ICTS tests new software applications and operating systems as they are released by vendors. Testing is carried out by ICTS staff in the Research and Development team. Other ICT specialists on campus also assist by testing new software for the systems they manage. A test matrix is maintained and updated for all the software being tested so that you can follow the testing process.
Before they release the software to us, the developers (such as Microsoft) will have put it under the microscope to make sure it works as a standalone product and that all the glitches and bugs are taken care of.
What they cannot test, however, is how their software performs in conjunction with the very complex configuration of software and systems already in place on campus. Sometimes, one piece of software will affect another, so that either one or both of them don’t function correctly when they run on a machine together. Should this happen, we need to send feedback to the developers of both software packages to inform them, so that they can make updates to rectify the problem.
Now imagine that there are 20 different types of software all working together and a new one is introduced. We need to ensure that not only does that new software work with each one of the 20 software packages, but that it doesn’t affect the way they work with one another.
With nearly 40 000 people dependant on the software at UCT in one way or another, it is very important that things run smoothly, and the only way to ensure that happens is to thoroughly test all new software before releasing it to campus.