CI Vs CT
“Continuous” is the word that you would often hear again and again in any discussion around DevOps. Almost everything in DevOps is continuous: be it Continuous integration or Continuous testing. So let’s take a closer look at the idea of continuity and the difference between Continuous Integration and Continuous Testing.
Continuous Integration is a software development practice where members of a team integrate their work frequently. This is probablythe most widely known DevOps practices and it is all about compiling, building, and packaging your software on a continuous basis.
With every check-in, the system brings out the compilation process, runsthe unit test, runs the static analysis for the tools you use, and the otherquality related checks that you can automate. If you add the automated deployment in one environment, then you know that the system can be deployed. It means you have merged all the code into the mainline or trunk before triggering the process.
Key practices of Continuous Integration
The effort required to integrate a system increases exponentially with time. Continuous integration is a software development practice that promotes regular team integrations and automatic builds. By integrating the system more regularly, integration issues are identified earlier and they are easy to fix and the overall integration effort is reduced.
Continuous integration provides the following benefits
Improved feedback: Continuous integration gives you constant and demonstrable progress.
Improved bug detection: Continuous integration enables the user to detect and remove errors early.
Improved collaboration: Continuous integration enables team members to work together safely. The user knows that they can make changes to their code, integrate the system, and determine quickly whether it conflicts with others or not.
Reduced number of parallel changes are needed to be merged and tested.
Reduced technical risk: A user will always have an up-to-date system to test.
Reduced number of errors: These are found during the testing. All the conflicts will be resolved before making new change sets.
The aptly named DevOps practice of Continuous Testing synchronizes testing with Dev and Ops processes and optimized to achieve business and development goals. Continuous Testing in DevOps encourages a systematic approach towards process improvement.
Continuous testing goes beyond automation and encompasses all practices which help to mitigate risks before progressing a subsequent software development lifecycle stages.
Continuous Testing and automation
The approach of Continuous Testing can vary and follow varied pathways to ensure that best user experience is delivered.
It is scantily viable to repeat all the tests every time a new feature is added, so the Continuous Testing strategy foments a company’s wide cultural change to achieve four capabilities such as test early, test faster, test often, and automate.
Key elements of Continuous Testing
Risk assessment: It covers risk mitigation tasks, technical debt, quality assessment and test coverage optimization to ensure the build is ready to progress towards next SDLC stage.
Policy analysis: It ensures all the processes and aligns with the organizations evolving business and compliance demands. Its primary objectives are:
- Identifying the trends which inject the dangerous patterns within the code.
- Augmenting defect prevention practices for high-risk areas.
- Isolating the risk in targeted areas.
Advanced analysis: Using automation in areas such as static code analysis, change impact analysis, and scope assessment to prevent defects in the first place and accomplishing more within each iteration.
Test optimization: It ensures tests and gives accurate outcomes and provides actionable findings. Aspects include test data management, test optimization maintenance.
Making sense of the differences
Though all these terms look similar, there are some essential differences in these two processes. The above two processes are useful in minimizing risk and labor cost while allowing developers the greatest creative freedom and understanding the exquisite differences among the two is essential in making the usage of the process that will benefit your team and company.