By Gilad David Maayan
DevOps testing tools enable you to implement testing tasks. Particularly, DevOps testing tools help you improve the speed and efficiency of continuous loops, through the introduction of automation into the testing process. You can achieve testing automation using a wide range of tools and techniques. This article examines a popular testing strategy called test-driven development (TDD), and reviews four DevOps testing tools and key best practices.
In this article, you will learn:
What Are DevOps Tools?
DevOps tools are solutions you can use to simplify tasks and speed processes. You can leverage DevOps tools to improve workflow visibility, team communication, troubleshooting response time and product reliability and quality.
Frequently tools are used to automate the various processes involved in software. This includes source code management, building, testing, and deployment. Tools are also used to improve infrastructure management, facilitate communication and collaboration, and to monitor pipelines.
The Importance of DevOps Test Automation
An essential part of any effective DevOps lifecycle is continuous testing. Continuous testing, or shift-left testing, is a practice that ensures that testing is performed early and often in the development cycle. It is designed to help teams identify and address issues early on to prevent compounding issues. When implemented successfully, continuous testing reduces the length of test cycles, increases quality and security, and eliminates wasted efforts.
One common strategy used in DevOps testing is test-driven development (TDD). This strategy involves creating unit tests for each segment of code to be written. These tests are then applied to the code to verify that it was written to meet specifications and standards. Once code passes these tests, it can be tested for integration, security, and user acceptance.
To smoothly integrate continuous testing and TDD practices into DevOps workflows, teams rely on a variety of tooling and automation. This enables teams to integrate testing throughout their pipeline without sacrificing consistency or efficiency.
With tooling, teams can define standardized procedures and hierarchies for testing that ensure that tests are performed in the correct order and that no tests are overlooked. Automation helps ensure that tests are performed at the right time and frees team members to move on to other tasks while code is being evaluated.
After code is approved and deployed, many teams continue to monitor and verify the quality of releases with testing in production, called shift-right testing. This type of testing focuses on user feedback and typically integrates data from continuous monitoring tools. Testing and monitoring in production also typically relies on a variety of cloud automation tools, such as Kubernetes.
Top DevOps Testing Tools
There are a wide range of open source and proprietary testing solutions available for inclusion in DevOps pipelines. Some popular tools to consider include:
Testsigma is a proprietary test automation platform that incorporates machine learning. It is designed to integrate continuous testing through tests written in simple, natural language. It includes features for reusable step groups and provides a centralized object repository. You can extend Testsigma with a variety of integrations.
JUnit is an open-source framework designed for unit testing Java applications. You can use it to create and run test cases using a variety of test annotations. You can integrate JUnit with a variety of popular DevOps tools, including GIT and Jenkins.
TestNG is an open source framework for testing that is modeled after NUnit and JUnit. You can use it to run test automation scripts and can integrate it with the Selenium webdriver and Maven. TestNG includes features for data-driven testing, application server testing, and verifying that code is multi thread compatible. It uses default Java development kit functions to eliminate dependencies.
DevOps Best Practices: Testing Like the Pros
When incorporating continuous testing into your DevOps pipelines there are several aspects and best practices to consider.
Application monitoring tools help teams detect issues in staging and production environments. These tools can alert teams to real-time issues and provide valuable information, enabling teams to address bugs before functionality or service is affected.
Prometheus, an open source tool used for Kubernetes monitoring, is one example of the type of tool that you can incorporate for monitoring applications. With tools like Prometheus, you can monitor traffic to and from your application services and evaluate performance. This can help you identify if processes are taking more resources than expected and can highlight any vulnerabilities that attackers may exploit.
When incorporating tests, pay attention to test maturity. Tests that are fine-tuned and continuously improved can provide more accurate and reliable results. If tests are not evaluated or refined, you may create bottlenecks in your testing processes or receive inaccurate results. This can reduce both the efficiency and the quality of your applications.
Additionally, the maturity of your overall testing processes are influenced by the orchestration and automation practices you implement. The more of your testing you can reliably automate, the sooner and more consistently you can identify issues. However, this requires understanding which tests are not suitable for automation and ensuring those tests are incorporated through manual processes.
Test metrics can help you streamline testing processes by providing feedback on the efficiency, frequency, coverage, or reliability of tests. When evaluated in combination with production outcomes, test metrics can be used to identify and correct possible points of failure.
There are many test metrics you can collect but some useful ones to include are:
- Automation progress - measures the proportion of your test cases that are automated vs your total cases. This metric should increase as your systems are refined.
- Deployment frequency - measures how frequently you are deploying code. This metric should remain stable or increase but needs to be evaluated in context of the quality measures.
- Mean time to recovery (MTTR) - measures the length of time from incident detection to correction. As the effectiveness of your monitoring and testing increases you should be able to detect issues sooner and resolve them faster.
- Test coverage - measures how much of your code is covered by testing and what issues are accounted for. This metric can help you gauge how likely you are to catch bugs prior to release. It can also indicate how well you are ensuring that customer requirements are met.
DevOps testing tools provide a wide range of capabilities that enable DevOps teams to drive efficiency, speed up release time, and improve developer productivity. A huge enabler of these advantages is automation, which helps improve testing loops
There are many ways to implement DevOps testing, but there are certain best practices you should consider. These include adopting application monitoring into the process, accounting for test maturity, and streamlining processes with test metrics.