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Why Modern Testing Requires Orchestrations

Test orchestrations are necessary for modern teams who want to test faster. See how Functionize orchestrations help you plan your tests in bulk.

April 7, 2022
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Test orchestrations are necessary for modern teams who want to test faster. See how Functionize orchestrations help you plan your tests in bulk.
Test orchestration: Keeping your automated testing in tune
Test orchestration should be a key element of any modern test automation strategy. Mature testing teams automate tests en masse and will need an intuitive way to group reusable tests for execution.

Functionize provides a powerful feature called orchestrations. Once tests are grouped together, you can configure your orchestrations to improve your testing strategy. Here, we show how Functionize helps you orchestrate tests and manage them at-scale. 

Test Orchestration - the 'Building Blocks' of Testing

Test orchestration can be boiled down to one core concept. It is a testing approach for creating a set of automated tasks. Tasks are grouped and scheduled to run linearly in a certain order, one after the other.

We can better explain orchestration in a couple ways. The first is to take the term at face value. An orchestra is a collection of instruments, led by a conductor, all working together to create a harmonious piece of music. Carried over to our needs, we can think of orchestration as a set of tests working together to optimize software testing. Each test is an "instrument," and test orchestration is the conductor.

Another way to understand test orchestration is to think of it as the "building blocks" of automated testing. An orchestration takes the building blocks - automated tests - and puts them together to optimize the total test plan. As a result, an orchestration represents the "bigger picture," whether you’re grouping tests for an end-to-end smoke suite or a full regression. Orchestrations are absolutely critical to the successful deployment of modern software since you can run tests and analyze results in bulk.

Why You Need a Test Orchestration Strategy

Orchestrating tests does not have to be difficult. With a low-code test automation solution like Functionize, you can create automated tests without the need for code. This means you can transition your manual tests to automated ones fairly quickly. Once you have a library of automated tests, orchestrating tests is simple. You will want to plan your tests using some basic principles of test optimization. To orchestrate tests successfully, it will help to collaborate with your team to understand how tests are organized. It will help to discuss how test plans will be reused from release to release. For example, you may use folders or tags to group tests initially for smoke or regression. Then, you can use those flags to find the tests to build your orchestration.

Unsurprisingly, there are many benefits to creating a master plan using orchestrations. Here are some of the benefits of orchestrating tests:

  • Shortened testing time through optimization and reusability
  • Reduced cloud infrastructure costs in the long term
  • Accelerated deployment of new features
  • Decreased DevOps time for setting up and maintaining infrastructure
  • Enablement of true continuous testing to find bugs earlier

Functionize includes several features that make orchestrating tests even more powerful:

1. Grouping tests for parallel/sequential execution: 

With sequential testing, each test has to be executed one after another in subsequent order. Consequently, the next test doesn't begin until the preceding test is completed. This type of execution is handy when you have subsequent tests that depend on the previous tests being run successfully. 

Parallel testing, on the other hand, allows multiple tests to be run concurrently to shorten the overall test execution time. While parallel testing significantly speeds up testing time, there are times when it's critical to use sequential testing. For example, tests related to customers setting up accounts on eCommerce websites and completing their profiles must be done sequentially before tests related to making purchases.

With Functionize, you can run multiple tests from different projects, set the test execution run order, and better organize test groups. These orchestrations can be executed with thousands of tests running in parallel, from anywhere in the world on any browser, including mobile browsers. 

Functionize also lets you create single or grouped orchestrations. With a single orchestration, there can be one "bucket" of tests to be executed in parallel or sequentially. With grouped orchestration, there can be multiple buckets. This means you can execute tests in parallel or sequentially in a more granular way. For example: you want your smoke tests group to run sequentially before running through the rest of your regression tests in parallel. This allows you to save an enormous amount of testing time with parallel execution, while still ensuring that prerequisite workflows are followed in the correct sequential order.

2. Running your tests with TDM for data-driven testing: 

Test data management is a critical approach to incorporate into your testing. Parameterizing your tests with different data inputs helps you cover more real-world scenarios and better find bugs. If you test software against poor data, there will likely be problems once your applications are put into production. You can avoid this by testing your applications using data that is as comparable as possible to the actual data that will be entered by end-users. 

Functionize helps you incorporate data-driven testing by providing a native TDM solution. You can either import data using spreadsheets or connect to an external database to query for data inputs. Then, plan your orchestrations using the TDM data and select the datasets you wish to run. This allows you to use a single set of tests but test across multiple data variations, saving you time from creating duplicate tests.

3. Sending execution results to your test management tool: 

Integrating your test automation with your test management platform allows you to consolidate automated and manual test results in a single place. This centralized view is critical for organizations that have multiple testing teams and wish to track their automation progress. Functionize integrates with multiple test management solutions including Xray and TestRail.

Test management solutions are great for creating manual tests and planning which tests are candidates for automation. Once a test is ready to be automated, you can create the automated test in Functionize and link it to the original manual test in Xray or TestRail. When you create an orchestration with these linked tests, the automated test results are passed into the test management system, allowing greater visibility into automation results. 

Conclusion

Functionize is a powerful solution for orchestrating tests. Not only does it use machine learning to create and maintain automated tests, it also comes with the built-in tools necessary to orchestrate these tests in bulk, whether it’s planning tests for sequential or parallel execution, data-driving your tests with TDM, or passing results into test management tools for more transparency. See for yourself how orchestrating tests improves your testing process and sign up for a demo.