Automation testing focuses on continuous testing to identify bugs and defects early in the software development life cycle. It does this by using the tools that give priority to quality. One of the most persuasive features of the CI/CD pipeline is the scope to test the software code more frequently without overburdening the operators or developers with the manual work. In this article, we look at why automation testing is essential to the CI/CD pipeline.
What is Automation Testing
Automation testing is the implementation of the software tools for automating the human-driven manual process of validating and evaluating a software product. Nowadays, almost every software project includes automation testing from the starting phase of the SDLC. Automation testing brings massive benefits for team effectiveness and ROI of the quality assurance reams.
What are Continuous Delivery and Continuous Integration
Continuous Delivery is also known as Continuous Deployment. Everything that is integrated by the software development team is continuously deployed to the real-time environment.
Continuous Integration is a process in which the developers integrate their code into a shared repository. This process helps maintain the quality of code and detect possible issues with the native version of the code at the starting stage.
Reasons for Implementing Automation in CI/CD Pipeline
Testing is an essential element of all release cycles. The integration of automation testing helps companies handle the challenges they face while delivering a quality software product. Unit testing, User Integration testing help in assuring that code meets the standard quality.
CI allows the software development teams to modify the code to fix the bugs and handle the business requirements, which get tested concurrently. At the same time, CD enables the users to obtain the new version of the software product at the earliest.
Following are the key factors that we should consider to use Automation testing in the CI/CD Pipeline.
1) Identifying Bugs at an early stage: One of the most significant advantages of automation testing is identifying the errors at an early stage of software development life cycle(SDLC). The bug found in the initial phase of SDLC needs fewer resources and costs to be dealt with, in comparison to the bug found in the later stages of the Software Development Life Cycle( SDLC).
2) Handling small changes: In the CI/CD Pipeline, almost every update and code integration is small. In comparison to Manual testing, Automation is more suitable to test those small updates. It reduces the manual testing tedium that takes place with the small updates and allows the testing team to continuously deliver a steady flow of small changes that have been completely tested.
3) Rapid Testing: Continuous Delivery needs rapid testing. Automation testing gives results much more rapidly than Manual testing. Simultaneous automation testing reduces the testing duration.
4) Consistency: An efficient CI/CD pipeline will have little abnormalities and deviations. Maintaining the process consistency assures that expectations are satisfied completely to release the product.
- 5) Agility: In a strong Pipeline, we must be able to adjust the frameworks, tools, and configurations as the new methodology becomes available. Working it out with manual testing makes it hard to be agile. It is useless when the team has to occasionally rewrite or reconfigure the test cases when the CI/CD pipeline requires an update. Through automation testing, we can do reconfiguration and rewrite automatically.
- 6) Product Quality: Executing automated parallel and regression tests will enhance test coverage, assuring your application is error-free and works throughout a broad range of environments.
- 7) Cost Reduction: Automated testing environment deploying will minimize the costs associated with maintaining your own testing infrastructure. Simultaneous(Parallel) testing will reduce the number of systems you require to execute your tests on.
- 8) Testing and Development go hand to hand: Automation testing optimizes the software delivery and makes the software development and testing team work together. It eases the coordination between the IT operations team and the development team.
Best Methods for the CI/CD Pipeline to get the best from the test automation
1) Progressive Changes: To implement automation testing, the CI/CD pipeline must adapt the feature-by-feature approach. When the feature is large, we can break it into smaller and quicker for testing the features. This approach is essential for automation testing because it is easy to identify the root cause if there is a problem.
- 2) Parallel Testing: In the CI/CD pipeline, we must execute the tests in parallel for making the tests effective and convenient. It minimizes the time taken for executing the tests, thereby produces the results much rapidly. But It is not enough to just run the tests parallely, it is also essential to scale the size of the server to make the tests run quicker.
- 3) Identifying what must be Automated: Generally, software testing teams dive fast, and they say, “Let us automate everything,” but this is a common blunder. First, we should know the objective of the automation and determine the test cases that we must automate.
What kind of tests must be automated
- 1) UnitTestingUnit testing covers the separate units of the code. We test the units of the code in the function definitions. Each unit test will handle a function. The unit testing tests the code that has essential computations. Unit tests are affordable, fast to implement, and gives a high ROI(Return-on-Investment). If the software testing team does not automate the unit tests, the probability of getting success is very little.
- 2) PerformanceTestingIn the context of software development, the “performance” term explains the responsiveness and speed at which the software project responds. Some performance measures are: “time for loading the page,” “search results response time.” Automated performance testing executes the test cases throughout these measures and, after that, alerts the software development team regarding any speed loss or regression.
- 3) Integrationtesting
Generally, a coding unit will do an external call to the extrinsic service. The main source code that we test will not have access to this extrinsic service. Integration testing will test these extrinsic dependencies and validates the accuracy of the software boundary. Integration testing is identical to unit testing in the way we develop it. It is an affordable alternative to the End-to-End testing,
API testing tests the validity of the interoperability and logical layers among software systems and components. Instead of producing the mouse or keyboard input, API testing produces the calls to the API resources and checks the responses to those calls. The critical challenge to efficient API testing is the correct test environment setup; we can achieve it through more programming configuration and less visual interaction. This is one of the most complicated aspects of automation testing.
Automation testing is crucial in the successful deployment of software projects while maintaining standard quality. It assures that tests are run at every stage and provides good clarity on the code quality. Automation testing builds quality in the CI/CD pipeline and accelerates the software testing and deployment process.
I’m Srija Kalavala a fascinated Technical Content writer currently working at Mindmajix. Interested to know about technology updates. I Can write an article on the following technologies Database Management, Cloud Computing, Business Intelligence and Analytics, Cyber Security and SIEM Tools, etc. Get connected with me on Linkedin.