I run Groovy Integration Test Framework tests against the release before doing a production upgrade. For instance, we delayed our JIRA upgrade because of failures against JIRA 4.4/4.1/4.2 because of our dependencies on automation. I run the JIRA Command Line Interface , JIRA Clone-Plus plugin , and JIRA Create on Transition Plugin tests specifically because I develop those tools/plugins. You could write more installation specific tests using similar techniques. Links to the tests can be found at Projects Using GINT . As with any testing effort, it requires some significant upfront effort to define and implement the tests you want. The benefit comes in the next time you need to go through the process.
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