| Posted on | 2 min Read

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:
 

| Posted on | 2 min Read

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.

| Posted on | 2 min Read

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.

 

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| Posted on | 2 min Read

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.

| Posted on | 2 min Read

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.
 

| Posted on | 2 min Read

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.

| Posted on | 2 min Read

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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    | Posted on | 2 min Read

    Automation testing forms the core of any CI/CD pipeline and enterprises are keen to practice test automation to enhance the efficiency of the development process. Test automation saves resources and reduces the cost of any project in the long run. But there are some important points to keep in mind while testing to avoid automation failure. Let’s have a look at these salient points.

    Leverage Parallel Execution

    Once you are done automating the test cases, the challenge will be the complex test suites taking a long time to get executed. It affects the quality of the test queue in the test automation framework or IDE. This leads to queue timeout issues and test cases being halted abruptly due to the sequential execution of the test cases.
     
    Parallel execution in different test environments is preferred over sequential execution as it saves a lot of time. Although in automated testing, unintended code interactions could happen. This is why you need a thorough reporting mechanism to debug the causes of test failure.
     
    Leverage Parallel Execution

    Pick The Right Tools

    Choosing the right tool for test automation is critical to the success of automation testing. There has to be a set of clear requirements/parameters on the basis of which the tools have to be selected. Some important points that are to be kept in mind while selecting the tool are:
     

  • The team should be clear about the test tool requirements.
  • The testing requirements of the application under test (AUT) should be analyzed thoroughly.
  • The team’s skill set should be accessed accurately.
  • The cost-benefit analysis should be performed to calculate the return on investment.
  • Tool vendor and capability should be evaluated as technical support might be required while using the tools.
  •  
    One tool might not be enough to meet any organization’s automation needs. Also, test automation engineers have to be a part of the tool evaluation process so that they can help in selecting the right set of tools. For example, you can use Appium for test automation but you need pCloudy to perform automation testing on multiple real devices in parallel.

    Analyze The Test Reports

    Test reports provide insights into the underlying issues that are to be resolved. A detailed test report gives an idea of the efficiency of the test automation and the automation team can analyze the report to look for the scope of improvement. While selecting an automation tool you need to make sure that the tool generates test reports to be analyzed by the test automation engineer. There will always be some tests that will fail to execute and it is necessary to analyze the test report to get an understanding of the scenario.

    Test Automation Metrics

    Test automation metrics will help you gauge the quality of the tests performed based on some essential parameters like test duration, unit test coverage, path coverage, number of defects found, percentage of broken builds, etc. The test metrics will give you a clear picture of how well the code is tested. In an agile process, there are frequent iterations to the builds and it becomes important to track the quality of each build. With test automation metrics you can figure out what is the percentage of your tests that passed and what was the reason behind the failed tests.

    Optimum Device Coverage

    Test automation is effective when the tests are executed on multiple devices in parallel. Device coverage is the most prevalent challenge as we have witnessed growing device fragmentation across the world. To ensure the smooth functioning of mobile apps on all the devices, you need to perform automation testing on hundreds of device-OS combinations.
     
    Test automation should be designed to make the app compatible with most of the popular devices. The frequent release of new versions of OS from both Android and iOS is a major factor that drives device fragmentation. The only way to overcome this challenge is by testing the app on a cloud-based testing platform. In pCloudy, you will get the benefit of testing the app on more than 5000 device browser combinations in parallel ensuring optimum device coverage.

    Summing It Up

    Test automation has many benefits like better test coverage, faster feedback, and accelerated results which reduces the time to market of any application. Using the practices mentioned above you can ensure coherent test automation and increased productivity. Apart from these points, there are many other things you can do like writing original code and not copying it as the code taken from other sources might not work in your test environment. But you will always find new roadblocks which you will have to deal with spontaneously.

    | Posted on | 2 min Read

    By concentrating our efforts upon a few major goals, our efficiency soars, our projects are completed, we are going somewhere. This quote by Michael Korda signifies the importance of organizing our efforts to gain better efficiency at work. In mobile app testing, efficiency can be achieved by using a multifunctional tool like Jira and pCloudy. pCloudy is integrated with the Jira bug tracking tool to make it easier for testers to log bugs in Jira from pCloudy. Let’s get an overview of Jira and how it can be used for multiple purposes.
     

    An Overview of Jira Bug Tracking

     
    Jira is an open-source tool used for project management, bug tracking, and issue tracking. Jira has many features and functions that make issue handling easy. Customizable reporting allows you to monitor the progress of your issues with detailed graphs and charts. Jira has four major functionalities, project, issue, component, and workflow.
     
    An Overview of Jira Bug Tracking
    A Jira project is a collection of issues and it is identified by a name and a key. The project key is added to each issue associated with the project. Workflow helps in mapping your business process. So now let’s understand how to use the Jira bug tracking tool and its components.
     

    Jira Workflow

     
    Jira has a function called workflow which is used to make a blueprint of the procedure in any organization. The workflow can be customized to suit the project, issue or any subtask. The Jira defect workflow comprises of colored blocks that represent the status of the task and lines that represent transitions.
     
    Jira Workflow
    Users can build their own workflows from scratch or download the prebuilt workflows and then customize them. Approval requests can be set for users to make changes in the tasks and task status can be set to change with transitions automatically.
     
    Status shows the position of an issue within a workflow and transitions are the bridges between the status to represent how an issue moves from one status to another. Resolution tells why an issue changed from open to close and condition control who can perform the transition. The assignee commands the responsible member for any particular issue. Validator ensures that the transition can happen given the status of the issue and Jira can recognize some properties on transitions.
     

    Creating an Issue in Jira

     
    An issue is the building block of the project and components are subsections of a project used to group issues in smaller parts in a project. To create an issue you need to click on the plus sign located on the left side of the screen. A new window will pop up where you need to fill in the details about the issue that you are creating.
     
    Creating an Issue in Jira
    The first step would be to choose the project that the issue is associated with. Just below that is the issue type where you need to select if it is a task, an epic or a story.
     
    Creating an Issue in Jira
    Then add a summary about the issue and assign the issue to your team members. Next, you need to choose the priority and add a label to the issue. Once that is done, You can now add a detailed description of the issue to make sure that you and your team members are on the same page.
     
    Create issue automatic
    Below the description, you will find Components dropdown and the Environment where you need to fill in the details appropriate for the issue like Hardware specifications, OS, software platform, etc.
     
    Create issue

    You can also attach files related to that particular issue by clicking on the attachment section and then click on Create to create the issue.
     

    Jira Reports

     
    Jira generates various types of reports on the basis of workflows, issues, task status, and other data fed in by the team. You can track the total work remaining in the burndown chart and manage the progress accordingly. A burnup chart will help in tracking the total scope independently from the total work done. In the sprint report, you get an idea about the tasks that are completed and pushed backed to the backlog in each sprint. Apart from this, there is a cumulative flow diagram, velocity chart, version report, etc.
     
    Jira Reports
    Users will also get an issue analysis report for a better understanding of the resolved and unresolved issues.
     

    pCloudy integrated with Jira Bug Tracking

     
    pCloudy has the option to log bugs, save screenshots and videos of the test actions. But if you want to use the Jira bug tracking system to log bugs then you can to that though pCloudy as well. Just click on the profile ID and the top right corner of the pCloudy screen and select the user setting from the dropdown list.
     
    Jira login
    In the user setting page click on the JIRA Logs tab. Enter the URL, Email, API Token and login to log bugs in Jira.
     
    Jira login
    This way you can maintain a separate bug log to share with the team apart from the one in pCloudy. pCloudy also generates reports like Jira and those reports can be shared across your team.
     
    Jira supports both Kanban and Scrum agile methodologies. As a matter of fact, scrum is much more popular these days as it gives the project team to plan their work in detail prior to starting the project. When the scrum board is created, a list of items is added and then sprints and versions are created to move the issues from backlogs to sprints. With Kanban, users can start without having a detailed plan and in these issues can be created but that cannot be moved to sprints as we do in the scrum.
     

    Conclusion

     
    There are many uses of Jira in mobile app testing. It’s not just about handling issues or creating workflows, Jira project management is helping the world’s most known brands in the world. If you understand the Jira bug life cycle and follow the Jira bug tracking best practices, it becomes much easier to scale up your testing efforts. Jira bug tracking, when combined with pCloudy, can save your time and resources.

    Accelerate your app development with pCloudy today!