Welcome!

Open Source Cloud Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Eric Robertson, Elizabeth White, Jyoti Bansal

Blog Feed Post

6 Steps to Continuous Integration for Development Testing

continuous integrationBy Jason Schadewald, Product Manager at Parasoft

Build automation is undeniably a critical component of Continuous Integration. But in the most creative and advanced companies, Continuous Integration extends far beyond build automation, enabling them to achieve greater scalability, productivity, and quality throughout the SDLC.

Here are 6 steps to taking your Development Testing activities (and more) from manual integration to Continuous Integrationin less than a day.

1. Identify Manual Processes

Start off by taking an inventory of your regular time-consuming efforts. Your goal is to identify tedious “must do” tasks that you or your team performs over and over. The processes you identify may include:

  • Transferring files between machines
  • Entering commands in a console
  • Copying data between different systems or into another format
  • Visually verifying information, data, or test results
  • Writing documentation
  • Getting verbal or written approval
  • Scheduling and participating in meetings
  • Clicking a button/icon to execute a script or program
  • Creating and sending reports

At this stage, you don't need to worry about automation; focus on determining tedious, routine manual processes. If creating this list takes longer than 15 minutes, stop where you are and move to step two.

2. Estimate Frequency and Duration

Now that you've created a short list of these processes, your next step is to determine the relative gains from automation. The easiest way to do this is by estimating frequency and duration. When estimating the frequency of a process, don't limit yourself to current conditions. Instead, focus on the value of the process by considering how often you would use the results or how long it takes before the results become outdated:

  • Several times per day 
  • A few times per week 
  • Every sprint
  • Twice per release cycle

Next, go through the list and estimate how long it takes to complete each process under current conditions. Durations can range from minutes to days for common process. It’s a natural human tendency to underestimate durations, so feel free to round up or add fudge factors.

3. Select (Sub) Processes for Automation

Review your list and choose one item that if automated would noticeably improve your software development team’s productivity. Common selection methods include:

  • Choose the process with the highest duration
  • Choose the process with the highest frequency
  • Choose the process with the highest (frequency) * (duration)

At this point, many people make the mistake of taking an “all or nothing” view. Instead, focus on the portions of the process that can be automated and proceed with the understanding that you will improve as you go.

Go through the exercise of doing the task, either mentally or physically, and make notes for each step. Jot down information gathered, commands entered, permissions needed, people involved, etc. – enough to jog your memory later.

The end result will be a mini instruction manual for a repeatable human process. Review your instructions and identify the steps that a computer can perform. Commands you entered into a console or textbox and any information pulled from a website or database are good candidates. For multi-person and multi-stage processes, also pay attention to methods of notifying individuals of their turn and role in the process

4. Create Automation Scripts

Look through your instruction manual from the last step, then:

  • Copy your console commands into an editor and save them as .bat (Windows) or .sh (Unix/Linux) scripts
  • Use a development testing tool with a command line interface to
    • Statically analyze code for safety, security, and defects
    • Automatically generate and run unit tests
    • Automatically assign and track peer review tasks
    • Functionally test APIs
    • Scrape websites, services, and databases for intermediate data
  • Use build and reporting tools to inform subsequent stages of the automation infrastructure
  • Capture multi-stage processes in the form of BPEL or another high-level process engine

The goal is to keep it simple and target the low-hanging fruit—you can worry about optimization, generalization, and parameterization later.

5. Schedule and/or Trigger the Artifacts

The formally-accepted definition of continuous integration specifies that your script must be triggered by a commit to your SCM. Most people, however, really just care about getting work done. Whether their processes match one definition or another is beside the point. Feel free to carve out your own interpretation of CI that saves you the hassle of tedious tasks.

Now that you have a script or other automatable artifact, you need a tool to manage the scheduling/triggering of those artifacts. One straightforward strategy for finding automation tools is to search for the term continuous integration; the results will yield tips on automating not just the build, but scores of other development, QA, and IT activities. CI tools provide the simple and necessary framework for scheduling the regular runs of some artifacts and stitching together the triggered runs of others.

6. Iterate, Improve, Repeat

With the time you saved automating your Development Testing processes, you can now focus on improving your basic continuous integration implementation. Go back to step one and add some new manual tasks to your list. For example, maybe you manually modify certain scripts or copy them for slightly similar purposes. Your next automation project might be to consolidate and parameterize your automation artifacts

You just jumped 2-3 CMMI levels (for those keeping score). Congrats! 

 

***

Want more Development Testing tips? Visit Parasoft's Development Testing Resource Center for articles, webinars, blogs, podcasts, and more.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Cynthia Dunlop

Cynthia Dunlop, Lead Content Strategist/Writer at Tricentis, writes about software testing and the SDLC—specializing in continuous testing, functional/API testing, DevOps, Agile, and service virtualization. She has written articles for publications including SD Times, Stickyminds, InfoQ, ComputerWorld, IEEE Computer, and Dr. Dobb's Journal. She 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.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Loom Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2015, Loom Systems delivers an advanced AI solution to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom stands alone in the industry as an AI analysis platform requiring no prior math knowledge from operators, leveraging the existing staff to succeed in the digital era. With offices in S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Addteq will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Addteq specializes in creating innovative solutions to solve business processes through the use of DevOps automation. Addteq was founded on the firm belief that automation is essential for successful software releases. Addteq's products and services are centered around the fundamental approach of understanding the pr...
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Infranics will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Since 2000, Infranics has developed SysMaster Suite, which is required for the stable and efficient management of ICT infrastructure. The ICT management solution developed and provided by Infranics continues to add intelligence to the ICT infrastructure through the IMC (Infra Management Cycle) based on mathemat...
"I think that everyone recognizes that for IoT to really realize its full potential and value that it is about creating ecosystems and marketplaces and that no single vendor is able to support what is required," explained Esmeralda Swartz, VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud at Ericsson, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly prov...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outlyer, a monitoring service for DevOps and operations teams, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outlyer is a monitoring service for DevOps and Operations teams running Cloud, SaaS, Microservices and IoT deployments. Designed for today's dynamic environments that need beyond cloud-scale monitoring, we make monitoring effortless so you ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex softw...
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, will discuss some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and relate how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material will be delivered i...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitrons Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Hitrons Solutions Inc. is distributor in the North American market for unique products and services of small and medium-size businesses, including cloud services and solutions, SEO marketing platforms, and mobile applications.
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, will provide a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services ...
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.