The Ultimate Guide to Continuous Testing

Aug 27, 2021 | Test Automation Insights

what is continuous testing

Heightened demand for web-based and mobile applications has led to a growing need for continuous testing. Many industries have decided to reap the benefits of continuous testing as an essential part of their process, but what is continuous testing, and why is it so beneficial?

What Is Continuous Testing? 

Continuous testing, often referred to as just CT, is a process utilized in application and software development. It tracks changes throughout development via tests that provide feedback on whether or not the software is ready for delivery. This end-to-end process offers solutions that lead to improved quality and quicker release cycles.

The Importance of Continuous Testing

Why is continuous testing important for DevOps teams? It’s a time of growth within the digital realm, and competition is fierce to be the first, the best, or both in development. With this growth also grows the need for a testing process that beats out traditional testing. Continuous testing offers:

  • Risk mitigation: Continuous testing helps development teams assess risks well in advance in order to prepare buffers that protect users. Throughout the testing process, vital insight is discovered that will determine if the software is ready for delivery. 
  • Reliable data: Through agile continuous testing, data is formed and monitored for further testing possibilities. In each stage of testing, new discoveries are made about functionality that could be overlooked through manual testing. 
  • Error detection: Any potential errors are discovered quickly in continuous testing. With the consistent inspection of features and elements, functionality can be perfected prior to release. 

Benefits of Continuous Testing

Software and applications are major components in the competition between companies and organizations in an industry. Continuous integration, continuous testing, and continuous delivery all come with benefits that put you at the top of the industry. 

Shift Left & Shift Right Capabilities

Continuous testing can be seamlessly integrated into your current process, offering the ability to shift “left” toward white-box testing and development or shift “right” toward black-box testing during production. White-box testing is typically utilized in smaller scale projects, while larger operations tend to use black-box testing. These methods contribute to different forms of tests, with each benefiting separate application types.

Quicker Results – Shift Left

Left-shifting automation offers immediate results when developers are ready to move forward. The compilation is much quicker and free of errors that come with human programmers. From continuous integration to continuous delivery, syntax errors will be reported by the integrated development environment for immediate improvement.

Extended Testing Range – Shift Right

Right-shifting tests are completed during production. In the past, they’ve been seen as a last-ditch effort, but are now seen as a staple necessity in software development. Errors are detected by the development team as consumers discover them. Through customer service systems, these errors are able to be corrected immediately. One reason this option is chosen by testers is that it ensures issues are minimal and quickly detected when they do arise.

Expanded Testing Scope

The entire pipeline of software development and delivery is tested in multiple parts, including continuous integration, continuous delivery, and continuous testing. Continuous integration focuses on the usability of a program, continuous delivery includes the deployment of software, and continuous testing occurs end-to-end. This expanded testing scope offers reliable error analysis from start to finish.

Enhanced Teamwork

With continuous testing in your repertoire, the need for a reliable quality assurance development team does not disappear. Manual and specialized testing is still recommended for optimal program performance. The addition of CT simply allows professional testers to focus their efforts on other tasks in increasing software functionality.

Agile Continuous Testing

The agile testing methodology includes dev teams that are responsible for one feature or a specific area of the code. From design to production, this method continues and accelerates the release and repair process while keeping application quality high.

Continuous Testing vs. Automated Testing

Continuous testing and automated testing have similar goals, but the processes themselves are a bit different. Continuous testing methods like agile have led DevOps to begin testing in coordination with the beginning of development. Automated testing can be completed at any time in the process. Both options are ways of accelerating the process, and the preferred method of one organization might differ from that of another.

Similarities

  • Risk mitigation: Both continuous testing and testing automation hope to accelerate the release cycle while minimizing errors and risks.
  • User experience: Automated testing and continuous testing look to create an end-user experience with optimal functionality.

Differences 

  • Onset: Continuous testing tends to begin alongside the development of software, while automated testing start times vary.
  • Timeline: Continuous testing often requires a bit more time spent focused on quality assurance tasks, while many automated testing programs can run in the background while the developer’s focus is on other tasks.
  • Errors: With automated testing, the chance of human error is removed.
  • Release: With continuous testing, the release is based on user insight, while automated testing results in a release based on a pass/fail methodology.
  • Responsibility: Automated testing tends to rely on programs that automatically run selected tests. Continuous testing relies on DevOps, taking some pressure off of test maintenance.

How to Succeed with Continuous Testing 

To succeed in continuous testing, there are variables that can ensure the entire team is on track for success. 

  • Framework: Ensure your selected testing framework will enhance functionality.
  • Quality assurance: Keep your team motivated to continue manual quality assurance processes as needed. 
  • Assets: Choose assets that keep your quality level high, including IDEs and report dashboards.
  • Documentation: Keep track of changes and fixes to streamline future testing.

Continuous Testing Framework

A continuous testing framework is seamlessly integrated into the development process to enhance functionality. No matter which framework you’re utilizing, continuous testing is your friend.

Try Ranorex Studio 

Cut your release cycle time down majorly and watch quality scores grow with continuous testing on your side. For a reputable tool that will take your development team’s efficiency to the next level, try a free trial of Ranorex Studio, which includes Ranorex Driver, Ranorex Spy, and Ranorex API.

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