Many software releases lack adequate testing. As a result, applications fail to live up to quality standards. Testing is often ineffective because manual testing takes time and causes errors. The solution is to use test automation.
In a recent survey conducted by Pulse QA and Flexagon, 68% of 100 software delivery leaders worldwide stated that they had no or partial implementation of continuous testing within their CI/CD pipeline, while another similar survey showed that only 7% of applications typically perform with no issues once released into production.
Done properly, test automation in the DevOps cycle helps your team move more quickly and efficiently. It reduces time-consuming manual testing, eliminates the testing bottleneck, accelerates releases, and produces higher-quality apps.
The right test automation framework can improve software delivery. For example, Flexagon can contribute to this process with its integration to popular test automation tools like SonarQube, Selenium, and Acunetix. The DevOps platform has a test automation framework and plugins that work with your development life cycle.
Why Automate Testing in the DevOps Cycle?
Automation makes testing faster and generally more accurate. These advantages mean you can deploy better-quality software to market more quickly. In fact, organizations have achieved up to 300-500% reduction in errors due to automated testing practices. Test automation also takes less manpower, increasing overall productivity and cost savings for your organization.
There are even more benefits in store for organizations that automate testing. For example, automation makes it easier to attain standardization because you can consistently run the tests you need. Automation also enhances your adaptability, since a few adjustments let you quickly make massive changes to your tests.
None of these advantages, especially testing speed, are available with manual testing. If you’re doing your tests by hand, you’ll have to spend extra time on each test. This increases the risk of human error.
Follow these three steps to automate testing so you can effectively and efficiently roll out your software.
1. Apply the Right Test Automation Framework
A practical test automation framework involves several steps. Start by considering the project requirements. It’s important to provide an appropriate budget for test automation and the tech stack. Then, analyze and compare with other frameworks.
Tools you’re already using can be integrated with FlexDeploy. This will make your existing tools and processes more efficient. FlexDeploy lets you automate many tasks, saving time and effort. You can even save your test configuration in YAML file in source control to track project test settings.
It’s also important to verify your choice of test automation framework with a proof-of-concept. This will let you see how well the framework functions in practice—an important consideration before using it more widely.
Automation should be part of your entire build and test process. Testing throughout the lifecycle will remove more errors and improve the quality of delivery. You can then deploy more often, with less risk of late or problematic releases.
An integrated development and testing approach, such as DevOps with FlexDeploy, improves security and customer satisfaction. As a result, it’s becoming increasingly popular, giving companies the latest tools for continuous delivery as they automate testing.
2. Build Your Automation Workflows With the Right Test Cases
A test case establishes which conditions you’ll test to determine whether the software works correctly. It’s important to select test cases that are efficient to automate. And of course, your test cases should represent the requirements so you’re meeting customer demands.
Good test cases for automation are ones that are run frequently and require large amounts of data to perform the same action. These cases save you more time and money. They’re also difficult to do manually, so you gain more leverage from automation.
Test cases that need many different configurations, such as numerous combinations of operating systems and web browsers, are also useful to automate. Like test cases with a lot of data, having many configurations complicates matters for manual testing.
Smoke tests and regression tests are two test categories that work well for automation. These are important to run regularly, so they offer good leverage. Other use cases include performance tests, stress tests, and security tests, where it’s important to find as many issues as possible. Automation lets you cover more ground in less time.
3. Follow Test Data Management Best Practices
Test data is vital—especially for automated tests—because it’s what supports your test framework. Good test data allows you to verify frequent or important user experiences, test for corner cases, recreate faults, and mimic problems in the software.
Above all, proper test data management lets you conduct tests that accurately reflect the functionality of your software. Without solid test data management, you may think you’re doing extensive testing, but you’ll fail to identify serious problems.
Best practices include ensuring you have enough test data for your automated test framework and the ability to add more test data when necessary. These practices prevent you from ever having to reduce your testing due to data shortages.
It’s also important to be efficient with test data. For instance, you don’t need to run a test against your entire data set if you can find the same results with only part of the data. Be sure to protect any sensitive data you use such as passwords, and only use recent data so the test results are realistic.
Experts recommend mainly running unit tests as opposed to higher-level tests. These unit tests should be done independently of each other. Unit testing is easier and less expensive, and it can decrease your dependence on external data. The less test data you need, the more time and money you save.
Automate Software Testing With Flexagon
Test automation improves your speed, accuracy, and cost, so it’s considered an essential DevOps element. The right test automation framework can contribute to your release goals. Flexagon offers an easy-to-use framework that integrates with your available test tools to enhance release quality.
Customers worldwide appreciate the ability to leverage FlexDeploy across their preferred technology landscape, particularly highly complex application environments such as Salesforce®, Oracle® and SAP®, while also easing the management of a vast DevOps toolchain. The result is increased collaboration, visibility, and security across the value stream for teams at Heathrow, Queensland Government, and more.
Selecting the right test cases—those that run often and with large data sets—can multiply the benefits of test automation. Furthermore, it’s important to use best practices for test data management. Together, these actions will ensure you get the most out of automated software testing.
Test automation works best when applied throughout the software development lifecycle. Testing frequently and fixing frequently are key methods to reduce errors and boost quality. You want to find a solution that addresses these needs.
Flexagon’s FlexDeploy is the leading DevOps platform for continuous integration, delivery, and release orchestration for Enterprise Software Platforms such as Oracle, Salesforce, and SAP. With FlexDeploy, you can easily automate testing to achieve fast and cost-effective software delivery. Request a demo to see what FlexDeploy can do for you.