How To Optimize Continuous Integration Testing?
An insight into continuous integration testing!
The most powerful strategy of continuous integration testing is to test early and often. When you test the problems earlier, you can easily fix them. You can target the tests into four main categories for continuous integration.
Tests that execute in 10 minutes or even less. These are the tests with very high value. They can run with every build. Until these tests are passed, the team should consider the build failed. The developers do not tend to wait for more than 10 minutes to get the build results.
Tests that execute in an hour or less. These tests have a high value and can run continuously. Let us take an example. You can configure these tests every hour and start again as soon as they are complete.
Tests take longer than an hour to execute. You can run these tests almost daily and the results are available when the next working day begins.
Tests with moderate value. You can run these tests once per week or once in every release cycle.
Automated integration testing best practices
Many strategies can help optimize existing tests for continuous integration suites. Let us have a glance at five such practices. These practices are proven.
Create tiny and valuable test suites
You should choose the critical tests and collect them together into a small suite. This collected small suite runs comparatively faster. These tests are gross-level tests. But they are crucial to qualify your application or system for the further testing procedure. It is useless to proceed if these tests do not pass.
One of the best points to start would be to concoct a new entity. You can then perform the most important operations on this entity. For example, let us assume that you are creating a note-taking application. The test for this application will include creating a note, integrating texts, closing the app, and then reopening it to verify whether the text was saved or not. So if your note-taking application passes this test, you can proceed to other levels. But when this test passes, then there is no need to perform other tests.
These tests are often known as build verification or build acceptance tests. If you have the suites of these tests, then you should make sure to execute them in the right way.
Refactor the test setup
A test can perform verification only after having a setup. Let us understand this point with the help of the previous note-taking application example. To substantiate whether the application opens with the text written by you, previously, you initially have to set up the test with the text. For this, you should first assess how your tests are doing the test set up. After that, you can find different or better options as well.
Let us assume that there was a team which had a suite of UI driven tests. But these tests took a comparatively longer time to run and even had many issues. The issues relate to time and minor UI glitches. In such a case, the team should revamp the suites to perform the test set up through API commands. They can do the verification through the UI. The revamped suites had simple functional coverage. However, these suites were executed at a 70% faster rate. Moreover, they also had half the issues that were founded earlier.
Play smart with your wait times
Testers have faced the situation when the test keeps failing just because the back end did not respond in time. Or maybe the test failed because some source was still loading. In such situations, we tend to plot a sleep statement in it.
But now is the time when we should look for such sleep statements and see whether we can replace them or not. We should replace these statements with smarter wait statements that complete when the event happens. These new statements should complete when the event happens, rather than after a set period.
Trigger tests automatically
Several test suites are initiated by a person during the testing phase of a project. We can integrate these tests into the continuous integration suite by a bit of shell scripting.
The two best examples of different types of tests that may be performed by a specialist who is not even a part of the standard test team are security and performance test. There is a benefit of running these tests frequently. Sometimes the problems which are found are difficult to resolve. So if you can find the problem sooner, the team can also resolve them quickly. These tests come under the category of very valuable, hence they require more than an hour to execute. So you can run these tests typically daily.
Run tests in parallel
You can run your tests in parallel in a more affordable way. You can do this by making the use of virtual machines and cloud computing services coupled with a variety of tools. This helps to automatically set up the environment and integrate your codes, thus making the whole process more affordable and easier.
So you should examine the test suites that take some time to execute. Moreover, lookout for opportunities to run these tests in parallel.
Here is an example that can help you to understand this. Let us assume that there is one team that had a very vital test suite. This test suite contained 500 test cases. It took hours to run this suite, so the team did not execute it frequently.
Moreover, this test was very broad-based and touched different features. So the team was able to bifurcate the suite into a dozen different suites. These different suites could further be run in parallel so that they are run more frequently and could quickly proffer the results. Getting the results quickly helps to understand the problems and resolve them.
Thus, improving the value of your test suites and even the time taken to execute them can help you to optimize your existing test suites. Optimized test suites can fit into a continuous integration program.
By now you should know the answers to the questions like- How to optimize continuous integration testing? What is DevOps? What are the different integration testing tools? What is automated integration testing best practices? What is the role of continuous integration?