We have been learning DevOps and studying continuous integration concepts lately. Now the question is to implement CI in a way to get most of Continuous Integration benefits, and enjoy DevOps culture we have been eagerly learning lately.

So let’s take a deeper dive into the Automated Integration and Continuous Deployment’s ocean and explore the best practices to obtain CI.

Just so you don’t forget how critical it is nowadays to obtain continuous integration and which benefits you can avail in a DevOps environment here is a very quick look at the stuff Continuous Integration takes care of:

  • Reduce the risks of human errors
  • Identify and remove bugs earlier, in the development process.
  • Automate the traditional hefty testing procedure.
  • Obtain fast feedback on the overall system functions.
  • Measure and evaluate the integrity of system, complexity, and features.
  • Revise, modify and simplify the code.
  • Run scripts and makes the deployment and testing procedure faster and more accurate.

Software programs based on waterfall approach are quite stable when it comes to testing as it takes place just once and there is no need of feedback because each phase is well-defined.

When it comes to agile software development things are distributed into sprints and after each sprint, the code needs to be tested individually and integrally. The process gets quicker and testing is done repetitively. So how to manage the two suites of testing that are Unit Testing and Integrated Testing.

Best Way to proceed CI Testing

Do integration testing before unit testing

This idea seems quite inadaptable and non-conventional but on thinking carefully you will agree with our reason that an error, when detected late, is hard to remove and expensive to compensate.

So, following this thought we run the integrated testing first in order to diagnose big issues earlier and solve, as today’s development environment is agile hence going back is not an issue and you are allowed to make any alteration in the business logic wherever necessary as you proceed.

Do not hunt Bugs in Integrated Testing

Unit tests must not be confused with the integrated test, testing business logics comes under unit tests that are faster and run after each change triggered. Running these tests frequently can lead to a bug-free, robust and clean code. Whereas integrated testing is slower and solely serve the purpose of an error-free integration of all the builds so far, mostly on daily basis.

Know the Difference

Before jumping on implementation keep the difference clear.

  • Unit tests do not need any additional tools or databases etc, integrated tests do.
  • Unit tests are faster and committed on every single build, integrated tests are slower and not very frequently run.
  • Unit tests are distinct chunks of code hence usually are simple to write, integrated tests on the other hand are complex and often need certain tools to be written and run.

The unit tests you write must be sufficient enough to go through every single business-logic, so if a unit test fails it means there is a bug. Unit tests must serve the purpose of traversing through each logical chunk so there are no bugs and success of unit test means success of logic design and a bug-free build. So what integrated test aims for is a successful integration, failure in integrated test must mean there is nothing wrong in the logic but some other problem.

Keep both Test Suites Separate

Unit tests and Integration tests both are entirely different things and if we look closely both are two different steps and have a solely different purpose of being as we explained in above point.

So, running and scheduling of both tests should also be kept explicit. A developer should be kept free to run unit tests sufficiently so there is no conflict and debugging gets faster and more efficient.

Applying best practices of integrated testing and in the right way might seem quite expensive initially but once you know the impacts of not applying it and later on detecting and fixing in your high-end architecture can cost even higher.

From installation, setting up and till managing Jenkins for CI you can learn all of it in just one single course that is highly effective, super easy and interactive. So, you can learn CI with Jenkins, with a very helpful online course Udemy presents.

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