The importance of a well-structured and efficient test environment cannot be overstated.
A robust test environment is the cornerstone of success both for the development of a new project and optimization of the existing development workflow. A reliable test environment setup serves as the safeguard against unexpected glitches, ensures the reliability of your code, and ultimately paves the way for the seamless delivery of a high-quality product.
In this blog post, we delve into the essential aspects of setting up a test environment for your future project. We'll explore the key components, strategies, and best practices that will empower you to navigate the complexities of software testing with confidence. Dive in now!
What Is the Role of a Robust Test Environment?
Robustness testing aims to make sure that the system can handle errors without crashing or becoming unstable, making the software more reliable and less likely to fail. Setting up a test environment is a crucial step in the software development process. Before deploying any software application, thorough environment testing in software is essential to ensure its reliability and functionality.
Identifying and preventing bugs early
One of the primary functions of a test environment is to identify and rectify bugs and issues in the code before they reach the end-users. A well-structured test environment setup allows developers to catch and address these issues at an early stage, saving valuable time and resources that would otherwise be spent on troubleshooting and fixing problems post-release.
Ensuring consistent performance
A robust test environment helps ensure your software performs consistently across different platforms, devices, and scenarios. By simulating various real-world conditions and user interactions, you can uncover performance bottlenecks and optimize your code for a seamless user experience.
Maintaining code quality
Regular testing and validation in a controlled test environment for software testing contribute to maintaining code quality throughout the development lifecycle. It prevents the accumulation of technical debt and ensures that the software remains maintainable and scalable as it evolves.
Validating functional requirements
Your test environment for software testing serves as the proving ground for the functional requirements of your project. It allows you to validate that the software meets the specified criteria and functions as intended. This validation is crucial for meeting user expectations and project goals.
Security and compliance
Security breaches and compliance violations can have severe consequences for both your project and your organization. A robust test environment setup in software testing enables thorough security testing and compliance checks to safeguard sensitive data and ensure adherence to industry standards and regulations.
How to Set Up Testing?
During product development, testing of written tasks is a very important stage. Test environment setup is done based on two fundamental types of testing: manual and automated (unit, feature, or end-to-end testing).
- Unit testing includes testing each written function separately.
- Feature testing includes testing of a separate feature, e.g., an endpoint.
- At the end-to-end testing stage, the whole functionality is tested, including its connection with other systems and the database, so that all the links of this chain work properly.
A well-tuned testing process is considered to be a combination of these approaches. Let's analyze them in detail.
Task acceptance criteria
Initially, when compiling stories for development, the task acceptance criteria are specified. What are they in terms of the setup testing?
Acceptance criteria explain when a specific application feature is considered successfully completed. Usually, it looks like a sentence like "I as someone / does something / gets something," e.g., "I as a user send a request for a list of items, then get a list of items."
Then, during the test environment setup, the developer, based on the requirements, first writes an automated test to validate the functionality. This approach is called TDD (Test-driven-development).
Its advantage is that after the written test, the developer understands what data they will work with, what actions should be launched within the functionality, and what the result should be at the output. This allows you to write code of higher quality and faster because, during the development process, you can immediately detect problems and fix them, saving you from future debugging.
Automated tests are usually written in accordance with AAA methodology (Arrange-Act-Assert) when first the necessary data for the test is prepared (e.g., the test database is filled). Some action is performed on this data (e.g., an HTTP request is executed), and then it is checked that the result of the action corresponds to the expected one (e.g., the record in the database is updated).
Usually, a separate database is created for test data preparation on the project. The selection of this database is configured when launching tests. Then seeds are created (a set of data that will be written to the database), and utility functions are created that will write these data from seeds directly into the test database.
Preparation of states
At this stage of the setup testing, an important step is to prepare the states that are necessary only for this test. For example, in a test that checks the output of the list of items in the shopping cart, it makes no sense to call the functionality of adding items to the cart beforehand. This is simply unnecessary, as there is a separate test to test adding items to the cart, which will check only that. The correct approach here would be to create an already filled list of products in the database so that the test will check only the functionality of giving the list.
Correspondence of the setup testing result to the expected one can be checked independently and with the help of libraries. One of the most popular ones for Go is `github.com/stretchr/testify`. Just compare two implementations of the same code status checker, where one is written independently and the other using a library - how much easier it makes development:
Automated tests are usually written completely isolated and independent of each other. Thus, tests are easy to read and quick to execute, and it is possible to run only a certain set of tests separately.
If the functionality works with third-party services, interaction with them should be brought to the level of interfaces. This way, it will be possible to easily replace implementation with imitation. Here is an example on Go, where there is interaction via HTTP:
- An interface is described for interacting with the network:
- An implementation of this interface is being written:
- For the test, another implementation is substituted, which does not actually send an HTTP request but only simulates it:
After the test and the main functionality code is written, the task is sent for code review to other team members. Here, we should mention static code analyzers. Static analyzers can highlight potential problems in code security, code optimization, etc., to the developer in advance. It is a good practice to include them in your CI process.
After the review, the task should be tested manually according to the acceptance criteria. For this purpose, there is usually a closed test environment where the task is deployed for testing.
Usually, each version control system has its own CI/CD implementation, which is used to set up the analysis and deployment process, e.g. Github has Github Actions, and GitLab has Pipelines. There is a step built into this process that automatically runs all tests on the project. Upon successful completion, we can safely say that the new functionality has been tested, and the existing functionality is not broken. But, if bugs are found during this test, the developer returns to this task for fixing. It is also good practice to first write a test to cover a specific case that will fail initially, but after making edits to the main code, this test should pass successfully.
Report on code coverage
We would also like to mention the report on code coverage by tests. This report can be generated in all popular programming languages. The only difference is in details. Some tools allow you to customize the report output in the form of detailed information on a web page where you can see which parts of the code are covered by tests and which are not. Based on this report, you can understand what percentage of lines or functions are entirely covered by tests and what you should consider to test the application even better regarding all the cases. The main goal is to cover the maximum amount of functionality with tests.
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Thus, implementing robust testing procedures is an indispensable aspect of any successful software development project. As we've explored throughout this article, setting up testing not only ensures the quality and reliability of your software but also saves time and resources by identifying and addressing issues early in the development cycle. To set up test environment effectively, you need a reliable team of professionals.
A well-structured testing strategy, encompassing unit, integration, system, and user acceptance testing, among others, provides a comprehensive view of your software's functionality and performance.
It allows you to maintain a high level of confidence in your product and ensures that it meets both the technical specifications and user expectations. Moreover, the integration of automated testing tools and continuous integration practices can streamline the testing process, enabling faster development cycles without compromising quality.
So, remember that testing is not just a phase—it's a critical pillar of your project's success. To set up test environment effectively, you need a reliable team of professionals. If you want to ensure perfect testing for your project, don't hesitate to reach out to our team of dedicated professionals.