Understanding Bamboo integration for CI/CD Pipeline

Dinakar
By Dinakar
October 23, 2020
5 min Read
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Understanding Bamboo integration for CI/CD Pipeline

There are nearly 23.9 million software developers who code and build programs for businesses and enterprises that look to providing solutions for a better living. This means that there are millions of lines of program code being written this very instant as you read. While there is a lot of programming and development that is going on worldwide, how are people and businesses able to execute these lines of code into real-world practical applications is a question that we must ask. The future of application or software development lies in testing and deployment technologies like DevOps, CI/CD Pipeline, automation, etc.

Software testing has gone through different eras from manual testing to automation to continuous testing. The current testing technologies that most software firms are looking to explore is what is called the DevOps which is part of the broader framework of Continuous Testing, and CI/CD is part of this broader piece of the pie.

What is CI/CD Pipeline?

In the software testing domain, CI/CD pipelines have been exhaustively used to speed up the testing and deployment processes to produce results that are effective and efficient. While some of us already know of the CI/CD technologies and how they function, most of us are still exploring its features and possibilities. To get our fundamentals right, CI stands for Continuous Integration which means that there is a continuous generation of build and test sequences to any program or software package that is built using code. CI monitors the code consistently for any changes or modifications to automatically generate the build and test sequence for the project that you build.  

CD on the other hand also called Continuous Delivery ensures the administration of the automatic infrastructure deployment for the builds. While the CI/CD pipeline is a framework that is available to use, there are different tools that implement this technology to help businesses release their software applications faster.

Bamboo is one such application that implements the CI/CD framework.

What is Bamboo CI Server?

Bamboo is a continuous integration server that is used to automate the testing of any software program or application for a quicker release creating a continuous delivery pipeline. The CI/CD pipeline is instrumental in automating builds, documenting logs, executing tests to assess different parameters of the program and its functionality of the code that is committed. Bamboo integration enables developers to create automated build and test processes for any software program. It also provides a platform to segregate builds that have different targets and requirements, an added advantage is its ability to deploy the program automatically into the server for its release, which saves a lot of time as compared to manual testing. Below is a list of features that are available on the Bamboo platform.

Bamboo Feature

Bamboo uses a repository of code that developers provide to schedule and coordinate the building and testing processes of your application. In order to schedule these automated processes, one would need to have the complete source code of the project, the build, and test scripts.

Advantages of Bamboo integration

A CI server like Bamboo advances the amounts of time it takes to perform builds and deployments. Some of its advantages include –

  • Umteen integrations that are compatible with Bamboo make it all the more faster for businesses to assess and make changes using the test analytical data.
  • End-to-end visibility into quality, release management and status of builds all in one place. 
  • Most of the Functionality is pre-built into the platform with minimal to no need for plugins. 
  • Seamless integration with products such as Jira and Bitbucket 
  • Bamboo’s CI makes it deployment-ready as well. 
  • Tinder and intuitive user-interface makes it easy to navigate through options and tools for a fast and easy functionality. 
  • Different staging environments available on Bamboo allows the QA and developer teams to deploy environments on demand without causing any disturbance to the production environment.
Bamboo integrations

Workflow of Bamboo CI Server

Bamboo’s workflow is pretty straightforward when it comes to coordinating the builds and test suites. The configuration of the order of actions in its workflow is generally divided into different segments and sections which make up the building blocks of its workflow. A high-level understanding of the building blocks of a Bamboo workflow would point you to Plans, Jobs, and Tasks.

Plans consist of a single-stage by default. However, it can be used to group jobs into multiple stages to execute the jobs as and when required. Plans use the same repository to run a series of one or more stages sequentially for faster execution and app testing needs. While you can have separate stages to segregate jobs and tasks within them, Plans ensure that you have everything in one place. 

Jobs consists of tasks that are run sequentially on the same agent. They provide you control over the order of the tasks that need to be performed for your build. Jobs collect the requirements of the tasks to map out the capabilities required for it in the understanding of the Bamboo CI Server. 

Tasks are the smallest discrete working units that execute the commands given to any system. A general task would comprise of parsing test results, executing Maven goals, running scripts, or executing source code checkouts. Tasks run sequentially within a job on the working Bamboo directory.

Integrating Bamboo CI server for your testing needs is sure to help you scale up the pace of your builds and deployments. The several integrations that are supported by Bamboo will help gather all your requirements in one place for execution and implementation. You can easily integrate pCloudy as your cross-browser testing tool to test your websites and web-apps and analyze your test result on the go. For a detailed summary of the steps you need to follow, you can click on the Bamboo integration link here.

Dinakar
Dinakar

Dinakar is a Content Developer at pCloudy. He is an ardent technology explorer who loves sharing ideas in the tech domain. In his free time, you will find him engrossed in books on health & wellness, and playing the guitar. He loves the sight of the oceans and the sound of the waves on a bright sunny day.

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Functional Testing Vs Non-Functional Testing

Suyash Dubey
By Suyash Dubey
October 20, 2020
14 min Read
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Functional Testing Vs Non-Functional Testing

According to a report, app crashes cause 71% of uninstalls. Other reasons that compel users to uninstall apps are page response time, confusing UI, and battery consumption. This indicates the importance of functional testing as well as non-functional testing in delivering a user-friendly app. So let’s examine functional testing.

What Is Functional Testing?

Functional testing is done to make sure that the functions of an app are working in conformance with the required specification. It is black box testing and does not go into the details of the source code of the app. In functional testing the focus should be on the user-friendliness of the main functions of the app.

To perform functional testing, first we need to identify the test input and compute the expected outcomes with the selected test input values. Then we execute the test cases and compare the actual data to the expected result.

Functional Testing

Functional Testing Types

Let’s have a look at types of functional testing for mobile applications.

Unit Testing

In Unit Testing, individual components of a software application are tested during the development phase. Unit testing is usually done by developers as opposed to testers. A function, which is in the form of a section of code, is tested to verify accuracy. Drivers, unit testing frameworks, mock objects, and stubs are used to perform unit testing.

Unit testing is usually automated, but sometimes it can be done manually. A manual approach can be effected with the help of an instructional document. Unit testing can be performed on all types of mobile applications.

In automated unit testing, a developer writes code in the app to test the function or procedure. Once the app has been deployed, that code can be removed. The function can be isolated to test the app rigorously. It reveals the dependencies between the code being tested and other units. Then the dependencies can be eliminated. Most of the developers use a unit test automated framework to log the failing test cases.

Integration Testing

Integration testing is done to check if the individual components of the app function as expected when integrated. Integration testing is usually done after unit testing when all the builds are tested and combined.

A software module is generally tested by a software developer, whose programming logic might differ from that of other developers. Integration testing is done to check that the logic works in unity. At the time of product development the requirements of the client may change, hence integration testing becomes necessary if the new changes are not unit tested at the time of development. Integration testing is also important because interfaces between the software module and the database could be erroneous.

Sanity Testing

Sanity testing is performed after receiving the software build with minor changes in the functionality to make sure that the errors are rectified and there will be no issues due to these changes in the future. The goal is to test the function on a superficial level (not thoroughly) to see if the developer has rationally built the function or not.

Usually, these following steps are considered while performing sanity testing: Mark the modifications introduced in the code with the newly added features. Evaluate these marked features to ensure that they are fulfilling their motive. Then test the related features, associated parameters, and elements to ensure their proper working. After all this, the build can be subjected to other advanced testing methods. It’s better to use a cloud-based testing platform rather than online Android emulators as they provide hundreds of device browser combinations.

Smoke Testing

This is done to check if the build is stable enough to proceed with further testing. Smoke testing is done end to end and not for a particular component as we do in insanity testing.

Smoke testing, also known as “build verification testing” is a type of software testing that comprises a set of test cases aimed at ensuring that the most important functions work. It is often a set of automated regression and functional tests that are focused on the most important and frequently used feature. The results of this testing are used to decide if a build is stable enough to proceed with further testing. So can we say that smoke testing should also involve performance testing, it should only be executed if the web application has a significant amount of traffic and performance metrics like page loading time are critical?

Regression Testing

Regression testing is done to check if the newly added code has any adverse effect on the functionality of the app. This is done when a new feature has been added to the app or if there have been some changes in the code. The changes in the code can impact the existing flow of the product or they may have bugs. This can be evaluated through regression testing, in which the motive is to initiate optimization and enhancement, as well as fixing issues if needed in the existing feature.

System Testing

System testing is the testing of a fully integrated software product. The software is interfaced with hardware and other software and a series of tests are conducted on the fully integrated app on the system. It can be a white box or black box or both.

Here, non-functional testing refers to reliability and performance testing, efficiency testing, portability testing, and maintainability testing. The functional testing at the system level verifies interoperability testing of interfacing with all external components, along with end-to-end business workflows. In system testing, the testers may also need to deal with the undocumented or incomplete requirements of the software.

System testing needs to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Test for the functional and non-functional requirements of the software.
  • Test the whole software as per the scope of the release.
  • Test must be conducted in a production environment.
  • This is the final phase of testing before the release of the software

Beta/User Acceptance Testing

Beta testing and UAT (user acceptance testing) happens in the final phase of the testing process before the app is ready to be released. It is performed by the client/user to validate end-to-end business flow and user-friendliness.

This may also involve verification of the help desk functions, backup, recovery, business processes, and user training material evaluation.

User satisfaction increases as users become more confident that the requirements have been met, without any fear of how the product will behave in a real environment or that critical issues will arise when least expected. The quality criteria of the product are defined in the early phase of development.

Vendors have improved communication both with the clients and within the team, as the requirement definition is improved through the acceptance tests and signed by the client. The engineering team ends with minimizing the pressure during the implementation and risks of post-implementation. Stakeholders use the information gathered through UAT to better understand the target audience’s need.

What Is Non-Functional Testing?

Non-functional testing is designed to evaluate the readiness of an app with various criteria like in load testing, scalability testing, and stress testing. It evaluates how well the app will perform in challenging conditions.

Non Functional Testing Types

Let’s look at the five major types of non-functional testing for mobile applications.

Performance Testing

Performance testing is done to ensure that the app will work smoothly under the expected workload. The goal is to find performance issues like reliability, resource usage, etc.but not to find bugs. Three main things that we should keep in mind while doing performance testing are quick response, maximum user load, and stability in a varied environment. Even if you are focusing on mobile testing and using online Android emulators, performance testing cannot be avoided.

Types of Performance Testing:

Endurance Testing:This is done to check if an app can withstand the load that it is expected to endure for a long period of time.

Scalability Testing:This is done to check the performance of an app at maximum load and minimum load at software, hardware, and database level.

Load Testing:In this, the system simulates actual user load on an app to check the threshold for the maximum load the app can bear.

Stress Testing:This is done to check the reliability, stability, and error handling of an app under extreme load conditions.

Spike Testing: In this, an app is tested with sudden increment and decrement in the user load. By performing spike testing, we also get to know the recovery time for an app to stabilize.

Volume Testing:This is done to analyze an app’s behavior and response time when flooded with a large amount of data.

Compatibility Testing

Compatibility testing is performed to make sure that the app works as expected on various hardware, operating systems, network environments, and screen sizes.

Security Testing

Security testing is the most important part of the mobile app testing process and it ensures that your app is secure and not vulnerable to any external threat like malware and viruses. By doing this we can figure out the loopholes in the app which might lead to loss of data, revenue, or even trust in the organization.

Let’s have a look at the major security threats that should be eliminated during security testing.

Privilege elevation

In this, the hacker might app but he/she can increase the privilege that has been provided by already have an account in your app and using the services provided by your default. For example, if the app has a clause to award credits for referring the app to a friend then the hacker can extend the limit and get more money out of it.

Unauthorized data access

The most common type of attack is by gaining unauthorized access to valuable information. This can be done simply by hacking the login credentials or by hacking the server to access the data.

URL manipulation

Hackers manipulate the URL query string if the app or website uses the HTTP GET method to transfer data between the client and the server. The QA team can pass a modified parameter value to see if the server accepts it.

Denial of service

This type of attack renders the services of the app inaccessible to the end-users. The hackers can also rapture the working mechanism of the app and the server machine to make it unstable.

Usability Testing

Usability testing is performed by a small set of users to figure out the usability defects in the application. It is done in the initial phase of software development when the design is proposed. The focus is on how easy it is to use the app and if the system is meeting its expected objective. This type of mobile testing can also be performed on online android emulators.

There are a few methods by which we can carry out usability testing. One is during the design phase where you can evaluate the design by just drawing on a piece of paper. Random tests can also be done once the app is built to check for usability. This can be done by real users on the site which can then provide results. Conversely, a tool might be very helpful with the statistics based on the inputs on design and wireframes.

The first step in performing usability testing structurally is to identify the userswho are to operate the usability app. It is necessary to choose the users according to the behavior of the app with reference to geography, age, gender, etc. The next step is to design a task that the user is supposed to perform and then to analyze the results of the testing.

Usability can be done in an isolated test area in front of observers who inspect the testing and create a report on the assigned task. The next option is remote usability testing in which the observer and the testers are located in separate locations and the task is done remotely. Testers’ details such as their reactions are recorded by automated software.

Localization Testing

This is done to assure that the app is customized and behaves as per the culture of the country in which it will be available. The key focus is on the content and the UI of the app. The app goes through a process of testing to check if the default language, date AND time format, currency, etc. are designed as per the targeted region.

<

Difference between Functional Testing and Non-Functional Testing

Functional TestingNon-Functional Testing
Validates the actions and operations of an application.Verifies the performance of the application.
Focuses on user requirements.Focus on user expectations.
Executed before non-functional testing.Executed after functional testing.
Easy to define functional requirements.Difficult to define requirements for non-functional testing.
Eg., check login functionality.Eg: the page should load in one second.
Functional testing is easily executed by manual testing.Non-functional testing should be automated.

Conclusion

On average, an app loses 95% of new users after the first three months. This is because there is not enough focus on testing, and as a result the app has bugs. This can be avoided with a good strategy and tools to perform functional testing and non-functional testing on the apps. Cloudy has features which make functional testing and non-functional testing easy and quick. It is important for users as it saves them money and resources.

Watch this video to learn more about pCloudy :

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Suyash Dubey
Suyash Dubey

Suyash is a content strategist at pCloudy. He is a frequent contributor to the world's leading mobile technology blogs and tech forums. In his spare time, you will find him reading detective novels, watching a documentary or exploring a new destination.

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pCloudy Launches QR Code Testing Feature

prerna.bhatt
By prerna.bhatt
August 18, 2020
2 min Read
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pCloudy Launches QR Code Testing Feature

Technology and innovation are two sides of the same coin. Technology is the power that lets the mankind turn ideas into reality within no time. At pCloudy, the power of innovation has led us to stay aligned and be in pace with the dynamics of the mobile app industry. We cannot afford to let our customers stay deprived of any technological advancements happening in mobile app testing. Once again we are back with another new feature called QR code scanner and we are proud to announce that it is already launched on our platform.

Nowadays many mobile applications use QR code scanners for a product or user identification. The QR Code scanning feature in pCloudy enables users to test the QR code feature through mobile applications on multiple devices present in pCloudy. This feature ensures the smooth functioning of the QR code function present in the mobile application. To use this feature, all you need to do is upload the mobile app under test, a QR code image file, and with the help of some simple steps, you can smoothly perform testing of the QR code scanning function of your mobile application.

Test QR Code
The app will scan the injected QR code. You can scan multiple QR codes while testing your app on different mobile devices. So from now on you can easily perform QR code testing in pCloudy. This feature is supported on Android 5.0 devices and later versions. Supported QR Code file formats are .png,.jpeg and jpg.

Watch our video on QR code scanner feature:

prerna.bhatt
prerna.bhatt

Prerna is Marketing Executive in pCloudy. She takes keen interest in exploring technical articles and being in pace with the latest updates on software testing. Apart from technology she has written blogs on health, food and travelling .In her free time, you will find her amidst nature, reading or attending public seminars.

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Top 10 Test Automation Frameworks in 2020

Suyash Dubey
By Suyash Dubey
August 17, 2020
11 min Read
Share This Article
Top 10 Test Automation Frameworks in 2020

We are moving toward a future where everything is going to be autonomous, fast and highly efficient. To match the pace of this fast-moving ecosystem, application delivery times will have to be accelerated, but not at the cost of quality. Achieving quality at speed is imperative and therefore quality assurance gets a lot of attention. To fulfill the demands for exceptional quality and faster time to market, automation testing will assume priority. It is becoming necessary for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to automate their testing processes. But the most crucial aspect is to choose the right test automation framework. So let’s understand what a test automation framework is.

What is a Test Automation Framework?


A test automation framework is the scaffolding that is laid to provide an execution environment for the automation test scripts. The framework provides the user with various benefits that help them to develop, execute and report the automation test scripts efficiently. It is more like a system that was created specifically to automate our tests. In a very simple language, we can say that a framework is a constructive blend of various guidelines, coding standards, concepts, processes, practices, project hierarchies, modularity, reporting mechanism, test data injections etc. to pillar automation testing. Thus, the user can follow these guidelines while automating applications to take advantage of various productive results.

The advantages can be in different forms like the ease of scripting, scalability, modularity, understandability, process definition, re-usability, cost, maintenance etc. Thus, to be able to grab these benefits, developers are advised to use one or more of the Test Automation Framework. Moreover, the need of a single and standard Test Automation Framework arises when you have a bunch of developers working on the different modules of the same application and when we want to avoid situations where each of the developers implements his/her approach towards automation. So let’s have a look at different types of test automation frameworks.

Types of Automated Testing Frameworks


Now that we have a basic idea about Automation Frameworks, let’s check out the various types of Test Automation Frameworks available in the marketplace. There is a divergent range of Automation Frameworks available nowadays. These frameworks may differ from each other based on their support to different key factors to do automation like reusability, ease of maintenance etc.

Types of test automation frameworks:

  1. Module Based Testing Framework
  2. Library Architecture Testing Framework
  3. Data Driven Testing Framework
  4. Keyword Driven Testing Framework
  5. Hybrid Testing Framework
  6. Behavior Driven Development Framework
  7. types of automation frameworks

Benefits of a Test Automation Framework


Apart from the minimal manual intervention required in automation testing, there are many advantages of using a test automation framework. Some of them are listed below:

  1. Faster time-to-market: Using a good test automation framework helps reduce the time-to-market of an application by allowing constant execution of test cases. Once automated, the test library execution is faster and runs longer than manual testing.
  2. Earlier detection of defects: The documentation of software defects becomes considerably easier for the testing teams. It increases the overall development speed while ensuring correct functionality across areas. The earlier a defect is identified, the more cost-effective it is to resolve the issue.
  3. Improved Testing efficiency: Testing takes up a significant portion of the overall development lifecycle. Even the slightest improvement of the overall efficiency can make an enormous difference to the entire timeframe of the project. Although the setup time takes longer initially, automated tests eventually take up a significantly lesser amount of time. They can be run virtually unattended, leaving the results to be monitored toward the end of the process.
  4. Better ROI: while the initial investment may be on the higher side, automated testing saves organizations many a lot of money. This is due to the drop in the amount of time required to run tests, which leads to a higher quality of work. This in turn decreases the necessity for fixing glitches after release, thereby reducing project costs.
  5. Higher test coverage: In test automation, higher number of tests can be executed pertaining to an application. This leads to a higher test coverage, which in a manual testing approach would imply a massive team, limited heavily with their amount of time. An increased test coverage leads to testing more features and a better quality of application.
  6. Reusability of automated tests: The repetitive nature of test cases in test automation helps software developers to assess program reaction, in addition to the relatively easy configuration of their setup. Automated test cases can be utilized through different approaches as they are reusable.

Top ten test automation frameworks


1. Robot Framework
Robot Framework is the best choice if you want to use a python test automation framework for your test automation efforts. The Robot Framework is Python-based, but you can also use Jython(Java) or IronPython(.NET). The Robot Framework uses a keyword-driven approach to make tests easy to create. Robot Framework can also test MongoDB, FTP, Android, Appium and more. It has many test libraries including Selenium WebDriver library and other useful tools. It has a lot of API’s to help make it as extensible as possible. The keyword approach used by Robot Framework is great for testers who are already familiar with other vendor-based, keyword-driven test tools, making the transition to open source much easier for them.

2. WebdriverIO
WebdriverIO is an automation test framework based in Node.js. It has an integrated test runner and you can run automation tests for web applications as well as native mobile apps. Also, it can run both on the WebDriver protocol and Chrome Devtools protocol, making it efficient for both Selenium Webdriver based cross-browser testing or Chromium based automation. As WebDriverIO is open source, you get a bunch of plugins for your automation needs. ‘Wdio setup wizard’ makes the setup simple and easy.

3. Citrus
Citrus is an open-source framework with which you can automate integration tests for any messaging protocol or data format. For any kind of messaging transport such as REST, HTTP, SOAP, or JMS, Citrus framework will be suited for test messaging integration. If you need to interact with a user interface and then verify a back-end process, you can integrate Citrus with Selenium. For instance, if you have to click on a “send email” button and verify on the back end that the email was received, Citrus can receive this email or the JMS communication triggered by the UI, and verify the back-end results, all in one test.

4. Cypress
Cypress is a developer-centric test automation framework that makes test-driven development (TDD) a reality for developers. Its design principle was to be able to package and bundle everything together to make the entire end-to-end testing experience pleasant and simple. Cypress has a different architecture than Selenium; while Selenium WebDriver runs remotely outside the browser, Cypress runs inside of it. This approach helps in understanding everything that happens inside and outside the browser to deliver more consistent results. It does not require you to deal with object serialization or over-the-wire protocols while giving you native access to every object. Cypress can synchronously notify you of every single thing that happens inside the browser as you’re pulling your app into it, so that you have native access to every DOM element. It also makes it easy to simply drop a debugger into your application, which in turn makes it easier to use the developer tools.

5. Selenium
One of the most popular open source test automation frameworks for web apps. Selenium also serves as a base for a lot of other testing tools as it has cross-platform and cross-browser functionality. Selenium supports a wide range of programming languages such as Java, C#, PHP, Python, Ruby, etc. It is easy to maintain as it has one of the largest online support networks. Selenium is highly extendable through a wide range of libraries and APIs to meet everyone’s needs and requirements. Selenium is preferred by testers as it is possible to write more advanced test scripts to meet various levels of complexity. It provides a playback tool for test authoring without the need to learn a specific scripting language.

6. Cucumber
It is a cross platform behavior driven development (BDD) tool which is used to write acceptance tests for web applications. Cucumber is quick and easy to set up an execution and allows reusing code in the tests. It supports languages like Python, PHP, Perl, .NET, Scala, Groovy, etc. Automation of functional validation in easily readable and understandable format. One good feature is that both specification and test documentation are uploaded in a single up-to-date document. Cucumber makes it easy for the business stakeholders, who are not familiar with testing, as they can easily read the code as test reports are written in business readable English. The code can be used together with other frameworks like Selenium, Watir, Capybara, etc.

7. Gauge
It is an open source tool agnostic test automation framework for Mac, Linux and Windows. People who work on TDD and BDD will appreciate Gauge’s focus on creating living/executable documentation. Specs – the Gauge automation tests are written using a markdown language with C#, Java and Ruby within your existing IDEs like Visual Studio and Eclipse. Gauge’s functionality can also be extended with its support of plugins. It was developed as a BYOT (Bring Your Own Tool) framework. So you can use Selenium or you can use anything else for driving your tests UI or API tests. If you want a readable non-BDD approach to automation, you should try Gauge.

8. Serenity
If you are looking for a Java-based framework that integrates with behavior-driven development (BDD) tools such as Cucumber and JBehave, Serenity might be the tool for you. It’s designed to make writing automated acceptance and regression tests easier. It also lets you keep your test scenarios at a high level while accommodating lower-level implementation details in your reports.

Serenity acts as a wrapper on top of Selenium WebDriver and BDD tools. It abstracts away much of the boilerplate code you sometimes need to write to get started which makes writing BDD and Selenium tests easier. Serenity also offers plenty of built-in functionality, such as handling running tests in parallel, WebDriver management, taking screenshots, managing state between steps, facilitating Jira integration, all without having to write a single line of code.

9. Carina
Carina is built using popular open-source solutions like Appium, TestNG and Selenium, which reduces dependence on a specific technology stack. You can test mobile applications (native, web, hybrid), WEB applications, REST services, and databases. Carina framework supports different types of databases like MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL, providing amazing experience of DAO layer implementation using MyBatis ORM framework. It supports all popular browsers and mobile devices and it reuses test automation code between IOS/Android up to 80%. API testing is based on the Freemarker template engine and it provides great flexibility in generating REST requests. Carina is cross-platform and tests may be easily executed both on Unix or Windows OS.

10. EarlGray
Developers often face difficulty with some of the existing test automation framework in synchronization of the app and the instrumentation. Also, executing tests on apps as synchronized and advanced only when UI elements are visible on the screen has caused issues for many developers. Google EarlGrey has built-in synchronization that makes test scripts wait for UI events to occur before the script tries to interact with the UI of the app. This type of implementation makes the test script concise as all steps of the test script shows how the test will proceed and UI gets synchronized with it. One more key aspect of EarlGrey is that all actions on UI elements happen only on visible elements. This provides a fast and robust approach to ensure UI testing goes through as clicks, gestures and other user interactions do not get done if the UI element is not fully shown.

In a nutshell


This list of top tools here represents the best tools that are mature, popular, and provide test automation capabilities using AI/ML to address the challenges that organizations are now facing to deliver Quality at Speed. This list also includes the tools that provide API and services testing which is essential for successful DevOps transformation. The emerging technologies like AI, codeless, big data and IoT testing, are making test automation more efficient while creating opportunities for the existing tools and new players to assert value to the testing communities.

The choice of automation tools should not only meet your current needs but should also focus on potential trends and improvements. An efficient test automation tool should support basic optimization, data generation, smarter solutions, and analytics. As of now, the level of test automation in organizations is low at between 14% and 18%. But organizations are working towards increasing the automation coverage upto 80%. API and services testing is also a trend that should see further development in the future.

Suyash Dubey
Suyash Dubey

Suyash is a content strategist at pCloudy. He is a frequent contributor to the world's leading mobile technology blogs and tech forums. In his spare time, you will find him reading detective novels, watching a documentary or exploring a new destination.

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7 Steps To Use Mobile DevOps Tools Efficiently

priyanka
By priyanka
July 23, 2020
6 min Read
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7 Steps To Use Mobile DevOps Tools Efficiently

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.

Mobile DevOps Tools

Below are the 7 most common Process Steps with Mobile DevOps Tools:

CODE


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


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.

TEST


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.

PACKAGE


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.

RELEASE


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.

CONFIGURE


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.

MONITOR


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.

Want to test your Mobile App?

Join pCloudy Platform!

priyanka
priyanka

Tech Blogger - She writes about Technology, Mobile Application Development, Internet of Things, E-commerce, Computing and Design with the aim to coalesce new media and technology.

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iOS 14 Beta Available on pCloudy

shivani
By shivani
June 30, 2020
1 min Read
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iOS 14 Beta Available on pCloudy

Since pCloudy is committed to provide to you with the newest the fastest, here is another one. The newly released device Apple iOS 14 Beta is now available on pCloudy for you to test your app.

iOS 14 Beta

Want to test your Mobile App?

Join pCloudy Platform!

shivani
shivani

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iPhone XS and XS Max Now Available on pCloudy For You to Test Your Apps

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5 Ways To Create Better App Experience For Your Users With Remote Testing

Suyash Dubey
By Suyash Dubey
April 2, 2020
4 min Read
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5 Ways To Create Better App Experience For Your Users With Remote Testing

As the world battles with turbulent, uncertain times, most of the workforce across the globe is working remotely. Organizations have acknowledged the importance of remote working as it helps in maintaining business continuity. But in some scenarios, it is difficult to maintain business continuity or distribute resources within the teams while the team is working remotely.

For instance, if you have some physical device infrastructure to test your app on multiple mobile devices, how would you do it? How would you share the devices with other testers and developers in your team working from different locations? Most importantly, how will you make sure that the app works smoothly on all the popular devices? We will address these issues in this blog, so buckle up for some interesting insights into the remote testing advantages that can ensure a better app experience for your users.

1. Abate device fragmentation and ensure better app compatibility with remote testing


Device fragmentation is any testers Achilles heel as it limits their potential of extensive testing. Testing from a physical device lab at this global lockdown situation is not feasible, and testing on a few devices won’t yield good results. But this issue can be rectified by testing on a device cloud. In pCloudy, users can test on multiple devices based on the popularity of devices in a particular region and its penetration to get the optimum device coverage.

Both manual and automation testing can be performed with unlimited parallel test runs remotely on hundreds of real devices. This is also convenient for globally distributed teams, as the users won’t have to wait for the devices to be available for testing.

2. Deliver Better Quality App with Rapid Automation


Enterprises can ensure better quality apps without missing out on any deliveries by leveraging remote devices for automation testing. pCloudy helps in speeding up automation testing with codeless scripting and test orchestration using integrated tools like Jenkins. Capability configurator is a feature in pCloudy that generates the desired capability based on a set of filters, which saves time and effort while performing test automation. Integration with popular automation and collaboration tools like Appium, Espresso, Jira, etc., makes it convenient for users to perform automated testing on remote devices.

Mobile device lab

3. Better collaboration and continuous feedback


In pCloudy, users can manage teams and distribute credits among themselves. The user management feature allows managers to become the system administrator and create teams to allocate the credits to the members according to the task assigned. This helps in user and task as the hierarchy is maintained to distribute workload systematically.

Once the tests are complete, detailed test reports are generated automatically, which can be easily shared across the team. The progressive reports also show the tests failed, passed, and those with errors. This helps in focusing only on the tests that failed and doing a root cause analysis to rectify the issues. Continuous access to a range of devices available for remote testing will provide stability to your CI/CD pipeline.

4. Assured data privacy and security


Enterprise-grade security gives assurance to our users that their data is safe on the cloud platform. Our data centers comply with internationally recognized security standards like ISO27001, SOC2, and SSAE-16. Keeping your security issues in concern, we have another useful feature called Wildnet. This feature enables you to test your internal sites or apps on your local network, keeping all your data and information secure.

5. Advanced features to improve manual testing


Take advantage of next-gen features like Certifaya, an AI-powered autonomous testing bot to save time and effort. FollowMe is another feature that enables the user to run a test on multiple devices in parallel. This will save your resources while reducing the testing time by multifold. Apart from this, there are many features in pCloudy, like taking screenshots, recording the test video, cross-browser testing, etc. that will make manual app testing a piece of cake.

In a Nutshell


Remote testing is convenient, and it will help you save big bucks while you deliver a better quality app in less time. Continuous access to numerous devices helps in accelerating automation testing, as the app can be tested on multiple devices in parallel. All these advantages of remote testing make it the optimum choice for enterprises.

Suyash Dubey
Suyash Dubey

Suyash is a content strategist at pCloudy. He is a frequent contributor to the world's leading mobile technology blogs and tech forums. In his spare time, you will find him reading detective novels, watching a documentary or exploring a new destination.

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Ensure Continuous Productivity By Leveraging Remote Devices For Mobile App Testing

Suyash Dubey
By Suyash Dubey
March 17, 2020
3 min Read
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Ensure Continuous Productivity By Leveraging Remote Devices For Mobile App Testing

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.

Remote access to 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.

Device access to geographically distributed teams
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.

Autonomous testing bot
5. Team management: Manage platform access to the team members and share detailed app test reports.

Team management
6. Parallel testing: Run automation tests in parallel on multiple devices to increase the testing efficiency.


7. Latest devices: No need to wait for the delayed shipments of the new devices as all the latest devices are available on pCloudy.

8. Fully integrated: pCloudy is integrated with most of the popular tools and frameworks used for task management, version control, test automation, etc.

Fully integrated
9. Device tunnel: Developers can use features like Device tunnel to access devices in their Dev environments like Android Studio or Xcode

Device tunnel
10. Quality support: Achieve quality@speed in mobile app testing while working from home. Our technical support team will be available to help you 24/7.

11. Device management: Hassle-free app testing for our users and our cloud infra team will take care of the continuous availability and maintenance of the devices.

It has been speculated that around 30% of the service sector workforce across the globe will be working from home by 2030. You can stay ahead of others in this initiative and adopt flexible work preferences. Contact us if you need more information on how pCloudy could help in enhancing productivity while working from home.

Suyash Dubey
Suyash Dubey

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10 Best Continuous Integration Tools In 2020

priyanka
By priyanka
March 5, 2020
10 min Read
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10 Best Continuous Integration Tools In 2020

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 2020.

Continuous Integration Tools

1. Jenkins

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.

Key Features:

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.

2. Buddy

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.

Key Features:

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.

3.TeamCity

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.

Key Features:

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
environments.

4. Bamboo CI

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.

Key Features:

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.

5.GitLab CI

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.

Key Features:

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, enterprise version is paid one
4. Language Programming CMD build scripts available allowing to program them in
any language
5. APIs are provided to allow better product integrations

6.Circle CI

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.

Key Features:

1. It easily Integrates with Bitbucket, GitHub, and GitHub Enterprise
2. It allows branch focussed 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

7.Codeship

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 automatically tested.

Key Features:

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.

8. Cruise Control

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.

Key Features:

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

9. BuildBot

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.

Key Features:

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

10. GoCD

GoCDContinuous 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.

Key Features:

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
demand deployments
4. There are numerous plugins available for this and can also be customised as per the
requirement.
5. It re uses the pipeline configuration keeping the configuration organised 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.

Conclusion

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.

priyanka
priyanka

Tech Blogger - She writes about Technology, Mobile Application Development, Internet of Things, E-commerce, Computing and Design with the aim to coalesce new media and technology.

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CI/CD Pipeline: Demystifying The Complexities

Suyash Dubey
By Suyash Dubey
March 2, 2020
8 min Read
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CI/CD Pipeline: Demystifying The Complexities

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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
    Continuous Deployment

  • Continuous Testing
  • 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.

    continuous testing

    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.
    What is a CI/CD Pipeline?

    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.

    Challenges in CI/CD Pipeline

    Limited environments

    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.

    Massive applications

    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.

    Why CI/CD matters

    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.

    In a Nutshell

    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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    Suyash Dubey
    Suyash Dubey

    Suyash is a content strategist at pCloudy. He is a frequent contributor to the world's leading mobile technology blogs and tech forums. In his spare time, you will find him reading detective novels, watching a documentary or exploring a new destination.

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