Testing Strategies

It is important to test your completed templates for correct results. There are three primary tests that need to be performed when completing a template:

Initial Calculations

Cases where changing a row did not automatically update the calculation but the equals button indicated that it had (equals went grey). The best way to test this is to walk through an example problem one row at a time and see how the result rows react. Showing a grey equals but not modifying the result (if it is supposed to) is a major problem. The user has no idea they need to calculate but he is really looking at bad results.

Resolution: generally this problem is caused by auto calculation problems. See the Solving Auto Calculate Problems section.

Multi-Directional Calculations

Calculating in one direction means you should get the same result if calculated in the other. An example is the Time Value of Money template. Enter 150,000 for Present Value, 5 for Interest/Yr% and 360 for Periods, then calculate Payment. Now, without changing any data, select the equals button for Present Value, Future Value, Interest/Yr% and Periods. Notice how the data does not change.

Resolution: if your data changes when re-calculating as described above, make sure all of your rows are using the same formulas. Also make sure that rounded results aren't causing a problem, such as using 0.33 instead of 0.3333333. If you are creating conversion templates, use the onEnter setting described in the Circular References & Conversions section.

Secondary Calculations

This is a common and critical problem. Perform a sample calculation and then return to the top of the template and change each value, one at a time. Does the template re-calculate or show the colored equals button appropriately with each change? If it does not the template user could base decisions on bad results.

Resolution: generally this problem is caused by auto calculation problems. See the Solving Auto Calculate Problems section.