DevOps (Developer + IT Operations) has now become an integral part of the software product release cycle. The primary reason is that release cycles have shortened by a significant margin, since today’s customers have a lot of choices up their sleeves. It is all about releasing a top-notch product to the market at an expedited pace.
However, faster Time to Market (TTM) also means that there should be zero compromise on the product quality. Quality and timely delivery can be possible by maximizing the benefits offered by continuous testing and DevOps pipeline. One of the many ways to improve the efficiency of the pipeline is by integrating automated testing into the pipeline.
Automated testing in DevOps helps in ensuring that the automated tests are triggered whenever any changes are made in the source code. This eventually leads to minimizing bugs in the Stage release (before a thoroughly tested release reaches the Prod). So, what is the magic to make the most of DevOps and Automated Testing? Well, we wish it would be 🙂 In this blog, we uncover the following topics when it comes to automation in the DevOps lifecycle:
- Benefits of automated testing in DevOps
- Choosing the test scenarios that need automation
- Shortlisting the best-suited test automation framework (or tool) for the job
So, let’s get started with the blog…
Benefits of Automation Testing in DevOps
Irrespective of the size, scale, or complexity of the project; DevOps has become an absolute necessity in the software dev and testing lifecycle. This is because testing as a part of the DevOps pipeline accelerates the code deployment from development to production environment.
Agile and DevOps go hand-in-hand. On the whole, DevOps has a significant influence on the software testing and QA activity. Needless to mention that automated testing is the ideal way to accelerate quality software delivery. Jenkins, Circle CI, Azure Pipelines, Bamboo, etc. are some of the widely used DevOps (or CI/CD) tools in the market.
Here are the major benefits of incorporating automated testing as a part of the DevOps pipeline:
- DevOps can be considered as one of the guiding pillars of Agile and CI/CD. Automated testing when part of the DevOps pipeline helps identify potential release bottlenecks, locate bugs faster, and accelerate software release.
- It is a known fact that manual testing is necessary to test scenarios that cannot be automated. Running all the tests manually can literally choke up the release cycle. Automated testing in the DevOps pipeline helps improve software quality at the fastest speed possible.
- Automated regression tests when a part of the DevOps pipeline helps locate side-effects of the newer code on the existing functionalities in the product.
Since automation testing is so critical, it is recommended to partner with an automation testing services company in case you want to make the most out of automation and DevOps.
How to choose scenarios for test automation?
As mentioned in the previous section, not all the test scenarios can be automated using automation testing tools (or frameworks). Here are some of the steps that must be looked into when choosing scenarios that need to be a part of the DevOps pipeline:
- Choose the stages that must be a part of the release cycle. Some of the stages of the DevOps pipeline can be development, build, test, deploy, operate, and monitor
- Identify the threshold at which the automated tests in the pipeline would be considered Passed/Failed
- Deep dive into the manner in which the feedback mechanism will be incorporated in the pipeline. Many automation testing tools support integration with popular communication tools, using which identified issues can be assigned to the respective team members
Building the right automation flows and choosing the ideal test automation framework (or tool) is important to maximize the benefits of automation and DevOps. The integral question is “How to strategize the DevOps automation testing strategy”? Let’s look into it…
- Formulating a big-bang automation testing outline might not be ideal from the start of the project.
Identify test scenarios that are very critical for the product release so that they can be part of the automation flow. Scenarios that are repetitive and easy to automate are excellent contenders for automation.
- The complexity of the test scenarios can increase with the progress of the project. As more features are being developed, it is necessary to devise the corresponding test scenarios.
Hence, there must be laser sharp focus on the maintainability and reusability of the test suites. Having reusable components (or packages) minimizes the time involved in developing the test cases.
- There are some best practices that must be followed when devising test scenarios. Some of the major ones are – avoiding blocking sleep calls, following uniform naming nomenclature, using autonomous test case design, amongst others.
In a nutshell, conscious effort must be spent in accelerating test case execution, leveraging every benefit offered by the CI/CD pipeline, and following the best practices in test case design & development.
Also Read – Why Automated Testing Is A Must for DevOps?
How to choose best-suited test automation framework (or tool) for the job?
This brings us to the final section of the blog – Choosing the framework that meets your testing requirements. The first step is to choose a test automation framework that provides APIs through which you can design test scenarios. For example – Selenium, Cypress, Playwright, and Puppeteer are some of the most popular test automation frameworks for UI test automation.
On the other hand, you could consider Postman, Hoppscotch, etc. can be chosen for API automation. On similar lines, there are freemium as well as open-source frameworks for other popular forms of automation testing (i.e. stress testing, load testing, etc.).
Before choosing the right test automation tool, it is necessary to choose a test automation framework that meets project and team requirements. Once you have chosen the framework, the next step is to choose the tool (or infrastructure) that would be used for running the tests.
Cloud-based infrastructure for test automation is preferred by many automation testing companies since it helps reduce the infrastructure costs by a huge margin. Over & above, you must look into whether the test automation tool provides integration with the CI/CD tool of your choice.
Most cloud-based test automation tools (or platforms) support integration with popular CI/CD tools like Jenkins, CircleCI, Gitlab CI, Azure Pipelines, amongst others. The combination of cloud-based test automation platform and preferred CI/CD tool helps in reaping the maximum benefits of this combination.
It’s a Wrap
DevOps and Automation testing have become important to release quality products at a faster pace. Since all the test scenarios cannot be automated, it becomes imperative to identify the scenarios that can be automated using popular test automation frameworks and tools.
When considering automation tools and test automation frameworks (& tools), perform a careful analysis of the product features as well as the expertise available in the team. Partnering with an experienced test automation company can go a long way in making the most of the DevOps and automation tools that are best-suited for your project.
KiwiQA is a renowned QA outsourcing company that has worked with a number of enterprises in expediting their time to market by devising a test automation strategy that yields long-term fruitful results.