April 8, 2022
Introduction to Continuous Testing
Continuous testing is the development process of testing an application through running tests (typically automated) at every stage of the software development life cycle. The main goal is to quickly get feedback on the enterprise risks involved with a software release candidate. As the continuous testing market is estimated to grow from USD 1.15 billion in 2018 to 2.41 billion by 2023, organizations across all industries seek to bring forward their digital transformation to enhance their business operations. Many consider continuous testing an essential element in this transition to help them minimize the business risks associated with software development and releases.
History of Continuous Testing
Development operations in older development models were centered around the concept of a handoff—when one team finished its tasks, it passed the software onto the next unit, keeping functions and obligations separate. The focus on quality was the basis for these discrete processes. Teams had more time to complete their split tasks and ensure the best possible outcome.
However, this outdated paradigm was no longer sustainable with the desire for faster development time frames. Organizations sought a speedier way to create and distribute products to their consumers. To meet this ever-increasing need for development pace, a newer development approach called agile emerged. Organizations used this concept to add more incremental activities that were carried out continuously.
Most firms have adopted DevOps and DevSecOps, which use a collaborative and shared-responsibility environment. Teams have been able to adopt automation and continuous activities due to this shift away from traditional techniques. One of these critical approaches is continuous testing.
How to put Continuous Testing into Practice:
Software release cycles are getting shorter in this increasingly fast-paced development environment, forcing organizations to adjust their procedures to stay up. Continuous testing plays a vital role in this achievement, as do DevOps approaches and tools.
Continuous testing promotes testing at all phases of the Continuous Development Life Cycle, from development to release, enabling it to enhance the DevOps process. The idea behind DevOps and DevSecOps is to complete activities as quickly as possible, thus speeding up all development operations. Continuous testing, which is included in this framework, ensures that development proceeds without stumbling blocks and deploys high-quality software.
Organizations must build a solid test automation approach as part of their ongoing testing strategy. It should cover all testing areas, such as API. integration, and user interface testing.
While choosing a specific area for testing may be beneficial in some cases, businesses should always have a plan to support all forms of testing as needed.
Automated testing is done via running test cases using one or multiple automation tools, without human intervention during the test execution process. Automated tests are crucial for an effective Continuous testing process since they are able to save hours on each test run, while also delivering results faster.
Why Employ Continuous Testing?
1. Identify issues fast and reduce time to market
Manual testing is time-consuming and tedious. Automation frees up time for the developers to resolve bugs discovered during testing. When automated tests are run each time the code is merged, developers will be able to detect and fix errors sooner. Identifying defects as soon as possible will save you a lot of time, money, and effort in the long run.
2. Remove repetitive manual tasks
Implementing continuous testing guarantees the pipeline’s delivery process moves as quickly and accurately as possible, while also giving the QA team more time to develop better and more effective test cases. This doesn’t necessarily mean that all tests will be automated, however, since there still are some types of testing that are most effective when done manually.
3. Make your customers happy
Continuous testing can help you save your business’s reputation even after the release to your end-users. In case of any new bugs being created during the release (which were not occurring in a staging environment), automated testing in place will identify these issues much faster than the manual team. You’d rather hear about the issue in production from your QA team, not the customer support.
Important Considerations When Implementing Continuous Testing
Continuous testing necessitates the capacity to deliver virtualized test environments. Provide comprehensive test environments on-demand with dev-friendly tools to eliminate bottlenecks and reduce standby times. These environments should provide test data on-demand to guarantee that teams can run extensive tests with production-like data. These environments should be ephemeral, available when needed, and removed when no longer needed.
Many application release cycles are delayed due to the inability to obtain sufficient test data. Test data should be as near to what the application would face in production to test new capabilities accurately. If the test data lacks real-world properties, the tests are unlikely to uncover any possible faults or break the application if flaws exist. Understanding data models is a unique ability in and of itself.
Although production data is ideal for testing, data privacy rules and team silos frequently limit its access. A powerful test data management platform that allows you to replicate production data and mask it to safeguard sensitive information while keeping the properties that make production data valuable for testing is the solution to this conundrum.
How to Implement Continuous Testing
The first step is to choose tests that you would like to use for this process, which should be picked starting from the highest importance and highest risk. Then define which tests should be run on the staging environments with test data, and which can be run on production.
If you’re familiar with testRigor, you know it is a cloud-based, codeless software test automation system. It’s an ideal tool for implementing continuous testing, since your existing manual QA team will be able to own the whole process, while also building automated tests up to 15x faster due to testRigor’s AI engine. Once built, tests are extremely stable, which allows for seamless integration into your CI/CD. testRigor is free to start, and setting up a new test suite and creating your first test takes under an hour.