Three Approaches To Reducing Integration Testing Cycles with Machine Learning 

by Alastair Wilkes in

Building an application is similar to putting a modular home together. The first phase is constructing each element. Once that work is done, developers integrate the various modules together into an application. Integration testing is the process of ensuring that the integrated modules work together. For development teams, integration testing is a time consuming step. Also, if there are flaky tests, delivery can slow down dramatically because teams are re-running these expensive tests. New testing tools bring clarity to the chaos by incorporating machine learning and AI for smarter testing strategies that reduce cycle time.

The DevOps Testing Pyramid

Testing is done in layers that build on top of one another like a pyramid. In general, the higher up the testing pyramid one goes, the more time consuming testing becomes because there are more variables to test for such as different platforms and browsers. Also, the more variables within a test, the longer it can take to ensure that software works as expected.

Creating these tests is complex and time consuming, eating up developer resources. DevOps testing tools are evolving to increase speed without reducing the software quality. The next evolution of tools are smarter, AI powered test automation solutions that focus on reducing integration testing times in three ways: shift left, smoke tests, and shift right. 

Shift Left

In many cases, corporations run integration test suites at night because they require a great deal of processing power and time to complete. Consequently, developers must wait a whole day to get test results before they can begin to remediate any bugs.

To fix this, intelligent testing shrinks testing times, enabling “shift left.” As a result, a subset of integration tests can be run during the day against smaller batches of change. Remediation can begin immediately, saving time.

Smoke Tests

Since integration tests take too long, teams often create a subset of “smoke tests” to get a quick signal that there are no big fires waiting in new changes. However, these tests are selected based on best guesses of the most common important areas.

Launchable replaces the best guess approach to smoke testing with an intelligent approach. Therefore, the development team receives more actionable information, a better sense of the application stability, and a much faster feedback cycle, speeding up the testing process. 

Shift Right  

Once a change is made, a developer waits for tests to run before moving onto other tasks. With any change, the bulk of an application’s code remains unchanged, but still has to be compiled and tested anyway.

Intelligent testing cuts out such unnecessary repetitive checks by just testing the new code and its ramifications, if any. With smart testing, companies reduce test run times by as much as 90 percent! Continuous integration testing replaces DevOps’ typical start and stop flow, shifting integration testing to the right.

Integration testing is an important but often a time consuming part of the application development lifecycle. Launchable reduces the time needed for organizations to create quality software by relieving them of the burden of the nightly integration test run triage, automating how to identify which smoke tests to run, and removing unnecessary tests early in the process. With it, developers’ time is freed up, so they spend more time solving problems for customers and less ensuring that software runs without any bugs.

Dive into our demo space and get a preview of how Launchable could help your test cycles before you sign up and start sending test data.

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