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DevOps testing

As more organizations adopt DevOps and Agile methodologies for faster software delivery, DevOps testing plays a critical role in helping to ensure the quality of code, and the functionality of software, at each phase of the development lifecycle.

DevOps brings development and operations teams together to produce higher-quality software faster. By eliminating the traditional silos between these two areas, DevOps enables shorter development lifecycles and more frequent software deliveries. As a result, organizations also require DevOps testing solutions that can keep up with the pace of software delivery and not create unacceptable delays and bottlenecks.

Test automation is critical to DevOps testing, accelerating timelines by eliminating manual processes, increasing accuracy, reducing costs, and optimizing test coverage.

The challenge of DevOps testing

While a growing number of organizations have adopted Agile and DevOps methodologies, surprisingly few have adopted the test automation technology required to support continuous testing in an Agile or DevOps environment. One recent study found that more than two-thirds of organizations have adopted Agile, but less than one-third have automated their testing technology. This means that even as organizations are investing heavily in technology to transform their development processes, their DevOps testing processes and tools remain stuck in the past.

Most legacy software testing solutions, however, are ill-equipped to handle the demands of continuous testing. Legacy DevOps testing is limited by:

  • Inability to “shift left.” Many traditional testing technologies and processes can’t be implemented until late in a sprint when the UI and dependent components, such as back-end APIs, are finished and ready for testing.
  • Excessive maintenance requirements. UI tests must be frequently reworked to keep pace with the speed of change in accelerated development timelines. As a result, teams are burdened by test maintenance requirements, and test automation efforts are often abandoned.
  • Slow execution. Traditional testing solutions are time consuming to execute, making it impossible to run a complete regression test suite for every build. As a result, development teams lack insight into whether new changes impact existing functionality and user experiences.
  • Unstable test environments. Instability and test environments such as inaccessible dependencies and test data issues frequently cause incomplete tests, false positives, timeouts, or inaccurate results, preventing testing teams from delivering the fast feedback that Agile and DevOps processes require.

Organizations can overcome these challenges with superior solutions for test automation and continuous testing.

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Enabling DevOps testing through continuous testing

Continuous testing is the process of executing automated tests throughout the software delivery pipeline to get feedback as quickly as possible about the business risks associated with each candidate for software release. Continuous testing involves and extends test automation to solve the challenges of a complex and fast-paced development and delivery model.

Continuous testing is defined by a number of key characteristics.

  • A focus on risk. The primary goal of continuous testing is assessing business risk coverage. Alternately, continuous testing provides insight into whether a release candidate is too risky to proceed through the delivery pipeline.
  • An emphasis on the user experience. Continuous testing establishes a safety net that helps teams protect the user experience in accelerated development processes. Continuous testing is broad enough to detect when an application change unintentionally impacts functionality that users have come to rely on.
  • Integrated testing. Continuous testing is seamlessly integrated into the software delivery pipeline and DevOps toolchain. It executes the right set of tests at the right stage of the delivery pipeline and delivers actionable feedback for each stage. Continuous testing also embraces a “shift left” approach on functional testing for units, components, and coverage, as well as a “shift right” focus on monitoring, APM, and testing in production.
  • End-to-end testing. Continuous testing includes end-to-end tests that assess the end-user experience across all front-end and back-end technologies.
  • Fewer false positives. Continuous testing reduces false positives by prioritizing robust, flexible, modern test frameworks over brittle scripts.
  • Exceptional efficiency. Continuous testing continuously reviews and optimizes the test suite to eliminate redundancy and maximize business risk coverage.

The benefits of DevOps testing

By automating DevOps testing, organizations can:

  • Identify critical defects and bugs earlier in the process when they are easier and less expensive to fix
  • Promote seamless collaboration between developers, quality assurance (QA)/testing teams, and operations
  • Assess the quality of software at every stage of development
  • Get faster feedback that lets developers fix issues sooner so software can be released more quickly
  • Improve efficiency with the ability to repeat tests that reduce the failure rate for new releases
  • Accelerate time-to-market by reducing test execution time
  • Improve test coverage for mobile, web, and other platforms by scaling test automation tool

Best practices for test automation in DevOps

  • Focus on risk metrics. Focus test automation efforts on processes and transactions that carry higher business risk to reduce the chance that critical defects slip into production. By identifying which tests deliver the greatest risk coverage, teams can significantly increase the speed of testing and production.
  • Automate end-to-end. Automation is critical to driving release velocity and is a key step in implementing the type of testing that delivers higher-quality software faster.
  • Select the right tool. Automated testing tools should enable multiple users and roles to create and execute test cases without having to write code or make complex configurations.
  • Leave room for manual testing. Certain bugs will be more easily found through manual and exploratory testing. Other scenarios don’t lend themselves easily to automated testing.
  • Build independent test cases. By creating independent and self-contained test cases, it’s easier to reuse them and to execute them across different environments.
  • Make test automation a group effort. By adopting a test automation platform that all testers can work with, automation and testing will become a regular part of the daily work of all team members.

Tools for DevOps testing from Tricentis

Tricentis is the industry’s #1 Continuous Testing platform, recognized for reinventing software testing for DevOps. Tricentis offers Agile test management and advanced test automation that’s optimized to support 160+ technologies. By transforming testing from a roadblock to a catalyst for innovation, Tricentis delivers automated insight into the business risks of each software release.

The Tricentis platform offers a suite of solutions based on an automated, fully codeless, and AI-driven approach to continuous testing. Tricentis provides:

  • Enterprise-grade automation. Achieve resilient, end-to-end test automation across any architecture or application stack at scale.
  • Codeless testing. With an AI-driven and model-based approach to testing, Tricentis enables anyone from developers to business experts to automate testing, while eliminating maintenance headaches.
  • End-to-end visibility. Tricentis provides complete visibility across all the tools in the software delivery lifecycle and enables centralized reporting that accelerates remediation.
  • Tools for the full testing lifecycle. Tricentis enables seamless collaboration between developers, testers, and business users on a common set of test cases, plans, data, and artifacts.
  • AI-powered solutions. Test smarter and faster with advanced ML technologies such as Vision AI, Self-healing AI, and Risk AI that can help to reduce the business risk of application changes.
  • Traceability. Enjoy complete traceability and coverage of business requirements to production deployments with best-in-class tools, JIRA testing tools, and DevOps ecosystem integrations.
  • An open platform. Expect extensive support and orchestration of a broad range of open-source and commercial technologies.
  • Real-time analytics. Gain visibility and insights into all testing activities from a central location.

In addition to DevOps testing, the Tricentis platform provides solutions for data integrity testing, smart impact analysis, performance testing, ServiceNow testing, and Salesforce test automation.

FAQs

What is DevOps?

DevOps is an approach to software development that brings development and operations teams together to build better, faster, and more responsive software. Rather than a specific methodology, DevOps is a cultural shift that eliminates barriers between departments that are typically siloed in order to meet requirements for faster and more frequent delivery of software.

What is DevOps testing?

DevOps testing refers to the practices and tools for testing software in a DevOps environment. Because DevOps development cycles are much shorter and faster, traditional testing tools create bottlenecks and slow development timelines. As a result, DevOps testing requires tools that can automate tests and management of testing in order to accelerate software delivery, reduce costs, and minimize the complexity of managing testing requirements.

What is test automation in DevOps testing?

Test automation technology is designed to automate many of the tasks of tracking and managing both automated and manual tests. Test automation enables testing to happen at a pace that supports the accelerated speed of DevOps software development.

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