Welcome!

Open Source Cloud Authors: Derek Weeks, Jonathan Fries, Kevin Benedict, Anders Wallgren, Kareen Kircher

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value of the process by considering how often you would use the results or how long it takes before the results become outdated: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 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.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
We’ve worked with dozens of early adopters across numerous industries and will debunk common misperceptions, which starts with understanding that many of the connected products we’ll use over the next 5 years are already products, they’re just not yet connected. With an IoT product, time-in-market provides much more essential feedback than ever before. Innovation comes from what you do with the data that the connected product provides in order to enhance the customer experience and optimize busi...
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, will discuss how leveraging the Industrial Interne...
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
A critical component of any IoT project is the back-end systems that capture data from remote IoT devices and structure it in a way to answer useful questions. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle large data sets, but they are not well suited to many IoT-scale products and the need for real-time insights. At Fuze, we have developed a backend platform as part of our mobility-oriented cloud service that uses Big Data-based approache...
trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vice president of product management, IoT solutions at GlobalSign, will teach IoT developers how t...
Digital payments using wearable devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, and payment wristbands are an increasing area of focus for industry participants, and consumer acceptance from early trials and deployments has encouraged some of the biggest names in technology and banking to continue their push to drive growth in this nascent market. Wearable payment systems may utilize near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), or quick response (QR) codes and barcodes...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
The demand for organizations to expand their infrastructure to multiple IT environments like the cloud, on-premise, mobile, bring your own device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow. As this hybrid infrastructure increases, the challenge to monitor the security of these systems increases in volume and complexity. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty, Chief Security Evangelist at Alert Logic, will show how properly configured and managed security architecture can...
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the...
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, will explain how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.