Integration of CICD DevOps Into Software Testing
- July 29, 2020
- Hiba Sulaiman
With the rise in demand for quality and frequent software releases, organizations are exploring DevOps methodologies. DevOps focuses on bridging the gap between development, operations, and IT teams efficiently. In order to adopt the DevOps culture, it is important to implement the right DevOps software testing tools and processes. Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) are two important concepts in the DevOps environment, that help QA teams in releasing faster software in a structured environment.
Continuous Integration (CI):
Continuous integration is a software development process in which small changes to the underlying code in an application are tested every time a team member makes a change. CI aims at speeding up the release process by allowing teams to fix issues earlier in the software development process. CI is a concept that builds a strong collaboration between developers and operations teams, in order to achieve agile projects.
Continuous Delivery (CD):
Continuous Delivery (CD) begins where the CI process ends. It automates the delivery of software apps without any bugs to selected infrastructure environments. Development, operations, and IT teams work in multiple environments other than production. It ensures that there is an automated way to push code changes into these environments.
Why Implement CI/CD?
In the fast-evolving technological era, where customers are expecting high-quality applications faster, DevOps is the ultimate solution to achieve success. The CI/CD pipeline allows a business to leverage the software testing process which reduces the risks in each build and helps to deliver end-product to their customers.
Following are a few benefits of implementing the CI/CD pipelines:
Use CI Tools to Achieve Faster Feedback – CI tools are used for every code and their respective tests are run simultaneously to avoid any issues at later stages. This allows faster feedback that aids in testing the quality and impact of the code.
Early Bug Detections – By running different types of automated tests, QA teams identify any bugs at an early stage. This prevents any last-minute surprises and these automated tests help to resolve any bugs that might have been introduced into the application.
Greater Visibility – By setting up a CI/CD pipeline, teams can analyze the entire process of new builds, test results and any bugs introduced. It is a transparent tool that allows developers to know which changes in the build caused a bug and how to avoid them from appearing again in the future.
Stages of Implementing the CI/CD Pipeline into the Software Testing Process
In order to reap the benefits of DevOps, it is important to implement a proper CI/CD pipeline. It is a stepping stone to build a strong DevOps environment. The four different stages of implementing CI/CD processes are explained as below:
In this stage, new code and features are integrated with the base of the application. A proper feedback system is placed, to check the code quality, and CI/CD tools are used to perform unit tests effectively. For instance, Jenkins offers a number of tools to aid in automating the software cycle.
Once QA teams have tested the code and integrated it, the next stage is the build. Here, developers push the artifacts into the repository. For instance, with the help of the Docker tool, teams can create servers to deploy artifacts into the registry so that it can be tested.
Developers perform the alpha and beta deployments at this stage. In the alpha deployment stage, developers check the performance of the builds and the interactions between the builds. However, at the beta deployment stage, teams perform manual testing to double-check before the product is pushed into production.
The production phase is where an application goes live. Once a build has gone through the various stages of test scenarios it is ready to be sent into production for the end-users.
Tools used in the CI/CD Pipeline
There are different automated software testing tools used to ensure a successful CI/CD pipeline and ensure a faster and smooth delivery. Some of these tools are divided into the following categories:
Open-Source Tools: Organizations can choose from a list of open-source tools to automate the CI/CD process. Jenkins is a fine example of an open-source tool.
Cloud or Self-Hosting Services: Teams can use tools like Cruise Control to help in setting up, configurations, and monitoring the application effectively. They can also use SaaS providers to host on-cloud services.
Build Status: Tools like AppVeyor can help QA teams to achieve the transparency and visibility of the entire process by appropriate notifications, emails, etc.
In recent times, organizations are moving to DevOps environment to ensure faster releases while maintaining software quality. The main objective of the CI/CD delivery pipeline is to implement DevOps to achieve effective collaboration between teams by integrating it into the software testing process.