A crucial step when developing software is deciding when and how to test. Choosing the scope of the tests and when to apply these tests is also very important.
Testing is the process of evaluating a system or its parts to determine whether it meets its operating specifications. A test’s scope indicates what is of interest to the user, which can be the code, a class, a function, a package, a service, or the entire system. These choices are associated with different test phases such as unit tests, integration tests, regression tests, functional tests, system tests, acceptance tests, etc.
The Cost of Not Testing
Without testing, users will encounter bugs while using the software. This will invariably lead to increased reliance on quality assurance teams and customer service.
The following are some of the consequences.
- Opportunity cost: the development team must wait for bug fixes before developing a planned development roadmap.
- Bugs interrupt the user experience, which may cost you sales and usage metrics and may even cause customers to leave forever.
- Bug fixes are interruptions that cause context switching. Each interruption and error can waste up to twenty minutes before considering the time spent fixing it.
- The cost of fixing bugs when found in production is much higher than the cost of bugs found earlier in the software development lifecycle (SDLC).
Now that you have a better understanding of why testing matters, let’s dive deeper into integration tests.
Overview of Integration Testing
Integration is simply the act of assembling several elementary software components to make a higher-level component. An integration test aims to ensure the proper functioning of the joint implementation of several program units that have been unit tested beforehand. In complex software systems, many interconnections are suitable for specific functions, making it challenging to write integration tests.
There are several general components of integration testing:
1. Developing Functions and Writing Test Cases
Once functions have been developed, you can begin to write code for their test cases. They will be sent to the remote branch, triggering the integration test run.
2. Creating the Original Integrated Test Environment
A dedicated environment is required because it can provide proper resource management, monitoring, and logging for testing purposes. Therefore, each integration test should begin with a clean environment.
3. Scheduling and Running Tests
To verify the function of any new business features, you need to run the tests. Ideally, this is integrated into the continuous integration server and triggered on development milestones such as a pull-request merge. Alternatively, integration tests can be scheduled or executed on demand when the code and tests are ready.
4. Reporting the Results of the Integration Test
Finally, reporting test results keeps members of the team apprised of the state of development. If there is an issue, the development team will be able to react quickly. But to make this seamless, the reporting needs to be through normal dev tools channels, like a Slack or Jira message that the integration test succeeded or failed.
Why Should I Do Integration Tests?
Although each software module is subject to a component test, it can still contain errors.
Often a single programmer programs a module. His or her understanding and programming logic can differ from that of the other programmers. Therefore, integration tests ensure that the modules work together.
Here are some other reasons why you need integration testing:
- Software module database interfaces may not be correct.
- External API interfaces may not be correct.
- An integration test can help isolate failures.
What Makes a Good Test?
Thorough tests are vital to a successful software product. End users will not buy or use your software if it does not work correctly. However, testing for bugs takes time. It is repetitive, costly, and prone to errors. You must devote enough time to test every component of your software before releasing it to the public.
Here are some tips.
It is impossible to automate all tests, so it is essential to decide which you want to automate first.
You will benefit most by automating the following:
- Tests that often cause operating errors.
- Tests that require multiple records.
- Tests that validate frequently used functions that lead to high-risk conditions.
- Tests that are tedious and time-consuming to run manually.
Next, test frequently and early. Start the tests as soon as possible and run them as often as necessary to realize the full potential.
Choose the Best Tool
There are many automated test tools on the market, and you should choose the one that best fits your general needs. Keep these points in mind when choosing:
- You need a tool that supports your existing technology and chosen platforms. Do you want to test web or mobile applications?
- You need a tool that testers at different skill levels can use.
- You need a tool that can easily create automated tests full of functions.
And finally, create useful, high-quality test data.
Creating data for automated tests is tedious. Nevertheless, you need to devote enough time to create well-structured data. With useful test data, writing automated tests is much easier. The earlier you create high-quality data, the easier it will be to extend existing automated tests as you develop applications.
What Is Testim?
There are various tools on the market that you can use to create frameworks for building integrated test suites. One such tool is Testim.
It’s a platform that enables ultra-fast test creation and incredibly stable testing. Furthermore, Testim analyzes thousands of parameters for each element and weighs its overall reliability before ranking it accordingly.
You can use Testim’s AI to record user journeys that can be exported as code. Testim’s visual editor can be used to edit and configure tests, or the code can be edited in an IDE of your choosing.
You can store your code in a version control system to keep it in sync with the branch and run tests on every commit. If you integrate the CI/CD system, you can automatically deploy all applications after they pass their tests and quickly communicate feedback to developers. Tests can be run on different data sets and conditions, and they provide full customization, allowing users to run tests on different operating systems, browsers, URLs, etc.
How is this tool different from other tools? Testim gives you the ability to record and configure a test fast. And while other tools can also claim that, Testim sets itself apart with AI-based test stability. The AI helps identify UI elements even when the application changes. Other tools claim to be self-healing, but Testim’s technology is more mature, and it actually works as intended. This means you spend less time fixing tests and more time finding bugs.