Introduction

Project-based software development considers the development and operation of applications as a temporary process. Developers used to think of each release as fully developed software and the role of the developers would end when the project is over. But organizations have to consider their business needs and be responsive to their respective operating environments. Development of quality software and their frequent release in the market whenever they wanted to become essential and agile software development helped them achieve that. Additionally, release management that emerged from this approach emulates project management that is business-focused. In this new approach, organizations do not stop when software is developed. Organizations now frequently improve upon the product and provide support to increase business value. Testing determines the quality of the software and hence it is an important part of the Software Development Process. DevOps has greatly added to organizations’ software quality output and their flexibility to release products at any given time of the year. Standardizing and streamlining the development and operations increases organizational maturity and prepares the operations departments to deal with new releases from the development department pretty well. This way of removing barriers across multiple functions has shortened the time-to-market and helped organizations gain a competitive edge.

Test Automation in the DevOps Pipeline

While it is impossible to attain 100% test coverage, it is essential for organizations to test as many scenarios as possible. Test automation improves this coverage by automating common scenarios and reducing regression defects. Organizations should analyze the history of defects and concentrate more on them. Identifying the areas susceptible to have more defects and improving on them will increase software quality. Moreover, integrating your test automation in line with your DevOps pipeline will streamline the software development process. With Test Automation, DevOps can use test cases to find bugs, minimize human error by using software programs to test applications and simplify processes. DevOps emphasizes on automating the testing process to achieve speed and agility. It supports continuous development to enable organizations to build, deploy, test, and release products quickly and efficiently. The right amount of test coverage will improve your release cycle and help you achieve your business goals.

Test Automation in the Agile Framework

Building on top of an application involves making changes to a product that was already working. Regression testing in agile software development allows developers to maintain the stability of the application with every new product increment. The more aggressive you are with your product, the higher the risk of introducing regression defects. Automating these scenarios will reduce the regression defects and saves time. It ensures that what was working continues to work and you can test the new script manually in every sprint. For example, if you are in sprint 11 and have already automated till sprint 9, it means that everything up to sprint 9 is working properly and there no defects till then. During sprint 11, sprint 10 will be automated and sprint 11 will be tested manually. Similarly, in sprint 10, sprint 9 would’ve been automated and sprint 10 would have been tested manually, and so on. The more automation you do, the higher the coverage you will get and when test automation is integrated with the DevOps pipeline, the release cycle is improved. Organizations shouldn’t expect to be able to release on-demand if they have Test Automation without DevOps because automating the release is crucial. For example, if a release is scheduled for 3 months and you are in the 4th out of 6 sprints, with DevOps, CI/CD, etc, you can release the code up to 3rd sprint on-demand if there is a need. Test automation is still important because it is responsible for building a fully working product that has been verified till sprint 3.

Conclusion

While it is true that test automation must always be accompanied by the DevOps pipeline, it should not be scheduled. It should be automatically triggered whenever you want to do a release. Automation should be run whenever you change the code and commit to it. It can run in the background on a daily basis or otherwise depending on the size of the scripts. Overall, automating the testing and release processes is a sure way for organizations to enhance their test coverage and churn out high-quality software frequently to achieve their business goals. There are automation tools and frameworks in the market that leverage reusable automated tests to enhance test coverage.

For example, Aspire’s Framework for Test Automation (AFTA) has integrated AI components to complete the testing quickly and efficiently.

Ready to streamline your release management? Learn how Aspire systems can help you make product releases frequently.

Sriram Sundaresan