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News

Test results of Microsoft Patches

ChangeBASE : 14 November, 2008  (Technical Article)
Microsoft's Tuesday release of security patches tested by ChangeBASE resulting in minimal impact to application compatibility
ChangeBASE has announced its findings of Microsoft's Patch Tuesday update of November, 2008. There were two patch releases this week (MS08-068 and MS08-069) and one last week (MSO8-067).

MS067 and MS068 were critical releases as they addressed potential serious security issues. However from an application compatibility perspective they will have minimal impact on an organisation's application portfolio. This comes as good news for enterprises as it gives them a month off the full testing cycle with patch updates. In recent months the impact of patches on applications has been significant and has required a huge amount of testing to ensure business critical applications continue to work.

From our discussions with larger companies their testing activity generally falls into one of three camps:.

Light sample testing of a small number of business critical applications - This requires limited testing resource but leaves organisations vulnerable to applications problems/failures

Medium testing - This takes significant resource and time but means that a wider portfolio of applications can be tested

Heavy testing - Many organisations do not have the resource to do this on a monthly basis and we have come across examples of corporates who only release new patches to their live environment twice a year as a result of this. The plus side of this approach is that applications are likely to be unaffected by the patch updates. The downside is that critical patches are not deployed, leaving organisations vulnerable to, for example, security breaches

ChangeBASE AOK Patch Impact Monitor identifies in minutes applications that are affected by new Microsoft releases and provides detailed information on potential compatibility issues. This can cut the testing time down to the point that heavy testing can be done on a greater number of applications in a short period of time.

Thankfully November should be a quiet time for testing as the new patches will have minimal impact on an organisation's applications.

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