The ability to bring new products and services to market ahead of your competitors is a key differentiator for today’s digital enterprise. Unsurprisingly, therefore, agile practices have matured and DevOps initiatives are gaining increasing prominence.
Due to this trend, Continuous Integration/ Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) has emerged as a key catalyst for enabling quality releases at extremely high speed.
A new world has emerged, whereby new builds are consistently being released into production, each within days, even minutes, close on the heels of each other.
Business, development and production teams are all trying to realize the CI/CD dream.
And why wouldn’t they? After all, it guarantees faster feedback, speedier time to market, enhanced quality and a vastly improved customer experience.
When embarking on a CI/CD journey, Continuous Testing (CT) is an important first step that will set your initiative in the right direction.
The central idea behind Continuous Integration and Deployment is to extend agile from the software development stage to software deployment stage. Only if testing is tightly connected with the business, development, and operations functions and maximum automation is achieved in each step can this process be successful. Test automation is a key enabler for increasing velocity and throughput.
In other words, a QA guideline for CD is like that enabling glue, which keeps teams focused on customer value and business performance- through a continuous feedback mechanism driving software delivery through the SDLC tunnel.
Automated feedback at each checkpoint is an automatic trigger for the next process in the delivery chain if the feedback is to move ahead. If the feedback is to not move ahead, or red, the deployment process is immediately halted, everyone involved in software delivery (developers, testers and operations team) is notified and corrective action is initiated.
Continuous Testing has profound implications for the QA & testing function; for them it essentially translates into too many releases, too little testing time and too much pressure to deliver quality.Testing complexity and challenges grow exponentially for organizations on their CI/CD journey (as illustrated in the figure below).
There has been a marked increase in the number of participants reporting challenges around various testing areas covered by the World Quality Report 2016 survey: lack of access to dev and test environments jumped to 42% from 24%; reliance on manual testing, up from 39% to 41%; manual environment management and deployment, up from 22% to 39%.
The bottom line is: Organizations currently face an urgent need to drive efficiencies at every level in QA and testing.
Also crucial is the need for test environment management (TEM) to become more automated and virtualized as the needs of agile escalate. This would help to get rid of bottlenecks in development cycle, which can act as a barrier to quick release.
It would not be an overstatement to say that, , testing done traditionally, will not only be inadequate but also act as a major constraint in such a fast paced environment.
The rush to CI/CD is on, and for some organizations, it has just begun.
By successfully creating a Continuous Testing infrastructure, the dots can be connected across business, development and operations functions to create push-button deployments, production monitoring and on-demand environment provisioning – enabling organizations to make the transition to CI/CD as seamless as possible.
Listen to this webinar to get Aspire’s insights on:
- What does the roadmap to Continuous Integration/Deployment look like?
- How to fully integrate QA & Testing activities in the agile development lifecycle?
- What are the various practices (from a testing perspective) that organizations need to set up to implement CI/CD?
- What CI/CD entails in practical and real world project scenarios