10 Best Practices to Achieve Quality@Speed with Continuous Integration

continuos integration

On 27th September 2016, Salesforce.com Inc. introduced a new e-commerce service, further to its $2.8 billion acquisition of Demandware Inc. The Salesforce Commerce Cloud is here to enable customers to set-up online storefronts, in-store tablets/kiosks, and further add commerce functions with software support delivered over the internet. According to research by Gartner, Salesforce faces stiff competition from Oracle Corp., SAP SE, and International Business Machines Corp., who are the biggies in this category.

Whether B2B or B2C, every business/enterprise needs pace for faster turnaround time and gain speed to market. Consequently, innovations and testing the effectiveness of these innovative features has to be done in real time. It doesn’t end there! Every consumer/enterprise application launched has to be tested for its performance and functional efficiency across diverse technology platforms, devices, and Operating Systems (OS).

Can Continuous Integration help?

So, how do you test the inevitable and test the most unforeseen BUG? Continuous Testing is a development practice, where developers need to relentlessly integrate the code into a shared repository during a day’s test plan. In order to allow development teams to detect problems way ahead, an automated build is created to verify each test incorporated.

Continuous Integration can help detect errors faster and resolve way ahead in the development process. If the continuous approach is not followed, it will take stretched periods between integrations, which makes fixing up these gaps a longer and an exceedingly stressful task. It will further reduce constant back-pedalling to identify issues and focus more on building various features.

Some obvious benefits that Continuous Integration brings to the table are:

  • A big ‘No’ to longer and stressful integrations
  • Enhanced visibility of the development process for better interaction and resolution
  • Identification of issues faster and resolution in real time
  • Low on Debugging, High on building
  • No wait and watch strategy to evaluate your code’s proper functioning
  • Deliver software on time with market-readiness

Continuous Integration comes with various key principles and best practices. The most important practice is, establishing the ritual of Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment. This eliminates the need to authorize and delegate from the top. It is automated and self-triggered.

So, while we gauge the benefits, let’s consider the best practices that Continuous Integration brings for enterprises that don’t just look at speed, but rather quality@speed.

  1. Continuous Integration enables Continuous Deployment

Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment are connected concepts and fundamentally refer to the software/application’s release in the Live environment with automated tests. With Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment you are not just reducing risks, but catching bugs in time and getting your software/application ready for the market.

Ultimately, when the risks get lowered, it helps prompt adaption to business requirements and the consumer demands. It further enables greater collaboration between Operations and delivery, maturing the release process for competitive advantage.

  1. Continuous Integration with the right approach

Continuous Integration is generally implemented with Agile, Test-Driven-Development (TDD) and Test Automation. If implement in this flow, Continuous Integration can prove to be an obvious fit for your development process and can help reduce the challenges for better results.

The idea is to adopt select an appropriate tool that fits the existing technology ecosystem that fits in effectively within your existing development environment. Continuous Integration helps build and integrate the software frequently. Moreover, it is recommended to execute unit tests as part of the overall integration process.

  1. Detect early, Resolve faster

Faster detection of issues/defects helps resolve the problems faster. If the integration and software development process does not incorporate testing, the overall cycle can go reverse that will further incur risks. When the development team strives to add new features to the code and detect bugs, the code’s health can go for a toss. At the same time if you have Continuous Integration server in the process, it helps you keep your software in a better shape.

  1. Segregate software builds from deployment

Continuous Integration helps you to completely separate the build and deployment process, where both are treated as independent activities with no specific dependencies. While the developer may focus on the build process, integration could be taken up a sole activity by the testing team. The Continuous Integration server can trigger a developer’s check in for integration and a tester’s check-in for deployment.

This helps kill the dependencies and enables dedicated attention. It helps to identify problems with the build at an early stage and move progressively towards getting the software in the production environment.

  1. Continuous Integration with Test Automation

Whether your enterprise has adopted Test Automation or is considering it for faster test cycles, Continuous Integration is here to enable you. When the recurring and repeatable tests are automated, it helps teams to deliver better and faster. Continuous Integration powered with Test Automation helps cut manual efforts and helps testing and development teams to look at the SDLC process more creatively.

When it comes to testing, identifying the failed codes is more important than bragging about the successful ones. It is bound to make your software/application stronger.

  1. Continuous Testing with Agile

Continuous Integration with an Agile methodology helps gain speedy delivery by ensuring quality. Project Managers and development teams are advised to implement continuous integration in the overall release management strategy. The overall SDLC process – write, build, integrate, test, debug and deploy can be complex.

The Agile process enables flexibility and helps teams go back and review the build for accuracy. This further helps improve delivery time and releases testers to look beyond the obvious in the process.

  1. Continuous Integration for transparency

At a broader level, Continuous Integration helps provide transparency to the overall Development and Quality Assurance (QA) process. It helps indicate failed tests and the reasons for that failure, which further helps in leading to some logical reasoning and required action for improvements.

  1. Continuous Testing for reduced bugs

Bugs and defects are an inevitable component of the SDLC process. With Continuous Integration the instances of bug accumulation gets reduced substantially. Thanks to the overall automation it provides, bugs are identified early and risks are reduced.

  1. Continuous Integration for Automated Regression Tests

Continuous Testing facilitates automated regression tests, where Test packages hosted in the QA repository can be maintained and implemented by multiple QA team members and executed whenever a new code is deployed to the environment.

When every new defect gets added to the automated test case, it becomes easy to effectively build a substantial regression testing suite. This enables automation of the regression tests and reduces the efforts of the testing teams.

  1. Smoke Tests with Continuous Integration

As mentioned earlier, Test packages written by QA and maintained with the Continuous Integration systems can help automate the build and test process. Further Smoke Tests can be written to monitor the production system and deliverables can be made available for a wider group by testing the software at various stages.

Continuous Integration comprises automated deployment, deployment scripts for testing every build to ensure that no code related issues arise in the production.

Gallop’s Test Automation Accelerator Kit (GTAAK) has been enabling end-to-end automation of applications across the SDLC to bring speed to market and enhance the quality of testing. Connect with our Test Automation leads to build QA best practices and gain quality with speed.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

How to Find Defects Even Before Coding Starts

how to find defects even before coding starts

 

A popularly used idiom states, ‘Being an early bird is better than being a night owl’. This might not click literally, but, the idea is that in today’s competent software development scenario it is considered beneficial to plan testing along with the process of development. ‘Start testing early’ is one of the principles in the software development life cycle. In this article we intend to evaluate the advantages and logic behind starting the testing process way ahead in SDLC. The underlying motive is to help identify defects and issues before the production/coding starts.

Testing domain experts address testing as a skill, which should be honed time and again. It evolves as per the requirements and challenges in a concerned project. The new school of thought suggests that testing starts early in the development stage, which can help identify defects in the initial stages. One of the key reasons being that it is an expensive affair to resolve issues that get spotted later in SDLC.

The Standard Process

A standard software development life cycle plan based on the Waterfall model usually entails the following:

  1. ‘Planning’, where requirements are captured and requirements are assessed.
  2. Freezing the requirements and analysing them.
  3. Actual implementation (coding) starts in this phase.
  4. Testing – the stage where testing of a product practically starts.

This being a standard process, it may differ from project to project. If the project does not go as planned; overall Planning, Analysis, Design & Coding takes more than the estimated time causing hurdles for the overall project planning. This would happen in situations where the project has to be delivered under stringent timelines.

In such situations when the release date is frozen and there is no scope of flexibility, it results in immediate and massive impact on the testing and quality of the software / application. At the same time, customers are being promised a robust application, which determines the success of entire project and ultimately commercial success for the customer.

What’s the Solution?

So, the only logical way out is to align the testing alongside and start it way in advance of the development process/coding.

In this scenario, organizations are witnessing a cultural shift with Agile Development methodology and DevOps. While DevOps bridges the gap between IT operations and Development, the Agile approach encourages progressive planning and development for constant enhancement. Moreover, it emphasises on keeping a swift and flexible approach towards change.

With this approach, testing gets embedded into the system, which helps in managing defects much in advance. It also offers a holistic approach towards the overall software development process. Additionally, the ‘Start Early Testing’ strategy works wonders as it soaks in feedback from inception and emphasizes on keeping the quality bar high.

How can this be planned?

  1. Analyze your test result: If you do not ignore the test results, it ultimately helps you to understand the root cause of any ‘failed’ result and provide solution at an early stage.
  2. Expand the test coverage: While testing an application, it is advisable to maximum the testing process across the application.
  3. Segment the AUT: With a view to derive maximum mileage out of the testing process, the Application Under Test (AUT) can be broken down into segments. For instance, breaking down a desktop application for segmented testing purpose.
  4. Writing test cases for better functionality: By putting down the test cases for valid and invalid conditions, it becomes possible to understand and cover the various behavioural aspects of the AUT.
  5. Start off on the right foot: A tester should ideally approach the project with an attitude to find defects, which will leave no scope for error and the application gets tested in a fool proof manner.
  6. Constantly share Test cases with developers: It is important to share the test cases with developers before the coding starts, instead of keeping it with you till the final application release for testing purposes. The test cases will enable the coders in the development process and reduce duplicity in work at a later stage. Sometime the developers are not equipped with the right test cases, so, this approach of sharing enables the developers.
  7. Performance testing for critical applications: It is suggested that the applications requiring critical response should be tested from the beginning. Performance testing comes to rescue for such instances as against Manual testing.

Rewards of starting early testing:

  • It enables the teams to understand the scope of work / testing needs. For instance, few items can skip the testing process considering they won’t get impacted.
  • Testing at requirement stage makes the process cost effective and rational.
  • Writing test cases way ahead in the development cycle helps solve them in time.
  • It helps quantify the scope of the problem.
  • It further helps prepare the test environment and prevents further delays and gives sufficient time to handle any unknown risks.
  • It provides more time for the testing team, which doesn’t compromise the quality of the software / application.

‘Quality is built in, not added on’.

This implies that aligning the testing activities with the development process helps address bugs and gives utmost importance to the quality aspect.

Early testing for identifying defects / issues

  • The Early testing concept ensures that testing becomes an integral part of the overall development process.
  • Planning the testing phases and schedule from the initiation of the project is a key step
  • It is important to estimate the requirements for System testing / UAT and at the same time test cases should be prepared.
  • Test preparations must begin before the actual testing process starts.
  • A tester should start identifying defects from the requirement collection stage. This should be executed through the analysis and design stage as well.
  • Proceeding from the Design stage, Integration testing cases and Unit test cases should be completed.

What do we infer?

When the testing process starts early, it is easier and cost effective to identify and address the bugs as it is cheaper to fix bugs at an earlier stage as against at a later stage. For instance, if an issue / conflict is found in the requirement stage it will be lot easier and feasible to handle it at that point. On the contrary, if the defect is found at the maintenance stage when the product has already gone LIVE, it is bound to incur higher costs.

An Agile approach helps you to get the feedback cycles rolling early on by involving the customers much in advance. Though there is a thin line separating Agile & DevOps, those considering the Agile approach might be much more acquainted with DevOps. Agile principles can be implemented effectively on the development and QA process, however, it is a challenge to incorporate it on the operations side. This is where DevOps comes into play to bridge the gap.

Is your enterprise planning to implement an Agile Test Automation strategy and looking out for a competent partner? Gallop’s team of test automation experts would be excited to collaborate with you to build a robust and tested strategy.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Effectively Combining Shift-left & Shift-right Testing Approaches to Enable Continuous Testing

Effectively Combining Shift-Left & Shift-Right Testing Approaches to Enable Continuous Testing

 

Faster, better, and steadier IT performance is essential for present day business. DevOps way of working helps transform the way we develop, test, and operate. And so it’s required to build quality from the very beginning, that is, starting with requirement gathering stage till deployment and operation.

Following are a few key success factors required to deliver quality software based on these DevOps processes:

  • Make testing a part of the Continuous Integration process (Shift-Left)
  • Getting feedback from the actual users (Shift-Right)
  • Adoption and acceptance of Testing Driven Development principles (TDD)
  • Continuous refactoring of tests
  • A seamless, Continuous Integration process

Why Shift-Left?

Speed and the ability to deliver software faster is key to survive the present day competition. And the most challenging transformation issue in organizations is constantly deploying a new patch or application in production, which propels the need for revolutionizing testing.

To overcome this challenge, it’s essential to adapt “shift-left” approach, where testing starts earlier in the process, that is, teams keep their focus on quality, work towards problem prevention instead of detection, and prepones the testing schedule. All the project stakeholders share an understanding of what a successful implementation means, where acceptance tests define the completion of the project and effectively drive the development.

What is Shift-Right?

Building quality from the very beginning is not enough. Getting continuous feedback from users is equally significant in the testing process. This is the shift-right process. The tester is a pioneer to help in requirements elicitation phase and also should learn and find the way users use the product.

Benefits of adopting shift-left and shift-right processes

A few benefits of adopting the shift-left and shift-right processes are:

  • Bugs are found and fixed early
  • Helps save effort and time
  • High test coverage
  • Fosters team work with developers and testers
  • Hastens delivery of software
  • Being Cost effectiveness

Shifting-right helps address Mean-Time-Between-Failure, Uptime and Response time. A test strategy can be created by incorporating techniques of Shifting Left and Right, thus making the process faster, better, steadier and cost effective for Continuous Delivery.

TDD & BDD

Adoption of Acceptance Testing Driven Development (TDD) principles implies refactoring tests continuously, just like code, and testing the code as a part of the Continuous Integration process. Behaviour Driven Development (BDD) is an opportunity for the Product Owner to align with the business value of the capability. The user story explains the desired outcome, but the BDD scenario describes the acceptance test. TDD & BDD enable teams to build CD – Continuous Delivery pipeline first, so every test written can be run automatically.

Continuous Testing

It is a process where automated tests are executed as part of the software delivery pipeline to gain immediate feedback on the business risks concerning a software release candidate. Continuous Testing in DevOps encourages a systematic approach toward process improvement. Continuous Testing takes a leap beyond mere automation and includes all practices comprising factors like tooling and cultural change to mitigate risks before proceeding towards subsequent Software Development Lifecycle stages.

Conclusion

DevOps practices help organizations save time and money, while increasing quality and time to market. Though it does involve spending time and resources to setup automation initially, but done with the right partner and weighing the cost and benefits, this will be an investment which you won’t regret. Learn more about Gallop’s DevOps expertise.

Additionally, if you want to know more about how to effectively combine shift-left & shift-right testing approaches to enable continuous testing, attend a Webinar on ‘Accelerating Digital Transformation Journey with Digital Assurance QA’ on 20th July 2016, 11AM EST by Sai Chintala, Senior Vice President, Global Pre-Sales. Reserve your slot here.

Ramakrishna AnnavazalaAbout the Author: Ramakrishna Annavazala, Lead Consultant – ATS, Gallop Solutions, is a result-driven professional with over 15+ years of rich experience in Project Management for Information Technology Management, Project Management activities and Technical Support. He has in-depth understanding of software Quality Standards/Models/Methodologies (CMMI, ISO, ITIL, SoX and Agile), Development and Support of Projects and Statistical Process Control (SPC), is involved in Business Process Management (BPM) activities of strategizing functions and processes, defining baseline for the process or the process improvement, analyzing to help improvement and finally controlling to deploy implementation and create dashboards to monitor the improvement.

 

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

5 Approaches for Automating Microservices Testing

Microservices Testing

Microservices is not a new concept. It has been in use for more than a decade now by giants such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook. When you search for something on Google, to retrieve the relevant results, Google calls out to almost 70 microservices.

So what really is a Microservice?

“Microservices” is a yet another term added to the already crowded streets of software architecture. The microservice architectural style involves developing single applications that can work together as a suite of small services, each running in its individual process and communicating with lightweight mechanisms such as an HTTP resource API. These services require bare minimum centralized management, use different data storage technologies, and can be written in different programming languages. These services, built around business capabilities, can also be deployed independently by machinery that supports fully automated deployment.

SOA vs. Microservices

The typical service oriented architecture (SOA) model usually has dependent enterprise service buses (ESBs), with microservices using faster messaging mechanisms. While SOA focuses on imperative programming, the microservices architecture uses a programming style that focuses on a responsive-actor as its base. While SOA models usually have an outsized RDBMS, microservices frequently use databases such as NoSQL or micro-SQL that can be connected to conventional databases. That said, the real difference lies in the architecture methods that are used for creating an integrated set of services.

The practices that are used for the microservices architecture have been created based on the practices followed by developers for creating software applications for large enterprise organizations. The experience of developers comes in very handy to understand what are the expectations of today’s end users, and helps create a consistent, yet dynamic experience across a wide range of devices. Cloud-based applications that are accessible, adaptable, modular, and scalable are in high demand. This has led many developers to change their approach.

Testing Microservices
A microservices architecture consists of focused, small services that together create a complete application or task. Every instance of a microservice represents a single responsibility within your application. The real advantage is that, these services are independent of one another, which makes them independently deployable and testable.

Let’s look at some approaches for how to go about automated testing.

1. Unit Testing
The scope of unit testing is internal to the service. In terms of volume of tests, they are the largest in number. Unit tests should ideally be automated, depending on the development language and the framework within the service.

2. Contract Testing
Contract testing should treat each service as a black box and all the services must be called independently and their responses must be verified. Any dependencies of the service must be stubs that allow the service to function but do not interact with any other services. This helps avoid any complicated behavior that may be caused by external calls and turn the focus on performing the tests on a single service.

A “contract” is how a service call (where a specific result or output is expected for certain inputs) is referred to by the consumer-contract testing. Every consumer must receive the same results from a service over time, even if the service changes. There should be the flexibility to add more functionality as required to the Responses later on. However, these additions must not break the service functionality. If the service is designed in this manner, it will stay robust over longer durations and the consumers will not be required to modify their code to take into account the changes made later on.

3. Integration Testing
Verification of the services that have been individually tested must be performed. This critical part of microservice architecture testing relies on the proper functioning of inter-service communications. Service calls must be made with integration to external services, including error and success cases. Integration testing thus validates that the system is working together seamlessly and that the dependencies between the services are present as expected.

4. End-To-End Testing
End-to-end testing verifies that the entire process flows work correctly, including all service and DB integration. Thorough testing of operations that affect multiple services ensures that the system works together as a whole and satisfies all requirements. Frameworks like JBehave help automate Functional testing by taking user stories and verifying that the system behaves as expected.

5. UI/Functional Testing
User interface testing is the testing of the highest order as it tests the system as an end-user would use it. Testing of this level must feel like a user trying to interact with the system. All the databases, interfaces, internal and third-party services must work together seamlessly to produce the expected results.

At Gallop, we cover all the bases and ensure that effective testing is performed by the right set of experts. We ensure the best quality for your product and that your customers are happy. Our tool agnostic test automation frameworks ensure accelerated testing so that you get higher productivity and an enviable time to market

Peter Anand ShahAbout the Author: Peter Anand Shah is an Assistant Manager at Gallop Solutions. He is a part of the Enterprise Solutions Group which primarily helps convert Leads to Deals by devising the best solutions. He has an overall experience of 10+ years having taken up the roles of a Kronos Consultant and Test Manager in his past engagements. Off work, Peter is a stand-up-comedian.
The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Top 10 Open Source Tools for Testing DevOps

Top 10 Open Source Tools for Testing DevOps, devops testing, top 10 devops testing tools, top10 open source testing tools, devops testing framework, selenium automation framework, appium for devops testing, devops strategies, software testing life cycle, gallop solutions review, gallop solutions, software testing company, quality assurance testing, software testing services

DevOps is a process – a mind-set – that requires a cultural shift in the way most organizations work today. Implementing DevOps as part of the culture is helping organizations to create teams of developers, operation experts, and QA and testers that collaborate better than ever before. DevOps also helps simplify and streamline the existing processes and workflows between groups.

DevOps is not just another tool-in-the-box. That said, because DevOps is built on top of Agile and follows a similar software testing lifecycle (STLC), all the tools relevant for STLC can also be used for proper implementation and functioning of DevOps.

There are a lot of open source tools and testing frameworks available for DevOps that help organizations in the proper implementation of DevOps strategies. These frameworks assist organizations with their configuration, integration, and delivery management needs and help sharing of information within teams, automating processes, save time, and establish a regime of continuous activities – continuous testing included.

Here are 10 Open Source DevOps tools (- in alphabetical order) that are helping organizations succeed in today’s cut throat competitive world.

Logo

Tool and Description
 devops testing, top 10 devops testing tools, top10 open source testing tools, devops testing framework, selenium automation framework, appium for devops testing, devops strategies, software testing life cycle, gallop solutions review, gallop solutions, software testing company, quality assurance testing, software testing services APPIUM, a freely distributed open source mobile application UI testing framework, allows hybrid, native, and web app testing. It also supports automation test on physical devices, emulators, and simulators. A big advantage that Appium offers is cross-platform app testing by using the single API for both Android and iOS platform test scripts. Because Appium uses vendor-provided automation frameworks, there is no need to additionally compile any Appium or third-party code/frameworks as you are testing the app that is being shipped.
 devops testing, top 10 devops testing tools, top10 open source testing tools, devops testing framework, selenium automation framework, appium for devops testing, devops strategies, software testing life cycle, gallop solutions review, gallop solutions, software testing company, quality assurance testing, software testing services, bamboo Bamboo is a continuous integration server from Atlassian, the makers of JIRA, Confluence and Crowd. Bamboo ties automated builds, tests, and releases in a single workflow. This helps in implementing continuous integration, deployment, and delivery. Bamboo can help run tests in parallel batches as it supports up to 100 remote build agents. This helps to keep the queue flowing, and to provide quick feedback to developers.
 cruise-control, devops testing, top 10 devops testing tools, top10 open source testing tools, devops testing framework, selenium automation framework, appium for devops testing, devops strategies, software testing life cycle, gallop solutions review, gallop solutions, software testing company, quality assurance testing, software testing services CruiseControl is a Java-based framework that helps implement a continuous build process and allows performing continuous integration of software development process. CruiseControl.NET however comprises of two executable components: ccservice.exe (the windows service) and ccnet.exe (a console app included for testing purposes). As it is easier to debug a console application rather than a service, it is recommended to perform initial tests with ccnet.exe and the to read the console output to understand CCNet exceptions and behavior.
 devops testing, top 10 devops testing tools, top10 open source testing tools, devops testing framework, selenium automation framework, appium for devops testing, devops strategies, software testing life cycle, gallop solutions review, gallop solutions, software testing company, quality assurance testing, software testing services, cucumber Behavior Driven Development (BDD) is a practice that tests systems rather than testing code. Cucumber is a Ruby based test tool for the BDD framework and is used to write (and run) automated acceptance tests in simple, plain English that can be understood by Business Analysts, Developers, Testers, etc.
 devops testing, top 10 devops testing tools, top10 open source testing tools, devops testing framework, selenium automation framework, appium for devops testing, devops strategies, software testing life cycle, gallop solutions review, gallop solutions, software testing company, quality assurance testing, software testing services, git-hub While Git is a version control system, GitHub is a staging platform that lets developers edit and build upon each other’s code, share prototypes, and collaborate on projects. By sending a link to a GitHub project, clients can test-drive the web sites in progress for functionality. TestRail, a web-based test case management software, when integrated with GitHub can help developers, testers, and team leads to centrally manage and coordinate software testing efforts.
 devops testing, top 10 devops testing tools, top10 open source testing tools, devops testing framework, selenium automation framework, appium for devops testing, devops strategies, software testing life cycle, gallop solutions review, gallop solutions, software testing company, quality assurance testing, software testing services, jenkins Jenkins, an extensible automation server, is a continuous integration (CI) (that involves automatic creation and testing) and continuous delivery (CD) application that can distribute build/test loads to multiple computers with different OSs. This speeds up the integration process and the users can get a fresh build as required. Jenkins also helps in CD of applications by guiding the definition of build pipelines and integrating with a large number of technologies related to testing and deployment. Jenkins can be used as a simple CI server, to build and test Android apps, to support the Git version control system, and to provide unit testing for other technologies using a host of plugins.
 junit, devops testing, top 10 devops testing tools, top10 open source testing tools, devops testing framework, selenium automation framework, appium for devops testing, devops strategies, software testing life cycle, gallop solutions review, gallop solutions, software testing company, quality assurance testing, software testing services JUnit is a simple Unit/Regression Testing Framework used by Java developers to write repeatable tests that increase programming speed and improve the quality of code. JUnit test framework can be easily integrated with Eclipse, Ant, or Maven, and provides features such as Fixtures, Test suites, JUnit classes, and Test runners. JUnit has played a critical role in the development of test-driven development, and belongs to the family of unit testing frameworks collectively called xUnit (originated with SUnit).
 maven, devops testing, top 10 devops testing tools, top10 open source testing tools, devops testing framework, selenium automation framework, appium for devops testing, devops strategies, software testing life cycle, gallop solutions review, gallop solutions, software testing company, quality assurance testing, software testing services Maven is a tool used for automating build lifecycles using Java, C#, Ruby, Scala, and other languages. Automation ensures that for building a project, only a small set of commands need to be executed. Maven uses an XML file to explain the software project that is being built, along with its dependencies on required plug-ins, external modules and components, etc. The Apache Software Foundation hosts the Maven project.
 selenium, devops testing, top 10 devops testing tools, top10 open source testing tools, devops testing framework, selenium automation framework, appium for devops testing, devops strategies, software testing life cycle, gallop solutions review, gallop solutions, software testing company, quality assurance testing, software testing services Selenium Automation Framework (SAF) is a customized, open source, portable software testing framework for web applications that has been developed using Selenium. By using a script-less test automation framework, SAF reduces coding efforts, test cycle times, and related costs, which improves the test automation efficiency of apps developed on .Net, AJAX, or Java/J2EE. Selenium was developed by a team of programmers and testers at ThoughtWorks. It was released under the Apache 2.0 license and can be downloaded and used without charge. Selenium IDE is a full-fledged integrated development environment for authoring tests using a test domain-specific language (Selenese) to write tests in a number of popular programming languages, including Java, C#, Groovy, Perl, PHP, Python and Ruby. It also is a record/playback tool for authoring tests.
 testng, devops testing, top 10 devops testing tools, top10 open source testing tools, devops testing framework, selenium automation framework, appium for devops testing, devops strategies, software testing life cycle, gallop solutions review, gallop solutions, software testing company, quality assurance testing, software testing services

TestNG is a testing framework that has been designed to cover multiple test categories such as end-to-end, functional, integration, unit, etc. Taking inspiration from JUnit and NUnit, TestNG has been built to provide some additional, advanced new functionalities to the testing framework. These advanced functionalities provide a lot of benefits to both developers and testers. To be used properly, TestNG requires JDK 5 or higher installed.

With a plethora of open source (and commercial) tools available, implementing and integrating the most suited tool for your DevOps needs can prove to be a daunting task. However, done with the right partner, you can end up saving a lot of time and money, while increasing quality and time to market. Gallop Solutions helps you realize the gains that DevOps can bring with a proper automated testing framework in place. Click here to know more about Gallop’s DevOps expertise.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

How DevOps Principles & Practices Improve Software Quality & Efficiency

How DevOps Principles & Practices Improve Software Quality & Efficiency

DevOps is the fancy name given to a theoretical framework that, if put into proper practice, brings about a cohesive, seamless functioning of the development and operations teams of organizations. DevOps needs (and in effect, creates) a culture of knowledge and information sharing, that leads to collaboration between the various teams. The practice of DevOps principles not only is beneficial for the performance of software development and operations, but it also has a very positive impact on the web service development and quality assurance performance. Disciplined Agile Delivery is an established process for developing software, and it includes DevOps. DevOps helps to establish, and achieve an effortless Continuous Delivery process.

DevOps Principles & Practices

Some of the practices that help lay the foundation of a strong DevOps culture are:

  • Consideration of Perspectives: The cultural change must be considered from the perspective of both the driver and the participants.
  • Flexibility: In case of exceptional situations, the organization must be flexible enough even to temporarily let go of DevOps values.
  • Integration Process: A process must be in place to integrate the changes made.
  • Agile Decision Making: The teams must have the agility to be able to decide the tools they need to use based on their own skills and expertise.
  • Transparency: There should be no hidden agenda between the Dev and Ops teams.

A DevOps culture is best defined as a way of open communication, sharing of responsibility, and mutual respect and trust. If the cooperation between the two teams is not handled optimally, it will have an adverse impact on productivity, software quality, and service quality.

Working in a collaborated manner to achieve integration in today’s environment where, say, testing a mobile application requires testing not only the multiple devices from different manufacturers, but also multiple operating systems, is obviously very challenging, and requires a different approach.

An established DevOps environment makes both the development and operations teams become each other’s customer and supplier. While the Dev team needs the Ops team to help manage systems for large scale information systems, the Ops team needs the Development teams’ assistance in developing tools and apps for the operating systems, and for implementing features to improve security, performance, and stability. In essence, this dependency forms the basis on which the bridge of DevOps can be built.

While some perceive DevOps as a job description, others see it a skill set. DevOps practices can be classified including the concepts of quality assurance, services, and structures & standards.

The different views of DevOps requires us to look at DevOps from multiple perspectives. This allows us to unite the conflicting definitions of DevOps under separate names, such as DevOps as a role in the SDLC process, DevOps as a skill set and DevOps as a conceptual framework for supporting development and operations of Information Systems.

Once a proper DevOps environment has been established, it makes significant contributions to the growth of an organization.

Contributions to Quality Assurance (QA)

DevOps can make a significant contribution in the area of QA in Information Systems that links the development, operations, and customer support teams with the customers. QA is usually hard to predict and DevOps improves the QA process by bringing the aforementioned parties closer through cooperation and tooling. DevOps also provides more opportunities to gather more data today – as compared to the past. To have a greater impact, the responsibility of providing QA can be assigned to employees who perform both development and operations tasks. By using behavior driven operations (BDOps), the different roles around QA can specify how the system must deliver the desired UX.

Contributions to Services

DevOps principles also prove beneficial in the service management frameworks (SMF) as services rely more and more on cooperation between Dev and Ops personnel. The integration of development and operations activities forces organizations to reassess their business models. Organizations at times need to assess their business models to use Service-based models as Software as a Service (SaaS), and as DevOps has certain competitive advantages, it adds a lot of value as an integral part of the new model.

Additionally, resources which in the past were owned by companies are today offered as services such as Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). As services heavily rely on seamless cooperation between the Dev and Ops teams, supporting DevOps principles in the SMF is beneficial.

Contributions to the Information System Development

DevOps is a major change in Information System development. DevOps reduces the gap between developers, operations and the end user, allowing for earlier problem detection. In the past, after each Scrum sprint software would work according to specifications, but these would not be validated by the actual end user. With DevOps, we can implement continuous development and release software to the end user frequently. DevOps also allows developers and operations to work together more efficiently and effectively.

How does DevOps Benefit

In terms of supporting a culture of collaboration:

  • By hiring people with skills in both development and operations, create a culture that nurtures collaboration
  • By looking beyond the boundaries of departments and teams, bring about a positive change in the entire environment
  • By encouraging cooperation between teams, people become empowered and feel more trusted and act more responsibly.

In terms of supporting automation:

  • By providing an overview of the software development pipeline, DevOps helps gain perspectives from both engineering and business angles.
  • By helping implement continuous delivery, DevOps helps release software on demand.
  • By exploring and adopting patterns and tools that support automation.

In terms of facilitating sharing:

  • By facilitating communication between the Dev and Ops teams to improve understanding.
  • By creating shared knowledge management systems creates an atmosphere of centralized information.

In terms of the usage of services:

  • By propagating use of cloud services in your products that will simplify your network infrastructure.
  • By making services as version control accessible for both Dev and Ops.
  • By suggesting changes to your business model as required.

In terms of facilitating quality assurance:

  • By involving QA during the transition process.
  • By making QA a stakeholder when considering reporting.
  • By using Realtime User Monitoring to detect problems early.

In terms of solving problems considering structures & standards:

  • By setting up a centralized system during the transition to DevOps.
  • By considering inputs from both Dev and Ops teams equally.
  • By suggesting use of standards such as CMMI and ITIL.
  • By helping implement established enterprise processes such as Disciplined Agile Delivery.

DevOps practices thus help if you want to save on time and money, while increasing quality and time to market. Yes, it’s true that you may have to spend time and resources to setup automation. But done with the right partner and weighing the cost and benefits, this will be an investment for which you won’t regret. Click here to know more about Gallop’s DevOps expertise.

Reference:
Report by Floris Erich, Chintan Amrit, Maya Daneva on ‘DevOps Literature Review’, University of Twente

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

6 Compelling Business Benefits Of DevOps

6 Compelling Business Benefits Of DevOps

How can an organization become more profitable and productive using DevOps?

Brett Hofer, in one of his posts ‘The Art of DevOps: An Introduction to Landscape’, approaches the Art of DevOps as a battlefront: “What are we fighting for here?” he asks. “Ultimately, we’re fighting for the absolute best services and features that we can deliver to our customers as quickly as we possibly can, and to eliminate the “War Room” scenario we are all so familiar with.”

The above pithy statement pretty much sums up the most compelling business benefits & value of DevOps:

  1. Ensure faster time-to-market/delivery times that improves ROI. DevOps is basically the application of Agile principles, and thus the end result is faster development of software, ensuring more frequent delivery.
  2. Improve collaboration between teams (Business / Dev / Ops) – aptly labelled the ‘War Room’– by improving the transparency required for effective decision making. Today, more than ever before, development teams need to break down their inter-departmental silos, and collaborate and communicate in a dynamic, round the clock environment. DevOps paves the way to improve business agility by providing the much need atmosphere of mutual collaboration, communication, and integration across globally collocated teams in an IT organization. The earlier set boundaries based on roles are getting blurred in such an encouraging DevOps atmosphere. All team members, together, are responsible for the quality and timelines of deliverablesdevops-img
  1. Stable/reliable operating environments.
  2. Early detection and faster correction of defects that helps provide the best services and robust features that must be delivered to customers
  3. Continuous Release and Deployment, Continuous Testing, and Continuous Monitoring – Today’s software development practices require teams to continuously deliver quality software, reduced go-to-market timelines, and adaptation of shorter release cycles. DevOps, using its practices of Continuous Release and Deployment, Continuous Testing, and Continuous Monitoring, provides just that.
  4. Time to focus – thus improving quality

DevOps may be essentially disruptive, but it is here to stay because it is a very practical and valuable asset for today’s organizations and they are realizing a wide range of real, measurable benefits as a result of its implementation.

While testing is often ignored when it comes to DevOps – it may actually prove to be a major blow to your dream of achieving true success. Gallop Solutions helps you realize the gains that DevOps can bring with a proper automated testing framework in place. Integrating automated testing with your DevOps is the best thing to do if you want to save on time and money, while increasing quality and time to market. To know more about Integrating Automation testing into Devops visit Gallop’s Services page.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Integrating Automated Testing into DevOps

Integrating Automated Testing into DevOps

Time and Quality matters a lot in software releases. DevOps aims at achieving this. DevOps is relatively new to the industry but is catching up really fast. The reason is that, it promotes integration and communication between the application development team and the systems operations team resulting in development of faster and better software.

However, in DevOps trust plays a vital role. You need to trust that any changes made to the basic codes will deliver the desired results, which makes testing a very integral part of DevOps. As one of the foremost goals of DevOps is to ensure that deployments are made effectively and continuously, testing needs to be an integrated part of any software development cycle. Sadly, as noted by Diego Lo Giudice in his blog, many companies seem to sideline the importance of integrating automated testing into DevOps.

Most companies still rely on manual testing, where it doesn’t really work too well for DevOps. With a DevOps process in place, your organization’s goal is to release working software consistently, which may also mean that you are looking at software package releases several times a week. Those who have worked with the manual testing process will agree that, manual testing does tend to slow down the process. There is also quite a bit of wastage of resources that could be used for other important projects. This means automation testing is a must for DevOps.

Let us look at three key reasons why you should consider integrating automated testing into DevOps.

Automated Testing Saves Time

The test cycle of manual testing can extend for weeks and can be a long drawn out and unstable process. On the other hand, test automation can help detect bugs automatically and in real time, thus saving time for your developmentand operations team. Also when automated tests are setup to offer quick bug fixes, they work wonders on solving minor glitches, which in turn gives your DevOps team a breather and the time to spend on other more important things.

Automated Testing Ensures Quality

When your entire testing process is done manually, it can go a bit awry. Of course, you trust your team but slip ups do happen. There is a chance that the testing team may be a little laidback in testing every aspect of the code as it is a time consuming process. And though we don’t like to admit it, there is always the human error factor. Even the best developer or programmer may mess up sometimes. That being said, automated testing does not guarantee 100% accuracy, but it can guide the process with a fair bit of accuracy; sometimes as close to perfection as possible.

Automated Testing Reduces Cost

We resort to the time-tested adage “Time is Money.” Simple fact of life; when you save time you save money. With automated testing, changes made to the code can be immediately verified thus ensuring that the changes work and that there are no major glitches to be handled at the time of deployment. Manual testing a code as it is programmed, on the other hand, can be a big hassle which in turn may increase your Time to Market and ROI. The aspect of cost saving by means of automated testing is well highlighted in this case study.

Integrating automated testing with your DevOps is the best thing to do if you want to save on time and money, while increasing quality and time to market. Yes, it’s true that you may have to spend time and resources to setup automation. But done with the right partner and weighing the cost and benefits, this will be an investment for which you won’t regret. To know more about Integrating Automation testing into Devops visit Gallop’s Services page.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.