Continuous testing is when automated tests are executed in a delivery pipeline, allowing for easy and quick updates on the business risks of the release of software. Test automation adapted to suit constantly increasing complexity of present day application delivery, is continuous testing.
The introduction of continuous testing was made to reduce the amount of time taken to provide feedback to developers. Rigid development processes make it tedious to make new changes and deploy any new features.
Continuous Testing key points:
- The primary goal of continuous testing is to assess the coverage of business risk by detecting and reporting issues on time.
- It instantly provides insight on how risky it is to proceed further along the delivery pipeline at any point.
- Continuous testing sets up a safety net for user experience in processes that develop rapidly, so that software failures are avoided in production.
- It ensures that testing is embedded inside the development process rather than being tackled at the end.
- There is seamless integration of continuous testing in the software delivery pipeline as well as the DevOps toolchain.
- It must have valid test data for every test run and a completely stable test environment.
- Be it “shift left” approach where early testing is added, or the “shift right” approach where user behaviour, performance, business, and security metrics are rigorously monitored, continuous testing supports everything.
- Continuous testing executes test sets at the correct stages of the delivery pipeline, ensuring that there are no bottlenecks created.
- Each and every stage in the delivery pipeline is given appropriate and actionable feedback.
- Every layer of modern architecture is evaluated at the appropriate stages of the pipeline.
- Continuous testing involves end-to-end tests that assess the experience of the end-user realistically across all the technologies associated with the application.
- The tests should be broad and able to detect the application changes that impact certain functionalities users have got accustomed to.
- In continuous testing, false positives are reduced due to the prioritization of flexible, robust, modern frameworks over scripts that are brittle.
- There are constant reviews and optimizations of test suites to ensure there is no redundancy and minimal business risk.
Workflow of Continuous Testing
- User stories
Implementation of user stories or features, that is, small descriptions of functional requirements of an application from the end user’s perspective, are made by the development team.
- Source Control
The code is then checked into source control, a mechanism that keeps various versions of your files, and built using Continuous Integration tools.
As the name suggests, this is the part of the timeline where the actual building of the application happens. After building, the deployment of code into the development environment happens, where unit testing and analysis of code is performed.
- Deploy to QA
The final code is then sent to the QA environment so it can be continuously tested.
- Run Automation
Automation scripts are made to run against the code, and any issues are reported and then fixed.
Selecting a Tool for Continuous Testing
Automation tools can help you orchestrate continuous testing and reach your goals. However, not all tools are fit for any application. Here are some ways to make sure that you pick the most suitable tool to perform continuous testing:
- Get a good understanding of your project requirements. Consider the scope of your project and your team’s coding skills. Figure out the extent of automation that would be necessary and the number of test cases that have to be automated.
- Analyse the specifications of the automation tool. Find out whether it is an open source tool, if it has any record-playback options for its test scripts, and if it supports the programming language that you prefer. Ensure that you also find out how its customer support is.
- Check the ease of developing, creating, and maintaining scripts on the tool. Easy execution of test suite and support for web as well as mobile and cross-browser testing are important aspects to be considered. The tool must be able to run intuitive test reports and integrate with automated builds.
Lastly, also look at the price and see if it fits into your budget.
In a nutshell, continuous testing introduces the idea of quality and testing right from the start instead of keeping it as an after-thought in the delivery process. With the pace at which new products and services are emerging today, continuous testing is almost the bare minimum requirement if one wants to keep up with consumer demands.