Automation Testing on Microservices

Automation testing has become common in recent years, and we use various frameworks to automate our tests based on our preferences. But have you come across the architecture dependability with automation testing? As testers lets have a look at what is this microservice architecture is about and how can it impact the quality of the system.

The majority of well-known organizations such as Netflix, Amazon, Uber, and Google have switched to microservice architecture or are preparing to do so. The main reason behind this is as applications grow larger and more complex, having a monolith application has become a challenge. As a result, developers are adopting a microservices software development architecture, in which systems are composed of loosely coupled services. This makes them simpler to build and, more importantly, to extend and scale.

Microservice Vs Monolith Architecture

Simply put, a monolithic application combines all of its functionality into a single operation, while a microservice architecture separates each element of functionality into its own service and scales by spreading these services through servers and replicating them as required.

One of the core concepts behind this micro-service architecture is that instead of having a single application, you can have several microservices that can be deployed separately. For example, in the diagram below, if you want to go live with micro-service A, you can do so without affecting the other services. (Microservice B & Microservice C)

Let’s look at how a QA Engineer can move to automated microservices testing...

Importance of Automation Testing in Microservices

Let me start off with an example:

Netflix is one of the first companies to move from monolithic to microservice architecture, and the reason for this is because due to the company’s immense growth and popularity, it needed to introduce new features more regularly.

As QA Engineers, we are all aware that as the number of features increases, the key challenge that arises is how to produce a high-quality product in the time allotted. The main challenge in such a case is testing. A QA Engineer should be able to ensure that the application’s consistency and reliability are maintained during rapid release cycles.

The main question in that case is that in order to guarantee the quality of the system is will you be able to do this fully with manual testing? As my personal opinion the answer for this is NO and the explanation for this is that in manual testing, we will have to repeat all of the repetitive tasks, which will cut down on the time it takes to test new tasks and ad hoc testing. This is where Automation Testing enters the picture. Automation testing is much faster compared to Manual testing .

Instead of a large application, a microservice architecture typically consists of a large number of microservices, and if a problem with one of them arises, it is critical to determine the cause as soon as possible. Automation testing, rather than manual testing, is a much easier way of accomplishing this.

Let’s take a look at the test strategy for microservices testing….

Test Pyramid isn’t a best fit for Microservice Architecture

Usually if you consider a monolith application, test pyramid applies as below : At first unit tests can be used to analyze each piece of code separately. Next Integration testing can be performed as components are joined together. You build a release after all of these tests pass. System testing, regression testing, and user acceptance testing are all performed on this.

But in a micro servive architecture the testing approach should be changed. Getting so many unit tests with a small definition for each microservice is not the best option in the microservice architecture. Each microservice is tied to a particular business capability rather than the whole business. It is not worth writing too many unit test cases for a microservice if it is just a small part of the business scope. The biggest complexity in a Microservice is not within the service itself, but in how it interacts with others, and that deserves special attention. Due to this rather than unit testing, integration testing plays a major role in it.

In comparison to the test pyramid, a modern method of distributing tests in a microservice architecture is known as “honeycomb testing

‘'Honeycomb Testing’' to Microservice Architecture

As you can see in the diagram below, the integration is larger than the other parts, indicating that integration testing will be the primary focus.

Integration testing is used in microservices architectures to verify contact between subsystems that communicate with external components including data stores and other services. It ensures that the subsystem’s contact paths are functioning properly when communicating with its peers. They’re mostly used in microservice architecture to verify interactions between layers of integration code and the external components they’re integrating.

It ensures that the system runs smoothly and that the services’ dependencies are as intended. The primary aim of writing automated tests for modules that communicate with an external component is to ensure that the modules are adequately interacting with the external component.

Conclusion

Microservices architecture is a distributed approach that aims to solve the limitations of monolithic architectures. Test automation of microservices may not remove issues associated with software testing, but it certainly helps expedite the software testing process while making it efficient and smarter too. Tests ensure that software quality begins high and remains high as new features are introduced or existing features are changed in a microservice architecture.

Agility is one of the advantages of microservice architectures. Since each service has its own scope and an independent lifecycle, implementing a new function as a microservice, testing it, and deploying it to production takes less time.

References

Quality Assurance Engineer

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