In today’s fast-paced world, where developing an efficient application is paramount, most companies emphasize producing a high-quality app. This is to ensure that they meet the target customer’s expectations efficiently while also staying ahead of the competition. So, to help fulfil this objective, app developers opt for test orchestration and continuous integration or continuous deployment. These aspects are significant because they automate the process of creating, testing, and deploying the application to initiate faster and more dependable releases.
Therefore, proper test orchestration is a must to ensure the success of CI/CD. This, again, will help guarantee that app changes undergo thorough testing and confirmation before being released into the production environment.
Test orchestration, as used in the context of CI/CD, is the management and coordination of several testing tasks across the app development lifecycle. It requires integrating numerous mobile app testing tools, frameworks, and procedures into the CI/CD Pipelines in order to provide a complete efficient testing solution.
What is Test Orchestration?
Test orchestration involves the establishment of a clearly defined sequence of automated testing procedures. For instance, upon the conclusion of a development sprint and the declaration of an app’s readiness for release, multiple tasks are carried out before the application is made available to its end users or business clients.
These individual testing procedures, like automated unit testing, system testing, and automated integration testing, can each be automated in isolation. Nonetheless, manual intervention remains necessary to initiate them at the appropriate time and with the correct input data. Test orchestration serves to connect all these autonomously automated testing activities into a unified and coordinated process.
Benefits of Test Orchestration
Testing is commonly identified as the primary impediment to achieving swift and uninterrupted delivery. When tests are orchestrated, delivery teams reap numerous advantages, including:
Fail early, fix easily
When a test case encounters a failure early in the delivery process, rectifying the problems is considerably more straightforward, and the level of complexity involved is also minimal.
Better automation coverage
By making test orchestration a goal of test automation, the application’s automation coverage is enhanced. As a result, when a greater number of test cases are automated, it becomes more convenient to diminish both the cost and time required for delivery.
When tests are automated and orchestration pipelines are established, it becomes possible to test all facets of an application across various aspects thoroughly. This directly enhances the overall productivity of the delivery team.
Having numerous automated tests at your disposal simplifies and expedites the process of constructing test pipelines and preparing application builds.
Smaller feedback loop
When a specific aspect, like security, is orchestrated, only experts in information and app security need to participate in its configuration and validation.
Minimize the risks of failure
Test orchestration pipelines can be tailored based on the application’s risk assessment. Specialized pipelines can be designed to target the risks and considerations associated with performance, scalability, availability, resilience, and security.
What is Continuous Integration?
Continuous integration constitutes a core element within the realm of CI/CD and is closely intertwined with test orchestration. CI servers automatically initiate tests whenever code alterations are pushed to the repository, guaranteeing the constant validation of new code and averting integration problems.
What is Continuous Deployment?
Following successful testing, test orchestration plays a part in the deployment decision-making process. Automated deployment pipelines, which are often facilitated by various mobile app testing tools, guarantee a smooth and consistent deployment of code to production environments.
Importance of CI/CD in App Development
In the app development industry, CI/CD Pipelines stands for Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery, a process designed to automate the building, testing, and deployment of applications, thereby enabling teams to deliver improved apps at a quicker pace. CI/CD employs tools like Jenkins or Travis CI to execute automated tests on code commits once they are pushed to the central repository, effectively reducing the chances of introducing regressions into the master branch.
CI/CD is an application development methodology that facilitates the development, testing, and deployment of mobile applications. Its primary objective is the automation of the application development, testing, and release processes, aligning with the overarching goal of DevOps and CI/CD best practices to streamline and expedite application delivery.
Test Orchestration in Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) Pipelines
Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery are integral components of an overarching automation philosophy associated with cloud-native architecture and its application in the context of 5G. Another dimension of this philosophy revolves around orchestration, which is expected to be both dynamic and responsive to network changes. The close intertwining of orchestration and CI/CD is essential to ensure the robustness of services and minimize service disruptions. The integration between CI/CD and orchestration manifests in two key aspects:
- Managing patches and upgrades within the system in a way that minimizes disruption to live services. For instance, orchestration can dynamically determine the optimal timing for rolling out an update.
- CI/CD-aware orchestration enables the shifting of traffic during the deployment of upgrades based on the chosen deployment model strategy (such as canary, linear, or all-at-once).
Typically, orchestration solutions are layered atop CI/CD pipelines, allowing orchestration to introduce governance phases into these pipelines and providing visibility into ongoing upgrade cycles.
Why Do Teams Need Test Orchestration?
With orchestration in place, delivery teams can conduct multiple rounds of testing in a remarkably short timeframe while still achieving the desired levels of quality. Test orchestration revolves around ensuring the accuracy of three critical elements:
- Automation of individual test units, encompassing unit tests, system tests, integration tests, functional tests, performance tests, and more.
- Managing the data setup used as input for each test unit, such as passing the output of the unit test as input to the system test or utilizing the data setup from the integration test to populate the performance test database, among other scenarios.
- Validating test reports for both successful and failed outcomes, including assessing smoke test reports for environment readiness and scrutinizing performance test reports to assist in configuring the necessary resource capacity for the application.
To facilitate the execution of multiple iterations of test cycles through test orchestration, it is crucial to implement the teardown of data setups during test initialization rigorously.
Test orchestration is an indispensable component of CI/CD pipelines, ensuring that app changes are thoroughly tested and validated before deployment. By automating testing processes, coordinating diverse testing tools, and managing test data and environments effectively, test orchestration plays a pivotal role in achieving faster time-to-market, improved app quality, and enhanced collaboration among development, testing, and operations teams.
While challenges exist, best practices in test orchestration can help organizations overcome these obstacles and reap the benefits of a streamlined and reliable app delivery process. As the application development landscape continues to evolve, the role of test orchestration in CI/CD pipelines will only become more critical in delivering high-quality applications at the speed demanded by today’s market.