Why is Software Testing for Microservices so critical?
Posted: Nov 22, 2018
Businesses are finding the processing of real time data accessed by smartphones and other digital devices a herculean task. This is due to the increased load on conventional enterprise systems posed by such data leading to cost overruns on infrastructure and its maintenance. The rapidly changing dynamics of digital business has necessitated IT organizations to overhaul their application architectures. To address the demands of modern business, IT organizations are moving from the existing monolithic architecture of collaborating components to the one that is both discreet and modular.
In the latter, that is, the microservices architecture, individual services interact with each other remotely. To ensure these microservices perform to their optimum level, they should undergo a range of software testing exercise including unit testing, contract testing, integration testing, UI testing, and functional testing.
What is a microservice architecture?
In this type of architecture small individual application services that are scalable and functionally focused communicate with each other through well-defined interfaces and standard protocols. In other words, it is about developing single applications that often work independently of each other as a suite of small services. These use different storage technologies, programming languages, and have a minimum centralized management. The best part of microservices is their ability to be flexible, resilient, scalable, responsive, and tolerant to failures. The asynchronous communication of reactive applications offers a number of possibilities and copes well with the load variations of advanced digital systems.
Features of a microservice architecture
Responsive: The individual application services offer a responsive quality service in a timely and consistent manner. The architecture sets up reliable upper bounds while delivering robust outcomes.
Resilient: The services are tolerant to failures and even when there is a failure, they remain responsive and resilient. These characteristics are achieved by way of replication, isolation, and delegation.
Elastic: The services provided by the microservice architecture are responsive when faced with varying workloads. They alter the allocation of resources when there is a request to change the load.
Driven by message: The services communicate among each other asynchronously and separate the individual components by creating a boundary. The boundary helps to achieve isolation and containment in case of a failure and display location transparency.
Fast: The conventional software development architecture, even though stable, is inefficient and slow. It does not lend itself to market responsiveness so desired by the customers. However, the microservice architecture is comparatively faster thanks to its asynchronous mode of communication.
Portable: Microservices provide the benefit of portability akin to a virtual machine. Since the data transfer size of a packet is between 0.02GB and 2GB, it can easily get transferred even when the internet bandwidth is relatively slow. This helps to speed up the on-site development time and improve the interaction with clients.
Why is software testing for microservices so critical?
The digital transformation initiatives undertaken by businesses have made the latter’s workflows dependent on the use of software. Since the workflows can get disrupted by a malfunctioning software based on microservices architecture, microservices testing has becomes essential. Let us delve into the reasons why a microservices testing strategy has become the need of the hour.
Increased use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: Businesses are increasingly implementing AI and ML in their process workflows to predict capabilities. In an increasingly competitive business environment where knowledge is power, predicting customer behaviour, creating test automation scripts, and analysing service deliverables have become important. These are enabled by changing the conventional software architecture into a microservice architecture. A proper microservices testing framework would validate the implementation of AI and ML and ensure the services deliver the required outcomes.
Real time processing: Customers are increasingly gravitating toward products that offer instant delivery of services based on the real time processing of data. This puts an additional burden on the application thereby making it vulnerable to a shifting customer behaviour. Hence, the microservices testing approach
should test the functionality, usability, integration, performance, and security of the application suite.
Testing dependencies and interactions: For a complete app to function seamlessly, the individual microservices should be able to run independently and interact with each other through APIs. The software testing approach should not only check individual microservice but ensure when taken together, the suite of microservices delivers the expected outcomes. Thus, the microservices testing strategy should develop test scripts or routines to validate dependencies as well.
Microservices help processes to deliver outcomes according to customer preferences. They make an application run faster and retrieve huge quantum of data in real time. To ensure these operate successfully and meet the business objectives, a robust software testing approach should be adopted.
Diya works for Cigniti Technologies, Global Leaders in Independent Software Testing Services Company to be appraised at Cmmi-Svc v1.3, Maturity Level 5, and is also Iso 9001:2015 & Iso 27001:2013 certified.