What is Continuous Testing?
Continuous Testing is the process of executing automated tests as part of the software delivery pipeline in order to obtain feedback on the business risks associated with a software release candidate as rapidly as possible. It evolves and extends test automation to address the increased complexity and pace of modern application development and delivery.
Everyone accepts that Agile and DevOps are all about change—transforming Dev/Ops people, processes, and technologies to deliver innovative software as rapidly as possible. In spite of all this change, one thing tends to remain the same: the software testing process. One recent study reports that 70% of organizations have adopted Agile, but only 30% automate testing. A separate study found that while Agile adoption is now near 88%, only 26% of Agile organizations have broadly adopted test automation.
In other words, testing processes remain stuck in the past even as organizations invest considerable time and effort into transforming their development processes to meet today’s and tomorrow’s business demands. Most legacy software testing tools and processes are unfit for the type of Continuous Testing that Agile and DevOps require due to:
Inability to “Shift Left”
Tests usually cannot be implemented until late in each sprint—when the UI and dependent components such as back-end APIs are finally completed and available for testing.
Slow Execution Time
Tests are time-consuming to execute, so it is not practical to run the complete regression test suite on each build. This means the team lacks instant feedback on whether their changes impact the existing user experience.
UI tests require considerable rework to keep pace with the frequent changes typical of accelerated release processes. This results in slow, burdensome test maintenance and/or causes test automation efforts to be abandoned.
Test Environment Instability
Test environment instability (inaccessible dependencies, test data issues, etc.) commonly cause timeouts, incomplete tests, false positives, and/or inaccurate results — preventing you from delivering the fast quality feedback Agile and DevOps require.
Enterprise Continuous Testing: Transforming Testing for Agile and DevOps
Even with the most extreme test automation, the “test everything” approach is not feasible—or necessary. If you rethink your approach to automated software testing, you can get a thorough assessment of a release candidate’s business risk with much less testing than you’re probably performing today.
Enterprise Continuous Testing: Transforming Testing for Agile and DevOps introduces a Continuous Testing strategy that helps enterprises accelerate and prioritize testing to meet the needs of fast-paced Agile and DevOps initiatives. Software testing has traditionally been the enemy of speed and innovation—a slow, costly process that delays releases while delivering questionable business value. This new strategy helps you test smarter, so testing provides rapid insight into what matters most to the business
To learn how, read the 132-page book by Tricentis Founder Wolfgang Platz.
Continuous Testing & Testing Automation
Industry research indicates that average test automation levels have been hovering around 20% for years. Today, changes across the industry are demanding more from testing at the same time that they’re making test automation more difficult to achieve:
Application architectures are increasingly more distributed and complex, embracing cloud, APIs, microservices, etc. and combining virtually endless combinations of different protocols and technologies within a single business transaction.
Thanks to Agile, DevOps, and Continuous Delivery, many applications are now released anywhere from every 2 weeks to thousands of time a day. In response, the time available for test design, maintenance, and especially execution decreases dramatically.
Now that software is the primary interface to the business, an application failure is a business failure—and even a seemingly minor glitch can have severe repercussions if it impacts the user experience. As a result, application-related risks have become a primary concern for even non-technical business leaders.
As software becomes the key to creating a competitive advantage across all markets, enterprises no longer enjoy the luxury of selecting either ‘speed’ or ‘quality’ when delivering software. Both are critical. Now that agile practices have matured and DevOps initiatives have entered the corporate agenda, Continuous Integration (CI), Continuous Testing and Continuous Delivery (CD) have emerged as key catalysts for enabling quality at speed. Of the three, Continuous Testing is by far the most challenging.
While Continuous Integration is primarily a tool-driven activity and Continuous Delivery is a tool- and team-driven activity, Continuous Testing involves tools, teams, individuals, and services.
Building and integrating code changes is certainly important. However, if the automated delivery process cannot identify how changes impact business risk or disrupt the end-user experience, then the increased frequency and speed of Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery could become more of a liability than an asset.
Executed correctly, Continuous Testing serves as the centerpiece of the agile downstream process – executing automated tests as part of the software delivery pipeline in order to provide risk-based feedback as rapidly as possible. Mastering Continuous Testing is essential for controlling business risk given the increased complexity and pace of modern application delivery.
Beyond Continuous Testing with Artificial Intelligence
Video: Wolfgang Platz on Enterprise Continuous Testing
Continuous Testing Maturity Assessment
5 core testing practices that separate successful DevOps from laggards
Podcast: Wolfgang Platz on Enterprise Continuous Testing
Continuous Testing, shifting left, and test automation
Blog: Wolfgang Platz on Enterprise Continuous Testing
Beating 3 challenges to enterprise Continuous Testing
A practical guide to continuous performance testing
Forrester Research: What separates DevOps + Agile leaders from laggards?
Get details on how Tricentis helps software testers adopt and advance Continuous Testing through risk-based testing, model-based test automation, service virtualization, test data management, and more.