Each month, the team at Readiness analyses the latest Patch Tuesday updates from Microsoft and provides detailed, actionable testing guidance. This guidance is based on assessing a large application portfolio and a detailed analysis of the Microsoft patches and their potential impact on the Windows platforms and application installations.
For this end of year update from Microsoft we have not seen any high-risk or significant functionality changes for the Microsoft Windows platform. However, there have been a number of changes to core functionality that will require some attention including:
- Windows Networking: Internet Connection Sharing (ICS), the Windows DHCP IP services provider have been updated. We recommend that you progress the following tests:
- Windows Kernel Updates. The Windows kernel lies at the very core of the Windows operating system and any changes should be tested with some care. That said, the changes implemented this month have a very low surface area and should be present themselves with a simple reboot.
- SQL Clients and OLE: The Microsoft SQL clients for both SQL server and OLE have been updated. We recommend running basic SQL commands to fetch/update data from both a local and remote server.
You may not remember Faxing (showing my age here) but Microsoft has made a minor update to a single discrete function call in the MakeCall API function. If you are using automated Faxes in your workflows or rely on a FAX server such as FAXPress, then you will need to perform a complete test that includes sending, receiving and the administration of existing Faxes.
Automated testing will help with these scenarios (especially a testing platform that offers a “delta” or comparison between builds). However, for your line of business applications getting the application owner (doing UAT) to test and approve the testing results is still absolutely essential.