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Technology is growing exponentially and to be in the game, organisations have no choice but to be technologically enabled. Talking about ‘technology’ basically means creating solutions that are ‘faster, ‘convenient’ and ‘qualitative’. To keep up with the highly demanding technological dynamics, not only human resources need to be equipped with the contemporaneous developments of this industry but there is also a dire need of highly standardized processes in order to deliver the top-class results. That’s when the need of DevOps emerges. Right from the planning through delivery, the idea of introducing DevOps is to maintain the quality streak by a systematic collaboration of development and automation across the continuous delivery and continuous Integration. To make it simpler, there must be a convenient way to tackle the complicated scenarios without delays and for on time delivery. Hence, the introduction of Continuous integration tools makes it easier for the developers to streamline the development processes.
Continuous Integration methodology enables developers to provide immediate reporting whenever any defect is identified in the code so that immediate corrective action can be taken. It is an important part of DevOps that bis used to integrate various Devops stages. The testing process is also automated and the same is instantly reported to the user. There are innumerable Continuous Integration tools available in the market providing access to different unique features. These have open source as well as paid versions, depending upon the need of the user, the most preferred could be selected. Although all the continuous Integration tools are designed to perform the same basic functions but choosing the best suitable CI tool becomes important in the long run. Depending upon many factors like features, cost, ease of use, etc. more than one tools can also be chosen meeting varied needs and not just the single solution. Comparing the best continuous Integration tools that are available in the market, below is the list of 10 best and mostly used Continuous Integration tools which must not be ignored in 2023.
Jenkins is a known and the most common Continuous Integration tool available today. Based on various comparisons, Jenkins tops the list. Jenkins is opensource continuous Integration server-based application that allows developers to build, automate and test any software project at a faster pace. It was originally a part of Hudson project started by Kohsuke Kawaguchi in the year 2004 but it was later on released by the name Jenkins in the year 2011. The tool has evolved over the years and has become the most reliable software delivery automation tool. The source code is in JAVA with few Groovy, Ruby and Antlr files. It has almost 1400 plugins to support the automation of the development tasks. Jenkins supports the entire software development life cycle right from building, testing, documenting and deploying. Jenkins comes with WAR file that allows easy installation of the tool which needs to be dropped into the JEE container and the setup can be run easily henceforth.
1. It is an open-source server for Continuous Integration tool
2. It is written in JAVA and comes with thousands of plugins that help in build, automation and deployment of any software project
3. It can be installed easily on any operating systems
4. User friendly interface that is easy to configure and with easy upgrades.
Buddy is a web-based, self- hosted Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) tool also known as Buddy.Works.Buddy is a serious advancement as one of the trusted CI CD tools. It has an extremely friendly user-interface and is also the simplest tool to use for the web developers, designers and quality assurance teams. Git developers can use this tool for building, testing and deploying the websites and applications using Github, Bitbucket, GitLab codes.
1. Steps for launching containers, automating deployment, and setting up
monitoring can be easily customised
2. Build, Ship and Deploy as inbuilt stack feature
3. Can be deployed to any hosting and cloud service providers
4. Supports Grunt. Gulp, MongoDB, and MySQL
5. Real-time reports on progress, logs and history can be monitored
6. Docker based builds and tests.
Teamcity, first released in 2006 is a continuous Integration tool developed by JetBrains. It runs in Java environment and is used to build and deploy different projects. It supports integration with many cloud technologies like Microsoft Azure, VMWare, Amazon.
1. It is a free of cost Continuous Integration tool
2. Supports platforms like Java, .Net and Ruby
3. Allows easy integration with IDEs like Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, Visual studio
4. Allows code coverage, inspection and performs duplicates check and creates history
reports of any changes made
5. It supports running multiple builds and tests under different platforms and
Bamboo is another Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Deployment (CD) software developed by Altassian. It is written in Java and supports other languages and technologies like CodeDeply, Ducker, Maven, Git, SVN, Mercurial, Ant, AWS, Amazon, etc. The tool performs automatic build, testing and deployments. Automation thus saves time and allows developers some extra time to focus on the strategic aspects of the product.
1. Bamboo can build, test and deploy multiple projects simultaneously and in case of any build failure, it provides the analysis and the failure reports
2. Current status of the builds and server status can be monitored with the help of the REST API provided by Bamboo
3. Bamboo supports testing tools like PHPUnit, JUnit, Selenium
4.It is compatible with JIRA and BitBucket
5. Bamboo is related to other products like JIRA, Confluence and Clover by Altassian allowing the developers and the other team members to be at the same page
6. It can also import data from Jenkins.
GitLab Continuous Integration tool is a complete code management platform with multiple mini tools each performing a different set of function for the complete SDLC. It is owned by GitLab Inc and was created by engineers Dmitriy Zaporozhets and Valery Sizov . It provides important analysis on the code views, bug management,CI CD in a single web-based repository which also makes it the most demanded CI CD tool. GitLab CI is written in Ruby and Go and its core functionality is released under an open-source MIT license, keeping rest of the functions under proprietary license.
1. It is directly integrated with the GitLab Workflow
2. Allows all critical information on the code progress in a single dashboard
3. Free for the community edition, the enterprise version is paid one
4. Language Programming CMD build scripts available allowing to program them in
5. APIs are provided to allow better product integrations
Circle CI is one of the best Continuous Integration and Delivery tool available in the market. CircleCI provides a great platform for build and test automation along with comprehensive deployment process. It can be integrated with GitHub, GitHub Enterprise and Bitbucket to create builds. It also supports on-cloud Continuous Integration. Because of its strong features and efficient performance in this space, it is highly recommended by experts.
1. It easily Integrates with Bitbucket, GitHub, and GitHub Enterprise
2. It allows branch focused deployment
3. It performs easy bug-cleanup, runs tests quickly and is highly customizable
4. Easily integrates with AWS, Google cloud and other services
5. Build tools like Maven, Gradle can be easily integrated
Codeship Continuous Integration tool was acquired by Cloudbees. It is praised by its users for its combination of features for build and deployment. It is efficient, simple and deploys directly from the Github and Bitbucket. Its features of integration and delivery are combined in such a way that it makes more reliable deployment as soon as the code is automatically tested.
1. It allows a very supportive environment when it comes to compatibility with different technologies, languages, deployment in different environments of choice.
2. It has a very fast and strong developer support and is very easy to use.
3. It also supports third party tools integration very well.
4.It requires a single sign-up for Github, Bitbucket and Gitlab
5. Allows simple file management configuration, easy monitoring and scale-up as per the need.
CruiseControl is a Java based Continuous Integration platform. It is popular for allowing various source controls, email notifications and build technologies with the help of plugins. It is written in Java and has versions of .Net (CCNet) and Ruby (CruiseControl.rb.) as well.
1. Supplies builders for Ant, Nant, Maven, Phing, Rake, and Xcode.
2. It is an Open source Framework
3. Allows Custom build loops for build cycles
4.Its web interface provides visual status of the builds
5. Provides JSP Reporting for managing build results
Buildbot is a software development continuous integration platform that allows automatic compilation and testing in order to validate any changes occurred in the project. It is written in Python. Originally created by Brian Warner, it is now maintained by the developer Dustin Michelle. It is popular for performing complex automation testing of the Development Life Cycle processes and for application deployment. This is among one of those tools that allow distribution and execution of programs parallelly on different platforms.
1. It is an Open source Continuous Integration Platform
2. Automates complex building, application deployment and manages complicated software releases
3. Allows time estimation of build completion as it provides real-time insights of the build progress.
4. Uses Python, C and host requirements of Python and Twisted
5. Supports distributed, parallel execution across multiple platforms and provides extensive status reporting
GoCD Continuous Integration server is owned by Thoughtworks. It streamlines the build, automation and deployments of complex build cycles. Its top USP is to enable plugins or design custom plugins for any requirements during the CI CD process. It follows business continuity concept under which it sets up multiple servers is possible in order to keep the data readily available at the time of emergency. It is compatible with Windows, OSX, AWS AMIs, Docker, Debian/APT, RPM/YUM, and Zip. It can run tests in multiple languages and provides robust reports on the insights.
1. It is an opensource Continuous Integration server.
2.It allows the deployment of any preferable versions of applications
3.It easily configures the dependencies based on the last report and allows on
4. There are numerous plugins available for this and can also be customized as per the
5. It re-uses the pipeline configuration keeping the configuration organized with the
help of its template system
6. The entire workflow can be tackled and watched with good tracking and feedback
system allowing the developer to track changes from committing through
deployment at a single place.
The above list of best Continuous Integration tools describes each of the ten tools in detail and covers the best of all along with their main features. This information is insightful for those who still haven’t thought of inculcating these automation tools to build and deploy various aspects of the Software development projects. Continuous Integration, delivery and deployment are very critical and complex systems in the Software theory. They need to be handled with care in order to fetch great results. Choosing the right tool for your business would certainly help handle this responsibility well. It is not about choosing one best tool, but multiple tools can also be selected based on the requirements of the project. As the CI CD continues to grow and evolve, it leaves the innovators with more chances to explore on creating the best versions of such tools.
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In today’s organizational environment, ‘DevOps’ is the most used buzzword and has become a part of its agile software culture. Organization’s DevOps success is not a single goal approach; it requires deeper involvement for making a switch to DevOps. Broadly, it requires adoption of new DevOps automation tools, contemporary processes and cultural shift, especially in case of Mobile DevOps tools selection. A business has to be equipped with ever-evolving principles and DevOps automation tools in order to embrace these steps to successful DevOps test automation.
There are multiple Mobile DevOps Tools with different strengths contributing to a reliable Mobile DevOps process. Today, the businesses and the development teams are investing in intelligent systems that are capable of monitoring the production and development metrics in real-time. This acts as great deal for the development firms unless it covers all important aspects of the process allowing perfect optimization of the resources based on the reports.
The journey from planning, development, deployment and beyond, generally called ‘shift left’ process which is a part of continuous testing. In this approach, the testing is mostly focused on earlier stage of production life cycle aiming at delivering applications faster and with much lesser time and money. When it comes to mobile apps testing, the shift left approach works well because the application has to be tested well in order to perform well in the real-environment. In case of Mobile DevOps, using production environment to test the mobile application on real physical devices would help highlight and fix issues in the earlier phases of SDLC, reducing costs and time.
Gone are the days when testing was only executed as a final step of the processes where as nowadays, it has to be performed after every build, at every stage of the process. It is with the help of multi-step testing and maximum data capture after each test cycle, that the status of development and testing hasn’t been compromised enabling early bug-fixing and building more strong applications especially when this process is simplified with the help of DevOps automation tools. DevOps and Automation go hand in hand. Despite many challenges, it carries a much strategic role to bring the whole business making faster and better applications. A developer has to have a combination of agile development methods along with Mobile DevOps to win in mobile application; this can be achieved with the help of right DevOps automated testing tools.
Anything related to real development is related to continuous integration whether it is code development or code reviews. The way developers work today by collaborating; integrating all the things together is all a gift of the agile approach which is responsible for making continuous integration popular. With the adoption of continuous integration early stage issues are detected which ultimately reveals any integration glitches, faults in the code commits, etc. It generates a lot of data required for making right choices to be made by the developer as it showcases a lot of data about the mobile application that the developers can use to make the code better. This thus ultimately helps in estimating the scheduling and time consumption more accurately.
Build is nothing but application components that are collected repeatedly and compiles for the purpose of testing to produce a reliable final software product. This is not a one-time job, instead it is a developer’s everyday task of creating various builds of applications. In Mobile DevOps scenario, in order to notify the status of the build, the developers use various version controls and source code management techniques. Software Engineers normally follow branching techniques in case of Mobile DevOps like no branching, release branching, maintenance branching and branching for features.
Testing is something that acts as a backbone of building a quality product. It is the QA team that is responsible of maintaining the sanity of the software, detecting errors early and quick bug fixing. Testing is the most integral aspect of SDLC. Considering the Continuous integration principles, automation testing needs to be automated in order to enjoy the seamless results i.e rich and flawless application. Testing in Mobile DevOps for a production environment should always be performed on real mobile devices and not on Simulators.
Packaging in Mobile DevOps is already known. It is all about tools for package repositories and storage mechanisms for the binaries created during the software build. Binaries like scripts, configuration files and other files facilitate deployments; these are contained in the asset repositories. Continuous deployment eases the application testing and production with the help of automation, flawlessly. Packaging enables the releases of new versions and features of applications to the end-users.
In Mobile DevOps process, there are myriad of tools that are used in aiding in the process of CI/CD and continuous release. As a part of this, there are application release tools as well that help in packaging and deployment of an application right from the development to production, to be available to the final users using automation. Release management is a critical expertise which involves planning of every release and deployment by easy collaboration with the stakeholders. This is accomplished with the usage of release management tools that help stakeholders to plan and execute and trace the releases from a single platform.
Configuration is a second name to Infrastructure as a Service. Configuration tools enhance the cost-effectiveness and create applications with better flexibility and performance. The aim of this process step is to remove any unwanted manual configuration. In DevOps , the focus is on automation and collaboration, so configuration being a part of the ecosystem is also automated across various development flows.
Without valid data, no corrections and improvements can happen. Thus, monitoring becomes a very important aspect of the Mobile DevOps ensuring that the organizations get the right metrics about the processes, stage wise results and final outcome. Continuous monitoring allows stakeholders, developers, testers and other people involved, the access to right information for evaluation and decision making. This step is guide to all teams involved and has an impact on all the other steps. Thus making it a critical process step with Mobile DevOps tools.
Traditionally, the Process Steps involved planning, developing, testing and deploying but this is not it, there are many more aspects to it that are the key deciders in selecting the tools and how they fit together to enable tool flow in SDLC. DevOps test automation helps in achieving integrated development and delivery using the right combination of DevOps automated testing tools.
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We all understand the importance of software testing and how it transforms the goodwill of the business by enabling delivery of quality product to its clients in shorter delivery cycles. It becomes challenging to run the test cases manually by evaluating the quality of each line of code at every step of the continuous Delivery process. This is where Continuous testing in DevOps comes into picture.
In traditional ways of testing the software used to pass through different development and QA phases which took more time until the final delivery of the product. According to a research by Gartner, Continuous testing in DevOps is aimed at providing early and quick detection of signs of risks related to the product release. DevOps Continuous Testing is an inevitable activity of the delivery process rather than just a mere stage in the delivery process. The main purpose is to inculcate quality into the CI/CD pipeline by utilizing the key benefits of continuous testing in DevOps.
DevOps Continuous testing is a critical aspect responsible for seamless Continuous Delivery. It involves the usage of agile development methods and processes into the QA process further providing a productive testing process.
Here are a few points to understand the benefits of Continuous testing in DevOps at the deeper levels:
a. Provides Sustained Risk Analysis:
There has never been any code build that is error free and in a ready-to-release form. Even if the final release candidate has come without any glitches, passes all the tests, it has to be ‘prepared well’ for the final release and approved by the business leaders. Continuous Testing evaluates the code at a deeper level to estimate all the possible risks connected to it so that a corrective action could be taken at the right time without breaking the ‘continuous delivery’ chain.
b. Cuts down the feedback cycle:
The key benefit of continuous testing is that it evaluates the code layer by layer at each stage of delivery pipeline, allowing testers to understand the source of the problem. The actionable insights helps the QA team to act on time and avoid longer queues
c. Broader Test Coverage:
A broad range of tests can be applied throughout the testing process with the help of continuous testing tools for DevOps such as Selenium, etc. It covers both functional and non-functional testing types to increase test coverage by emulating testing like cross-browser testing, API testing, regression testing, integrated testing, unit testing and non-functional testing like security, reliability, scalability, usability and many more.
d. Delivering High Quality Product:
‘Test-early-test-often’ is the key mantra of continuous testing which is self explicable. In order to ensure delivery of high-quality product to the end user, there needs to be a process to continuously monitor the progress along the entire delivery pipeline. Achieving high product quality is the result of continuous testing that strives to finding and addressing risks effectively and by gaining feedback at the early phases of software development lifecycle.
e. Faster Software Delivery:
The whole point of introducing Continuous Testing in DevOps is to speed up the product delivery cycle. Following a multi-point testing at different stages allows the QA team to detect the glitches early and take quick corrective actions so that the final delivery is not impacted.
f. Easy Integration with the DevOps Process:
Continuous testing seamlessly integrated with the DevOps process right from the early stages of the development process rather than functioning just before the release. Continuous integration into the software pipeline enables quick fixes so that the development process can be aligned with the business requirements on time.
For a seamless experience in the entire CI CD process, Continuous testing has to be supported by the best tools for continuous testing in DevOps. For performing smooth Continuous Testing, the Automation Framework has to be integrated with the CI tool, version control and various automated continuous testing DevOps tools to execute different types of testing at various stages of the process. For example, :
Apart from these there are many other trusted DevOps Continuous testing tools available in the market for an efficient continuous testing, like JIRA, Jenkins, Bamboo, Docker, Appium, SoapUI, PagerDuty, CodeCluster etc. The concern is that not all the tools support comprehensive automation solution. Some organizations prefer to create self-made automation frameworks depending upon the version control used to enable complete automation of the CD pipeline.
Since Continuous testing is the most critical aspect to be covered by the business in order to achieve quality product release, it has to be backed by the choice of right, suitable tools and frameworks to achieve speedy and quality delivery.
Even after understanding the advantages of adopting continuous testing in the DevOps process, many organizations face the challenges of successful implementation of it. Establishment of an efficient automation framework is a daunting deal as it involves a huge investment, expertise and effort. Moreover, the organizations are not equipped with the scalable infrastructure to run tests continuously. Also, without a strong coordination among the product, development and testing team, this seems even tougher. Although there are challenges in successful adoption of Continuous testing, with a little sensibility one can overcome it. Here are a few of the key points to comply in order to overcome the challenges :
By now we all know how significant continuous testing in DevOps for any business. It essentially brings together all the stages of designing, developing and deploying the software. Merely providing a software product does not help but providing best products faster than the competitors would be the key differentiator of your business. If practiced earnestly, it provides consistent insights about the software development to ensure speedy delivery.
In this competitive digital era, there has always been a constant demand for continuous digital improvement. Even if automation is a prominent keyword nowadays, a recent report says that only 30% of the organizations have adopted automation testing. Although the organizations invest a considerable amount of time and money in transforming their development processes, they fail to reap the benefits of the shift in the right direction by choosing only a few aspects of testing.
Change is inevitable in the software development lifecycle and in order to go hand in hand with the ever-changing dynamics and produce high-quality software, it is important to rely on implementing an effective Continuous testing Strategy. The development teams have to be focused on optimizing the delivery cycles and provide uninterrupted business experience.
Continuous testing is a type of testing in which involves evaluating the quality of software often at multiple stages of the continuous delivery process for early detection of errors ultimately providing quality software and business continuity. It involves testing in multiple developments and QA phases to achieve continuous quality and improvement. Continuous testing plays a key role in DevOps using automation tools that help developers in getting quick feedback on the defects and make changes accordingly.
Organizations want to frequent deployments but the majority are unable to even reduce their software development cycles because of a lack of effective continuous testing delivery strategy. The success comes when there happens to be a mix of both manual and automated testing consistently throughout the delivery process. It becomes really important to automate every step to move fast in aspects like test design, test orchestration, execution, etc.
Test automation strategy is the backbone of the final product that a business delivers. It should be strong and flexible enough to bear the impact of any change and every variable of the testing process. Let’s discuss how optimizing continuous delivery testing strategy helps improving the testing process and to increase the software quality:
Research says that the majority of the organizations mostly focus on specific forms of testing. For example, few businesses focus on API integration testing and UI testing and a few focus on both individually. But what they lack is a detail oriented automated continuous integration testing strategy that involves all of the above types of testing. Choosing a specific type of testing is right in some business scenarios but a business should always be equipped with a plan that can accommodate any type of testing which can be used whenever the need arises. The real comparison of continuous testing vs test automation will always persist considering the scale and requirements of the business.
Introducing unreliable and lengthy test cases in the process leads to a huge wastage of time and effort putting the QA teams to get indulged in an ineffectual analysis of each code commit. Instead, the QA teams can do a bit of testing by adding nominal test suites in order to avoid big risks and check its impact along the way. Gradually adding stable test cases. It is important to have more stable test cases than counting how many were executed especially in DevOps.
Building a comprehensive continuous testing strategy is a mandate but choosing the right test automation tool is of critical importance for achieving complete stability. It is insignificant to even think of a failure caused merely because the test automation tool couldn’t perform on the assigned UI control on the application being tested. The acceptable reason for a failed test could be either bug or design change but not because of an automation tool. A good automation tool would always add value to the organization by activating continuous release and deployment, by reducing time and maintenance costs, by increasing the reusability of the code and by providing a higher return on investment.
In order to handle complex integrated applications, introducing modular testing is the best way to breakdown application functionality. Breaking down the app functionality into modules provides a road map and makes it easier to rearrange the functionality into testing representing different workflows. Amorphous tests can be easily redressed by introducing modular testing and decoupling test data, test flow and element locator mappings.
When analyzing the test results to find out the causes of test failure, screenshots of the test execution is the best reference in order to dig deeper into the cause of the problem. A reliable automation tool automatically generates screenshots of all important interactions happening during the test run. Screenshot recording is not supported by all the automation tools; In that case, one should reconsider selecting another test automation solution to reap the maximum benefit of this feature.
Major trends like Continuous testing, automation and DevOps and demand for faster continuous delivery have raised the standards for quality software so high that everyone is trying hard to stay competitive by optimizing their continuous testing and development strategy, that too while maintaining low costs. In this situation, balancing the test execution costs cannot be ignored. At some point in time, test coverage needs to be scaled up, teams have to opt for cloud usage which is expensive and acts as a major cost burden. The best idea would be to separate high and low level test requirements i.e performing more advanced integration and compatibility tests on cloud and executing the low level tests on-premise to maintain cost balance and getting the best automation ROI.
When the development and operations teams work together, they face many operational challenges. Developers are focused on pushing a new update and testers- on maintaining the reliability of the service delivery. Connecting these two points is challenging and these challenges are overcome by introducing continuous testing and DevOps. In the long run, a business should always invest in a system monitoring tool that will help to detect the causes of the gap and back outs more efficiently.
Outsourcing the QA process extends an additional support system, giving an extra edge in delivering quality service. The veto in the world of continuous testing is that it gives and extra nudge by providing an exposure to the more specialized areas of testing like impact analysis, performance and security testing etc. It acts as a source of energy given to a focused area of the development life cycle. As a result, it becomes a win-win situation for both developers and testers.
Continuous Testing and Delivery is not a luxury but a necessity in today’s era. A well designed continuous testing strategy is the foundation of continuous testing and quality service delivery. Although the journey is full of challenges if planned meticulously, the businesses would be able to streamline and reap the maximum benefits of test automation and continuous testing.
Healthcare organizations are largely dependent on digital technology to deliver quality products and services. In the last 5 years, we have seen the healthcare sector going through a digital transformation and mobile apps are at the core of this transformation. Healthcare mobile apps are used by patients as well as healthcare professionals to handle daily tasks like medical references and maintaining databases. Meeting the quality standards set by healthcare regulatory authorities like FDA is crucial as in many instances, people’s lives are at stake. So let’s see how mobile apps are helping healthcare companies to enhance productivity and deliver quality services.
Since the arrival of smartphones, we have witnessed a rise in the number of mhealth apps and the type of services they offer. In the initial stages, we saw apps that offered information about the healthcare centers in the vicinity and these apps also provided the option to book appointments. The advancement in mobile and wearable technology opened the doors for healthcare organizations to unleash their full potential.
In the last couple of years, enterprises are using technologies like AI and predictive analytics to develop better mHealth apps. Now we can see a variety of mHealth apps in the market providing different solutions to the healthcare professionals and the patients. Let’s have a look at the categories of mHealth apps that we can find on Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
The most downloaded apps are among healthy lifestyle and women’s health categories. Smart fitness bands are in trend these days and fitness tracking apps are also one of the most used apps around the world. Apart from this, apps that provide health insurance services also come under mHealth apps. It bridges the gap between the policyholders and the insurance company by providing all the information on the fingertips.
By the first quarter of 2020, there were more than 45,000 mHealth apps available on the app store. This shows how competitive the market has grown in recent years. But to stay ahead of the competition you need to overcome the challenges in testing and deliver a quality app. So let’s look at some of the major challenges in mHealth app testing.
Meeting the usability expectations
Whether it’s patients or healthcare professionals, usability is the most sought for quality in a mHealth app and EHR systems are a good example. So if the app is being built to maintain and search health records or to recommend a nutritional diet, the app should be convenient to use for all age groups.
There can be emergency scenarios where an elderly patient needs help and the app needs to alert the doctor or the caregiver. In this scenario, the elderly patient should be able to tap on the button quickly or the app should have a function to initiate a video call so that the caregiver can help the patient without wasting time.
This was just one scenario where only the caregiver and the patient were involved. But a healthcare app can be multifunctional and can be used by other stakeholders like administrative staff, insurance advisors, nurses, and more. This is why testers need to make sure that the app supports different workflows by creating user stories and scenarios as per the user’s needs. For instance, an insurer might want to track a patient’s treatment plan activities, including tests, office visits, and procedures remotely. While a physician might want to review a patient’s treatment progress remotely. Also, a caregiver should be able to access the supervisee’s current health status remotely.
Some patient management apps might need to access their medical documents to monitor the care receiving activity. In such cases, testers and developers can create a list of documents that can be accessed by the caregiver using some category filters. The documents can include medical prescription, procedure notes, lab and imaging results, consent forms, identification form, and medical conditions.
Building a foolproof app
It is crucial to develop a secure healthcare app that can withhold all the confidential data safe from malicious attacks, viruses, and other types of security breaches. To achieve this level of safety the app needs to be compliant with a legislative regulation like HIPPA.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act focuses on the security and privacy of confidential healthcare data and testers need to have knowledge of this act to make the app compliant. Some of the key areas to focus while checking the app’s HIPAA compliance are access control, encrypted data transfer, audit log, data sanitization, load testing, and information on correct/incorrect data usage.
Overcoming the challenges in healthcare app testing is essential but not enough to deliver a quality healthcare app. There are certain aspects of healthcare apps that need to be taken care of. So let’s take a look at the best practices that we need to focus on to achieve the level of quality that users expect from a healthcare app.
1. Continuous testing
Continuous testing gives you the confidence you need to meet the user expectations from a healthcare app. By implementing continuous testing you will be testing the code continuously at each and every step of the testing cycle. Continuous testing also means that you will use automation often to reduce the chances of human error while reducing the release cycle. The added advantage of shift left in testing will result in test automation scripting and defect identification in the coding phase resulting in a superior quality build. The best way you can deliver a flawless app is through implementing continuous testing.
2. Data confidentiality
While testing healthcare mobile apps, authentication, and user authorization process has to be given due attention. But there are still some areas that a quality engineer sometimes forget like report generated data and departmental boundaries. Restrictions on data availability should be implemented in the main EHR (Electronic health record) work process of an app. Also, protected health information (PHI) should be available for the patient care team. EHR restrictions should be included in the reporting module for drill-down reports. Reporting is regularly executed as a part of the data warehouse. If the caregiver does not access the patient’s data then the relevant PHI fields must be concealed.
3. Test Data Management
To get better test coverage and get better results of testing you need diverse test data. Especially in the case of testing clinical and non-clinical workflows through test automation. Therefore for successful automation testing of healthcare apps, you need to have production-like data including the inconsistencies that might be there in the production data. The app should be able to retrieve data swiftly whenever required. Protected health information must be organized to assure compliance. The data that mirrors its authenticity in production must be the foundation of a current test data management strategy.
4. User experience
Attributes of usability should be fixed prior to reaching the testing phase. However, a QA is not directly responsible for this. IT must be focused on the issues related to the usability, during the QA process. The reason is that IT adoption is the biggest issue in healthcare, unlike other sectors. Similarly, usability related problems can give rise to clinical issues. A recent example of this is when a patient in UCSF Benioff Children hospital got overdosed by 300%. The main reason was that the medication management interface was unsuccessful in preventing the user from committing the mistake.
5. App performance
Health apps usually serve a small number of users in a definite geographical boundary, unlike social media apps that have users across the globe. Still, a healthcare app should go through a rigorous load and scalability testing process. There can be scenarios where the user traffic might spike and the app should be able to handle the load smoothly. insights from performance systems would assist product managers to define areas such as archival strategy, local data size, scalability model, and so on. If the mHealth app does any CPU intensive actions or uses storage more often then there must an extensive evaluation of its performance.
In this blog we shared insights into the evolution of mHealth apps, challenges in healthcare app testing and ways to ensure quality in healthcare mobile apps. But to implement the new healthcare app testing trends, enterprises are opting for cloud solutions. A cloud testing platform like pCloudy provides the option to test healthcare apps on hundreds of real devices from anywhere, anytime. Refer to our case study where you will see how pCloudy helped a US-based multinational to achieve accelerated app adoption. In the recent turn of events, the flexibility of testing apps from anywhere in the world is much required. And you can make sure that you deliver a great app using next-gen features like an autonomous testing bot and Wildnet.
Some testing teams set up their own staging environment to test internal servers but as there is no public access which makes it difficult to perform local testing on remote devices. So how would you test your app which can be accessed through your internal network? We launched a feature called Wildnet, that enables you to test private or internal servers using pCloudy. You can test your privately hosted apps on any Android or iOS devices and implement continuous testing to ensure reduced release cycle.
Some times testers want to test their internal servers to protecting unsecured data and credentials, hide new features, and general security. But if an app hasn’t been made public, it should not delay testing across environments. When the Wildnet feature is enabled, a secure connection is created between your machine and pCloudy remote devices so you can perform testing even if the devices are connected remotely.
User should be registered on pCloudy platform
Executables can be downloaded from below links
Manual Process to enable Wildnet
1. Run the below mentioned executable command on the terminal:
.\pCloudyWildNetWindows -i Emailadress –k accesskey -u URL
./pCloudyWildNetOSX -i Emailadress –k accesskey -u URL
./pCloudyWildNetLinux -i Emailadress –k accesskey -u URL
./Win-Wildnet -i email@example.com -k pass123 -u https://app.pcloudy.com
Note: Please use below mentioned URL for-
Public cloud(India): https://device.pcloudy.com
Public cloud(US) : https://us.pcloudy.com
Private cloud: https://private-cloud.pcloudy.com
User will get authenticated as shown in the below screenshot
This is how users can initiate Wildnet.
2. Go to the Device page in pCloudy platform, connect the device and click on Enable Wildnet as shown in the screenshot:
Open any local URL that you wish to test and enjoy local testing on pCloudy platform.
3. To disable the service simply run ctrl+c to exit
Activating Wildnet for Appium Automation
1. Run the below mentioned executable command on the terminal:
.\pCloudyWildNetWindows -i Emailadress –k accesskey -u URL
./pCloudyWildNetOSX -i Emailadress –k accesskey -u URL
./pCloudyWildNetLinux -i Emailadress –k accesskey -u URL
./Win-Wildnet -i firstname.lastname@example.org -k pass123 -u https://app.pcloudy.com
Note: Please use below mentioned URL for
Public cloud(India): https://device.pcloudy.com
Public cloud(US): https://us.pcloudy.com
Private cloud: https://private-cloud.pcloudy.com
User will get authenticated as shown in the below screenshot
2. Once the user is successfully authenticated, they need to add the capability mentioned below, in the Appium automation script.
capabilities.setCapability( “pCloudy_WildNet”, true);
3. Once the capability is added, users can perform local testing on pCloudy devices and verify the execution in live view page.
The most important advantage of Wildnet is that you can be confident about the application as you can rectify all the defects prior to delivery. Try it yourself. Use Wildnet to find more bugs and defects in your internal server before deploying it to production.
Remote working is going to be a new normal and remote access tools and platforms will play a key role in maintaining productivity. Working from home has many advantages both for enterprises and teams. There are many tools that help teams to collaborate and share all the information conveniently over the net. pCloudy is one such tool that gives you remote access to hundreds of real devices to test your app.
So let’s look at the 10 ways how pCloudy could help in maintaining business continuity while working remotely.
1. Remote access to devices: Test your apps from home by accessing remote devices on pCloudy. You don’t have to worry about touching or managing the devices.
2. Device access to geographically distributed teams: Since testing professionals are working remotely, the problem is sharing the limited number of devices for app testing among the team members. With pCloudy offering a range of devices over cloud, members across different locations can access hundreds of real devices on the cloud for their app testing needs.
3. All in one: Manual and automation testing can be performed remotely on real devices. The platform is well suited for continuous testing and optimizes your DevOps process.
4. Autonomous testing bot: use our AI power autonomous testing bot to minimize the effort and time spent on testing.
5. Team management: Manage platform access to the team members and share detailed app test reports.
6. Parallel testing: Run automation tests in parallel on multiple devices to increase the testing efficiency.
Industry leaders consider CI/CD to be an essential part of the app development cycle as enterprises are keen to reduce the time to market. Continuous integration and continuous delivery help in improving and enhancing the quality of the product while reducing the cost of the project. This blog will help you understand the of a functioning CI/CD pipeline, its challenges, and its benefits. Before we get into the details, let’s have a look at the basic terminology.
Continuous integration (CI) is a software development practice where developers frequently make changes in the code and add it to the central repository after which automated tests are run. CI is the integration stage of the software release process which depends on automation and constant integration. The main goal is to find the bugs and resolve the issue quickly to improve the software quality and reduce the time to market.
In continuous integration, developers focus on smaller commits several times a day. Developers pull the code from the repository before pushing it to the build server where the build server runs various tests to verify the code commit.
Continuous delivery is a software development practice that ensures a faster and stable release of the changes in the code. In this, the changes are automatically built, tested, and prepared for production release. The code changes are deployed to a testing environment or a production environment after the build stage is completed. When continuous delivery is implemented, developers always have a deployment-ready build artifact that has passed through a standard test process. In continuous development, the code revisions to a production environment automatically which allows for a continuous feedback loop early in the development cycle.
Continuous deployment is a bit similar to continuous delivery but is a step further towards process automation. The change that passes through all the production stages is released to the client directly without the need for any human intervention. Continuous deployment accelerates the feedback loop as only a failed test will stop the change from getting deployed to production.
It is the practice of executing automated tests throughout the software development life cycle. Instead of the old testing method where testing occurs at the end of the software development cycle, CT occurs at multiple stages, including development, integration, pre-release, and in production. It is done to ensures that bugs are caught and fixed at the earlier stages in the development process, saving a significant amount of time and money.
While building an application that will be deployed on the live servers there will be a team of developers responsible to write the code. The developers commit the code into a version control system like Git, from where it goes to the build phase. The built is then sent to the next phase with a proper version tag.
For instance, you have a code that needs to be compiled before execution. When the code enters the built phase, all the features of the code are merged from various repositories and compiled using a compiler.
The next phase is the testing phase where various types of testing are performed. Sanity testing and unit testing are the most crucial part of this process as individual units of the built are tested to check if they meet the requirements.
The builds are moved to the deployment phase after passing the test and then pushed into a test server. Here developers simulate the product in a production-like environment to examine the features.
Before the build features are deployed to production, the automation test phase will perform the final tests to qualify the features. continuous testing is implemented in this phase to ensure there are no bugs remaining.
In case there is an error at any stage of the CI/CD pipeline, feedback will be sent to the development team so that issues are addressed immediately. Thereafter, code changes will go through the production pipeline once again.
In the final phase, the code is moved to the production server after code passes all the tests. The constant feedback loop helps make the CI/CD pipeline a closed process where builds are continuously committed, tested, and deployed to production.
During the CI/CD pipeline implementation, a limited number of shared test environments increases the risks of a bottleneck. You would need to reserve an environment to avoid multiple CI/CD pipelines running side by side from attempting to deploy and test in the same environment. One of the leading causes of deployment failures is misconfigured environments modified by previous teams or test runs.
Security and Ownership
Sometimes it’s difficult to know who needs to fix the pipeline when the stages fail as delivery pipelines span multiple teams in an organization. An owner has to be assigned at every stage of the CI/CD pipeline who will be responsible to fix the issues and ensuring that the delivery runs smoothly. The owner will also contribute to the feedback-driven improvement of the pipeline.
The orchestration tool used by the team should have an effective security model that could provide better visibility into the state of the entire CI/CD pipeline. For instance, to identify the causes of test failure, the team would have to examine the result of the test phase. But they should not be given permission to modify or disable the configuration of that test step.
Managing multiple custom CI/CD pipelines
There will be multiple CI/CD pipelines in large organizations as they have diverse portfolios spanning different departments, technology platforms, and customers. It would be difficult to analyze metrics like throughput, successful execution, and cycle time if every pipeline ends at different stages in the delivery process. It’s easier to manage a large set of CI/CD pipelines if each one is based on a standard template. This will help in meaningful comparative reporting and it will provide useful feedback to improve other pipelines.
Large apps with several components that need to be compiled, tested and deployed are tough to update incrementally which leads to long testing and deployment cycles. It’s harder to perform quality control and root cause analysis as multiple teams commit several changes at the same time. It’s difficult to create a standardized delivery pipeline as the release process needs to differ slightly. Teams often initiate a workstream to incrementally break out components of the app into different modules so that they can be built and deployed separately, allowing for faster feedback cycles with smaller sets of code change.
CI/CD provides several benefits for your software development team including improving developer productivity, automating the process, improving code quality, and delivering updates to your customers faster. Let’s have a look at some more benefits of implementing a CI/CD pipeline.
Improve Developer Productivity
CI/CD practices enhance your team’s productivity by freeing developers from manual tasks, working on complex dependencies, and returning focus to delivering new features. Instead of integrating their code with other parts of the business and spending time on how to deploy this code to a platform, developers can focus on coding logic that delivers the features you need.
Automated Software Release Process
Continuous delivery provides a method for your team to check-in code that is automatically built, tested, and prepared for release to production so that your software delivery is efficient, resilient, rapid, and secure.
Improve Code Quality
CD can help you discover and address bugs early in the delivery process before they grow into larger problems later. Your team can easily perform additional types of code tests because the entire process has been automated. With the discipline of more testing more frequently, teams can iterate faster with immediate feedback on the impact of changes. This enables teams to drive quality code with a high assurance of stability and security. Developers will know through immediate feedback whether the new code works and whether any breaking changes or bugs were introduced. Mistakes caught early on in the development process are the easiest to fix.
Deliver Updates Faster
CD helps your team deliver updates to customers quickly and frequently. When CI/CD is implemented, the velocity of the entire team, including the release of features and bug fixes, is increased. Enterprises can respond faster to market changes, security challenges, customer needs, and cost pressures. For example, if a new security feature is required, your team can implement CI/CD with automated testing to introduce the fix quickly and reliably to production systems with high confidence. What used to take weeks and months can now be done in days or even hours.
Continuous integration and continuous delivery is an ideal solution for an organization’s app development teams. Developers just need to push the code to a repository. The code will be integrated, tested, deployed, tested again, merged with infrastructure, go through security and quality reviews, and be ready to deploy with extremely high confidence. A CI/CD pipeline helps improve code quality and software updates are delivered quickly.
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