.

2. Create a test suit.

3. Add test cases in the suit.

3. Execute the test cases on multiple machines(add all the necessary machines) needed to execute configuration tests.

4. Document the outcomes of each test case.

5. Generate reports showcasing the results obtained from configuration testing.


Here you have it! Testing the configuration might appear overwhelming. It’s crucial to guarantee the performance of your software. Through testing setups, you can. Resolve any potential issues before they escalate into major concerns. Testing your software early can lead to a better product and increased customer/staff uptake. To learn more about it, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What would happen if configuration Testing is not done? 

Bugs, errors, and defects may occur. You will face some technical issues like:

  • The system may not be able to run on a particular hardware platform.
  • The system may not be able to connect to a particular database.
  • The system may not be able to handle a particular load.
  • The system may be vulnerable to attack.

What are the Best Practices in Configuration Management?

Best practices in configuration management include:

  • Establishing a centralized repository for all configuration items.
  • Implementing version control to track changes.
  • Conducting regular audits to ensure accuracy and compliance.
  • Documenting detailed configuration baselines.
  • Utilizing automation tools for efficient deployment and monitoring of configurations.
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