Putting Quality First Through Continuous Testing

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The one thing that can make or break an organization in today’s competitive age is the Quality of the products it creates. To meet, and then beat the severe competition, every organization must be able to showcase excellence in their offerings and deliver quality, robust applications.

Delivering a Quality product implies delivering a product that provides the best performance according to users’ requirements, and is bug-free.

To meet this requirement, every organization is scouting for newer, yet proven ways of working that can help their teams work in a seamless manner to produce the most reliable product. In their search for well-established processes, a lot of companies are making an effort to adopt DevOps as part of their culture.

DevOps creates a culture that helps in achieving the goals of quality and time to market by employing the following means:

  • Collaborative Development: Or shift-left to increase the understanding and collaboration between cross-functional teams
  • Continuous Integration (CI) & Continuous Testing (CT): While Agile suggests continuous integration and testing, it does not call it a mandatory function. In a DevOps environment, however, both Continuous Integration & Continuous Testing are mandatory to be performed. This has a huge impact on the quality of a product.
  • Continuous Release and Deployment: With a shippable product ready after every integration, there is a marked increase in the frequency of product release and deployment
  • Continuous Monitoring: Continuously monitoring the performance of a product helps improve the quality multifold.

So once you begin your shift-left journey, and things become more streamlined across functions, CT of your product is what needs to be planned for, and implemented.

CT, per Wiki, is “the process of executing automated tests as part of the software delivery pipeline to obtain immediate feedback on the business risks associated with a software release candidate.”

There should be a mechanism to check for feedback at the end of each phase to check whether the product is all ready for the next phase – or it requires some corrective actions before moving ahead.

CT aims at delivering go-to-market ready, high-quality, robust working code at a frequency and ensures quality at every phase of the app’s development. It comprises Unit tests, API testing, Integration testing, and System testing at each phase of SDLC, thus incorporating consistent quality checks at every step of the SDLC process starting with design, building the app and through all phases of production. An effective testing and quality process enables faster time to market, constant releases and minimizes risks in the post production phase. For instance, in the Automobile segment, Continuous Testing at every phase of the production process is inevitable.

Following is a list of the fundamental objectives of Continuous testing:

  1. Get a holistic view of the application / product
  2. Ensure efficacy, quality, and robustness
  3. Flawless delivery
  4. Faster time to market

So how exactly does Continuous Testing help promote Quality?

Continuous Testing facilitates and empowers you with an automated, seamless way to obtain prompt feedback on the business risks associated with the application / product. This helps maintain quality, but ensures effective entry in the market place.

Following are a few activities performed as part of the CT process that help create – and promote – Quality of a product:

  • Use a Version control system for the automation test scripts: Proper, centralized management of test scripts makes it easier for everyone involved to use the critical asset. This helps provide anytime access to all the latest test scripts that need to be executed. Removal of ambiguity with regards to the latest code builds and accessibility has a direct impact on the speed of test execution and the generation of the quality results as expected.
  • Integrate the build deployment tool with an automation suite: Integrating the build deployment tool and the automation suite helps centralize the execution of tests and the reporting of the results. This helps increase the speed of test executions, thus reducing the go-to-market time. Again, centralization of the activities will help testing everything – thus creating a more robust and reliable product.
  • A few typical tests run at each checkpoint are the health checks (- if the services are up as required), smoke tests (- if the key features are operating as planned and there are no critical defects), and regression tests (- controls the feedback time by executing automated tests in parallel via multiple threads or machines).

In case of any failure, all deployment must be stopped and the entire DevOps team – developers, testers and operations staff – starts taking the required corrective action. These continuous, frequent feedback loops help create a stable, quality product.

For example, with the consistent innovation and demands in the segment of Mobility services, continuous Quality checks related to performance, usability and security are a must to create high quality mobile apps across various development platforms.

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 take your testing & QA needs to the next level and know more about performing Continuous testing, contact us at info@gallop.net.

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

Accelerating Time to Market through Next-Gen Test Automation

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Accelerating time to market has become the standard requirement for the organizations across all verticals and domains. With Agile and DevOps taking the center stage for the software development process, it is becoming very important to assure higher quality to the applications. Next-gen test automation can provide the necessary catalyst for the organizations looking to achieve their goals in the era of CI, CD and CT.

Quality is the most important factor when it comes to gauging the success of the software application as it is directly related to the customer experience. Continuous delivery and agile execution strategy for your software application need to have software testing as the central element to ensure that your goal is met.

So how do you achieve this?

Agile and DevOps has made it easy to a certain extent by bringing developers, testers, operations team, product owners and the business on the same discussion table. As the features get decided by the product managers, the quality and risk of those features are also being discussed and developers and testers can decide on the right unit testing and test automation framework needed to have that perfect deliverable. You surely do not want to Ship the broken code quicker to market right. That’s when the Next-gen automation framework helps you achieve your goal.

It becomes really difficult for the organizations to go the manual testing way if they want to adhere to their goal of Quick time to market. Creating, executing and maintaining manual tests can be a real pain especially at scale. Also with consistent pressure for the business to deliver the features quick, it can be a really stressful situation for the manual testers and the end result cannot guarantee the result which is expected. This puts test automation as the central element of your Continuous delivery approach towards quicker time to market.

With plethora of testing tools available in the market, it is important that your test automation framework adapts to the needs of the software application requirement. It needs to be dynamic and flexible at the same time to deliver the ultimate goal. The right test automation framework binds all the elements together and makes sure that the various CI, CD and testing tools are integrated to handle the large volume of data, test results as the application grows. It should also give quick insights into what is going wrong, why it went wrong and how to fix it without spending significant amount of time.

The right test automation framework encompasses various factors like scope of test automation, scalability of the approach, extent of reusability, and more importantly the metrics to measure the success of your test automation. At the same time, it needs to be comprehensive enough to encompass the code analysis, unit, functional, performance, regression and stability tests, usability analyses for the all the features of the software application or app.

At Gallop, we strive hard to achieve this by having a 35000 feet view for the CIOs of the company as well as various other stakeholders. Below is the typical screenshot of the typical metrics we measure for Test Automation with our In-house CIO Dashboard tool.

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Going forward, Agile & DevOps are going to be de facto standard for the software development process. With this, the next-gen test automation framework and IP led accelerators will drive the testing transformations across industries. At Gallop, we have a continuous test delivery platform and right test accelerators to ensure you meet your goal. Contact us if you are looking to Accelerate Time to Market for your next-gen application or mobile app.

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

Integrating Security into Continuous Testing

Integrating Security into Continuous Testing

All of us understand and accept the necessity to have adequate security testing for our applications. The question we will delve into here is “is it possible to automate security testing as part of an application’s continuous integration cycle? If so, what are the benefits of doing so?”

In an agile environment, it is common to have a continuous integration (CI) process in place to merge developer code into a common repository. Each code merge is then verified by an automated build process to detect code integration issues. CI makes the development process faster and drastically cuts down the time to market. But this rush does not bode well for security testing. It can leave vulnerabilities in the code undetected.

CI is a good point in the development cycle to detect security vulnerabilities in the new code as it gives the team the advantage of early detection and fixing of issues. Static code analysis tools and code evaluation tools like StyleCop can point out coding issues that can result in poor code security.

Three things to keep in mind while planning security testing

1. Decide what to look for

Security testing may cover a broad spectrum of vulnerabilities, all of which cannot be included in the continuous integration cycle. It is better to focus more on coding best practices from a security perspective and on detecting issues like authentication and authorization, data leaking, security mis-configurations, unvalidated redirects and forwards, invoking components with known vulnerabilities etc.

2. Give separate attention to security tests

Do not combine security test cases with unit or functional tests. The objective of these tests is to discover functional issues, which does not do justice to the scope and intent of security testing. Instead combining security with the continuous integration process ensures the testing is more holistic and aimed at detecting security issues alone.

3. Automate tests

Automate security tests, wherever possible, and then integrate them into the CI pipeline to ensure they are done for each and every code merge without fail. There are many tools and scanners available that will look for commonly known vulnerabilities. Most of these tools allow integration to a CI tool like Jenkins. But be sure to choose the right tool for your application.

Security testing in the cloud:

While the cloud brings in scalability and low operating costs, it also brings in concerns on security. One reason is you don’t own the infrastructure. Another is a general lack of standards and defined processes for testing in cloud, specifically in the public cloud.

With continuous security testing in the cloud, the focus could be more on threats related to authentication & authorization, fuzzing and social engineering. Your cloud based application may communicate to your data center using API calls. Security testing should focus on restricting unauthorized access to this data.

Advantages of security testing as part of the continuous integration cycle

Below are the advantages of including security testing in the continuous integration process:

  • You get immediate feedback on any security issues in your code. Fixing these issues after more functionality has piled on is complex and costly
  • Security testing is automated, hence it is faster and more accurate. And since it is performed on every new piece of code, it ensures overall security of your system
  • Security testing does not get pushed to the end where it may get compromised due to lack of time. Instead, focus is on ensuring security right from the beginning
  • Security testing is repeatable, reliable and efficient.

Secure your applications with security testing from Gallop Solutions

Gallop’s security testing adheres to international standards like OWASP and the latest testing methodologies to guarantee the security of your applications. Contact us to know more on how we can help you with your security testing.

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