Each month we analyse all the Windows Patch Tuesday updates for Microsoft Office, .NET and windows/server platforms and offer testing guidance for enterprise IT administrators. Given the large number of changes included in this September patch cycle I have broken down the testing scenarios into a high risk and standard risk groups:
High Risk: These changes are likely to include functionality changes, may deprecate existing functionality and will likely require creating new testing plans:
- Attach a camera or phone to your PC and use the Photos import function to import images and videos
- Basic printing tests are required this month due to functionality changes in the Windows spooler controller
The following updates included this month’s update are not documented as functional changes but will still require a full test cycle:
- Microsoft Office: Conduct basic testing on Word, PowerPoint and Excel with a focus on SmartArt, diagrams and legacy files
- Test out your Windows error logs, as the Windows Common Log File system has been updated this month.
- Validate domain controller authentication and domain related services such Group Managed Service accounts. Please include on-prem and off premise testing and part of this update.
- High duration VPN testing is required this month, with VPN testing cycles that need to exceed eight hours on both servers and desktops. Note that you will need to ensure that PKE fragmentation is enabled. We suggest the following PowerShell command: “HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\RemoteAccess\Parameters\Ikev2\” -Name EnableServerFragmentation -PropertyType DWORD -Value 1 -Force Restart-Service remoteaccess
In addition to these changes and subsequent testing requirements, I have included some of the more difficult testing scenarios for this September update:
- Test any application using the OLE DB interface and sqloledb.dll to make database connection. This process will require an assessment of your application portfolio, looking for dependencies on the SQL OLE libraries and components and focused testing on application functionality that uses these updated features.
- Application un-installations will require testing due to changes in the Enterprise Application Management windows component. The big challenge here is to install that once an application package has been uninstalled from a machine, IT administrators need to ensure that all files, registry, services, and shortcuts have been removed. This includes all the first run settings and configuration data that is related to application. This is a tough, time-consuming task that will require some automation to ensure consistent results.
Testing these important and often updated features is now a fact of life for most IT departments requiring dedicated time, personal and specialized processes to ensure repeatable consistent results.