DevOps Testing: Concepts, Best Practices & Tools

June 14, 2024Priyanka
DevOps Testing Concepts, Best Practices & Tools

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DevOps is all about streamlining and automating your software delivery life cycle. When you enable DevOps in your organization, all the development and operation activity needs to be automated. 

What is DevOps Testing?

DevOps Testing is the continuous and automated process of software testing that enables continuous and faster delivery of software. The legacy approach of testing is performed manually. Manual testing involves more human activity, is more prone to error, and is more time-consuming. As DevOps focuses on automating processes, testing can fit into DevOps with the help of the right test automation tools.

Features of testing in a DevOps environment

Organizations are swiftly moving to DevOps for Agile teams. Both approaches focus on the automation of testing activity.

Let’s understand the features of DevOps testing

  • Testing is automated, and it is continuous.
  • Testing is carried out at different stages of SDLC.
  • Easy to roll back and detect errors in the code as results/reports will be instant.
  • Testing becomes a shared responsibility. Each team member is responsible for quality.

Who is Involved in DevOps Testing?

In DevOps Teams, everyone is equally responsible for the quality of the product. That means testing is done by the whole team. So no more blame game on the testing team. Designated testing team member will have expertise and skill set in the DevOps testing and he will drive the testing. Testing team member helps to choose the right tool, build the automation framework, automation code review, integrate testing activity with pipelines, etc. On the other hand, all team members will contribute to developing the automation scripts.

In DevOps testing, the tester needs to have a broad understanding of development, testing, and tools.

Some of the Key areas that DevOps QA members should focus on are given below.

  • Source Control (using Git, Bitbucket, AzureDevOps, etc)
  • Continuous Integration (using Jenkins, Bamboo, AzureDevOps)
  • Deployment Automation & Orchestration (using Jenkins, AzureDevOps, Octopus Deploy)
  • Container Concepts (Kubernetes, Docker)
  • Cloud (using AWS, Azure, GoogleCloud, etc)

Apart from above knowledge, tester may also need to write code in specific languages such as Java, Javascript, Python, C#, etc.

Testing Types in DevOps

DevOps Testing focuses on testing during every stage of the Software Development Lifecycle. It emphasizes automation testing. All different testing types are automated and hooked into the DevOps pipeline to achieve Continuous Integration(CI) and Continous Testing(CT)

Let’s take a look at different types of DevOps testing.

Unit Testing

Unit Testing focuses on small objects. It is also called white box testing. It covers all different conditions and methods available at the class level. Mostly it is written in the unit testing framework such as JUnit, NUnit, Jest, Mocha, etc.

Component Test

Larger and more complex applications are segregated into multiple components as it makes development easier and faster. Each component might contain different classes and objects to deliver small functionality. These functionalities are tested using an automation framework while building the application.

Integration Test

As the application is built with components, two or more components are integrated into the product. These Integrated components are tested using the DevOps testing tools. It may or may not involve database calls.

API Testing

Microservice architecture is the most popular and mostly followed in the organization. In API testing, individual or interrelated microservices are tested together. Mostly API contracts, static data, and data types are tested using API automation tools.

Functional Testing

Functional Testing focuses on user workflows or end-user functionalities. Often called as end to end Testing. As it touches all the different components, databases, APIs, etc. This is the most critical type of testing. DevOps testing emphasizes incorporating automation tools for end-to-end testing as manual testing is the most time-consuming. Fortunately, tools like Testsigma, Selenium, and Playwright do this job without any hassle.

Performance/Stress Testing

Performance testing is important as the user experience is closely associated with it. Performance testing measures the overall application behavior under different loads, different network conditions, and infrastructure configurations. Performance testing can be scripted and automated. Tools such as JMeter, Blazemeter, K6, etc can be used for stress testing.

DevOps Testing Strategy

Choosing the right devops automation tools alone cannot make DevOps testing successful. DevOps testing strategy plays a key role in the success of DevOps testing. The strategy should be built carefully, observing the organization’s skillsets, ecosystem, architecture, and release patterns. Below are some helpful pointers.

  • Identify the test cases which need to be executed in specific builds and create a suite accordingly.
  • Focus more on the unit tests, as it is faster and more stable.
  • Use the test coverage tools and quality gates to ensure the unit testing criteria are met.
  • End-to-end tests should focus on end-user scenarios only.
  • Have quality checks for all levels and all environments such as QA, Staging Production, etc.
  • Ensure the automation tool supports parallel testing and compatibility testing, and build the automation architecture around that.
  • Testing should be carried out on different platforms such as Mac, Windows, and Linux with different supported browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Edge, etc.
  • Make the development code author a primary responsible person to look at the failures. This way, testing responsibility will be delegated across the team members.
  • Adapt the monitoring tools such as Splunk, Datadog, Graphana, etc., which help to continuously monitor the health of the application.
  • Consider building the test harness tools to support the test cases which cannot be automated directly. Find a way to automate using the workarounds – Read here- Test Harness

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Role of Test Automation Tools

DevOps is all about automating the process. Choosing the right tool at every stage is important. As we know more tools bring more maintenance and more complexity. Considering the DevOps testing you need to choose the tool carefully.

As there are many testing types you cannot have different testing tools for each type of testing. This may make your testing more complex and demands more skilled resources. Instead, choose the automation tool which supports different types of testing, less demanding skills, and is easy to integrate with the DevOps ecosystem. Testsigma is one such tool built with a DevOps mind.

Testsigma as a tool for DevOps testing

Let’s understand how Testsigma can help you in DevOps testing.

Step 1: Log in with Testsigma

Step 2: Go to the “Test Plan” page

Test Plan

Step 3: Click on your test plan (Example: My Sample Test Plan)

Step 4: Choose CI/CD Integrations

sample devops test plan

Step 5: Choose your respective CI tool such as AzureDevOps, Jenkins, CircleCI, etc, and follow the on-screen instruction to configure.

Once you complete the integration, the Testsigma tests will be triggered automatically, as part of your development code pipeline, and no manual intervention is needed. Testsigma makes all DevOps testing integration much easier. Many organizations put Testsigma on a top tool list while enabling DevOps.

DevOps Testing Best Practices

You cannot learn everything from failures or trial and error methods as it costs a lot. Following the best practices is the smartest way to enable DevOps testing in your organization.

Some of the DevOps best practices are given below.

Leverage test automation

In a DevOps ecosystem, developers frequently commit the code to the repository. This may include a subset of features. It is difficult to perform testing every time the developer commits the code. The best approach is to make testing automated. As discussed there are different types of testing such as unit, component, API, integration, and end-to-end testing. Use test automation tools for different types of testing. Automation tools help to reduce the manual intervention of the testing. Also, swift feedback helps developers to revert the code if it is causing any errors.

Identify test automation engineers

In DevOps testing, everyone is responsible for the quality. This may not work exactly as you expected. As team members are having different skill sets. Identifying the test automation engineers is more important. While others are responsible for the quality, test automation engineers drive the DevOps testing. This way everyone is aligned with the whole testing process. The person who has an expertise in manual and automation is the best as they understand both product features and automation frameworks.

Select the right testing tools

Choose the right testing tools after careful analysis. “There is no best automation tool in the market but there is the best automation tool for your organization”. While choosing the test automation tool consider cost, skillsets, infrastructure needed, upskill effort, etc. Furthermore, you need to perform a detailed analysis of the application architecture,  type of application, domain, etc. Remember, once you start the automation testing it is difficult to look back so make this decision carefully.

Track performance with metrics

Like Agile, DevOps also focuses on continuous improvement. The metrics can help to identify the testing gaps or improvement areas. Furthermore, metrics can also be used to measure success. Some of the helpful metrics are

  • No. of test cases automated
  • No. of bugs discovered
  • Time taken for application testing
  • Occurrence of false failures in the automation suites.

Maintain proper documentation

The documentation may be time-consuming initially, but it makes the testing process organized and transparent. Documentation should include tool sets, installation, test reports, summary reports, test cases, regression reports, etc. Well-structured documentation also helps any new members to start their own. In DevOps, documentation is not a one-time effort. It’s a perpetual and collaborative effort.

Following the DevOps process and best practices may be challenging during the initial days however if you bring the habit to the organization it becomes the way to work. DevOps Testing focuses more on automation tools, in turn, it demands stable lower-level environments (QA, staging, pre-prod, etc). Many organizations spend less on lower environments to save the cost but it may not work in a DevOps ecosystem. There are many test automation tools that are DevOps ready, choosing the right automation tool can help in reducing the effort and cost.

What tool is used for testing in DevOps? Testing is broad terminology. It involves different types of testing such as unit testing, component testing, API Testing, end-to-end testing, etc. There are many testing tools to support these testing types. Selenium, Testsigma, Cypress, and Postman are a few names. Is DevOps required for testing? Testing can be done with or without DevOps however, if you adopt DevOps practices into your organization it is recommended to make testing a part of it. DevTestops https://testsigma.com/devtestops TechOps VS DevOps
TechOps VS DevOps: What it is & What To Choose?
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Top 9 DevOps Automation Tools to Look Out for
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