Guide to DevOps Automation Testing
By Hamid Akhtar, Community Contributor - January 20, 2023
While DevOps makes testing a shared team duty, test automation helps developers to publish code changes quickly and with a high level of confidence in quality. This actually implies that developers tend to write unit tests to ensure that the code performs as intended, while quality experts and product owners construct automated UI tests to ensure that the end-to-end user experience is validated.
Throughout exploratory testing sessions, which are arranged by quality experts, the team manually checks a variety of application regions for issues. Running automated tests within the CI/CD pipeline as frequently as possible is a DevOps best practice. To proactively check for user experience problems, also entails executing automated UI tests in production.
Automated and in line with the continuous integration cycle, pre-testing, cleanup, post-testing, and other chores need to be performed.
It is the perfect time to instrument automated testing from the start if your team is developing a new product. Focus on designing the end-to-end test cases for each feature while establishing an early unit test coverage target. It’s advisable to postpone implementing automated end-to-end testing for a feature until it’s almost ready for release to prevent test failures brought on by unfavourable UI changes.
Let’s explore how Automation Testing fits into DevOps
The DevOps lifecycle includes more than just test automation. However, it is a vital component of high-quality delivery. Automated testing makes it possible to implement continuous testing, which is crucial for producing software quickly and to the highest standards. Other significant drivers include raising productivity while cutting costs and risk.
Leveraging automation frameworks and tools, test automation creates scripts to validate an application’s functionality. DevOps test automation allows for the following:
- Using test cases, you may find bugs and save time. Automation testing accelerates testing in contrast to manual testing, facilitating faster product deployment.
- You can test apps and eliminate human errors with the designated software programs.
- Streamline the testing procedure where multiple iterations of the test cases are required.
- Automating the procedure will increase reliability.
Continuous development is made possible by DevOps software testing, which takes place while the product is still being developed, tested, delivered, and made accessible to the final user. In contrast to traditional QA, which began the functional and regression testing process after the product was released, a DevOps-based QA testing approach integrates operations and development in the same cycle.
Processing automation is a component of the DevOps testing strategy to increase agility and speed. To do this, the DevOps tester must build a mature automation testing framework to facilitate the scripting of the test cases. The market is filled with a variety of automation tools that can assist with this procedure. It’s crucial to pick the correct tool.
For the SDLC to be successful, all parties involved must cooperate effectively.
Pro Tip: Send out releases of higher quality more quickly. Parallel test execution on the BrowserStack cloud can minimise build times by more than 10 times. For builds to be completed in less than ten minutes, top agile teams employ parallel testing on BrowserStack.
CI/CD environments and testing data
It can be difficult to develop automated tests, but more often than not, teams are prevented from implementing test automation early in the CI/CD pipeline due to the lack of pristine environments with test data. It’s essential to commit to creating the required testing infrastructure and hold an early team discussion about the testing approach as a result. To load data into a test environment using an API, for example, developers must incorporate support for test user accounts. Building infrastructure for early provisioning of ephemeral test environments will greatly accelerate the cycle for release review and feedback.
Why is Automation Testing core to DevOps?
DevOps provides incredible chances for career progression and elevates the role of quality professionals to a strategic level. Writing test cases, running manual tests, and informing the developers of any errors were the main responsibilities of QA in the past. The majority of quality professionals in the product organization were manual testers, while there were often only a few automation engineers.
But everything changes with DevOps. Testing a build must take only a few minutes, not days, with the number of releases to production per day. Software teams require trained individuals to serve as team leaders and mentors, promoting end-to-end testing advantages and educating the team’s members, particularly the developers, on best practices.
Read More: How to Accelerate Product Release Velocity
Automation is needed, not over-automation
Given the significance of automation testing, it is obvious that only the appropriate tools can improve the procedure. Your testing demands cannot be met by a single tool. But there are several things to take into account while assessing the tools on the market.
When the advantages far surpass the expenses and labour, DevOps test automation is profitable. Over-automation or tying too many tools together, however, may result in undesirable and unforeseen results.
Automation testing processes can be defined by striking a balance between the needs for development, testing, and deployment. Furthermore, test automation cannot be copied from other industries. They must nonetheless be specific to the demands of your company.
Automating tasks that are better left unattended is another example of over-automation. Manual testing still has to be done. Exploratory testing with scenarios that look at the system’s behaviour is a common practice in modern manual testing.
Not all scenarios are amenable to automation. Tests for user acceptance and usability can benefit from manual testing because these tests can highlight problems that automated tests might miss. To put it plainly, you would need to identify the test cases and create the automation procedures.
How to select test cases and create test automation flows
After covering the technical details of test automation and DevOps, we can now examine implementation. You must first plan out your release pipeline before you can integrate automated testing into your DevOps lifecycle. The following four steps can be used to accomplish this:
- Determine every phase of your release.
- Determine the checkpoints and prerequisites needed for a build to reach production.
- Determine the feedback mechanism needed for prompt error identification and correction.
- List all the activities, services, and operational processes involved in a release cycle.
Building the automation flows comes next. It depends on the tool, the testing plan you’ve put in place, and industry standards.
- You can develop the automation flows slowly and gradually expand coverage by automating simpler processes that are repeatable and predictable.
- It is simpler to identify the problem when a test case fails when you test one thing at a time. Instead of condensing multiple tests into a single test case, use the automation tool to create reusable components. Taking the logic from other test cases is simpler.
- Building discrete, self-contained automated test cases can provide parallel testing execution across several environments.
- The cooperation and collective wisdom of the team is essential to the success of automation testing. It is important to use a test automation platform that the entire team can use.
As a result, no-code test automation may be the best option for DevOps testing services since it enables the various teams to operate seamlessly through the release pipeline.
Read More: What is Continuous Testing in DevOps
What to look for when choosing the best test automation tool for DevOps
The selection of the appropriate tool is the last stage in the DevOps lifecycle of automated testing.
When it comes to testing automation tools, there are many different alternatives. Your DevOps lifecycle’s agility will be influenced by the one you select.
An automated DevOps test tool must:
- Be accessible to testers, developers, employees working in operations, and management
- Easily integrate with your CI/CD pipeline and CI/CD tools
- Ability to function in any infrastructure
- Keep automation case maintenance to an absolute minimum.
- Regardless of how complicated their needs for automation are, do not rely on users to create code.
- Not detract testers from principal tasks
- Possess an extremely low learning curve to prevent affecting release cycles
- Make working together on automation scenarios incredibly simple.
Pro Tip: With access to more than 3000 real device and OS combinations, BrowserStack App Automate provides a platform for automating mobile app testing. By utilising its scalability to execute thousands of test cases concurrently, it has assisted developers and quality assurance professionals in cutting down the testing time from hours to minutes.
Organizations must establish their DevOps practices in order to gain the key advantages of DevOps, including the capacity to build, test, and deliver products more quickly and reliably, expedite issue responses, and enhance teamwork and communication. It is no longer feasible to hold out on receiving feedback and having developers identify and fix bugs until the QA team has reviewed a release build for a few days.
By ensuring that test cases are automated and reach close to 100% code coverage, QA teams must coordinate their efforts within the DevOps cycle. Standardized environments are required, and automated deployment to QA boxes is ideal.
With real device cloud like BrowserStack, Dev and QA teams can easily coordinate and share the test results using Integrations like Slack, Jira and Trello for better and faster debugging, to ensure a high-quality software delivery.