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.

10 Emerging Trends in Software Testing: Predictions for the next decade

10 Emerging Trends in Software Testing

The last decade has seen an overwhelming evolution of the software testing industry giving way to greener pastures. This rapid scale of development is keeping not just the developers, but also the testers on tenterhooks, making them to continuously strive to upgrade their skills. Even businesses today need to be even more aware of what is best in terms of performance and security. This disruption has been caused by the new technologies, and it is always challenging for testers to overcome the new issues posed by these upcoming technologies.

2015 saw the acceptance of testing as an early activity in the software development lifecycle. This was predominantly due to the widespread adoption of Agile and DevOps methodologies by organizations across the globe. The goal was to get their apps faster to the market. 2015 also saw an increase in the use of virtualization and service oriented architecture along with cloud computing that led to many testing tool vendors vying for the market space in the testing arena.

This post summarizes the Top 10 emerging trends/predictions for the next decade that may change the landscape of software testing. This is based on our observations and experience with leading Fortune 500 enterprises and industry analyst research reports. It is interesting to discover each of these trends and to know how enterprises as well as testing professionals can get leverage these trends, re-strategize or re-skill themselves.

  1. The Future belongs to Open Source Tools: The next decade (may be more!) will see a lot of Open source tools in action as more and more organizations will adopt them for proper implementation of Agile, DevOps, and Test Automation. Support communities for the open source tools can only become more and more involved and active.
  1. Quality @ High speed is the new mantra: Everyone wants the best products in the fastest possible time. This is making organizations focus on providing the best user experience along with the fastest time to market. The speed is only going to increase (and the quality better) with the latest technologies and tools at the disposal of teams.
  1. Software Development Engineers in Test (SDETs) will be in huge demand: SDETs have been existing among us since almost a decade, but their role was very different from traditional testing roles. That said, by early 2020, almost all testers will need to wear an SDET hat to be successful in the field of Test Automation, that is going to become mainstream.
  1. Agile and DevOps will rule the roost – TCoE is dead: According to Forrester, organizations are not looking at having centralized Test Centers of Excellence anymore. Test automation developers today are now a part of the agile teams. The erstwhile testing arena is making a shift towards quality engineering, and testing is intended to become more iterative, progressive, and seamlessly integrated with development.
  1. Digital Transformation is here to stay: With a majority of organizations making a foray in the digital world, the need for digital transformation will require a huge shift of focus towards digital testing. Robust strategies for digital assurance will be required for focusing on optimizing functional testing across channels.
  1. BigData Testing will become really BIG: We are sitting atop an explosive amount of BigData today and need to have a very strong strategy around BigData Testing. Testing datasets requires highly analytical tools, techniques, and frameworks, and is an area that is set to grow big.
  1. IoT: Heralding an era of Connected Devices: With IoT growing in leaps and bounds, more and more customers rely on IoT Testing before using the products. If the products are not tested, their functionality, security, and effectiveness – all will come under scanner. According to a HP study, 70 percent of devices in the Internet of Things are vulnerable to security problems.
  1. DevOps will drive Quality Engineering: DevOps ideology is based on seamless collaboration and integration between the different departments of an IT Organization – developers, quality professionals, and IT professionals. Testing plays a business-critical role as developers are involved not just in the correctness of their code, but also in the testing and overall Quality engineering aspects. DevOps thus is propelling businesses towards greater speeds of deployment and quality assurance and is thus helping them realize higher returns on investment and faster time to market in a cost-efficient manner.
  1. Performance Engineering is replacing Performance Testing: Repeating a cliché – “A good user experience is the key to a successful product”. Consistent performance across diverse platforms, OSs, and devices defines how much of a market can a product really capture. The need to provide the best experience to users is making organizations change their strategy. They are now moving away from just providing Performance tests to providing Performance engineering.
  1. The best news is that Software Testing Budgets will continue to grow: It is but obvious that with such huge focus and demand for high quality products, and with major IT trends such as BigData analytics, Cloud Technologies, Mobility, and Virtualization, Testing has become more than just a need. This will push the organizations towards allocating a bigger chunk of their IT budget (around 40%) for software testing and QA.

About Kalyana Rao Konda

Kalyan is the President & Global Head of Gallop Solutions Inc. With 17+ years of experience in IT Services, specifically software testing, Kalyan has led large QA teams of 2000+ people at AppLabs as VP-Delivery and had been in QA leadership roles with Virtusa&BaaN earlier. He has a rare mix of high technical understanding with a pragmatic approach to testing services delivery. A strong proponent of Testing-as-a-Service (TaaS) delivery model, Kalyan is a thought leader with hands on expertise in building large scale test automation suites, executing and maintaining them. He has a patent pending with USPTO for ‘iGenerate test Scenario’ and ‘Web Services Validator’ filed last year. Kalyan is a speaker at various testing conferences including DevOps East, StarEast& Agile Testing Conference in Boston. He was recently awarded the prestigious “40 Under 40 Award 2016” from the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Do not forget to access the On-Demand Webinar on Testing Trends here:

http://www.gallop.net/webinar-on-10-emerging-trends-in-software-testing

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

Successfully Implementing TDD/BDD to Enable Shift-Left Testing Approach

devops testing, agile testing, test driven development, behaviour driven development, shift left approach, software testing services, software testing, quality assurance testing, tdd, bdd, software testing company, gallop solutions, gallop solutions review

Today, when developers are using tools like J unit/N unit for testing their code, approaches such as test driven development (TDD) and behaviour driven development (BDD) focus on improving the quality of the code that is being written. Though the approaches require a different mind-set, the objective remains the same.

Usually Behaviour driven development is focused on the business behaviour of your code: the “why” behind the code. The focus is usually on the intent rather than process. It supports a team-centric (especially cross-functional) workflow. BDD works really well when a developer and either the agile product owner or a business analyst sit down together and write the pending specifications:

  • The business person specifies the exact functionality they want to see in the system.
  • The developer asks questions based on their understanding of the system, while also writing down additional behaviours needed from a development perspective.

Ideally, both parties can refer to the list of current system behaviours to see if this new feature will break existing features. This way quality comes first and the entire product is understood which decreases the defect entry into the development related to requirements or functionality of the system.

Test Driven development on the other hand focuses on implementation of the system. For example, writing a better quality code that helps in maintaining the health of the code with no nonsense into the system.

Approaches like TDD/BDD are used to understand the requirements clearly without any ambiguities and help developers to write tests in a way that makes code execution successful. These methods enable testers to think of solutions using a bottom up approach that helps prevention of defects in the later stages. This approach also helps clarify any ambiguities in the requirements early on in the software development lifecycle, before coding actually begins. With an increased level of understanding of the features and requirements, developers know what exactly needs to be coded, as also what needs to be included or excluded in the code, thereby preventing leakage of defects into the code in the later phases of development lifecycle. The mindset and ability to focus on producing quality product with minimum to no defects from inception/upstream process is enabled by these methods that complement the shift left approach.

While the development teams like this approach, the project teams blame the TDD/BDD process for slowing down the software development process. However, it has been realized that implementation of TDD/BDD practices in the initial development phases enables organizations face lower defects in the later stages. This helps in the maintenance of the code, increases the defect removal efficiency, and also reduces the time to market of the product. The TDD/BDD approach is also best suited for applications where the requirements undergo progressive elaboration. The frequently tested code has lesser defects and enables faster delivery of working software to the clients.

Practices like unit testing and adopting TDD/BDD provide high code coverage coupled with faster feedback regarding unexpected defects/surprises/issues and thus becomes an additive element in the reinforced process.

TDD/BDD practices also enhance practices like requirement management for covering the finer topics like requirement elicitation, requirements acceptance criteria, and requirements review prior to the development process. Requirement traceability is also enhanced when test cases are traced back to the requirements giving a picture of test coverage functionally.

A seamless implementation of both approaches identifies defects early on in the SDLC process, reduce risks, and reduce cost of rework which is a significant cost in software development process. TDD/BDD helps align the mind-set to the left focussing on quality from concept-to-cash for building the right product with the right intent in the best possible way.

In a nutshell, the BDD/TDD practices enable the following:

  • Move defect identification and prevention to the left (early stages of SDLC)
  • Reduce issues/surprises/incidents in the production
  • Help teams stay focused on Continuous Delivery
  • Compliment the agile/iterative development
  • Improve the overall build deployability by reduced lead times and increased quality
The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Using Open Source Tools to Automate Load Testing in DevOps Era

load testing, performance testing, devops testing, performance testing tools, open source testing tools, gallop solutions, gallop solutions review, software testing, software testing services, software testing company, jmeter, siege, gatling, load testing framework

Performance testing has changed dramatically in the last decade and has transitioned towards performance engineering. Performance engineering represents a cultural shift in the way organizations view their essential processes, and it has the potential to transform your technology, your business, and your end-user experience.

The goal of performance testing is to help you get to know how your applications behave under heavy load conditions. There are some baseline performance parameters based on which this has to be tested like the most common one which is – Users expect a site to load in 2 seconds. As per a survey, if an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, 1 second delay could potentially cost them $2.5 million in lost sales every year.

So what is making performance testers leave the traditional approaches and shift towards the new approaches?

What are the open source tools being embraced by the performance testers?

We will try to answer these questions in this blog post.

Modern delivery teams have changed their approach towards the performance testing drastically and have started adopting open source tools for performance testing. With the need of optimizing the performance of your mobile, web, and API stack becoming critical and UX oriented, it has become important to have the right automation strategy for your performance tests. Having right automated performance tests can help you in every stage of the delivery pipelines.

DevOps is the new buzzword which is driving the modern delivery teams to realize quicker time to market. Though there are many commercial and opens source testing tools which can help you check the performance of your applications, open-source tools are being widely adopted in the DevOps era. Open source tools can generate load and provide the critical visibility you need to find and resolve bottlenecks and constraints so your users have the most satisfying experience possible with every release of your software. There are many open sources tools which are around for a while now, much before we heard of the buzzwords like DevOps. But the continuous delivery, continuous integration and continuous testing have helped these tools find there place and also evolve much better.

Many of the open source performance testing tools – such as Apache JMeter, Siege, and Gatling are now being widely used and have a very strong user community.

JMeter is the most popular open source performance testing tool. You can use Apache JMeter to test performance both on static and dynamic resources (files, servlets, Perl scripts, Java objects, databases and queries, FTP servers, and more). You can also use it to simulate a heavy load on a server, network, or object to test its strength or analyze overall performance under different load types. Jmeter also allows you to make a graphical analysis of performance or to test your server/script/object behavior under a heavy concurrent load.

Siege is another open source testing tool which lets you do http load-testing and benchmarking utility. It lets you measure code under duress, to see how it will stand up to load on the Internet.

Gatling is another open-source load testing framework based on Scala, Akka and Netty which is good for analyzing and measuring the performance of a variety of services, with a focus on web applications.

There are many Commercial tools also which usually allows you to easily build, execute, and analyze performance tests with good reporting, if you are willing to invest more. Though there are many other server-side performance testing tools – both commercial and open source, you need to choose it based on what works best for you.

You might want to also watch the Gallop’s presentation on ‘Visualizing Real User Experience Using Integrated Open Source Stack’ given at Selenium Conference 2016.

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

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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.
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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.

Testing is a Process, not just a Phase

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Should Testing just be another Phase?

We all accept that Testing forms an important part of the software development life cycle (SDLC). However, the reason why a lot of organizations fail is the fact that they segregate testing as a single unit – a phase. When Testing is treated as just another ‘phase’, the implementation of this business-critical task suffers. Organizations try to club all sorts of tests and try to test their product for all possible areas at the fag-end of the development cycle. This naturally is impacted by the looming deadlines of the product launch, as also other pressures due to which the testing is not fool-proof. A product that has not been tested fully will naturally not be robust. There will always be a doubt regarding its security, performance, and functionality. So what can these organizations do to improve their testing process?

The answer is actually fairly simple.

Instead of trying to overburden the tester to test for completeness just before launching the product, plan your test related activities. While planning the product development phases, identify the types of tests you need to execute for your product. Then, allocate specific time and resources for performing tests related to the different phases. This also helps verifying and validating the product, as also drastically reduces the number of bugs that may otherwise be found later. Performing tests specific to a phase helps save a lot of time and efforts of the developers as the issues found are far easier to fix.

In essence, if we treat Testing as a process that supports the entire development process – instead of just a single phase – we can ensure products that are far more dependable and robust.

What to Test under each phase?

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Based on the common experience shared across industries, following are a few tests that can be executed under the different phases:

  1. Requirements Gathering phase: The main focus of this phase is to gather the business requirements such as who will use what type of data in what manner. Thus, it is only common sense to test and confirm (read validate) the basic requirements for the creation of a product before actually starting the development process. This ensures that we create what we initially planned to create – and not something else that got created while on the way due to unclear and ambiguous requirements. The output of this phase is a Requirement Specification document that acts as the guideline for the product development.
  2. Design phase: The Design phase uses the Requirement Specification document to prepare the layout of the system and software design. If a comprehensive and end-to-end test plan and strategy is thought of and implemented in this phase, it will help build a stable system architecture. Testing the ease of design will also help establish what and how to test in the product.
  3. Development phase: As the name suggests, the development phase involves the actual writing of code for the different modules. As a lot of code is generated in this phase that covers implementation of different features, it makes sense to test the features being developed. It also is a good time to implement regression testing on the code generated so far to verify that the software being developed performs correctly even if it is modified or interfaced with other software.
  4. Deployment phase: The deployment phase usually has two sub-phases – Beta-deployment, and Final Deployment. In the Beta-deployment phase issues are caught before a product is launched to the market. This is the time when you can implement tests related to product usage analytics, Real User Monitoring, & Automated smoke tests. Based on the results of these tests, and the other issues reported, the development team will make the final changes before the final deployment of the product.

As seen above, if Testing is implemented across all the phases of SDLC, the end result will be a product that is stable, reliable, and supports features and functions that will grab the attention of the end user. It is no surprise that the more a product is liked and appreciated, the better ROI an organization gets.

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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.

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.