Using standardization and automation to facilitate DevOps testing in multi-code environments

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Milan Shetty, CEO, Rocket Software

In today’s volatile markets, flexible and adaptive business operations have become a necessity to keep up with ever-changing customer and industry demands. To remain resilient to change and rapidly deliver innovative experiences and offerings, organizations have introduced DevOps testing into their infrastructures. DevOps environments give development teams the flexibility and structure they need to improve productivity and implement early and often “left-shift” testing to ensure application optimization.

While DevOps testing ecosystems require cloud technologies, DevOps modernization software has enabled enterprises using mainframe infrastructure to successfully implement DevOps testing processes in multi-code environments. However, implementing DevOps into mainframe infrastructure can be nearly impossible for companies that do not properly standardize and automate testing processes before implementation.

The problem with unstructured manual testing processes

The benefits of DevOps testing are increased speed and flexibility. To fully unlock the potential of these benefits and ensure a successful DevOps implementation, organizations must work to unify testing operations and eliminate any performance threats well in advance of implementation.

While it’s important to give developers the tools they’re comfortable with, businesses operating in multi-code environments should avoid processes that require multiple vendors or lack integration. Operations that force development teams to jump from software to software to complete tasks create a complex testing environment that can slow down processes and create a disconnect between teams and departments.

Manual testing also creates barriers to DevOps optimization. While manual processes will continue to play an essential role in quality testing (QA), the potential for human error and the tedious, time-consuming tasks associated with manual testing make it impossible to create the speed and accuracy required for DevOps testing. And, if your testing is done using a specific developer script, you’re likely not capturing key metrics to improve the software development lifecycle, like how the code changes the database. DevOps and a true left-shift test environment require structure and flexibility in all operations, which can only be achieved through standardization and automation.

Enhance testing with standardized and automated processes

To ensure a successful DevOps implementation, businesses must begin with a complete audit of their current operations and value stream—all the activities necessary to transform a customer’s request or need into a product or service. By doing this, teams can identify which software or processes are creating outages or slowing down operations, and where automation can be integrated to improve speed and accuracy.

A selection of vendors that offer user-friendly, code-agnostic and highly comprehensive DevOps frameworks enable teams to create a central point of visibility, reporting and collaboration for processes. This standardized approach eliminates disconnection between teams, minimizes logging, and provides teams with a common means of quickly making, documenting, and testing changes to code and applications. Integrating systems and operations into a single DevOps environment allows development and QA teams to easily track and schedule testing time across departments.

From there, development teams should aim to automate as much of the testing process as possible. Using test automation allows teams to implement automated, continuous testing that eliminates human error and ensures that all errors are resolved before production. Teams can create multiple test environments and processes, such as unit testing, integration testing, and regression testing. Standardization allows multiple codes to be tested with greater predictability and by different people—reducing reliance on multiple talented developers and creating a more stable production phase.

Development teams can also create knowledge bases of automated test patterns to quickly deploy and adjust to meet new and evolving testing needs. And using automated DevOps tools, teams can configure the software with controls that automatically test and validate any new coding introduced into the environment to quickly identify and fix any code bugs or application changes.

The future of mainframes and DevOps testing

A recent Rocket survey of more than 500 US IT professional companies found that mainframe more than half of companies (56%) say that the mainframe still makes up the majority of their IT infrastructure due to its security and reliability. With highly integrative and intuitive software for modernizing DevOps, multi-code environments can take advantage of increased productivity and enhanced innovation through continuous left-shift testing methods.

Just as the mainframe continues to modernize, so does DevOps software. DevOps testing software in the future will use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies to further strengthen and optimize the testing environment. Such organizations Rocket software are working to develop technologies that use artificial intelligence to learn about testing processes to help teams identify where testing is needed and what needs to be tested more precisely. ML software will be used to track relationships in the test environment to identify patterns that help teams predict future testing needs and take a more proactive approach.

As agility and speed become more important in today’s digital marketplace, the ability for teams working in multi-code environments to implement DevOps testing into operations will become increasingly necessary. Businesses that standardize processes and use automation during testing will set their teams up for success. By creating structured and flexible DevOps test environments, teams will drive innovation and increase speed to market to help their business move forward and stay ahead of the competition.

To learn more about Rocket Software’s DevOps tools and solutions, visit Rocket DevOps product page.

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