Deliver new and updated code efficiently through Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Development (CD). To cut down on costly re-work, catch errors early by deploying automated testing strategies. Like the delivery model, your testing strategy should also be continuous.
If you run a proactive, agile development, you can expect that the systems that you release will need to be expanded at some point. However, it is also worth realizing that some code will have operational problems that can never be modeled before the system goes live. So, you will be examining your newly developed systems from unit testing to operations monitoring. Thus, testing is a recursive and ongoing task that will merge into your operations monitoring.
Here is our list of the seven best tools to efficiently run CI/CD tests.
- Datadog CI Visibility EDITOR’S CHOICE This tool monitors your CI environment to ensure that it is operating satisfactorily and testing thoroughly. This is a cloud-based service. Get a 14-day free trial.
- Veracode Dynamic Analysis This test automation platform integrates with DevOps management tools to provide a testing service for all phases of development and live operations. This is a SaaS platform.
- Kobiton This platform of continuous testing systems, focuses on the production of mobile apps. The system is scalable with a range of plans for businesses of different sizes. This is a cloud service.
- Tricentis Tosca This SaaS platform offers continuous testing that slots into any Agile projects support system and can manage assets on the Cloud.
- Testsigma Automated continuous testing for Web applications and mobile apps from this cloud-based service interacts with project management tools.
- Ranorex Studio This is an on-premises package for testing in-site, Web-based, and mobile app development. It runs on Windows.
- Checkmarx is A cloud-based service that performs integrated application security testing (IAST) and will fit into the management software for a CI/CD pipeline.
A system that repeatedly applies tests to your code needs to check on the execution of that program and all of the variable events that are happening around it. You need to know what problems arose and which line of code was executing at the time and what changed on this run that didn’t occur the last time the code ran successfully.
You can read more about each of these solutions in the following sections.
Any test system requires test scenarios. You expect the code to perform in a certain way in specific circumstances. However, the traditions test run model can’t even account for all circumstances when the code will be operating in a sea of interdependencies and competing for resources with a raft of other services and applications.
You can’t exactly predict the production environment because, these days, a lot of the code that will interact or support your new system is provided by and operated by other organizations. They could change at any time without requiring your permission. You have no control over the live environment, and so you can model it exactly.
Something could change in the live system before your new code gets released, and you can’t control that situation. However, you can ensure that your testing strategy is as flexible and prompt as possible so that you can catch problems as soon as they arise. The sooner you identify a problem, the sooner it can be fixed.
The need to spot environment changes quickly demands continuous testing. In this respect, testing is merging with system monitoring. The problems you need to address might not be due to mistakes in your system’s design or creation process. The code you deliver would probably have worked well in the environment you wrote it for. However, if something shifts in the ecosphere, that program will run; you just have to deal with those altered settings.
In a continuous testing scenario, test results can’t just record whether a module ran successfully or failed. The people managing the rework will need to know why the change is required and exactly what needs changing – what are the new goals. So, a test report needs to be detailed and list the circumstances of the test execution so that the code can be suitably adapted to run better.
The prospect of a loopback into development once a module has already been delivered and signed off also requires complete version control. You can’t leave older code copies in circulation because there will be the danger of many instances running different versions of the same unit. Instead, you need to refer back to earlier versions, possibly to justify the expense of rework, and because it might have some good lines in it that went out of production but could now be brought back.
You need to track what code you had, where it went, and when it was updated. The released code might have had yet-to-be-developed features that are presaged by stubs. These will be flagged either within the code itself or within the project management system. You need to know where they are and when you plan to expand them. This scenario leads to the need for version control branching.
Agile development simplifies the definition of requirements because a client can better understand needs once something is running. The technique also makes bidding for development work more accessible. However, the strategy makes project planning and version control a lot more complicated. As system testing is closely tied to completion acceptance, that gets a lot more complicated as well.
What does continuous testing require?
As tasks become more complicated, automation is required. An automated closed-loop system removes human error and scheduling delays. It also ensures that all execution environment variables and results are thoroughly documented. Results can be fed back into development without transcription errors. Project management sees its phases as:
However, agile development circles back on that timeline, so Tests will frequently reappear in the task list.
Continuous testing systems need to be integrated into project management tools. This requirement could hand the testing market entirely over to the producers of project management services. However, testing and monitoring systems developed by specialist producers in those fields can now integrate into well-known project management environments. So, thanks to those integrations, your choices in testing systems are not limited, and you can pursue a “best of breed” purchasing strategy.
The best-of-breed scenario also means that you don’t have to rely on one package for all of your testing services. Instead, you can deploy different tools to perform other tests throughout the CI/CD pipeline. For example, if your system monitoring tool can integrate into your agile development project management system, it will become a continuous testing service.
Testing phases in the software development lifecycle fall into the following categories:
- Unit testing
- Boundary testing
- Integration testing
- Acceptance testing
- Production monitoring
The different types of tests that you will need to perform include:
- Regression testing
- Performance testing
- API testing
- Static code analysis
- Security testing
- Vulnerability scanning
The delivery of new code will also include a package to set up system environments and populate databases or activate platform features, and you have a parallel testing requirement there.
The best tools for CI/CD testing
The easiest way to get a continuous testing system in place for a CI/CD pipeline is to subscribe to a testing platform. Such systems don’t require you to upload all of your code to their platform, but they integrate into your site through APIs or an agent program that you install.
Getting a SaaS package is a good idea because that takes care of the hosting and system maintenance tasks.
What should you look for in a continuous testing package?
We reviewed the market for continuous testing tools and analyzed the options based on the following criteria:
- Options for partial or total development testing requirements
- Performance and security testing
- A system that can integrate into project management tools
- A service that will operate recursively
- A platform that can detect the APIS and services that support new code
- A free trial or a demo system so you can try before you buy
- A value-for-money system that doesn’t need much work to get running
Using this set of criteria, we looked at available continuous testing tools. You might not need a complete and comprehensive testing package but just want a system that can apply specialist tests, such as application security testing, so we included a mix of a specialist system plus total tasting environments.
Datadog CI Visibility is a monitoring system for CI/CD pipelines. It looks into the throughput of your testing system and identifies if the performance of that service is optimized. This tool integrates with GitLab, Jenkins, and CircleCI to improve reporting on test results. The system re-examines test failures and provides deeper explanations on the reason for the alert.
As the Datadog system is intended for use with automated testing systems, the tool, itself will run without manual intervention. You get an administrator console but, once the Datadog service has been set up to integrate into your CI system, you don’t need to launch any processes.
Reporting services in the CI Visibility package start with live statistics in the Datadog console. Actual analysis can also be implemented automatically through the console by filtering activity data by software, project, repository, or department. CI Visibility data can be linked to cost trackers and then it will provide live budget analysis and generate alerts if costs start to diverge from expectations.
The Datadog platform offers many other modules that tie in with the CI Visibility service. For example, if you are running a DevOps environment, you will need to keep tracking the performance of your software once it has gone live. The APM package available from Datadog can be enhanced by distributed tracing and a continuous profiler.
Access a 14-day free trial of any or all Datadog modules.
Datadog CI Visibility is our top pick for CI/CD testing because it keeps an eye on the performance of your CI system and constantly checks that it is performing correctly. The test verification system in the CI Visibility package makes sure that your testing service is correct in rejecting a specific module and provides full analysis of what was found to be lacking in the new software and how its errors can be corrected. This package also provides alerts for performance failures and statistical analysis and reporting features.
Official Site: https://www.datadoghq.com/free-datadog-trial/
2. Veracode Dynamic Analysis
Veracode performs dynamic application security testing (DAST), which means that it will run an application and look for security weaknesses. The system exercises code by trying all possible input values and combinations of actions.
This service is based in the cloud, and you access it through a Web page. You enter the URL of a page to test, and the system starts its scans. The Veracode service’s tests emulate inexperienced users who might try unexpected combinations of actions and hackers who know precisely where to look for weaknesses. The service doesn’t just scan through individual modules, but it also follows links to APIs and plug-ins, looking for weaknesses at the boundary of your system.
The Veracode service delivers a test report that identifies which parts of the code have problems. It can also identify configuration weaknesses and recommend how security can be tightened when related to the actual program.
The Veracode system can be integrated into your development management system, such as Jenkins. This enables the system to be automatically launched and also receives back results directly into the project management system, so you know what resources need to be allocated to the fix.
There isn’t a free trial for Veracode. However, you can schedule a demo instead.
Veracode Dynamic Analysis is very easy to use and doesn’t require the manager responsible for testing to be a programming expert. In addition, it is possible to integrate the system into your project management tool, which is essential for the recursive software development lifecycle standard in CI/CD pipeline implementations.
Schedule a demo: https://info.veracode.com/veracode-solution-demo.html
Operating system: Cloud-based
Kobiton would have been our number one choice in this review, except it is limited to testing mobile apps. However, if they could spread their excellence in testing to Web applications, they would beat the competition.
This service gives you a menu of devices to run your tests on. The options go right down to the version of a particular make and model of the device. The system will then carry out tests on all of your chosen devices in precisely the same way, so you can be sure that your app will run on any device – or know which devices are not worth adapting to, so you can warn the consumer in your publicity.
You can set up tests to run automatically and repetitively or launch tests manually. Kobiton’s support will help your app designers explore new mobile technology as it emerges. Make sure your team understands how those features work before releasing new functions to the public.
The Kobiton service is delivered from the cloud, and the company offers plans that suit different sizes of enterprises. There are five editions in total, and they are charged for on an annual subscription. You can get a free trial of Kobiton, which is a credit for 120 minutes of tests.
4. Tricentis Tosca
Tosca by Tricentis is an automated platform of testing services that are delivered from the cloud. This system can integrate with JIRA and Jenkins to trigger testing when needed by the pipeline. Tests can also be performed on demand.
This system covers on-premises and Web applications and also testing for APIs and mobile apps. It offers different testing stages that are suitable for regression testing, integration testing, and acceptance testing. It can also integrate with application performance monitors to assess operational activities once a package has been released.
Tricentis offers a demo of Tosca.
Testsigma implements cloud-based testing with a very easy-to-use interface. The service uses natural language commands to write your test plans and goals in plain English. The service will test Web applications, APIs, and mobile apps.
This system will integrate into a CI/CD pipeline through its plug-ins for Jenkins, CircleCI, and other development management tools. You can get the project management system to request tests as they are needed in the pipeline. It is also possible to launch tests on demand and perform analysis on code to be sure that the work is ready to be pushed along the pipeline.
Testsigma is offered in three plans and the central edition, called Enterprise, is available for a 30-day free trial.
6. Ranorex Studio
If you would instead perform your CI/CD testing on your site and not involve using a cloud platform, Ranorex Studio would be your best bet. This package installs on site and runs on Windows. In addition, it can run tests on code hosted on the same computer or remotely on mobile devices with iOS and Android. This is not as comprehensive a service as Kobiton, but its ability to test on-site and Web applications, as well as mobile apps, make it a beautiful package.
Ranorex Studio will integrate with DevOps pipeline management tools, such as JIRA, making it an excellent choice to run CI/CD tests quickly. The system is easy to use for those who don’t understand code, and it also communicates effectively with programmers when proposing solutions to discovered errors.
You can access a 30-day free trial of Ranorex Studio to assess it for yourself.
Checkmarx offers continuous testing that follows both dynamic and static strategies. This combination is known as interactive application security testing (IAST). The service is delivered from the cloud, and it can be integrated into your CI/CD pipeline through orchestration with project management and error-tracking applications. Other modules available from checkmarks offer dynamic application security testing (DAST) and static application security testing (SAST) as individual services.
This service operates as a vulnerability assessor for new code. It looks for common mistakes that are not necessarily coding errors but will give hackers a way into the system. Among the loopholes that the Checkmarx system looks for those weaknesses are known as the OWASP Top 10 – the solution to discovered problems might involve altering the settings or updating the related applications that support the new module. The Checkmarx system produces recommendations for system changes.
Checkmarx integrates with Bamboo, CircleCI, GitHub Actions, Jenkins, and many cloud-based CI/CD pipeline management services. You can request a demo to see how Checkmarx works.