Building a DevOps pipeline is no simple task. There are many things to consider and many decisions to make in the process. Automation is a key ingredient for a successful DevOps lifecycle, particularly test automation, which is why we’ll take a closer look at it in this blog post.
Test automation is only one part of the DevOps lifecycle, but critical for fast and high quality delivery. With automated testing, it’s possible to achieve continuous testing - an essential part of delivering quality software at high speed, and an important driver for increasing productivity, lowering costs and lowering risk.
In this blog post, we answer the following questions:
If you’ve read our blog post Why Test Automation is Critical in DevOps, you’ll probably have a good overview already of why test automation plays a key role in DevOps. If you haven’t, here’s a recap:
DevOps goes hand in hand with agile practices and CI/CD. These concepts all have in common that they aim for increased flexibility and speed to allow a better flow through the release pipeline with fewer bottlenecks and faster feedback loops.
Overall, the aim of these approaches is to deliver a high quality in product releases and updates, but at a much higher speed than more traditional models, such as the waterfall approach.
If performed manually, many steps in the release pipeline are slowed down, and errors are more likely to occur. Automation introduces speed and accuracy, making quality delivery at speed possible.
Testing is just one part of the release pipeline, but nonetheless an obvious candidate for automation. Particularly regression testing, which is highly repetitive and time-consuming, can with benefit be automated to free up tester resources, so that they can focus on work that requires their human expertise, instead of doing robotic work.
Now that we’ve covered the nuts and bolts of test automation and DevOps, we’re ready to take a look at implementation.
In order to implement automated testing into your DevOps lifecycle, you must first map out your release pipeline. This can be done by following four steps:
The next step is building your automation flows. The ease and speed at which you can do this, as well as the approach you will need to take, depends completely on the tool you choose, which is why we’ll take a closer look at this last in this blog post.
In addition to the right test automation tool, it’s ideal to have a test automation strategy in place, as well as to familiarize yourself with some best practices.
Best practices for getting started with test automation are:
If you’re interested in learning more about test automation before you begin strategizing and implementing, we recommend that you read our comprehensive guide on test automation, that takes you through everything from understanding test automation opportunities and how to approach it to implementing test automation and maintaining and analyzing your tests.
The last step in automating testing in the DevOps lifecycle is to find the right tool.
There are a vast number of options when it comes to test automation tools. The one you choose will impact how agile your DevOps lifecycle is. Only with the right tool for your team can you achieve quality delivery at speed, which is the goal for DevOps.
Popular tools include open-source options such as Selenium. It’s a good idea, however, to understand how these tools work before you invest your time and effort.
To provide you with some guidance, we’ve put together a list of features and capabilities that are ideal to have in a test automation tool for DevOps. If you’re considering Selenium, make sure to check out our whitepaper on Selenium automation.
A DevOps test automation tool must:
No-code test automation is ideal for DevOps as it allows teams to move fast and easily through the release pipeline.
Leapwork offers an ideal solution for DevOps with a no-code test automation platform that provides full functionality and is easy and fast to get started with.
The Leapwork Automation Platform is designed to allow any user to automate software and business processes across technologies and platforms, so they can deliver on their business objectives with lower risk, lower cost and higher quality.
Leapwork fits seamlessly into your CI/CD pipeline.
Leapwork is made specifically with DevOps in mind:
Want to learn more about test automation in DevOps`? Watch our on-demand webinar about the importance of continuous testing in continuous delivery, and learn how businesses can achieve continuous testing and overcome common barriers by following the right approach and implementing the right tools.