Introduction to Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery
The contemporary practice for application development included separating the development process into three separate stages. These included the development, testing, and the production phase. The application developers separated these phases, which means that the next step will only be executed after the proper completion of the previous stage.
However, the app developers later realized that it was a massively time-consuming process, as whenever a bug or error was detected in the application during the testing process, the app developers had to roll back to the development phase. All these courses incidentally slowed down the app development process and massively affected the deadlines for the production phase. Moreover, these practices can massively affect the effectiveness of automation testing.
So, while executing automation testing with modern test suits like Selenium, the app developers can use Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery pipelines to uplift the efficiency of the test cases further. With this article, we will guide the new developers through the process of the setup process for Continuous Integration and continuous delivery. We’ll also discuss the role of multiple tools and platforms that can benefit this process.
Understanding Current App Development with Automation Testing
Modern applications consist of thousands of different elements. So, it’s almost impossible to rely on a manual test bench to verify the proper performance of all of these elements individually. On the other hand, automation testing will eliminate the involvement of human developers and automatically conduct these test cases.
For this process, it will use a text file that will supply all the required parameters and datasets to emulate human interaction. After this process, the system will display a detailed test report so that the app developers and testers can understand whether the application fits the open world.
While executing automation testing, it is also possible to make significant changes in the test file to ensure that the final results are customized and accurate depending on the app development project. It is also possible to store and reuse more than 60% of the existing automation data in future app development projects.
However, test automation has a massive drawback in the form of initial investment. This is because the application developers have to integrate multiple tools, libraries, and plugins that will release the full potential of an automation test bench. So, app companies or individual developers need to have enough revenue resources that can justify this transition.
Concept of Continuous Delivery/Continuous Integration
Continuous Integration consists of a coding process that includes a set of rules for allowing development teams to publish small code changes frequently. After this, they can check the influence of the code in a version control repository. All modern applications require development code using a variety of tools and platforms. So, the app development teams must have a consistent mechanism that can help them to integrate and validate all the relevant code changes.
With the help of continuous integration, application developers can establish an automated way to build packages and test their modern applications. Another benefit of Continuous Integration is that it encourages the application developers to perform more code changes that influence collaboration and code quality.
On the other hand, Continuous Delivery picks up when Continuous Integration completes its job. This is because, with the help of continuous delivery, the app developers can automate the application delivery to selected environments, including multiple productions, developments, and testing environments. With the help of continuous delivery, it is possible to create an automated way to push the code changes in all the target environments.
Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery are one of the building blocks of agile methodologies. They work on the principle that the development and testing teams must cooperate closely. The basic principle of this structure is that the app developers must perform the development and testing process side by side to minimize code failures and the overall application development time.
- The Selenium WebDriver is the most important component as it is responsible for conducting the automation test cases on the web elements in a native environment of the web browser. The Selenium WebDriver can communicate with all the elements of a browser without the intervention of any dedicated test engine.
- To implement codeless automation testing, the app developers can use the Selenium integrated development environment. It analyzes the user interactions and generates the automation test cases in real time.
- Finally, the Selenium grid is responsible for initiating and executing the automation test cases in a parallel configuration with the help of a note and hub principle. It will also execute this process on multiple test configurations and systems simultaneously.
However, we would like to caution the app developers that Selenium is only useful while they are working with web apps. So, for other apps like native apps, hybrid apps, and cross-platform apps, they will be forced to look for an alternative.
Integrating Selenium with Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) Pipelines
To integrate Selenium with Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery pipelines, the app developers simply have to follow the steps given below:
- The first step in this process is to choose the CI/CD pipelines the application developers want to integrate with the test bench. Some of the popular choices include Jenkins and Azure DevOps.
- After the selection process, the app developers have to set up the tool for the development, testing, and delivery of the application. Some of the basic requirements in the setup process include defining a pipeline script or a configuration file for the execution of the CI/CD tool.
- Now the app developers have to install Selenium in the containers that will be used by the CI/CD tools. During this process, the app developers must also remember that they might need to download additional dependencies or drivers depending on their target web browsers.
- Now it is finally time to write the automation test scripts with Selenium while integrating CI/CD pipelines. During this process, the app developers must remember to name the test case according to the target elements. This process will help them to avoid any confusion in complex apps consisting of thousands of different elements.
- After this process, the app developers can configure the pipelines for the execution of the Selenium test cases. In this step, they have to add a stage to the pipeline. This stage will be responsible for executing the Selenium script and verifying its performance against the deployed web application. The app developers can use the appropriate Selenium bindings to invoke the Selenium test cases for multiple programming languages.
- Now it is time to generate the test cases and store the reports for the debugging process that will remove all the bugs and errors that might be present in the core framework of the application. It is also important to use certain test reporting tools that will help the application developers to maintain an activity log for the testing process. Now all that is left is to re-run all the test cases until the application is devoid of all errors and is ready to be released to the end users.
- During this stage, the app developers should also consider the importance of real device testing. This is because, with the help of real device test cases, it is possible to verify the influence of multiple physical parameters on the functioning of an application. However, it is a very hectic and expensive process to set up and maintain a device lab. Application developers can easily substitute this process with the help of cloud-based platforms. This is because, with the help of these platforms, it is possible to access hundreds of real devices through remote servers. Cloud-based platforms also have other benefits, like the removal of geolocation barriers and access to legacy devices.
With this article, we wish to guide the new testers and developers through the integration of Continuous Delivery and Continuous Integration pipelines with Selenium-based automation testing. These are some of the modern trends that are revolutionizing the app market and require the attention of not only developers and testers but also app-developing companies.
Automation testing is such a segment where it is very important to continuously update oneself regarding all the new trends and innovations to maintain a company’s position in this competitive segment. The app developer should also pay proper attention to gathering more information about the requirements of the target audience to help them customize the application as per their needs.