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What is DevOps Testing?

What is DevOps Testing?
The goal of DevOps is to streamline and automate your whole software delivery lifecycle. A successful DevOps testing plan for most businesses begins with implementing the agile best practice of Continuous Integration (CI), in which developers check code into a common repository numerous times per day.

DevOps test engineers are team members that are in charge of testing in a DevOps setting. Anyone in the DevOps ecosystem, such as QA professionals, developers, or infrastructure and security engineers for their respective areas, can fulfill this function. Anyone who is trusted to perform testing can be a DevOps test engineer.

The heart and soul of DevOps is test automation. It depends on automation inside the build process to guarantee that testing and development occur concurrently, so that when the build is ready for deployment, all tests have already been performed and the product is market ready.

In a non-DevOps setup, independent testers from the QA team test the products that developers send on to them, and QA then passes the product on to operations. In a DevOps environment, it is necessary to distribute error-free code in tiny portions (e.g. microservices). This means that testing should be done more often throughout the process, from start to finish, throughout the development and deployment cycles. In DevOps, each increment is completed in a relatively short period of time.

Because of the small increments and the dispersion of tests across the end-to-end pipeline, quick, automated testing and end-to-end test results synchronization are required. Everyone in IT should learn to test, both manually and automatically, and understand how to evaluate test results.

Testing Maturity as a Major Point of difference

Testing maturity is a key differentiator of DevOps maturity:

  • Many businesses automate integrations, builds, and delivery processes, but struggle with the nuanced nature of test orchestration and automation.
  • Whether the organization employs a test-driven development methodology, behavior-based test creation, or model-based testing, testing is an essential component of the overall DevOps process — not only to ensure code changes work and integrate properly, but also to ensure the changes do not negatively impact the product.
  • Product development and delivery are not complete without testing.
  • Testing architects and testing teams play an important part in DevOps by providing knowledge in test design, test automation, and test case development.

Continuous testing is required so that error-free code can be merged into the main trunk and deployable code may be obtained from the CD/CI. This requires individuals planning for the environment, selecting the appropriate tools, and designing the orchestration to meet the requirements.

What is required for effective DevOps testing?

Effective DevOps testing involves the collaboration of Development, QA, and IT Operations teams to create a common collaborative culture focused on similar goals. Leaders must promote, reinforce, and reward collaborative team behaviors, as well as invest in the training, infrastructure, and technologies required for effective DevOps testing.

A DevOps testing approach includes the following elements:

  • The purpose of DevOps testing is to speed testing operations as early in the pipeline as feasible.
  • DevOps testing is part of the DevOps architecture.
  • DevOps tests are automated to the greatest extent feasible.
  • DevOps testing focuses test environment orchestration.

The following are the five requirements for DevOps testing:

  • Shift Left
  • Fail Often
  • Relevance
  • Test Fast
  • Fail Early

The test technique requires that the application be designed in a loosely linked way. Before going on to automation, it is critical to have a strong design. Another important activity that must be conducted to ensure appropriate testing with enough coverage is test result analysis.

Pros and Cons of DevOps Continuous Testing

Continuous testing, also known as shift-left testing, is a method of testing software and systems that occurs earlier in the software lifecycle, with the purpose of boosting quality, decreasing long test cycles, and lowering the likelihood of software flaws making their way into production code.

Continuous testing is one of numerous continuous tasks that should take place in a DevOps pipeline at the same time, including

Continuous Development
The first stage in creating a Continuous Delivery DevOps pipeline is Continuous Development or build automation. If your engineers use test-driven development (TDD), they will write unit tests for every piece of code they produce, even before the code is written. TDD, which is a key aspect of the agile approach, assists developers in thinking through the expected behavior of each unit of software they're constructing, including inputs, outputs, and error situations.

Continuous Integration
Continuous Integration is a method in which members of a software development team use a version control system and often merge their work to the same place, such as a master branch. Each modification is created and tested using tests and other verifications to find any integration flaws as soon as feasible. Instead of a developer manually invoking the compiler, build automation automates the software build by utilizing tools such as CMake, GNU Make (Free, Open Source) Ninja Build (Free, Open Source), SCons (Free, Open Source) and Maven (Free, Open Source).

Continuous Delivery
Once an application has passed all of the needed tests, it is released into production in the last stage of a Continuous Delivery pipeline. To all intents and purposes, this means making every decent build available to users.
  • Advantages of Continuos Delivery: It enables the delivery of new functionality to consumers in minutes whenever it is required, as well as fast feedback to the DevOps testing team, allowing them to respond quickly to client demand.
  • Disadvantages of Continuous Delivery: There is a danger of rushing buggy software into production, upsetting end users and costing your organization customers.

Continuous Monitoring
To reduce the risk associated with continuous deployment, many DevOps teams also test in production, commonly known as Shift-Right Testing, to get user input and incorporate it into subsequent releases. This final stage is frequently supported by Continuous Monitoring technologies (more on this below).

DevOps Tools

The DevOps tools employed at each stage will differ depending on the tools currently in place, the skill level of your developers and testers, and the sorts of apps you're delivering. As mentioned before, when developed via a DevOps pipeline, software applications go through five stages:
  1. Continuous Development
  2. Continuous Testing
  3. Continuous Integration
  4. Continuous Delivery
  5. Continuous Monitoring

Since DevOps is a culture shift that encourages cooperation across development, QA, and operations, no one product can be considered the ultimate DevOps tool. In one or more phases of the DevOps toolchain, a set of tools from several suppliers is frequently used.

Here's a quick summary of some of the most used DevOps tools, along with a description of how they're employed at each stage:

Continuous Development with GitHub or Jira
Assuming Jira Software was designed to handle processes and data management, it provides an excellent agile framework for a successful testing progress organization but also, Jira includes sophisticated collaborative capability that visually identifies issues as they go through the project workflow, making the Jira platform simple to use for project planning, monitoring daily work, and reporting.

Continuous Testing with GitHub or Jira
GitHub Test Management with TestQuality extends Github to provide modern, powerful, test plan management. This is accomplished via a deep live native 2-way integration between GitHub and TestQuality. Test Management workflows are extended so you can create, update, delete, and link defects and requirements in your GitHub repository without ever leaving your testing workflows.

Although Jira Software is meant for tracking issues, projects, and workflows on IT projects, many DevOps teams use it for Test Case Management so that development and testing teams can collaborate in a single system. Test issues may be generated, run, monitored, and reported on in TestQuality.

CI / CD with Jenkins
Jenkins is a Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery server that runs tests automatically whenever a developer submits new code into the source repository. Bugs are often smaller, less complicated, and easier to address when CI discovers them early in development. Jenkins was originally designed as a build automation tool for Java programs, but it has now expanded into a multi-faceted platform with over a thousand plug-ins for various software tools. Jenkins can be used to create, deploy, and automate practically any software project, independent of the computer language, database, or version control system used, thanks to its broad ecosystem of plug-ins.

Continuous Monitoring
The log management environment has changed remarkably during the last decade. Modern distributed architectures such as microservices, containers, and hybrid clouds are the new standard, and enterprises now have new alternatives for handling log data that are more inexpensive, quicker, and better optimized.
Log Management Tools as Logit.io which is a full-service log management & data analysis platform that is competitively priced, fully scalable and provides hosting for ELK, Grafana and Prometheus. They are the only Cyber Essentials certified observability platform and also operate in compliance with SOC 2, ISO 27001, GDPR and PCI DSS.
Other solutions such as LogDNAElastic Stack, Fluentd, Sumo Logic, Loggly also performs log monitoring that allow you to do data analysis on transactions that occur in your IT applications after they have been installed in order to assure consistent performance, availability, security, and user experience.

DevOps Testing Tools

The first tests in a DevOps pipeline should be unit tests written by developers as part of the Test-Driven Development (TDD) process. If your developers are using TDD, they will write unit tests for every piece of code they produce, even before the code is written. TDD, which is a key aspect of the agile approach, assists developers in thinking through the expected behavior of each unit of software they're constructing, including inputs, outputs, and error situations.

TDD tools include PNPUnit, Nunit, Jest, JUnit, which is part of the xUnit family of open source unit testing frameworks. JUnit is a programming language used by Java developers to create repeating scenarios that boost programming speed and code quality. It includes features such as fixtures, test suites, JUnit classes, and test runners.

The TestQuality Command Line Interface allows you to upload your automated test results from  NUnitPHPUnitJUnit and Jest to TestQuality. Automated test results must be output in JUnit XML format, which most test automation tools will provide. Test result attachments and related defects are also supported through test name tags or console outputs. 

In addition to unit and component testing, many agile DevOps teams use Test-First methodologies for tests further up the Test Automation Pyramid, such as Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD) and Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) (described above). As software components are layered on top of each other, testing may be repeated in increments.

Cucumber is a Behavior-Driven Development tool that promotes a collaborative culture among developers, QA, and non-technical or business players on DevOps and other software projects. By developing test cases in a natural language that non-programmers and domain specialists can understand, BDD bridges the communication gap between business and IT. BDD features are often described in a semi-structured GIVEN WHEN and THEN (GWT) manner.

Test Automation, Unit Testing, and CI/CD integrations with TestQuality.
Test management tools offer the ability to execute manual testing steps within the Test Management UX. But most dev teams today are also executing automated tests and unit tests. We suggest you to look for a solution like TestQuality that offers a rich set of integrations for a wide variety of test automation and unit testing tools and frameworks such as Selenium, Cucumber, PyUnit, and others. Integration with CI/CD tools such as Jenkins and CircleCI are also an option to look for to automate uploading testing results from your DevOps pipeline into your Test Management workflow.

Put simply, TestQuality is the first test management system designed to integrate into your DevOps workflow and tools. TestQuality also includes features to create and organize test cases in a global test repository - with preconditions, steps, attachments, and more. All this, in a collaborative testing environment seamlessly integrated with your DevOps workflow with powerful live analytics to help you to identify the quality of your testing effort, test coverage, high value tests, unreliable tests, and release readiness.

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