The primary goal of adopting Continuous Testing is to test early and test often. In today’s fast paced product development environments, software testing companies and development teams have started embracing Agile and DevOps-inspired Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery methodologies. It is virtually impossible to execute all the manual test cases every time there is a code change in the version control system. This is where automated continuous testing pipeline has gained popularity in DevOps. In this tutorial, learn everything about continuous testing, the benefits of continuous testing, various continuous testing platform, how to implement a continuous testing pipeline, different continuous testing framework and some of the best continuous testing tools etc.
What is Continuous Testing Framework?
Continuous Testing Framework is the process of executing automated test suits as part of the software delivery pipeline. This helps with obtaining rapid feedback on critical business risks that are often associated with a software release candidate. In other words, Continuous Testing is defined as a type of software testing approach that adopts a process of testing early, testing often, testing everywhere, and automating whenever possible.
This essentially means undisrupted testing that is performed on a continuous basis. In a typical Continuous DevOps process, every software update (release candidate) is always continuously moving from Development to Testing to Deployment.
Example of Continuous Testing:
Every time the developer checks the code in the Source Code Server, a Continuous Integration tool such as Jenkins starts executing automated set of unit tests in the continuous process. If any of the tests fail, then the defects are automatically logged to the defect tracking tool (e.g. JIRA), the build is rejected, and the developers are notified. However, if the build passes the automated tests, then the build is deployed to the Staging/QA servers for extensive functional testing, load testing and security testing. It is important to note that these tests are run in parallel. Finally, if the tests pass on the Staging/QA server, then the software is deployed to the production server.
What are the Difference between Continuous Testing & Test Automation?
Test Automation vs Continuous Testing:
|Criteria||Test Automation||Continuous Testing|
|Definition||Test automation involves a testing process where automation tool or software is used for automating testing related tasks.||Continuous testing is a software testing methodology that focuses on undisrupted testing that is performed on a continuous basis.|
|Purpose||Test automation targets a set of highly repetitive testing tasks that can be executed faster via test automation tools, with a fewer mistake.||The continuous testing process is aimed at finding the business risks early in the SDLC cycle, addressing them and improving the quality of the software product.|
|Dependencies||Software test automation is possible without integrating continuous testing to the delivery pipeline.||Continuous testing requires test automation and cannot be implemented without it.|
|Delivery Time||Software product release can take relatively longer time, sometimes months or even years.||Software product release can be much faster, sometimes bi-monthly or even weekly.|
|Testing Feedback||Testing feedback and results are available after testing each release.||Testing feedback and results at each stage are available instantly.|
|Popularity||Automated testing is a fairly older practice and have been in use for decades.||Continuous testing is a relatively newer software testing methodology.|
How to Implement Continuous Testing?
Continuous testing can be implemented by using the following approach:
– Use software testing tools to create test automation suites from user stories and requirements.
– Create an independent test environment. You may call it stage/QA/Testing etc.
– Copy and anonymize data from your production DB over to your test environment DB in order to create test data bed.
– Use service virtualization method to test web services and API calls.
– Setup performance testing to be executed in parallel.
Best Continuous Testing Tools in 2023 (Top 5)
1) Atlassian Bamboo
Bamboo is a continuous integration tool from the family of tools belonging to Atlassian. Bamboo tool can be deployed across Docker containers or for running applications in the public cloud with the likes of Amazon AWS (Amazon Web Services).
This CI tool offers developers code visibility and easily integrates with other Atlassian tools like Bitbucket (web-based version control repository hosting service), Jira (project management and defect tracking), and HipChat (collaboration tool).
Jenkins is an open source automation server written in Java. Jenkins helps to automate the non-human part of the software development process, with continuous integration and facilitating technical aspects of continuous delivery. It is a server-based system that runs in servlet containers such as Apache Tomcat. This tool can be configured via GUI interface or console commands.
Travis is another popular continuous testing tool hosted on the GitHub. This CI tool offers both hosted as well as on-premises variants. Travis offers a variety of different programming languages and good documentation for beginners.
4) Circle CI
CircleCI is a commercial alternative tool for DevOps teams. Circle CI offers both an orchestration layer and a workflow tool for automating code changes. Pricing of this commercial tool is based on the number of containers and concurrent builds. Pricing starts at $50 per month for two, with unlimited users and builds included.
Harness is a fairly new entrant among continuous integration tools and it came out of stealth in October 2017. By leveraging machine learning, Harness automates monitoring to ease the deployment process.
Harness does this by identifying an application’s baseline performance and automating rollbacks when things aren’t running as they should be. The pro version costs $25/month per service instance.
Benefits of Continuous Testing
– Accelerates software delivery while improving software quality
– Improves code quality by minimizing costly business mistakes
– Helps with accurately accessing business risk coverage
– Seamlessly integrates into DevOps pipeline
– Accelerates time-to-market of your product due to the continuous feedback mechanism
– Provides test environment access with service virtualization
Findings from the recent Forrester Total Economic Impact (TEI) study on Continuous Testing demonstrate how several enterprise companies reap over $19M in net present value by adopting continuous testing over a three-year period. CredibleSoft has emerged as a leading software test automation company that is capable of taking up any continuous testing projects, irrespective of the complexity, technology-stack or project size / duration. We have an impeccable reputation of serving SMBs, Fortune 500 companies as well as Startups with their QA, testing and test automation needs.
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