The world of tech is rapidly evolving, and developers are against the clock when it comes to creating innovative and flawless products that can keep up with the competition. For DevOps teams to work with the speed and accuracy necessary to make this happen, they have to utilize all the tools at their disposal to catch bugs and streamline the procedures leading to product deployment.

Test automation has led to massive improvements in product quality and development efficiency. And test orchestration takes automation one step further by enabling higher-level, yet more finely tuned management of the testing process as a whole. Read on to learn why effective test orchestration is necessary for a successful automation strategy.

What Is Test Orchestration?

Test orchestration vs. automation is confusing to many. Both are extremely important in the testing environment, but there are important differences.

A vast number and variety of tests can be automated, and your team likely already automates many — or most — tests. But the assortment and sequence of tests that must be run for each product can vary depending on the product, your budget, and the results of the tests themselves.

Furthermore, although your tests may run automatically, they likely still need to be started manually when their time comes. Test orchestration involves defining the tests that will be run on each software product and in what order. It also allows you to automate the sequence for continuous testing and adjust the process depending on several types of dynamic inputs, like shifting budgets or deadlines or unexpected test results.

Using Test Orchestration for Successful Automation

Building an automation strategy into your development cycle will minimize your testing time compared with manual testing procedures as it allows you to run tests simultaneously.

When tests are done manually, the test analytics can take a while to compile. Automatic orchestration feeds into these analytics automatically, both speeding up the process and limiting human error while still allowing you to verify the data after the tests have been run.

Many different tests can be run on new software, including unit tests, integration tests, and functional tests. Creating a testing strategy using test orchestration — especially with a company that specializes in testing automation, like Ranorex — will limit the time your team spends on these tests and make the process more efficient.

What Are the Benefits of This Testing Process?

Automatic orchestration has been called the future of software testing and is crucial for the success of the automation process. The following benefits and abilities of automatic orchestration clearly illustrate its important role.

Catch Issues and Vulnerabilities Early

One of the most significant benefits of test orchestration is that it allows tests to be run continuously — and, therefore, earlier and more rapidly. Faster and earlier testing means that you’ll be able to catch any security vulnerabilities early on, leaving you more time to fix them before they affect the rest of the development process.

Development teams receiving continuous delivery of errors can fix them more efficiently because they won’t be as focused on developing manual tests. Test orchestration leaves testers with more time to find solutions to these errors.

Run Multiple Testing Methods at Once

Several different types of tests are used to ensure functionality during the software testing life cycle, including:

  • Unit tests
  • Integration tests
  • Functional tests
  • End-to-end tests
  • Smoke tests

Unit tests check small pieces of code for any bugs in the software. The size of the code snippets tested with unit tests makes checking all of the code in a system this way incredibly time-intensive. Unit tests are valuable, but when they’re performed manually, you can only realistically use them to check parts of a project instead of the whole thing.

Integration tests check that the components of a program work well together. This allows you to see if there’s anything that will block the function of another component. These tests intersect with functional testing, but they don’t overlap entirely. Functional tests check if the functions for end users are working as they were designed to.

End-to-end tests check the software just as a user would from start to finish to ensure that it will function when used in real-world settings. This kind of testing can be especially expensive to perform due to how innately extensive it is.

Smoke testing quickly checks the basic functions of your application. These tests focus on one element at a time and are used to ensure that there aren’t major mistakes. Before broader, more expensive testing is done, you can use a smoke test to verify that the software is ready for this step.

Not all of these tests will be compatible with automated testing, but many of them are. Test orchestration allows you to run more than one of these tests simultaneously and even combine testing methods for far more thorough testing than is possible with manual or partially automated procedures.

Increase Development of Test Pipelines

A substantial focus of test orchestration is building comprehensive test pipelines that provide a clear path for your automated testing to follow. Investing in the development of these pipelines provides the foundation for the speed and accuracy improvements that will follow.

Moreover, because the testing process is accelerated, the DevOps team can spend more time on improving these test pipelines. This positive feedback loop provides a large advantage for any development team.

Automation Testing Coverage

Testing coverage is quick to fall to the wayside when time runs out on a project. Sometimes, there just isn’t enough time to test each component and function of a new piece of software before the delivery or deployment date.

Test orchestration improves testing coverage because more tests can be conducted in smaller windows of time, resulting in a much lower likelihood that you’ll have to make the tough decision to leave something out. And, of course, improving the testing coverage further improves the quality of your applications before they head out to market.

Why Your Team Needs Test Orchestration

Test orchestration simplifies and accelerates your testing procedure, streamlining development and allowing your team to focus on the aspects of testing that require their expertise.

Automation of Unit Tests

In the past, time constraints made it nearly impossible to perform unit tests on many of the functions of your software. Unit tests search for flaws in such small pieces of code that they would have required the attention of everyone on the testing team.

Test orchestration enables you to automate these unit tests so your team can run multiple tests at once. This automation strategy lets you perform unit tests with the same accuracy but on a much larger scale, leaving no code snippet unchecked.

Your team will be able to find and fix many more flaws in the code, meaning fewer bugs throughout the rest of the development cycle and — most importantly — in your final products.

Validate Performance Testing Successes and Failures

This testing method will help validate the testing successes and failures that your team has already encountered during the development process. The only difference is that you’ll be able to work on many tests all at the same time and find mistakes more rapidly.

Because a lot of your team’s time will be freed up by limiting the need for manual testing, they’ll be able to focus on fixing errors, ensuring that the code is free of bugs, and running manual tests when necessary.

Is Manual Testing Still Needed?

The automated orchestration process is not designed to eliminate testers and developers. Instead, it’s meant to make their jobs easier and ensure that their creations can perform at the highest level possible.

More complex tests will still need to be done manually. The DevOps team will have to decide which tests are suitable for automated testing and which need to be done manually.

The automated orchestration process allows testers to leave a lot of repetitive tests in the hands of software, freeing them up to do more complex tests that require human input. As another example, it wouldn’t make sense to automate a one-off test that won’t need to be repeated, so it would still be best to do it manually.

Utilize Quality Software for Stronger Testing

Creating your own automated tests and a test orchestration could consume just as much time and money as continuing to run your tests manually. Partnering with a company with experience and knowledge in automated testing software can save you the headache and get you to where you need to be.

Ranorex offers tools to help testing teams with all of their automated testing needs. Contact Ranorex today to find out how testing orchestration can streamline your testing process and get a free demonstration of what Ranorex can do for you.