Your Sales Force Automation project is looking pretty good. You're on schedule and on budget, and the client is, thus far, happy with the beta version running on your development environment. Furthermore, by employing rigorous unit testing throughout the build process in the previous chapter, you can be sure that the individual components that comprise the application all function more or less correctly independently, and hence there shouldn't be any deep-rooted problems in the code itself.
At this time, you might well be tempted to let your guard down. In fact, you have now reached one of the most critical stages in the entire project. The application is more or less complete and the client is urging you to let him or her use it. You must resist, however.
Quality assurance, usually abbreviated to QA, is a term you might be familiar with. Indeed, it is borrowed from traditional manufacturing and engineering processes and is the kind of procedure you expect to be carried out on your new DVD player or luxury family sedan. Why would you not, therefore, want to apply it to something as complex and crucial as your application?
In this short but crucial chapter, you're introduced to the process of quality assurance in large-scale PHP projects. You'll learn about why quality is of great importance and what it means in terms of your expectations and those of your client. You'll learn about the kinds of testing you need to do to confidently be able to give your application a seal of approval, and how to get your team on board to help you when things go wrong.