SharePoint Test Software
Online test software facilities available in SharePoint platform should not be confused with other kind of online test software that conducts various sorts of online exams. With SharePoint test software, for example, you can test Office 2007 including SharePoint Designer and SharePoint Server online. You don’t have to download any software to make it happen.
Only IE 6 is required to use online Office. Some applications that can be tested online are Outlook with Business Contact Manager, Visio, SharePoint Server, Microsoft Office Access, Publisher, SharePoint Designer, Project Server, and others. Different types of testing that can be implemented using this feature are requirement testing, usability testing, functional and GUI testing, migration testing, integration testing, code review, security testing, performance testing and automated testing.
This is purely an architecture suggestion so that you are able to provide a secure and stable environment. In order to do that, a test environment is required to validate any changes prior to putting them in production.
Your test environment will verify that Service Packs, Cumulative Update, Windows patches, SQL updates, etc., don’t put your production environment at risk. It is very important to keep your farm updated on patches and updates. It is just as important to test these patches and updates prior to crashing the production farm and having to implement your Disaster recovery strategy. This also comes into play as you look at upgrading major versions of SharePoint (2007 to 2010 to 2013).