When was the last time you were on a website that was working fine, and all of a sudden, it seems to stop working? You click and all you get is the dreaded loading circle.

So you wait a couple more seconds, and nothing happens – the page is still loading. After a few more seconds of irritation, you finally get something…but it’s not what you hoped. Instead, you get a “Page Cannot Be Displayed” error!

Arrrrgggghhhh!!! You start screaming like Dr. Doofenshmirtz, cursing Perry the Platypus….Google it!

Ok. Maybe not that bad.

Either way, you blame the website or the company that created it. “They need to get their act together!”, you yell.

I think we all do that to some degree. We get frustrated when websites don’t work they way we expect them to, especially when a page is not being displayed.

It Happens at Work

Now imagine this happening when you’re at your job, and it’s your job to use an application to get your work done. You’re moving right along, doing what you’re supposed to do and boom – error!

This is the importance of application testing. Before any application gets used by your users, you need to test it. Even if you are a small or medium sized company, you should have a process in place for testing the application your users will be using to do their job. Otherwise, you might as well start beefing up the Helpdesk staff.

Small businesses use applications. However, they may not always have the budget to staff their departments or purchase the appropriate tools to test the applications their users need.

I’m here to say that this is a mistake. If you’re in business, you should test your applications.

So in this post series, I want to talk to you about some reasons why even smaller companies need to perform application testing. It’s not just for big companies.

The Customer and the Provider

I was troubleshooting an application years ago when something like what happened above occurred with the users of a third-party customer I was working with.

The direct customer was a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider who had many other customers using a web-based application. Users of the application utilize it to add new clients and administer current ones for their company. Being able to add more clients = more money! So that’s great!

But as I got engaged on the projected and began to ask questions, I could tell what some of the issues could be.

I was told that the application was initially designed for the local area network (LAN). That tells me that it’s likely to be pretty chatty, and it was.

The provider’s customer that I was helping was a smaller business, but was big enough to have a number of remote offices across the country.

They purchased the provider’s web application, and from the time users began using it, they were complaining of performance problems. At the time, the application was only accessible through Internet Explorer. Oh the joys of IE! But I digress.

More specifically, the users were complaining of getting “Page Cannot Be Displayed” errors.

Remember how you feel when that happens? That’s how the users felt.

These errors were not easily reproducible and they happened at any time throughout the day. How frustrating!

So whenever you come across an application that was originally designed for the LAN, make sure it gets tested before deploying on your network and giving it to users.

In part 2, I go into some more details about what happens with application designed for the LAN that get deployed on the WAN.