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Enabling Continuous Testing In A DevOps Environment

Mohammed NaserMohammed Naser

The intent with embracing continuous testing as a DevOps tactic is to eliminate the singular functionality between the operations, development and testing teams. Find out more

Today's hyper-accelerated and dynamic paced business conditions have made it critical for companies to adopt DevOps tactics that promote better collaboration, camaraderie and continuous delivery. Competitive synergy has resulted in the growing need for releasing quality software in the shortest possible lead times while maintaining security. This policy has led more companies to integrate continuous testing as an integral part of the DevOps cycle. The intent with embracing continuous testing is to eliminate the singular functionality between the operations, development and testing teams. The methodology relies on running performance tests parallelly to boost testing execution speed for the software, thereby considerably reducing the overall time to market. Additionally, by utilizing security tests as a core element, it ensures that security isn't compromised in any manner during the development processes.

Continuous Testing

Continuous testing is a software testing mechanism that includes executing automated testing techniques as an element of the software delivery pipeline to receive instantaneous feedback on business risks and exigencies. It aims for testing throughout the software development life cycle (SDLC) employing automated tools and methods. It encourages better collaboration across disparate teams and helps them understand ways to ensure every software release's quality and reliability.

Various tests, including regression, performance, integration, user acceptance, functionality, etc. are executed automatically in continuous testing. These automated tests help teams obtain prompt feedback to promptly recognize and mitigate potential vulnerabilities or risks throughout the various stages of the development life cycle.

Continuous Testing - Significance

To cater to a more competitive marketplace, businesses need to provide a seamless user experience with every ongoing or subsequent software and product release while sustaining their consumers' security. A vital element of the SDLC to render more secure applications and better user experience is continuous testing (CT).

But the connection between continuous testing and DevOps is an interesting one. Continous testing fits perfectly with the two core concepts of DevOps - continuous development and a source of uninterrupted feedback. It can be smoothly integrated into the process of accelerated development in DevOps. Because DevOps consists of a collaboration between the development, operations, and QA teams in a cohesive manner, continuous testing enables teams to work with synergy and lesser friction. With the continuous development and testing of software and frequent feedback with quick bug fixes, companies can easily align their development processes with their businesses' demands.

Organizations can notably improve software delivery speed since the software changes can be set up rapidly in production.

Better security through continuous testing in DevOps

Continuous testing ensures consistency throughout the software development life cycle by allowing different teams involved in the SDLC to pitch in across the entire process as and when required. It also performs security tests early in the SDLC process to reveal potential vulnerabilities and security anomalies in the application as the development progresses. This results in every member becoming responsible for maintaining security, and there is continuity in the entire development process. Continuous testing aims to automated and repetitive security testing of software, from the initial coding stages to the final release stage.

Security testing remains an important part of continuous testing, given the growing attention towards efficient code-related risk management.

Early detection of potential vulnerabilities helps in the better overall security of the application. Continuous testing also aids in setting up a supported architecture that helps prevent the occurrence of unanticipated attacks or contingencies, some of which may be encountered post-development process. Accelerated development processes like DevOps get some serious help from continuous testing to ensure that the system is stable and recoverable in case of any failures.

How to Perform Continuous Testing in DevOps

To take its full benefit, continuous testing should be integrated into your continuous delivery and integration pipelines. Test suites are generally set up at every point of code modification, merger or release. This way, tests can be carried out at specific intervals instead of running them all at once. It helps to reduce effort and time considerably from a quality assurance point of view.

Continuous testing in DevOps can be performed through the following steps:

  • Setting test definition timelines: Create transparent and reasonable test data requirements to evade lags. To properly document all the requirements, it is beneficial to use behaviour-driven development (BDD), model-based testing, and acceptance test-driven development (ATDD). Test cases and test scripts must be explicitly defined before time to facilitate continuous testing from the originating stage of the code production.
  • Shift-lift security testing: Having tests run earlier in the SDLC will help catalogue and alleviate possible vulnerabilities and uncertainties. Developers should test cases as they proceed with test automation, performance testing, functional testing etc.
  • Test environments: To accomplish efficient continuous testing, implement virtualized test environments. Decrease wait times and eliminate blocks by executing comprehensive test environments with coder-friendly tools that do not require in-depth expertise about testing or security. These test environments should bear test data on-demand, empowering teams to conduct exhaustive tests as and when needed.
  • Optimizing the test processes: Perform optimization only in recently modified, merged, or updated test code. Test cases can be optimized through visual models that enable various paths to be recognized. Test suites are run only on particular code areas while providing the most outstanding coverage.
  • Automation: Leverage test automation to increase the speed and encourage more agile delivery to the production environment to minimize human effort, time, and mistakes.
  • Integrating performance testing into the delivery pipeline: Integrating performance testing is a vital part of continuous testing and just as important as other testing mechanisms such as integration, system, functionality, user experience. Performance testing assists in analyzing the speed, stability, and responsiveness of the project.

CI/CD Tool For All Your DevOps Needs

The enthusiasm towards DevOps will continue to be on the rise as more and more industries take to application development. No one wants the challenges of security breaches, broken code, delayed releases. Therefore, DevOps has to be a part of your cloud strategy for efficiency.

Are you looking for the right tool to accompany your DevOps cycle? In need of a device that will enhance the process of CI/CD for you? Then we have just the right solution, Managed Zuul. Keep broken code from merging into your main branch through a CI/CD tool fully-managed by us. Make the most of this gating tool with its multiple testing configurations. Also, check out our various cloud offerings including private clouds.

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