As anyone who works in digital design and build knows, even the best code can sometimes cause glitches. When we’re designing and building digital experiences, we (rightfully so) put the end user at the forefront of our decision making, but this often means that we forget about the importance of the experience for content editors.
There is nothing more frustrating for a busy content editor than for them to log in in to their organization’s web experience platform, only to discover that functionality that worked perfectly fine the day before, is now broken. This can cause major productivity and efficiency issues, which can impact the success of marketing campaigns and slow your organization down.
Quality Assurance and Testing is a vital part of any deployment but, even with the best intentions, sometimes errors slip through the net. But there is a way to mitigate the risk. Automated testing can prevent problematic updates from ever being deployed, reducing the risk of content management workflows from ever being impacted.
Key Benefits of Automated Testing
There are multiple business benefits of automated testing. The general rule is that the sooner you find a bug, the easier (and cheaper) it is to fix. Stakeholders can be reassured that critical errors will be caught and resolved early enough for them not to reach live sites.
From a people perspective, the positive impact is far reaching. From making the lives of content editors easier, to ensuring QA and Testing consultants are focussing on more complex issues, through to improving the customer experience as improvements are rolled out quickly and efficiently.
Internal communication channels are improved as coders, designers and product owners can all access key information about the testing cycle at any given time, and rectify glitches immediately.
From a process perspective, manual testing has its limitations. They can usually only be performed within working hours, which means there is unused time available that automated testing can fill. Automated tests are self-sufficient and can be run 24/7 with the results reviewed as often as needed.
The quality of the testing process can also be ensured. Testers may have different approaches, experience and expertise; with automation, you are guaranteed an equal focus and higher coverage across all areas of testing, assuring the highest quality of results.
The main business benefits are improved efficiency and reduced costs. While it requires initial investment, it will save money in the long term. The reduction in time required to run tests, the higher quality of work produced, and the faster time-to-market will all positively impact your profit margins.
How to get started with Test Automation
Dept has developed an end-to-end test automation suite for SDL Tridion Sites, covering application code, CMS/Content APO and Client-Side tests. Here we explain how we set it up.
The suite utilizes multiple, third party systems to ensure a seamless, automated test workflow:
- SonarQube – open source platform that enables the continuous inspection of code quality;
- Cobertura – a free Java tool identifies which parts of your Java program are lacking test coverage;
- Cucumber – an open source tool that runs automated acceptance tests based on business readable specifications;
- Apiary Dredd – a language agnostic command-line tool for testing API documentation against its back-end implementation;
- Ghost Inspector – enables automated UI testing and monitoring;
- Jenkins – an open source automation server written in Java;
- Docker Hub – a cloud-based registry service which allows you to link to code repositories;
- Slack – a cloud-based team collaboration team.
Here’s how we use these systems across the automated testing process:
Although it sounds complicated, the workflow is pretty simple. The below workflow diagram helps to visualize how all the tests work together in practice:
In practice, this automated testing suite results in reductions of cost, time and effort. It enables consistency, speedier results and maximizes productivity for content management teams.
Ultimately, it helps to increase revenue, due to the smooth-running of deployment. Profit margins improve as teams can spend their time focusing on driving results, as opposed to being impeded by website glitches and broken functionality.
Contact Dept to find out how we can help you build an Automated Test Suite.