Software development teams across the globe are quickly embracing microservices to make feature integration and changes a breeze. Although the architecture makes it easy for cross-functional teams to develop and deploy new services and updates independently, it also necessitates continuous and robust testing for optimal results.
Read on as we deep dive into top microservices testing strategies and best practices that can help you scale your products easily, improve fault tolerance, and simplify the underlying codebase.
The Right Strategies Can Lead to the Right Outcomes
Today's software-driven world demands faster time-to-market at reduced costs. This has made microservices the gold standard for enabling a quicker transformation, allowing the teams to make quick and dependable changes to software and deploy them near-instantaneously in the real world.
By enabling and streamlining the new feature changes and updates, microservices empower organizations to align themselves to address rapidly changing business requirements.
However, microservices architecture is made up of different systems and subsystems, with several services interacting with each other simultaneously. Such complex structures require extreme oversight and monitoring — which means continuous and rigorous testing.
The lack of proper testing can cause teams to lose control over microservices-based projects. For instance, scalability issues that stem from poor maintenance of code and insufficient testing can cause the project to derail, adding to extra time and costs.
Unlike monolithic applications where a single codebase has to be tested, test managers need to employ an entirely different approach for microservices testing.
Establishing the Right Microservices Testing Strategies
In microservices-based applications, there are several facets to testing: from individual component testing to testing the communication between services, the security of each service, data consistency and synchronization, failovers, dependencies, and more.
To ensure every aspect of a microservices architecture functions properly, it is essential to establish the right microservices testing strategies that can deliver better customer experiences much faster. The right strategies can ensure:
- Complex monolithic applications are efficiently broken down into smaller modules and deployed independently of other modules.
- Teams have good test coverage and more confidence in the code they build and deploy in their continuous delivery pipeline.
- Numerous moving parts and supporting services are constantly functioning in the right manner.
- Individual components work appropriately in isolation as well as when integrated with other components as part of the more extensive application.
- There is sufficient coordination between teams, and test suites are built, implemented, and layered properly.
Best Practices to Follow
As software development teams shift towards services-based architectures, microservices allow them to independently deploy, scale and maintain software components and parallelize development across multiple teams.
However, for the best outcomes, teams need to establish the right testing strategies and embrace best practices that make it easy to manage the complexity of multiple independently deployable components. Here are five microservices testing best practices to adopt:
- Shift Testing Left
While testing microservices, teams need to take the 'shift-left' testing approach. They should functionally test:
- The entire application via end-to-end testing
- Each service individually via unit and component testing and
- Communication between services via integration testing
This is to ensure that each component functions well in isolation as well as when integrated with other components of the more extensive system.
- Enable Automation
Automating microservices testing is a great way to ensure independent components and the software as a whole function properly. By automating the testing process, you can not only accelerate the time it takes to run test scripts each time a service refreshes but also focus on monitoring performance and assessing the impact of every change you make.
- Test Across Different Setups
While testing microservices, it is also advisable to test the application across different setups – much like cross-browser testing for web applications. The idea is to expose code to minor variations ranging from simple code changes to hardware updates and more.
- Monitor Metrics
Since microservices architecture allows for changes to be made quickly and easily, it is essential to monitor different metrics to ensure changes happen smoothly. From error rates to service load and app responsiveness to API performance, tracking and monitoring metrics can minimize the negative impact of code changes while ensuring each service is updated correctly.
- Ensure Proper Documentation
With multiple people working on building and deploying microservices applications, it is crucial to maintain proper testing documentation. Writing and maintaining documentation for each service can give teams a real-time view of the different changes, challenges, and dependencies of each change.
Microservices architecture allows teams to overcome the limitations of traditional monolithic architectures, minimize complexity, improve scalability, and reduce cycle times. Since each individual service has a focused scope and an independent lifecycle, it allows for quicker implementation of new features and changes.
But for microservices to really make an impact, establishing the right testing strategies and embracing best practices is extremely vital to ensure multiple services work together as a unified system and provide value to customers.
Testing teams need to carry out different types of testing ranging from unit, component, integration, and end-to-end testing to establish high coverage and ensure different services work well together and are devoid of any interface defects.
Connect with us to learn more about how to test microservices-based applications to realize better returns on your application development initiatives.