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SDN Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Dana Gardner, Chris Janz, Michael Jannery, Lori MacVittie

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Continuous Testing: Neglected with Continuous Delivery?

Emphasis on Build-and-Deploy Has Overshadowed Continuous Testing

LanowitzSDTimesServiceVirtualization

A recent article by Alexandra Weber Morales in SD Times begins:

In the race to implement continuous-or simply faster-delivery, emphasis on the build-and-deploy side has gotten most of the press, while continuous testing has languished, according to technology analyst Theresa Lanowitz. All too often, the first technologies associated with virtualization are VMware, hypervisors, Microsoft Azure or the cloud.

"Part of the problem with service virtualization is that the word ‘virtualization' has a strong attachment to the data center. Everyone knows the economic benefits of server virtualization," said Lanowitz, founder of analyst firm Voke, who's been talking about the topic since 2007. "A lot of people don't know about service virtualization yet... It's moved from providing virtual lab environments to being able to virtualize a bank in a box or a utility company in a can so there are no surprises when you go live."

Testing: A Bottleneck or a Luxury?
The article continues ...

Testing remains a bottleneck for development teams, or, worse, a luxury. Just ask Frank Jennings, TQM performance director for Comcast. Like many test professionals these days, he faces many scenarios for exercising a diverse array of consumer and internal products and systems.

"The real pain point for my team was staging-environment downtime," he said in an October 2012 webinar moderated by SD Times editor-in-chief David Rubinstein. "Often, downstream systems were not available, or other people accessing those dependent systems affected test results." Automating the test portion of the life cycle is often an afterthought, however. "People are looking for operational efficiency around the concepts of continuous release. We walk into companies that say ‘We want to go to continuous release,' and we ask, ‘What are your biggest barriers?' It's testing," said Wayne Ariola, chief strategy officer for Parasoft, a code quality tool vendor.

"Today, I would say 90% of our industry uses a time-boxed approach to testing, which means that the release deadline doesn't change, and any testing happens between code complete and deadline. That introduces a significant amount of risk. The benefit of service virtualization is you can get a lot more time to more completely exercise the application and fire chaos at it."

We strongly encourage you to read the complete article: Extreme automation, meet the pre-production life cycle. In addition to the above points, it covers:

  • The rising cost of software failures
  • How a new wave of extreme automation could make software testing "sexy"
  • How Comcast achieved a 60% reduction in performance testing wait time, thanks to service virtualization
  • The major 4 use cases for service virtualization: agile development, performance testing, mobile app development, end-to-end functional testing.

More Stories By Cynthia Dunlop

Cynthia Dunlop, Lead Technical Writer at Parasoft, authors technical articles, documentation, white papers, case studies, and other marketing communications—currently specializing in service virtualization, API testing, DevOps, and continuous testing. She has also co-authored and ghostwritten several books on software development and testing for Wiley and Wiley-IEEE Press. Dunlop holds a BA from UCLA and an MA from Washington State University.

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