Many people consider Continuous Integration (CI) and test automation a game-changing combination for development. That's why companies are making the move to include this methodology in their test automation setup. Why has CI become more popular? Briefly, at its core, Continuous Integration helps ensure that a build is verifiable. This method helps developers determine whether or not a build is ready and if they can move on to the next step of the process. Test automation makes it simple to determine this and get results quickly.
Good software testing practices and Continuous Integration now share a link. When building, testing and releasing software is a collaborative process, results improve across the board. One of the most popular ways to implement this method is by using Jenkins. Wondering what this tool is and how it fits in with CI? In this post, we'll take a look at how Jenkins supports test automation.
What is Continuous Integration?
Before we jump into how Jenkins supports test automation, it's important to understand the role that Continuous Integration (CI) plays. CI is a development methodology where the developers commit changes to source code in a shared repository. This typically takes place several times a day. The benefit is that it enables teams to find and resolve issues early in the development process.
There are many tools teams can use to implement Continuous Integration. Depending on what they choose, there are also other functions developers can take advantage of such as using test servers and providing teams with test results.
CI became a best practice method because of how much it improves the final product. Most of the time, software developers work in isolation. After they complete their work and make changes, they need to integrate those changes with work done by the rest of the team. This process is usually drawn out, and the end result is conflicts that developers have to resolve and less productivity overall.
Continuous Integration helps to eliminate these problems. The CI method ensures that bugs can be found and fixed early in the development process. When you use test automation with CI, it also ensures that builds are consistent.
What is Jenkins?
Jenkins is an open source automation server written in Java. It has an extensive plugin ecosystem built for Continuous Integration.
Jenkins’ base concept is the definition of job execution. Its architecture lends itself to innovation. There are many plugins available and that amount is always increasing. You'll also find many options when it comes to features, variety overall and the support of third-party tools.
One of the other reasons Jenkins is so popular is because it has a lot of power behind it. Jenkins offers tons of functionality that is hard to come across elsewhere. The best part in the eyes of many is that the complexity of the project and pipeline doesn't impact the performance of this tool.
Using Jenkins, you can customize the pipeline and your approach. Jenkins is user-friendly and its plugin ecosystem simplifies the integration process with other frameworks or tools you may be using.
Advantages of Using Jenkins
There are several advantages that you should consider if you're thinking about using Jenkins. Here's a look at some of the core advantages and benefits you can expect.
By Developers, For Developers
This tool was created by developers, for developers. That's one of the primary reasons why it's so popular and developers love using it. It was built with the features that working developers need and the continuing innovation happens with them in mind.
Jenkins has a number of plugins in its database. All these plugins make Jenkins even more powerful and this adds to the number of reasons this tool is so beneficial for developers. As technology continues to evolve, Jenkins continues to support and add plugins to its database.
Go Cloud Native
Jenkins supports cloud environments, including the ability to build cloud-native applications. This gives developers more options to create and access additional services via the cloud.
Jenkins is managed by the community of users and this community is easy to access. They hold public meetings every month to get feedback. On the homepage of their website, Jenkins also highlights upcoming events for their community.
Continuous Integration With Jenkins
Jenkins is the most popular CI tool for good reason. Jenkins makes it easy to facilitate the technical aspects behind CI to help teams be more productive in their process. Curious about how it works? Here's a quick overview of what Jenkins jobs look like in practice:
Here, you specify the job or project name and add a description. This is also where you can add in any parameters for the jobs you're executing and configure log rotation.
Source Code Management
Next, you input your source code repository URL in the Jenkins CI server.
Now, you can define and schedule when to complete a job. This can be based on a specific timeline you have with other jobs or after a change is made.
This is where you will choose options based on the environment that you execute the build in. You can choose things like when to abort the build and add time-out actions.
This is a critical step because it has a massive impact on the execution of the job. The option you choose here will depend on which plugins you install and use.
Lastly, you can configure how to report the results of a job. This will allow you to send email updates on the status of the job and set up notifications.
Jenkins is ideal for large development projects where customization is key. Fortunately, Jenkins is easy to customize thanks to that large library of plug-ins.
How Jenkins Supports Test Automation
Now that we've taken a look at how CI and Jenkins fit together, you may be wondering how test automation fits into the picture. Next, we'll cover some of the specific features that Jenkins has and how Jenkins supports test automation. Here are three major benefits you can expect when using Jenkins to support test automation.
Scheduling Test Automation
Using Jenkins, developers can spend less time and effort on testing or managing test automation. Since Jenkins is free, easy to use and user-friendly, developers are able to get up and running in very little time. Following installation, testers can schedule and run test automation cases when they're ready and then dedicate their time to other tasks.
Details on Test Failure
Understanding the cause of a test failure is critically important for developers. Jenkins provides details on a test failure to give developers more insight. Using Jenkins, you can easily access the details on a test failure in one click. Once you navigate to these details you'll find the error message and information surrounding the test failure. This gives developers the opportunity to sort out complex issues they may not have seen before testing. They also gain the opportunity to dig into the reason behind the failure.
Summaries and Result Trends
Jenkins provides both test summaries and information on result trends. On the test result trend graph, users can see what test results look like over time and gain more insight on how to move forward. Test summaries give specific information on the number of tests, how long they took to execute and other information that can play a role in total productivity.
Jenkins is a great choice if you're ready to jump into test automation. It works well with the CI methodology and helps your team complete the testing process more quickly. There's a reason why Jenkins is one of the most popular tools available. It packs everything that companies need to support test automation into one highly functional tool.
Automating testing empowers your team and allows them to be more confident in the work that they do because they can quickly see the results. Jenkins makes it easy to execute this type of testing. Jenkins extensive feature set provides companies with a tremendous advantage. When you couple that with the fact that Jenkins continues to evolve to keep up with the industry, it's a no-brainer to go this route.
This blog explored what Jenkins is, how it fits in with the Continuous Integration and the reasons you should consider using Jenkins to support test automation. We hope that this information inspires you to explore the best tools for your upcoming projects. We know that using the right tools can make the development process go more smoothly.
How Functionize integrates with Jenkins
At Functionize, integration with Jenkins will allow you to execute your deployments and test cases from your build pipeline in Jenkins. A simple API call will be made to Functionize, which will then trigger the execution of the test cases on Functionize, as well as sending the results back to the Jenkins instance.
Learn more about functionize Integrations.