Automation Testing on Cloud: Flexible, Scalable, Powerful

Embrace automation testing on the cloud for adaptable, scalable, and robust testing solutions, optimizing efficiency and effectiveness.

Cloud technologies have taken the world by storm, allowing people to save their resources and time significantly for computing needs. They eliminate the need to spend money, time, and effort on setting up and maintaining a physical infrastructure. As a result, most development companies are shifting to cloud technologies to improve their overall.

This rapid increase in the shift to cloud technologies has stimulated the adoption of automation testing on the cloud. It refers to utilizing cloud computing environments to test software solutions and their individual components for the intended functionality.

Cloud-based automation testing accelerates the software development process, allowing companies to shorten products’ time to market.

In this article, we aim to introduce you to automation testing on the cloud and its types, benefits, different tools, and major challenges.

Automation Testing on Cloud: Definition, Types, Process, Benefits, and Tools

Let’s discuss all about cloud-based test automation here. Starting with the definition:

What Is Automation Testing on the Cloud?

Cloud-based test automation is a software development method that uses cloud technology to accelerate testing and software releases.

This is accomplished by ‘spinning up’ test environments on-demand, allowing your software development teams to continuously develop, test, and release digital products without the need for new infrastructure. As a result, more test environments equal faster tests.

This is an excellent method for modernizing your software development, but it is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

If you’re testing your software on-premises and releasing it quickly enough to keep up with user demand, that’s fantastic; keep it up if your existing infrastructure provides enough test environments for your teams to fix bugs while also releasing new features. So that’s how you were.

Cloud-based test automation is ideal for teams looking to reduce testing cycles and increase release velocity. It has obvious advantages, but it can also present some difficulties.

Whether you move all of your testing to the cloud, combine it with your existing infrastructure, or keep all testing on-premises, it must be considered as part of your company’s software development strategy.

Whatever strategy you choose, you must ensure that keeping the lights on does not come at the expense of innovating and future-proofing your organization.

Cloud Testing Focuses on Essential Components Such As

  • Application: Testing includes functionality testing, end-to-end business workflows, data security, browser compatibility, and so on.
  • Network:This includes testing different network bandwidths, protocols, and the successful transfer of data over networks.
  • Infrastructure:This section includes disaster recovery testing, backups, secure connections, and storage policies. It will help if you ensure that you validate infrastructure for regulatory compliance.

Types of Automation Testing on the Cloud

Cloud computing offers unique possibilities for test automation, extending coverage beyond individual applications to the very platform itself. Here are four distinct approaches to automation testing on the cloud:

1. Cloud Infrastructure Testing

This approach assesses the overall functionality and performance of the underlying cloud platform, including scalability, elasticity, and resource management. Cloud vendors and large enterprises often undertake this type of testing to ensure the reliability and efficiency of their cloud infrastructure.

2. Cloud-Hosted Testing

This refers to utilizing cloud resources to execute traditional test automation, such as web UI or API testing. Leveraging the cloud’s scalability and elasticity allows you to run tests on multiple geographically distributed virtual machines, improving execution speed and parallel testing capabilities.

3. Cloud-Based SaaS Testing

For applications specifically delivered as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), automated testing focuses on both functional and non-functional aspects, including:

  • Functional testing: Validating core functionalities and user workflows
  • Non-functional testing: Evaluating performance, scalability, security, and compliance with relevant regulations.
  • Security testing: Identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities in the application and its cloud environment.

4. Hybrid Testing

This combines elements of the previously mentioned approaches. For example, you might use cloud-hosted testing for web UI automation while simultaneously performing performance testing on the underlying cloud infrastructure. Hybrid testing allows you to optimize your testing strategy based on specific needs and resources.

How To Do Automation Testing on the Cloud

Cloud-based automation testing has become a game-changer in the modern software development landscape. It offers benefits like increased test coverage, faster test execution, and access to a wider range of devices and browsers, ultimately leading to higher-quality software releases. So, how do you jump into the exciting world of cloud testing? Let’s break it down step-by-step:

1. Define Your Testing Needs

Before diving into tools and platforms, clearly define your automation goals. What software components need testing? What types of tests (functional, performance, security) are required? Understanding your needs will help you choose the right cloud-testing solution.

2. Choose Your Cloud Testing Platform

Research and compare popular cloud testing platforms like AWS Device Farm, Testgrid, etc. Consider factors like platform features, supported devices and browsers, pricing plans, and integration capabilities with your existing testing framework.

3. Set up Your Test Environment

Once you’ve chosen a platform, create a test environment within the cloud. This typically involves uploading your application under test, configuring necessary settings (browser versions, device types), and defining test scripts.

4. Develop Your Test Scripts

Choose your automation framework (Selenium, Cypress, etc.) and write automated test scripts to cover your chosen functionalities. Utilize features like page object model and data-driven testing for maintainability and scalability.

5. Execute and Monitor Your Tests

Trigger your test scripts on the cloud platform. Most platforms offer parallel execution capabilities to speed up your testing process. Monitor test results in real time, analyze logs and reports, and identify any bugs or errors.

6. Integrate With CI/CD Pipeline

For continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD), integrate your cloud testing tool with your CI/CD pipeline. This will automate the testing process as part of your development workflow, catching bugs early and ensuring faster releases.

Benefits of Automation Testing on the Cloud

1. Scalability

Cloud computing has always supported quickly scaling up IT resources as demand changes with minimal disruption. The same is true for cloud-based test automation.

As a result, organizations can increase or decrease their testing capabilities as test requirements change by automating the scaling of test execution using cloud infrastructure.

This solves a long-standing issue in software testing where conflicts arise when teams compete for limited resources.

What’s more important: releasing a much-desired feature or fixing a bug that’s causing problems with an existing version? This is an all-too-common issue when you have a limited number of test environments.

Teams can now spin up test environments for any story branch at the touch of a button and create whatever is required to test a new feature or fix a bug.

Your teams now have instant access to testing infrastructure without the limitations or delays associated with physical hardware or local installation.

2. Improved Collaboration

Cloud technology enables teams to collaborate on common goals, whether your coworkers are down the hall or halfway around the world.

By automating test execution in the cloud, your distributed Dev and QA teams can collaborate on the same products in real time, eliminating bottlenecks that have previously defined siloed teams.

Cloud-based test automation provides faster feedback loops, giving your teams better visibility across the CI/CD pipeline as well as actionable insights into how your SUTs perform.

This speeds up software deployment, giving your company a competitive advantage by bringing digital products to market faster than competitors.

3. Future-Proofing Your Business

Future-proofing your business is dependent on your employees having the time and energy to think of new ways to provide superior products to your customers. People waste too much time on repetitive tasks that they do not believe can be effectively automated.

Humans have traditionally been tasked with testing user journeys outside of the ‘happy paths’ that your test scripts can automate, as in exploratory testing. AI-guided exploratory testing vastly improves the test coverage of your app without requiring human intervention.

The increased levels of test automation enabled by automation testing on the cloud as it allows your teams to focus on other, more human-centric testing.

Accessibility and usability can be prioritized to ensure that your applications reach their full potential. You can also devote time to resilience testing, which will allow you to understand how well your applications and systems respond to and recover from stresses and shocks.

4. Reduced Costs

Another advantage of moving your test automation to the cloud is that it saves you money. Buying servers, data centers, and other physical hardware on your own is costly, not to mention the associated maintenance and labor costs to keep everything running.

And, if your company is rapidly expanding, the cost of provisioning new servers to meet ever-increasing testing requirements skyrockets.

All of the above are eliminated in cloud environments. In addition, your cloud service provider will cover all hardware, infrastructure, and maintenance costs, removing prohibitive upfront costs.

Because you can create numerous on-demand test environments in the cloud, you can dynamically adjust your testing capacity to meet your needs. In addition, the shortened release cycles enabled by cloud-based test automation boost your teams’ efficiency.

5. Parallelization

Cloud-based test automation improves test execution scalability. Parallelization allows testing teams to run multiple pre-configured test environments simultaneously, simulating various testing parameters of your systems under test (SUT).

This method enables multiple virtual machines to run different software versions of the same application.

Alternatively, the same software can be used on various devices, browsers, and operating systems. When tests in these environments are finished, the results are reported back, and the machines can be spun down and destroyed with no user data retained.

Automation Testing Tools for Cloud

A list of top automation testing tools for the cloud is as follows:

1. TestGrid

TestGrid is an AI-powered end-to-end cloud and on-premises testing platform. Ideal for high-velocity teams, it significantly improves testing efficiency with no-code automation. Whether it is mobile app testing or API testing, TestGrid is a one-stop testing solution.

Furthermore, the platform provides access to real browsers and devices for testing. Besides websites and applications, it supports scriptless automation testing for voice-enabled devices, like Google Home, Alexa, etc.

TestGrid provides a free Freemium plan, which includes 200 minutes per month for manual testing and an additional 200 minutes for scriptless automation. For details on other premium plans, please refer to the pricing page.

Features

  • Browser and mobile devices for scalability
  • Remote access browsers
  • Remote access to mobile devices for manual and automation testing
  • Virtual device USB
  • On-prem and hosted labs
  • Multi-OS and multi-browser testing
  • Higher device coverage index
  • 24×7 device availability

Benefits

  • Multiple teams can leverage the lab at the same time
  • Up to 40% less cost than your existing provider
  • Much less latency compared to other popular infra providers
  • Turn-key
  • Parallel execution of test scenarios on multiple devices at the same time
  • Adding or removing devices is easy and cost-effective per test cycle
  • Significant savings on capital expenses over a while

2. SOASTA CloudTest

Startups, agencies, and small to medium-sized businesses benefit the most from this solution.

CloudTest is available for free for 30 days. You can request a quote for pricing information.

SOASTA created CloudTest. It is a software testing tool that runs in the cloud. It tests the load and performance of mobile and web applications. It is possible to host it on one or more physical servers or in the cloud.

3. CloudSleuth

CloudSleuth is best for businesses. It is a Spring Cloud-compatible distributed tracing solution that will aid you in the capture of data in logs.

Spring cloud sleuth will function by incorporating two types of IDs: trace ID and span ID. The Span ID is used for the basic unit of work, such as sending an HTTP request.

Features

  • From a given trace, you will be able to extract all of the logs.
  • It will provide you with an abstraction for the most common distributed tracing data models.
  • Implements Spring applications’ common ingress and egress points

4. AppPerfect

Ideal for small to medium-sized businesses.

AppPerfect is a cloud-based software testing tool for Cloud Load Testing, Cloud Hosted Testing, and Cloud Security Testing. This cloud-testing framework will assist you in testing web applications on various browsers, hardware, and operating system combinations.

Features

  • It includes features for designing and recording test scripts, distributed testing, scheduling test execution over a cloud environment, viewing and exporting test results, and comprehensive reporting for cloud load testing.
  • It offers fully managed, on-demand, and scalable cloud-hosted testing.
  • It includes features for designing and recording test scripts, scheduling test execution in a cloud environment, viewing and exporting test results, comprehensive reporting, and more.
  • Cloud security testing includes cloud security compliance, encryption, business continuity, and disaster recovery capabilities.

5. Nessus

Best for security professionals.

Nessus provides a free trial. Nessus Pro is $4236 for a single year, $8260 for two years, and $12073 for three years.

A vulnerability assessment solution is Nessus Professional. It can provide visibility for your AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform accounts. In addition, it will give comprehensive vulnerability coverage.

Features

  • Plugins will be automatically and in real-time updated
  • It includes pre-configured policies and templates
  • The reports can be customized
  • Offline vulnerability assessment

Challenges in Cloud Testing

1. Data Protection and Privacy

Because cloud applications are multi-tenant in nature, the risk of data theft is always present. Therefore, suppliers should provide users with assurances about their data security as part of a cloud testing strategy.

2. Short Period of Notice

Existing customers are given a short notice period of (1-2 weeks) about upgrades from cloud providers. This is a significant issue when manually validating changes to your SaaS application.

3. Checking for Interface Compatibility

When a cloud service provider upgrades, the external interface is sometimes upgraded, which can be difficult for some subscribers who are used to the older interface.

Cloud (SaaS) subscribers must ensure that users can select the interface version they want to work with.

4. Data Transfer

Data migration from one Cloud provider to another is a massive challenge because the database schemas of both providers may be different, and it takes a lot of effort to understand the data fields, relationships, and how they are mapped across SaaS applications.

5. Integration of Enterprise Applications

Data integration validation of both outbound and inbound data from the client network to the SaaS application and vice versa is required for enterprise application integration.

Data privacy necessitates extensive validation to reassure SaaS subscribers about data security and privacy.

6. Simulating Real-World Upgrade Testing

The most difficult challenge in cloud testing is ensuring that live upgrades do not impact existing connected SaaS users.

7. Private Cloud

Private cloud networks are used by some businesses to strike a balance between the scalability of cloud technology and the security of on-premises solutions.

For example, your company could own and manage a private cloud, or it could exist off-site in a data center where you pay for dedicated machines.

This enables you to use parallelization and containerization to achieve faster software test automation while maintaining greater control over security protocols.

8. Ramp-up Time

To get the most out of cloud-based test automation, your teams will need to adjust their workflows, just like with any new technology.

That is why it is critical to properly plan your technology deployment, including ensuring that your people are adequately trained.

You’ll also need to consider how cloud testing will interact with on-premises testing to avoid and plan around potential bottlenecks.

Conclusion

Automation testing on the cloud has tons of benefits. Today, we are in a world where everything from gaming to storing data is moving to the cloud.

The cloud is the future, and the combination of automation testing and cloud is the best combination for faster and performing automation testing at scale.

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