Best Practices for implementing Integration Testing with Continuous Integration

Integration testing and unit testing work in coherence, but, both these testing methods should be used strategically in the software development life cycle, otherwise, the outcome will be affected. So, both unit tests and integration tests should be handled aptly by the testing and development team.

There are certain instances where the performance of integration testing can be optimized by integrating it with Continuous Integration (CI). In this article, you will get to know the best practices for implementing integration testing with continuous integration.

Following are four best practices for implementing integration testing with continuous integration:

1. The scope of extensive logging: A small piece of the application is tested by unit test as it has a specific scope. For this purpose, when unit tests fail, it’s easy to understand why and when it failed and then fix the problem. When it comes to integration testing, the scope is spanned across different software modules, taking into consideration hardware components and different devices in any functional flow. When the integration test fails, identifying the cause may be much more complicated.

The failure can be analyzed through exhaustive logging, wherein the problem can be identified correctly. Exhaustive logging may affect the performance, so it should be done only when there is a real requirement to utilize it.

2. Separate test suites must be maintained: Unit tests and integration tests should not run together. When the specific business logic in the code is worked upon by the developers, they must ensure that immediate feedback is obtained by running unit tests. If the test suite is consuming a lot of time and if they are not able to wait so that it can be finished before committing the code, then running tests (both unit tests and integration tests) can be stopped altogether.

If there is no proper maintenance of unit tests, then the efforts required to update the test suite with the code will cause real delays in delivery. When the test suites are separately maintained, running unit tests can be easily done by developers during development and also before any code commitment. The build server is used for the purpose of reserving integration tests in a separate test suite and thus it can run less frequently.

3. Unit testing should be performed after integration testing: The concept of the waterfall development model states that when defects are discovered in the later stages of the software development life cycle process then it becomes quite expensive to fix the issues. In this particular model, only when the current phase has been completely executed, the next phase can be initiated. But, when it comes to agile development, the scenario is totally different as it adopts a flexible approach, wherein changes can be made anytime in the business logic, which is necessary as the software development progresses.

4. Business logic should not be tested with integration testing: When there is confusion between unit tests and integration tests, running test suites can become quite complicated. For every build that is triggered in the CI environment, running unit tests becomes obvious because they are carried out at a much faster pace.

In the case of unit tests, the correctness of code is targeted, and so they are frequently run so that bugs can be detected early on in the business logic. The bug that has been introduced by the developer can fix it immediately. On the contrary, it takes much longer time to run integration testing and hence they should not be included in every build cycle.

Conclusion: If you are looking forward to implementing integration testing for your software development project, then do get connected with a premium software testing services company that will provide you with pragmatic testing solutions in line with your project specific requirements.

About the author: I am a technical content writer focused on writing technology specific articles. I strive to provide well-researched information on the leading market savvy technologies.

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Bethany Wilson

Bethany Wilson

Hi, this is Bethany. I’m working as Senior Software QA Tester with TestingXperts.