CI/CD deployment
Best practices Management
13 mins read
January 2, 2024

Integrating aqua with your deployment pipelines: the CI/CD symphony

Picture this: You have meticulously designed a software product, and just before the release, you suddenly expose a flaw, sending shockwaves through development. Sounds familiar? You are not alone. Automating the key processes, continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) are the backbone of modern software delivery, and ensuring its efficiency is crucial. That is where aqua cloud steps in.

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Paul Elsner
Nurlan Suleymanov

What does CI/CD bring to QA?

This article will not be covering basic concepts from textbooks about CI/CD, but before we forge ahead, let’s take a quick moment to align ourselves on the essence of CI/CD, especially in the realm of QA. 

Imagine you’re working in a group on a big jigsaw puzzle. Every time someone finds a piece that fits, they shout out and immediately show it to the group to ensure it fits perfectly. This instant feedback mechanism is akin to Continuous Integration (CI), where developers consistently merge their new code into a shared repository. Each time they do, automated tests run to make sure that the new code doesn’t introduce any flaws.

Now, once a section of the puzzle is complete, instead of waiting for the entire puzzle to finish, you immediately display it for everyone to see. This immediate showcasing can be likened to Continuous Deployment/Delivery (CD). Once code passes all tests, it is seamlessly sent to production, allowing end-users to benefit from the latest updates faster. With that simple recap in place, let’s dive deeper into how integrating CI/CD in QA can substantially elevate business processes.

How does CI/CD integration in QA improve business processes?

Perhaps you are wondering, “What is in it for me? How does CI/CD in QA benefit my business?” Well, it can do this in more than one way, and here they are: 

  • Faster feedback: By automating and running tests whenever new code is integrated, developers get quick feedback if something is wrong. This helps catch and fix errors early, reducing the cost and time to rectify them. 
  • Reduced manual intervention: Automation means fewer manual processes. This reduces the chances of human error and frees up the team to focus on more critical tasks. 
  • Consistency: Every change goes through the same set of tests and deployment processes, ensuring consistency in product quality. 
  • Frequent releases: CI/CD enables businesses to release new features, updates, or fixes more frequently. This means customers get new value sooner, leading to improved satisfaction. 
  • Risk Mitigation: Smaller, more frequent releases mean fewer changes in each release. This makes it easier to spot problems and roll back if necessary, reducing the risk of major disruptions or outages. 
  • Enhanced collaboration: CI/CD promotes collaboration between teams (like development and operations). They work more closely, understanding each other’s challenges and ensuring smoother, more efficient processes. 

Incorporating CI/CD in QA ensures that not only is the product constantly evolving and improving, but it is also consistently tested to maintain a high level of quality. This synergy benefits businesses by ensuring a more reliable product and faster time-to-market, making them more competitive and responsive to market needs. And, as you might have already understood, all of this becomes achievable precisely thanks to automated testing. Which in turn raises the next logical question.

Why automation is important for CI/CD testing?

Now, you might ask yourself: Should I necessarily implement automation in my CI/CD testing? Well, you definitely should, with all the benefits it brings to the process. According to a recent survey by McKinsey, using automation techniques can improve business efficiency by up to 40% and reduce operational costs by up to 30%. In this digital era, almost every industry can significantly benefit from automation, including software testing. Let’s consider these compelling advantages that automation can bring to your CI/CD processes:

  1. Speed and efficiency: Automation turbocharges your testing processes, which means you get your software to market faster. Imagine completing tasks at a pace up to 50-60% quicker than manual testing. Who would say no to this?
  2. Accuracy and reliability: Automated tests never miss a beat. They execute with pinpoint precision every single time, reducing the chance of pesky human errors. This translates to fewer bugs sneaking into your software and a significantly lower defect escape rate than manual tests.
  3. Cost reduction: Think about all those repetitive tasks you could automate. That not only cuts down on human labour but also frees up your testing team to focus on more strategic work. The result? You spend less money on operational costs for even better efficiency.
  4. Comprehensive coverage: With automation, your tests can explore various scenarios and tricky edge cases. This ensures that your testing covers all the bases, achieving much higher test coverage than manual testing.
  5. Continuous testing: You catch issues early in the game, long before they become real problems. That’s the magic of automation, allowing for continuous testing throughout your project’s development cycle. According to Capgemini’s survey, teams that embrace continuous testing practices have seen a whopping 37% increase in defects found during each pipeline phase.
  6. Reusability: Automation isn’t a one-time wonder. You can reuse those automated test scripts across different projects and builds. That’s not just a time-saver; it’s a game-changer.
  7. Scalability: As your project grows or complexity skyrockets, you don’t need to worry. Automation scales effortlessly to meet your needs. This is especially handy for agile development teams, ensuring you can handle whatever comes your way.

automation in CI/CD

Incorporating automation in testing to face CI/CD challenges isn’t just about technology; it’s about giving you the power to develop high-quality software rapidly. If you use the right automation tool, these benefits put you in the driver’s seat, allowing you to deliver faster, more reliable, cost-efficient software. Which, brings us to the perfect solution you have been looking for: aqua cloud.

How to integrate aqua with CI/CD pipelines?

Before we dive into the transformative steps of integrating aqua with deployment pipelines, let’s introduce our star player first. Being one of the best AI testing tools you can ever come across, aqua cloud is your test management tool, poised to elevate your software delivery to new heights. With aqua cloud’s impressive track record, it’s your gateway to a smoother, more efficient testing journey. Now, let’s connect aqua’s capabilities with the steps you’re about to embark on. These steps aren’t just about integration; they’re your ticket to unleashing the power in your CI/CD processes, making your journey to high-quality software delivery a breeze. When integrating aqua with CI/CD pipelines, follow these steps:

  1. Manage requirements: Dive into aqua’s requirements magic. Link requirements, features, and use cases with ease. Watch as aqua’s invisible threads connect them effortlessly. The result? Improved traceability, so you’re always in sync with your project’s heartbeat.
  2. Track test runs: Track Record with no detective work. Within aqua’s well-organised ecosystem, not only can you seamlessly plan and execute your test cases, but you can also effortlessly maintain a detailed history of past test runs. This isn’t just about execution; it’s about elevating accountability to a whole new level where you’ll never play detective to figure out what went right or wrong.
  3. Track bugs: aqua’s dashboard is like a secret chamber. Use it to record and track defects efficiently, like a pro. But here’s the twist: aqua goes a step further. It links those defects back to your requirements. What’s the perk? Smooth sailing through regression testing as defects are at your fingerprints.
  4. Use automation hub: aqua’s automation hub is your QA brain’s secret lair. Manual or automated, it’s all in one place. Visualise test execution, keep an eye on defect status—all in a click. Reports? They’re your sidekick. They make sure you see the bigger picture.
  5. Harness Agile testing benefits: aqua’s agile testing services? They’re like having an assistant with AI superpowers. They prioritise based on test case significance and history. So, you’re always working on what matters most.
  6. Integrate aqua with CI/CD tools: aqua plays nice with the tools you love. Seamless integration with 10+ test automation tools, including Selenium, JMeter, and Ranorex. Oh, and Jenkins? It’s aqua’s best buddy. Together, they orchestrate your CI/CD pipeline like a symphony. Unified results, embedded links, and a streamlined flow—you get it all.

aqua triggers Jenkins jobs right from your test cases—no fuss. Jenkins, in return, incorporates aqua’s test scenarios into your pipeline’s rhythm. The result? A dynamic duo that optimises communication boosts efficiency and ensures top-notch quality in your software delivery process.

With aqua by your side, your CI/CD pipeline undergoes a profound transformation, evolving from a mere tool into a symphony of unparalleled security and efficiency. We don’t just talk the talk but also walk the walk – you can experience its formidable capabilities firsthand and see for yourself. aqua seamlessly hands you requirements management, an automation hub and a handful of integrations all the while propelling your software quality to new, dizzying heights, granting you the serenity of absolute traceability.

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Is CI/CD & automated testing the end of manual testing?

If you use the power of automation to the fullest in your CI/CD pipelines, does it mean there will be no manual testing? Is it the end of the road for manual testers? 

Well, while automation has become a powerhouse in the world of testing, manual testing still brings a unique set of superpowers to the table. You will still benefit from manual testing in the following scenarios:

  1. Exploratory testing: Think of human testers as the Sherlock Holmes of the software world whose intuition and creativity help find those elusive bugs that automated tests might miss. Their ability to explore and discover unexpected issues will still remain crucial in software QA. Plus, manual testing helps you assess the user experience and spot usability hiccups that could leave users frustrated.
  2. Usability testing: Imagine you’ve designed a beautiful new user interface, and you want to know how real users will interact with it. This is where manual testers shine. They step into the shoes of your users and provide invaluable insights into how your software feels and behaves in the real world. It’s like having a focus group right at your fingertips. 
  3. Real-world scenarios: Manual testing is like a Swiss Army knife when it comes to tackling those peculiar edge cases and real-world scenarios. It’s the safety net that catches those unusual situations that automated tests might not even be aware of. Whether it’s a unique customer configuration or unexpected user behaviour, manual testers are your safety net.

In the era of CI/CD and automation, manual testing is far from surrendering. It remains essential in scenarios requiring human intuition, creativity, and a personal touch. Striking the right balance is the key: automation for repetitive tasks but always leaving room for manual testing, ensuring it thrives where intuition and creativity are irreplaceable. CI/CD may lead the way, but manual testing walks alongside, proving it’s not the end of the road.

Conclusion

In CI/CD, combining automation and manual testing is the linchpin of software quality. CI/CD, the driving force behind modern software development, empowers businesses to thrive in an ever-competitive landscape. Its swift, automated workflows optimise efficiency and enhance user experiences, revolutionising software development. However, within this dynamic framework, manual testing remains indispensable. It unveils the unexpected, evaluates usability, and adds an invaluable human dimension to QA.

With aqua, your CI/CD pipeline will transform from a simple process into a powerful symphony of security and efficiency. Don’t just take our word for it; give it a try and see its capabilities for yourself. aqua seamlessly integrates automation and manual testing, elevating your software quality to new heights while you enjoy the peace of mind that comes with 100% traceability.

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