If you are starting or thinking of starting your Eclipsys 5.5 upgrade, you are probably wondering what approach to take when testing the upgrade and what issues others have uncovered during testing.
Eclipsys 5.5 features a suite of modules wrapped by a new gateway user interface to allow for faster work and better flow and integration of data access. This intuitive new gateway interface allows users to access one or two or many modules at one time.
This major change in Eclipsys introduces many new questions about the performance of the application. Some are:
Will it require same amount of memory/CPU resources as previous version?
Will the current security settings be intact or will it be modified after the upgrade?
Will accessing multiple modules from the Gateway cause any integration problems?
Will the database and MSMQ storage requirements increase?
How about using Eclipsys through a portal like Citrix?
How about session endurance or printing reports?
And many more…
Testing and finding problems takes time, effort and resources. A major upgrade like this will require you to do a comprehensive testing and draw accurate and complete performance analysis.
This requires multiple testing techniques and a flexible testing solution. For example, a Stress Test is required to measure the amount of hardware needed to handle the projected concurrent number of users using the application, a Load Endurance Test is needed to anticipate session endurance and memory leak issues, and Integration/Non-Integration Testing to make sure all modules work together or independently with no problems.
AppLoader allows you this flexibility to run the types of tests listed above in the most accurate method available: from the GUI level exactly as a real user would, to identify issues and validate the application’s performance before going live with the upgrade.
Some of the issues faced with previous clients who upgraded to Eclipsys 5.5 are:
1. Eclipsys Client Memory Leak issue
2. Login IDs for scheduling and deadlocks: Eclipsys offers you a configuration to allow multiple sessions of same login ID. Schedulers tend to instantiate different sessions while working on the application; in Eclipsys 5.5 this causes a problem and a deadlock exception error will occur for other users and possibly other modules (registration module for example).
3. Setting up the printer, stations that are setup without a printer might have degradation in performance.
4. MSMQ increase in size on the database server and need to be cleared more often
5. Eclipsys through Citrix will require more resources as now users can load multiple modules from the same executable without being forced to logoff or pause one while working on another.
6. Incompatibility hotfixes between the client and the server
Those issues were identified using AppLoader 7.0 through:
Load endurance test for one module – multiple users for duration of time – with registration module for 30 minutes on one Citrix or windows box. Each of the 30 users registered 5 patients for a total of 150 patients within 30 minutes. This test helped uncover memory leak problem.
Load endurance test for multiple modules – multiple users for duration of time – with registration module (in-patient new registration, registering existing patients) and scheduling module (booking appointments). Deadlock exception messages are thrown because the client was not updated with the hotfix needed while the server is updated.
Integration testing from the GUI level to mimic production: running all modules along with reports doing multiple functions for duration of one hour steady state time. This test helps evaluate all modules compatibility during the run and the effect of reports running during the test run. This test also helped identify the effect of running reports and registering users to one facility vs. multiple facilities. This test used multiple load test injectors: some of the injectors ran all modules per box and some ran only one module per box.
Security check and login validation
AppLoader allows you to allocate variables in a flexible form to test your security modules. One problem revealed through this type of testing is deadlocks when Schedulers instantiate multiple sessions from same login ID. Even though the scheduler users are the ones who instantiate the multiple sessions, the registration users got the deadlock error.
When upgrading your application, you must make sure to:
1. Get the upgrade guide from All Scripts and the upgrade instructions
2. Get Eclipsys’s new system requirements and the release notes
3. If possible, ask All Scripts for a list of high risk functions that needs testing
4. Upgrade all applicable Eclipsys components and make sure all components are compatible with each other:
a. MSSQL or the database you’re using including any applicable windows updates
b. Eclipsys client
c. Eclipsys application server
d. Reporting servers
e. Any other applicable upgrade that is needed
Following these tips should put you on the path to a successful test for your upgrade.