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Test Automation Orchestration for Complete Automation

Test Automation Orchestration for Complete Automation

With the advent of DevOps and Microservices, companies developing modern software in the 2020s can no longer afford to compromise on speed and quality. They must release high-calibre software and ensuing updates rapidly. To accomplish this, organisations have introduced automation into their development and testing processes.

These organisations believe that the benefits of test automation, such as cost savings, quick feedback, optimal allocation of resources, increased test coverage, reducing or eliminating manual intervention, and detecting bugs earlier, are essential to maximising their Return On Investment (ROI) and helping to stay competitive in their market space. Time-To-Market (TTM) is crucial in today’s competitive business environment.

But many of these same companies, even with test automation, faster feedback, optimising resources, better test coverage,
elimination of manual testing and invocation, and finding bugs earlier, are still struggling with save money. The Total Cost of
Ownership (TCO) has become very important.

  • In many cases, automated tests scripts are invoked manually, This is done, at the end of the development cycle, thus making it critically late.

  • Complex tests are not automated since automation test tools are not integrated into the process, and the tests are
    difficult to write and invoke.

  • Test suites or test cases that use different test tools cause a confusing process.

Some of the best-of-breed open-source automation tools being used, such as Ansible, Kubernetes, and Jenkins are one-off resources
that creates a confusing process and is a labour-intensive and time-consuming burden for DevOps groups that must support them.

The Compute Resources being used to run tests are static. Once the servers are “set up” to run the automated tests, they cannot
be touched or used by anybody else without having to “set up” the servers again.

Typically test reports are generated manually and are delaying testers, developers, engineering managers, and another team
members to obtain clear, detailed, and up-to-date information about the current state of the application.

Historical data is not gathered and analysed. It’s possible to leverage the power of test automation to generate charts, graphs,
and anything else you need to communicate to all the different stakeholders the current state of your application when it
comes to software quality. If this is not being gathered, it becomes a guessing game as to if the software quality of your
application is improving or regressing over time.

Introducing Test Automation Orchestration

Other factors are needed for complete automation, as test automation refers to a precise task or action that is automated using tools or test scripts.

Test Orchestration refers to several automated tasks scheduled in a precise order and executed one after the another.

To get to complete automation, the development team must orchestrate a series of automated tests for all different modules so that all the various functionalities and features of the system are adequately tested and in-depth – Introducing Test Automation Orchestration.

Adopting a Test Automation Orchestration approach comes with many benefits:

  • Orchestration can eliminate manual interventions, you will never have to worry about human errors affecting test results.

  • Orchestration can eliminate inefficient use of Compute Resources that are now provisioned dynamically and managed efficiently.

  • Test tools and test cases are fully integrated within the process. Also, best-of-breed process tools within your CI/CD ecosystem is integrated and usable.

  • Detailed reports are generated for all automated test activity and every team member can obtain clear, detailed, and up-to-date information about the current state of the application.

  • Analytics are available for historical analysis of test results to extract meaningful insights for product evolution.

The goal of orchestration is to increase efficiency in the testing automation process. Its adoption will result in shorter release cycles and better software quality and shore up the goal of complete test automation. Test Automation Orchestration is the future of quality assurance. As the organisations grow,  adopting Test Automation Orchestration becomes a priority. Regardless of how complex the SDLC and the tools used to manage the infrastructure and deploy applications are, Test Automation Orchestration is the perfect solution to every complexity.

Introducing Regal for Containers and Cloud (RCC), a Test Automation Orchestration Platform

Regal (RCC), by Telaverge, is a robust Test Automation Orchestration Platform. It is a new approach to testing by
streamlining and optimising the test automation process.

Regal takes on the challenges in testing modern software such as:

  • Inefficient use of testing environments

  • Huge test setup time

  • Lack of flexibility in test execution

  • Minimal automation

  • Lack of utilising test history through analytics, etc.

  • Skills gaps for Containers and Clouds

Regal makes it easy to embrace ‘shift-left’ philosophy testing. It is more natural to test early and often by utilising robust features encompassing a test automation orchestration platform for complete automation.

Features

Compute ​Resource Management

Several software test lab environments have bare metal servers, virtual machines, and private or public cloud resources. These environments can be anywhere, local or geographically remote. These environments are rich in compute resources but heavily underutilised in many cases. Many groups contend for the same compute resources, while other resources remain unused. Having a robust Test Automation Orchestration tool with Hardware Resource Management that can spin up and tear down the test environment, can lead to efficient use of computing resources through creating efficient server pools (of different types – bare metal, VM, cloud) and allocation of these pools of the servers for projects for the time needed.

Software ​Integration

No longer are the days of testing initiated at the end of the development cycle or even testing after nightly builds. In today’s
evolved continuous integration environments software changes are made frequently through the day and night, and tests are
executed with each software addition or modification. The ability to automatically download updated artifacts through REST
APIs are integral to Regal’s Software Management Resource strategy.

Cloud ​Enablement

As organisations migrate to public cloud services, software test frameworks need to quickly deploy and have automation for managing cloud services such as AWS, GCP, and Azure. Regal allows access to cloud accounts and groups cloud resources (servers) for their use in testing.

On-Demand Test Bed Setup/Tear Down (Server Provisioning Management)

The setup of test servers can be a complex process and many development organisations adopt the ‘do not touch’ server
approach for most, if not all of the project’s lifespan. This leads to inefficient and sometimes running out of resources needed for another testing (usually the complex testing). Having server provisioning management tools that allow an organisation to efficiently utilise server resources and have the ability to set up and tear down environments for each test run. This dynamic approach is a top feature of Regal.

Test Workflow Management

Essential in all test management systems is the ability to create test cases, organise test cases within test suites, and create custom test plans for running any combination of test cases and test suites for any project.

Automation Helper Libraries

As complexity for writing a test increases, there is a need for library support for functionality that gets reused, much like writing complex software. Regal has a rich set of automation helper libraries that can be used to write tests at any level of complexity.

Flexible Test Execution and Report Management

A Test Execution is an issue type that aggregates a user-determined collection of tests. It monitors and verifies if those tests are working as expected in a target context and environment. The Test Execution is carried out by the testers in which testing of the software build is done based on test cases prepared. During each test execution, the software can be placed in different scenarios, which help the team to verify and validate its various aspects. During these testing processes, test execution plays an important role that helps to create software that offers expected results. With Test Execution having such an essential role in the test process, it is paramount that you have the ability to run test cases conveniently - at all levels - Project, Test Plan, Test Suite, Test Case. You also have the flexibility to schedule test execution runs through a test system or interfacing with CI/CD tools.

A test report is an organised summary of testing objectives, activities, and results. It is created and used to help stakeholders
understand product quality and decide whether a product, feature, or defect resolution is on track for release.

Clear and concise Report Management that complements flexible Test Execution is necessary for understanding the current
state of the product. Regal generates custom test reports that can be viewed any organisation member's Regal Command Centre dashboard or emailed to configured recipients.

CI/CD Integration Support

A CI/CD pipeline automates your software delivery process. The pipeline builds code, runs tests (Continuous Improvement),
and safely deploys a new application version (Continuous Delivery). Automated pipelines remove manual errors,
provide standardised feedback loops to developers, and enable fast product iterations. Both CI and CD form the backbone of
the modern DevOps environment.

Jenkins is undoubtedly the most popular tool for building CI/CD pipelines. A robust, open-source project, Jenkins has a
devoted community worldwide. As automation testing continues to help organisations scale their software quality efforts, it is
imperative that automated tests are also part of the CI pipeline to achieve accurate continuous delivery. Regal integrates with
Jenkins via REST API.

Kubernetes Cluster Management

Kubernetes cluster management is how an IT team manages a group of Kubernetes clusters. Kubernetes environments are
becoming highly distributed. They can be deployed across multiple data centers on-premises, in the public cloud, and at the
edge. Organisations that want to use Kubernetes at scale or in production will have multiple clusters, such as development,
testing, and production, distributed across environments and need to manage them effectively.

The deployment, implementation, and management of Kubernetes clusters can be a complex and error-prone process for development organisations. With Regal, Kubernetes Cluster Management can be automated, created, and configured once or deployed (setup and tear-down) as many times as needed.

Third-Party Tool Integration

One of the main reasons there is no complete automation within many development environments is the complexity and cost of integrating all the tools needed for running tests into the process. There are a plethora of good open-source testing tools available. These tools need to be integrated and supported to have a completely automated process. If your organisation is fortunate enough to have a DevOps group, they will probably do this integration and support work. DevOps resources are expensive.

With Regal, seamless integration of your testing tools (homegrown or third party) is possible. Testing tools and your legacy test cases can also be seamlessly integrated.

Data Analytics Management

Meaningful analysis of test results is crucial to extract meaningful insights for product evolution. Analytics allows Engineering leadership to evaluate if the product is going in the desired direction.

Analytics also allows software developers to evaluate test automation performance.

You can rely on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) and algorithms to forecast outcomes with predictive analytics within Regal. Current and old data can be used to gather insights. 

With the data of all tests running in one place, data analysis is possible for whatever can help you move product and process forward. 

Summary

Test automation orchestration aims to maximise efficiency and optimise your testing. By embracing test automation orchestration, complete test automation is possible. Your team will have the ability to speed up the entire testing process, which will accelerate the development process and result in both shorter release cycles and better software quality.

As organisations continue to grow, the need for adopting test automation with test orchestration becomes a priority. No
matter how complex the SDLC and set of tools used to manage infrastructure and deploy applications may be, it is necessary to
have an exceptional tool for test automation orchestration.

for more information on Regal (RCC)