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Oracle testing steps


Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonRevised August 24, 2015

 


Proper testing of all changes to Oracle are critical especially when you change global instance parameters.  Also see my notes on Oracle System Testing areas and Oracle Stress Testing tips.

Some beginners are lead to believe that artificial test scripts on a PC constitute Oracle testing, but this approach is not recognized as valid Oracle pre-production testing in most real-world Oracle databases.  For the Oracle professional, a valid Oracle system change test involves these Oracle testing best practices. 

Artificial test scripts and meaningless and Oracle testing must be conducted according to Oracle best practices, using 4 instances, DEV, TEST, QA and PROD.  Note:  Log a service request on MOSC:  if you need to change any undocumented or hidden parameters.

  1. Test the change in a DEV instance - The DEV instance is the developer" playpen where you can check your Oracle test for basic functionality.
     

  2. Test the change in a TEST instance - The TEST instance is usually refreshed from the PROD instance (i.e. using Oracle Streams), and has production data and application code.  Small volume tests can be conducted here to ensure validity.
     

  3. Test the change in the QA instance - The QA instance is an exact replica of PROD and has volume-testing tools to realistically simulate a real production load.  In the QA instance the Oracle testing involves examining the Oracle performance statistics using STATSPACK or AWR.
     

  4. Final Oracle test in PROD - At a pre-approved time, the tested Oracle change is migrated to PROD, and real-world performance characteristics are gathered and compared to the before-change levels.

In sum, Oracle best practices mandate as-complete a real-world test as possible, with real production loads and real production data.  Oracle testing does not include artificial "test-case" scripts on a PC, which most IT managers do not find relevant.

 
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