Microsoft Test Base – Part 1

By | 06/01/2023

This is part 1 of a series of blog posts about Microsoft Test Base that I will be posting over the coming weeks. So if you’re interested, stay tuned for more!

What is Test Base?

Microsoft Test Base, or Test Base for Microsoft 365 (formerly Update Staging Lab) is an Azure service that was mainly targeted at Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s) and System Integrators (SI’s) to provide a cloud-based and data-driven application testing environment that is accessible from anywhere in the world.
Its purpose? To test applications against pre-release platform updates.

Wait, ISV’s? But I’m an IT Pro!

Microsoft Test Base is now also available to any Azure customer. This means you can also use it to test your own line-of-business (LOB) or business-critical apps against upcoming OS/O365 updates. There’s even more good news for IT Pro’s: Test Base integrates with Microsoft Intune AND once you have configured an app to be tested, a new test gets triggered automatically once new updates are released in Test Base! With the busy schedules we all have, it’s at least one less thing to worry about every month!

Wouldn’t it be great if you could find out that your LOB application is going to break of have performance issues due to monthly quality/security updates before it actually impacts your users (even if it’s just your test users)?
Well, search no more, the solution is here! 🙂


Before we start digging into the technical details of the service and how it works, let’s first talk about the scenarios. Because simply validating that your LOB app(s) will still function properly after installing the latest updates following Patch Tuesday is not the only scenario Test Base can be used for!

Some of the other scenarios Microsoft sees with customers are:

  • Windows 11 upgrade readiness
    Evaluate if business critical apps will continue to work after upgrade to Windows 11 via both clean install or in-place upgrade
  • Microsoft 365 upgrade readiness
    Evaluate if critical apps such as add-ons or dependent apps will continue to work after upgrade to Microsoft 365 (e.g. Office 365)
  • Intune deployment validation
    Validate if deployments of concern in Intune (monthly Windows update, major feature update, policy changes) will impact device app readiness
  • Cloud test automation
    Adopt cloud test as a new trend to renovate validation experience via cloud and AI empowered tool (rich support for automation, no code/low code test authoring, etc.)

Coming from a former application packager background, especially the last one is particularly interesting. Test Base currently supports uploading your own functional testing PowerShell scripts, but soon also Flow Driven functional testing will be available (leveraging Power Automate).

This means you could also use Test Base in the near future to record the User Acceptance Testing (UAT) steps in the application once, and re-use that recorded flow to run it again when you upload a new version of your app. No need to send your users multiple reminders to ask if they have had time yet to perform the UAT testing!

There are even more scenarios which are not supported yet today, but could make the product even better. I’ll share those at the end of this series, when I will talk about the future potential of Test Base and why I’m so enthusiastic about it!


If I have peaked your interest, then keep coming back!
In part 2, I’ll cover the onboarding process and how to get your first application added, along with the different test scenarios that are currently available.

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