The quality of software can be determined when it adapts to changes and promptly responds without any delays. However, overtimes with extensive use the code may change, and manual testing needs to be conducted again to identify the impact of these changes on the functionalities of the system.
A software is manually tested at the software development stage but comes with several drawbacks as follows:
- Manual testing of regression packs delays the release of the software. It takes weeks and months to get feedback from the developers as the written code is tested. The entire process is relatively time-consuming and expensive.
- Even the most advanced and expert testers may not perform regression testing with accuracy. It might be hard to detect the impact of the set of changes in a complex software system through inspection.
All about Continuous Delivery
Alongside code writing, it is equally important to focus on quality during continuous delivery. Testers work closely with developers to help them create unit tests. They start by writing code to automate the small number of tests that cannot be covered by unit tests. Continuous delivery allows us to rapidly test product with our users and collect data on the possible outcome. Continuous delivery enables you to carry out experiments quickly in the on-going production stage.
With continuous delivery, there is no need to ensure quality of software at the end of the development cycle before its launch. The code goes straight to production allowing for quality check at the same time it is created. The testers closely work with the developers to ensure that the quality is maintained.
Automation propels testing and focuses on the quality of the applications, and so most of these applications are tested in the unit testing phase itself. The tested code is deployed at the production stage for continuous delivery as soon as it is checked into source code management and passes a deployment pipeline.
Why Continuous Testing is important?
Developing software and testing them are not two separate activities, but a part of the same equation. Hence, testing should be performed simultaneously along with developing the application. Automation like test automation, deployment automation, and environment automation allows you to execute these changes faster with minimum effort.
Application and systems need consistent updating of test documentation to keep it ready with the changes in the applications. Many different types of tests, both manual and automated, need to run continuously throughout the delivery process. Followed by continuous delivery and integration, continuous testing automation is included in the deployment pipeline. The deployment pipeline allows creating packages that can be implemented in any environment and runs unit tests, providing feedback to developers.
These test packages need to pass comprehensive automated tests that run against them. These packages are available for self-service other environments for activities such as exploratory testing, usability testing, and ultimately release after they pass all these automated tests. Automation testing is important for continuous delivery, which is followed by continuous deployment. Hence, it gives rise to the need for continuous testing to keep a track on changes.
In the deployment pipeline, the changes are implemented simultaneously with continuous integration during product release. If the common defects are not highlighted in the deployment pipeline, it could delay product release. However, some tests are improved and updated in the pipeline if defects are detected later. The focus here is to find the issues as early as possible to reduce the release time of the product.
How Continuous Testing can improve Continuous Delivery?
Implementation of continuous testing in continuous delivery can benefit your delivery pipeline. The following are the points that would explain how continuous testing can improve continuous delivery: –
- Executing API, UI, and Performance testing along with Regression testing will ensure the quality of the app in various customized cases. Continuous testing will allow the developers to perform a live test of the implementation, functionality, and behaviour of their code with testing tools.
- The DevOps team can implement parallel tests with automatic notifications after making the necessary configurations to the CI environment. Testers can notify developers whenever there is a failure in any build component. Testing of all changes can be done automatically using continuous integration.
- The QA team can verify and validate the product quality by running regression, load, and functional tests deployment. The automation testing will be continuously carried out if the test module configuration is correct. In case if there is a build failure in the system, it can be fixed by manual testing.
There are some best practices for continuous testing in continuous delivery:
- Continuous testing enables you to test operating systems and devices before production. It saves money in the long run as instead of running a large volume of test cases, load tests implemented every day at specific target areas reveal smaller bugs and fix them immediately.
- Accurate results can be obtained conducting test simultaneously during the development phase as compared to running tests in a controlled lab environment.
- Detecting defects and fixing them will be much easier and can run at the same time if the entire test suite is divided into several smaller tasks.
- To have adequate knowledge and detect the issues or discrepancies in app architecture and test automation, the metrics must be properly used. Proper use of metrics can also help up to prevent the risk of failures and its impact.
Continuous deployment and continuous delivery require a well-structured and planned environment for continuous testing. In absence of which CI and CD effort would not be successful. At Yethi Consulting, we follow an agile test automation framework. Our scriptless test automation platform, Tenjin, is a plug-and-play banking aware solution. Its robotic capabilities enable them to learn and adapt to the application and its updates. Regardless of the complexity and number of updates, Tenjin facilitates continuous testing, minimizing the manual effort and speed up the test execution.