Testing Process (Endpoint Management Tools - Windows)
This article applies to: Endpoint Management Tools
This page is intended for IT support professionals. End users should contact local IT support.
Although the Endpoint Management Tools service encourages adoption of standards and provides a relatively predictable environment, by necessity configurations and applications may vary from area to area or even within an area, as end-users require various tools to get their jobs done. The Desktop Engineering team tests every update, configuration change, and software deployment on a range of supported desktops and laptops prior to making them available to customers. Testing includes installation and regression testing, however, it is not feasible to test every situation, or even a reasonable sampling of situations without involving a wider population.
With this in mind, a requirement for being a customer of the Endpoint Management Tools service is that a minimum of 5% of the customer's population be included in the "Live Testers" group (units in excess of 1,000 workstations may opt for 3%). This group will include actual users who receive patches, deployments, and configuration changes prior to the rest of the population. Any unanticipated results experienced by the Live Testers group is reported to the Desktop Engineering team by a set deadline. This provides a checkpoint that allows larger-scale managed activities to be delayed, if necessary, in order to avoid widespread disruption.
It is up to the local unit to determine who should be a Live Tester, and to determine how best to communicate with them. Some boilerplate information will be made available for common testing activities such as the monthly patching cycle. The most critical aspect of communication with Live Testers is that they understand that the patching period is shortened for them: 6-8 hours for them instead of four days for the general population. As with the main patching deployment, Live Tester computers will display messages alerting the user to new patches, allowing them to proactively install prior to the deadline, and then will reboot once the deadline is reached.
Live Testers may also be used for testing of configuration changes, either locally or globally. Any testing involving Live Testers outside of the monthly patching cycle will be clearly communicated. Local units always have the option to add or remove any particular Live Tester at any time.