How Does Automated Testing Aid Continuous Delivery?

by | November 5, 2015

Automated testing aids in the continuous delivery process by establishing a support mechanism that makes providing a stream of constant updates practical. Automated testing is often the element that makes a continuous delivery possible. Today’s business tech environment necessitates responsive improvements and software fixes because the demands placed on that software are always changing.

Continuous Delivery and Automated Testing

Continuous delivery is a new spin on the old development process of building, testing, and releasing software–except faster and more frequent. The process creates an incremental application upgrade environment: Instead of looking at large updates that come every few months, end users can look forward to new features, improved functionality, and issue fix releases as they are completed individually.

Automated testing uses pre-scripted processes to simulate what an end user can put an application through. It’s very useful for finding bugs and errors that cause the application to fail or perform incorrectly. Implementing automated testing streamlines and simplifies the debugging process.

Faster, More Cost-Effective Deployment

It’s possible to handle your entire quality assurance program testing with humans; however, the costs required to maintain and coordinate the often massive team necessary to complete the QA process quickly can be overwhelming. If you’re spending a large percentage of your QA resources on testing, you’re an ideal candidate for automated testing.

Automated testing helps take care of the “busy work” part of the QA process. Manual testing, with a human sitting in front of a computer, is a tedious and repetitive process. For example, if you create six different options for displaying data within an application, the tester has to examine the same data within all six view option contexts. This means testers have to ensure all features work within those six different views. The testers will do well on the first two or three, but may encounter consistency problems while working on the latter options. Automating the process ensures that testers aren’t spending countless hours doing a relatively simple task that a program could handle in just a few minutes.

Automated testing allows your business to embrace a constant development/implementation, or Continuous Integration process, instead of a build/test/deploy/manage process. This means upgrades get to market faster. Clients and end users are no longer waiting months between builds: Now it can be done every few days or weekly. Updates come out sooner, and bugs stick around for less time once they’re identified and fixed.

Combined with Manual TestingĀ 

Automated testing works best when combined with manual testing, because it makes human testers more efficient. It breaks up the monotony of testing simple changes and reduces human problems stemming from debug fatigue. Essentially, combining people with machines capitalizes on the strengths of both–and yields better results than relying on just one or the other.

Automated testing makes it possible to test more features than you would with just human testers. Load testing is an effective way to make sure your applications won’t crumble under heavy usage. It’s much easier to allow an automated testing process to simulate tens of thousands of concurrent users as opposed to paying that many real people to run the test at once. Automated load testingĀ is also helpful for identifying code inefficiency problems, as well as inadequate server capacity; both are things you wouldn’t encounter in human testing.

Automated testing stands to help businesses save money on development costs and more easily adopt continuous delivery practices. Get in touch with Apica today for help choosing the right solution.

Apica Product Team