CI/CD Pipeline, also known as DevOps pipeline, is used to continuously integrate and deploy software products. The software industry introduced the DevOps culture to quickly deliver the software modules to meet the market’s ever-changing needs by reducing the software development lifecycle (SDLC) and providing a high-quality product.
Table of Content
- Importance of Automation Testing
- Automation Testing Pros
- Automation Testing Types
- Tools of testing automation
Importance of Automation Testing
In the culture of continuous delivery, there is a lot of pressure on the development teams to deliver the product in less time without compromising its quality. Therefore, it is necessary to test the modules continuously at every stage of SDLC because it is very time-consuming to test and resolve the bugs in the last stages. Hence, test automation is done in the pipeline to detect and fix bugs as quickly as possible. However, it is crucial to understand that not all the tests are automated, but some are performed manually to ensure its high quality.
Moreover, the DevOps culture believes in small teams and less inter-communication between teams to increase overall productivity and quality. Therefore, it emphasizes highly on automation wherever possible.
Test automation is considered an essential factor in maintaining the software product’s quality in the CI/CD environment where the updates are made to the products continuously. Most importantly, test automation reduces the feedback loop between the developers and testers and tests the product in the replica of the actual user environment to easily and quickly detect the defects.
Automation Testing Pros
These are the few advantages of automation testing in the CI/CD pipeline:
As the CI/CD pipeline requires speed and quick delivery without any extra delays, the tests’ automation reduces the time and returns the testing results more quickly than the manual tests, which speeds up the overall software development process.
Automation testing provides an environment to test the application strictly. This benefits in delivering the refined end product of the software, which ensures a reliable system. Additionally, the continuous automation testing of all modules prevents the application from breaking down near release.
Automated testing reduces human input, leading to a higher quality of the product. When the modules are going through these tests, the developers can work on the next modules saving them the time to run the tests manually. Therefore, the automated tests are cost-efficient not only in terms of expenses to hire more developers for testing but also in terms of time.
As the efficient CI/CD pipeline possesses various exceptions, working with these irregularities ensures consistency throughout the process.
No Human Intervention
Using automation testing in CI/CD process ensures easy detection of bugs and errors. No human error can occur in testing, which brings the chances of application with a bug to a minimum.
Efficient and Accurate
Automated testing is efficient and accurate because if the testers perform all tests manually and continuously, it slows down various processes in the release pipeline. Moreover, many errors occur, and some significant defects go unnoticed. Therefore, the testers run automated tests to ensure the accuracy and quality of the modules.
Easy Updates Handling
In the DevOps pipeline, the product is always going through updates, and modules are continuously integrated into it. In this scenario, testing automation saves the developers from manually testing every small unit and its interaction with the product after integration and enabling them to integrate and deploy the changes smoothly.
Automation Testing Types:
These are the few types of testing that can be automated:
In the unit testing, the tools or testers execute the individual units, i.e., modules, with selected input/test cases in complete isolation to confirm the units’ working.
In the integration testing, the testing tools join the individual modules/units together in an incremental manner while ensuring that the newly added module works appropriately without affecting the functionality of the already added modules
The functional testing verifies all the functionalities described in requirements specifications documents.
This testing ensures that the product’s front end (user-facing interface) is fully functional and working as per requirements. The tools are capable of testing the products on various platforms and operating systems using Virtual Machines.
Load testing tests the system’s performance under expected extreme load in the real environment.
Regression testing verifies that the products’ new updates have not affected its functionality and works as specified by the system’s requirements.
In this testing, the testers analyze the product’s behavior or system by putting excess load on it and determining its breakpoint. It also checks that if the system gracefully recovers after the failure to verify its reliability.
Tools of testing automation:
These are the few automation tools used in the software industry for testing automation:
Selenium is one of the popular automation testing tools. It is an open-source framework for continuous testing, which requires a strong understanding of programming. Moreover, it supports various browsers and operating systems for cross-environment testing.
Appium is a tool for testing mobile applications. Like Selenium, it also supports cross-platform testing but also requires excellent programming skills. That is why this tool is most suitable for the teams who are familiar with the programming languages.
Rational Functional Tester (RFT)
RFT is a widely known testing tool by IBM. This tool is one of the pioneers in automation testing designed for API testing, performance testing, data-driven testing, and functional testing. However, this tool requires a deep understanding of the DevOps technology for its setup.
Unified Functional Tester (UFT)
Like RFT, it is also one of the pioneers in the automation field, created by Micro Focus. In addition to providing API, web, mobile, hybrid, and enterprise applications, it provides image-based identification of the objects. Moreover, it requires the knowledge of VBScript scripting language for its usage.
This ongoing automation testing at various stages of application development enables the timely production of any system. Continuous monitoring using different testing techniques and tools, the application is made error-free and readily available for a large customer base. Most importantly, automation testing brings quality and speed to the CI/CD pipeline while reducing the cost and risk associated with them in the SDLC.