Continuous deployment is a process of building, testing and deploying new versions of software frequently. This is done as code is being written and committed instead of pushing the changes all at once when all features are completed. To avoid failures while making these frequent changes to your live, production environments, it is imperative to have automated testing in place for quality control. After completion of build testing in a staging environment and production deployment, unit and functional tests should also be run continuously in production.
Here are a few reasons why we recommend continuously functional testing in production.
- Production and staging are different – While staging environments should theoretically be exact replicas of production, there are often many variations between the two in hardware, location, datasets and usage. These differences can alter the results of the tests and functionality.
- Scheduled tasks can cause intermittent errors – During normal usage, live environments change over time. Combinations of background jobs and scheduled tasks can produce results not accounted for in build testing.
- Real users working with real data – Real users act differently than test scripts, and you never know when one will log in to your app and push it past it’s limits.
- Your business runs in production – Your company’s revenue is affected when problems arise in production. Lowering production defects lowers churn in SaaS companies.
How should you get started with functional testing in production?
At Rigor, we recommend to begin with the most used functions (i.e. log in/out) and basic functions that access many technology silos (i.e. externally executing a search requires the network, web server, application and database to all be functioning correctly). Once the basics are covered, you can expand to more elaborate test from there.
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