Whitepaper: Continuous Testing for DevOps – Evolving Beyond Simple Automation

To benefit from the agile initiative, you must adopt a DevOps strategy. Continuous testing is a key component, and we’ve got all the details on how to implement it successfully.

Learn why and how continuous testing is a critical component of DevOps, guiding development teams to meet business expectations and optimize the value of a release candidate.

Continuous Testing

Download the whitepaper to explore how continuous testing provides an automated, unobtrusive way to obtain immediate feedback on the business risks associated with a software release candidate.

Organizations moving into an agile development methodology often uncover other processes that can be

accelerated, such as delivery by DevOps and continuous testing. The acceleration set in motion via agile makes it necessary to speed up the release schedule as well.

In order to ensure a successful release, an organization must adopt continuous testing to make sure the conveyer belt does not break down. The modernization maturity model has these three distinct phases:

  1. Agile

Agile software development is a different way of thinking about approaching the challenge of development time. Traditionally, applications are developed over a 12-month period and they go through distinct phases:

  • Requirements
  • Design
  • Implementation
  • Test
  • Deliver

With agile, the same SDLC basics apply but the cycle is compressed and iterative. This has many advantages such as quicker feedback, the ability to react to the market, the ability to release whenever you want and most importantly, more accurate delivery.    

  1. DevOps

DevOps is aimed at automating all the necessary steps required to take application code and deliver it to the end user. It works like a conveyor belt to move application code through the distinct phases.

These seven distinct phases are often referred to as the DevOps toolchain where a series of processes or “tools” are strung together in order to manage the delivery pipeline. The phases are as follows:

  • Plan
  • Create
  • Verify (test)
  • Package
  • Release
  • Configure
  • Monitor
  1. Continuous testing

Continuous testing provides an automated, unobtrusive way to obtain immediate feedback on the business risks associated with a software release candidate. It guides development teams to meet business expectations and helps managers make informed trade-off decisions in order to optimize the business value of a release candidate.

Continuous testing isn’t simply more test automation. Given the business expectations at each stage of the SDLC, continuous testing delivers a quantitative assessment of risk as well as actionable tasks that help mitigate risks before they progress to the next stage of the SDLC.

Automated testing involves automated, CI-driven execution of whatever set of tests the team has accumulated. However, if one of these tests fails, what does that really mean?

Does it indicate a critical business risk, or just a violation of some naming standard that nobody is really committed to following anyway?

What happens when it fails?

Is there a clear workflow for prioritizing defects vs. business risks and addressing the most critical ones first?

For each defect that warrants fixing, is there a process for exposing all similar defects that might already have been introduced, as well as preventing this same problem from recurring in the future?

This is where the difference between automated and continuous becomes evident.

Throughout the process, business stakeholders have instant access to feedback on whether their expectations are being met, enabling them to make informed decisions.

  • At the time of the critical “go/no go” decision, there is an instant, objective assessment of whether your organization’s specific expectations are satisfied, reducing the business risk of a fully automated continuous delivery process.
  • Defects are eliminated at the point when they’re easiest, fastest and least costly to fix — a prime principle of being “lean.”
  • Continuous measurement vs. key metrics means continuous feedback, which can be shared and used to refine the process.
  • Automated code scans
  • Automated test execution
  • Requirements traceability
  • Change impact analysis
  • Test data

It’s very rare for a team to have ubiquitous access to all dependent applications required for executing a complete test because of the convergent trends of parallel and iterative development. Simulation solves this problem.

By leveraging service virtualization in conjunction with DevOps, teams can remove environmental constraints, enabling the organization to gain full access to and control over the test environment, further enabling continuous testing to occur as early and often as needed.

About Parasoft

Parasoft’s software testing solutions support the entire software development process, from when the developer writes the first line of code all the way through unit and functional testing, to performance and security testing, leveraging simulated test environments along the way. Parasoft's unique analytics platform aggregates data from across all testing practices, providing insights up and down the testing pyramid to enable organizations to succeed in today's most strategic development initiatives, including Agile/DevOps, Continuous Testing, and the complexities of IoT. Parasoft’s automated software testing innovations fuel software development organizations, helping teams reduce the time, cost, and effort of delivering high-quality software to the market.