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TRICARE Systems Manual 7950.4-M, April 2021
Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS)
Chapter 3
Section 4.4
Test Environment
1.0  DMDC Test Environment
The DMDC test environment is a shared test environment among many DMDC customers, as well as all TRICARE Program support contractors. Not only is the environment shared, so is the data within that environment. This environment is used for both contractor testing and training.
1.1  Releases
1.1.1  Typically, as fixes are applied and tested, the modified software will be installed for contractors’ testing. DMDC will coordinate with the Defense Health Agency (DHA) and the contractors when the test environment will be upgraded with software for the next major release (as opposed to continuing software modifications for the current release). The following information provides the general schedule for moving applications into and through the contractors’ test environment and finally into Production.  DMDC will notify DHA one week prior to moving an application that requires contractor testing to the contractors’ test environment; and DMDC will also provide a copy of the release notes for DHA review and coordination of the date the application will be moved to contractor test. DHA will notify contractors of the application release date and provide a copy of the release notes during regularly scheduled Integration meetings hosted by DHA.  Applications that require contractor testing, including those that only require regression testing, will remain in contractor test for a minimum of two weeks prior to moving into Production. A longer testing period may be required based on the complexity of the changes and/or testing requirements.  A major release, which requires only regression testing, would remain in contractor test for one month.  A major release which requires testing for functional changes would remain in contractor test for a minimum of six weeks or longer, as coordinated with the contractors, based upon the complexity of the changes and/or testing requirements.  Generally, new versions of applications will not be moved into contractor test during the two weeks prior to an application or release moving into Production.  DHA will coordinate the movement of a new version of an application from contractor test to Production with contractors during regularly scheduled Integration meetings hosted by DHA. The determination to move an application from contractor test will be made based on each contractor’s readiness, test results and controlling Program requirements.
1.1.2  There will be a baseline set of test data supplied by DMDC to the contractors to establish a synchronized set of test data. DMDC will coordinate changes with contractors to the baseline set of Department of Defense (DoD) Identification Numbers, DoD Benefits Numbers (DBN), and Social Security Numbers (SSNs). The test environment is populated with new test data periodically. Refreshes may be performed approximately every three weeks; the specific schedule will be established by DHA and DMDC and coordinated with the contractors. Any deviation from the published schedule requires agreement from DHA, DMDC, and contractors.
1.1.3  Data refreshes may also be required on an ‘as needed’ basis to return the data to the baseline. To ensure contractors’ data remains in sync with Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS), contractors are required to return to the baseline concurrent with DEERS. The data refresh schedule will be determined by DHA and DMDC, and coordinated with contractors as appropriate.  The contractor shall submit requests for modification of the refresh schedule through the Contracting Officer (CO) and/or the Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) to the DHA.  DHA will coordinate the request with DMDC and contractors as appropriate.  DHA will notify the contractor of the outcome of the review at the Integration meeting.
1.1.4  The contractor shall submit systems integration test plans in accordance with Section J of the contract.
1.1.5  Notifications for new releases of software or applications will be sent to the contractors as required. Emergency fixes are evaluated and, depending on the scope and severity may be released by DEERS to Production prior to the contractors’ test geographic area of responsibility. Notification of such an emergency release will be sent via email.
1.1.6  The contractor shall, upon notification of software changes made available for testing, test and validate the specific software modification and verify via regression testing that all other functionality has not been negatively affected.
1.2  Test Plans
1.2.1  The contractor shall develop test plans in coordination with DHA and DMDC.
1.2.2   The contractor shall further refine their testing efforts by documentation of the test scenarios upon request.
1.2.3  The contractor shall submit to DHA updated test scenario matrices which document the test results and any open issues or defects discovered.
1.2.4  The contractor shall provide sufficient resources to complete testing in accordance with DHA guidelines and standards.
1.2.5  The contractor shall submit systems integration test plans in accordance with Section J of the contract.
1.3  Maintenance Window
The weekly maintenance window for the test environment occurs on Saturday at 9:00 Sunday at 6:00 am Eastern Standard Time (EST)/Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). The DEERS contractor testing environment is available to contractors for testing and training Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 9:30 pm and Saturday from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm EST/EDT. Deviations to the schedule will be coordinated in advance.
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