Artificial Intelligence

WannaCry, Petya/NOPetya cyberattacks, cybercrime, ransomware cyberthreats, virus are some of the buzzwords that were at its peak till last week as shown on Google trends. While some experts are predicting this a role play for something “BIG” to come, the firms, government, institutions, organizations, hospitals are looking for measures to protect themselves against the next attack. Could they?

The famous quote by Callimachus is worth remembering here –

Set a thief to catch a thief!

Artificial Intelligence

There are ideally two ways to help your firm against these attacks. One was to gear up your resources and train them to be ethical hackers if you missed our last post on How Testers need to be ethical hackers do read it here. The next innovative way is to use technology against these attacks by using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning as surveillance tools and guard systems against any immoral activities. If you are keen to know how? Let’s dive in to find out–

How Could Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Stop Cyberthreats?

According to Gartner Research, the total market for all security will surpass $100B in 2019. As the world welcomes AI and ML with open hands, the technologies are sure to make an impact on cyber security. AI and ML are capable of predicting, preventing breaches at all level of software architecture making it just the perfect choice to detect anomalies.As per Cylance report – With efficacy rates at 99%, artificial intelligence and machine learning applied at the endpoint protects at levels never before seen.

AI- ML as a Surveillance Tool

It’s a tedious and mundane job for a human to scrutinize the logs and look for any suspicious activity, however with an AI-powered tool checking of logs and pointing to something random or susceptible would be an easy job. Just, for example, multiple logins across various devices from the same IP or someone with brute force is attempting to get into the system. These kinds of anomalies could be pointed out by an AI-powered system which then could be taken by a human to decide if it’s legitimate or illegitimate attempt.

As per Wired News – A system called AI2, developed at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, reviews data from tens of millions of log lines each day and pinpoints anything suspicious. A human takes it from there, checking for signs of a breach. The one-two punch identifies 86 percent of attacks while sparing analysts the tedium of chasing bogus leads.

Another Finnish Firm F-secure is combining the power of humans and machines in providing the best cyber security solutions to its clients. The most important factor in cyber security is time, as once the systems are breached the response needs to be immediate. For most the firms, it takes months to discover the breach itself, leave the response. Hence F-secure are offering solutions that could perform behavioral analytics using Machine learning and highlights the breach and anomalies in a real-time basis.

AI-ML - Predict, Analyse, and Act

An innovative way to predict cyber threats in modern times is via cyber security analytics. The analytics helps in getting insights about a “probable planned attack” before it happens. Once that data is gathered it’s time to act and prevent systems from Data Theft, Fraud or Data Deletion.

A firm LogRhythm with its solution offers Threat Lifecycle Management, Behaviour Analytics, Network, Endpoint, and Cybercrime detection, which is based on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. In fact, Bill Taylor-Mountford, Vice President of LogRhythm, describes cybersecurity analytics as an “a smart machine that is always watching the data in your company. A machine that can filter out the white noise and look for the ones with unusual blips on the screen, the one browsing outside of their baseline.” Once the white noise is filtered out, it would be easy for Analysts to act and take preventive actions against cyber threats.

The combination of maths and science has the power to predict and stop threats like WannaCry, Petya, but does the firms trust their capabilities? Only time will tell, but cyber security solutions powered by AI and ML are indeed simple, scalable silent and efficient enough! It’s worth trying… Would you?

References:
#1    #2    #3    #4

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API Testing, API Testing Automation

The $13.7 billion acquisition of the Whole Foods Market by Amazon is shaping a dynamic platform that channels diverse services and processes. By leveraging Cloud and APIs, Amazon is offering technologies and process innovations beyond the confines of the organizations. Digital connectivity and new age technology trends is amplifying the significance of Application Program Interfaces (APIs) – intensifying the need for API Testing. A well-programmed API helps build a program smoothly by developing the building blocks for the programmer to weave together.

APIs comprise a set of routines, protocols, and tools for developing software applications. APIs are also used for GUI; some of the popular API examples are Google Maps API, YouTube APIs, Twitter APIs, and Amazon Product Advertising API. These APIs mainly help developers to integrate various functionalities within the websites or applications. For instance, Google Maps API facilitates developers to embed Google Maps on webpages.

API Testing, API Testing Automation

Implications of API spill for businesses

Practically, if you intend to extend any kind of innovative services or facilities to your customers, APIs are indispensable.Whether it is extending an ecommerce platform to your merchants, or offering a range of activities across a single integrated platform; APIs make it feasible. They facilitate easier interface with the target audience by enabling connectivity and supporting developers to work on new products and enhance customer experience.

The financial services industry holds massive amount of customer data. APIs support them to extend new tools to their business partners and employees to streamline operations and data. At an enterprises level, APIs are used within enterprise applications to obtain details about customers/partners.

However, very less thought is given to the security around the API. This could incur risks.

The surface for API attacks is pretty large, where the applications are segmented into micro-services with a large number of interfaces. This can expose the applications to external attacks, leading to leak of sensitive data.The risk is valid for any and every application – financial services, banking, or ecommerce. Exposure of business-critical or customer-sensitive data is a major concern for enterprises and business today.

In this way, Hackers, internal threats, and bad bots can pose a threat to your API security on every single day. In 2013, Snapchat’s API was hacked by an Australian hacker group and published. This exposed the user’s phone numbers, display names, usernames, and private accounts. The API exposure and publication could even get handy for someone to create the Snapchat clone and gather information of millions of users.

Why is API Security Testing so critical?

APIs can drastically reduce the time required for developing new applications and the developed applications will perform in a consistent manner. Hence, testing APIs helps skip maintaining the API code, which reduces costs.

In an application, when compared with other components, API is the weakest link for a hacker to dig in for data breach. API Security Testing ensures that the API is safe from vulnerabilities. In case of an individual application it might just affect the application, however, if an API is hacked, it can affect every application dependent on that API. API hack of an application can create havoc at an organizational level and lead to major losses for your organization.

Thus, ensuring the security of these applications is critical and functional tests would not suffice. Various scenarios need to be simulated to weigh the attacks across diverse scenarios. This will help diminish the impact of external forces on the API. It is a tricky situation and the tester needs to think out-of-the-box situations and simulate them to test the APIs. It is equally important to understand the kind of security problems to address while testing the security aspect.

Moreover, the key advantage of API testing is ability to access the application without a user interface. It helps expose the minute errors that can lead to issues during GUI Testing. When the core is accessed, it helps testing alongside development, encouraging communication, and ensuring better collaboration.

What are the Best Practices for API Security Testing?

With the dominance of Digital Technologies and the threats associated with it, there is no chance that you can ignore your APIs. However, most of the times while building an application security takes a back-seat. API Security Testing should take a much stronger and strategic approach.

So, how should organizations go about testing API vulnerabilities?

Following are some best practices that can be considered while testing vulnerabilities.

  • Firstly, it is essential to check the expected output. The input to the API should be checked and anything outside the range should be declined. This will keep a check on the directions received by the API, which is the fundamental premise for testing and building a robust API.
  • While freezing the API requirements, along with performance and functionalities, even Security Testing should be considered equally important and at par.
  • The API can be tested within the team with probable scenarios and the behavior across situations must be gauged for any possible security breaches.
  • The most effective way to prevent issues are to test them at inception. So, the testing has to start with the project’s beginning and not to be left till the end just before it goes into production.
  • Solutions or testing platforms within the team can be used to test the applications for vulnerabilities, performance, and usability. This can save the costs as well. Additionally, freely available tools can also be used to test the API.

In Conclusion

API Testing cannot take a single or a defined route. With the growing cyber-attacks and spread of unknown bugs almost every day, applications have to be tested for any possible threats. New age approaches such as Agile and DevOps are implemented to test continuously and keep a constant check on the bugs.

The most critical aspect to safeguard today is Data. API security testing is critical in the application development process. It will help keep the application safe from online attacks in any possible form. Enterprises should take up Security Testing for API to check the feeds coming in and analyzing the resulting behavior.

Safe and secure applications will sustain in the challenging marketplace. Functionalities can be enhanced, but security cannot be risked.

This blog post is in collaboration with Cigniti Technologies, an Independent Software Testing company.

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Cloud Based Testing

The application developments are very dynamic. Companies are launching new applications; roll out the versions in very short times. This is the constant challenge that most companies face. As the new versions of applications, create capabilities to expand your application, it’s imperative to test your app quickly over an ever expanding variety of devices so your newer versions are as spotless as ever. By Implementing this innovative Cloud based testing you can achieve and ensure optimal performance and user experience regardless of the type of device, browser, operating system, geographical location and network service provider.

Cloud Based Testing

Cloud based Testing

A Cloud based Testing for applications can be a potential solution that can offer companies a feasible & viable solution. Cloud based Testing for applications offers Web-based access to a large pool of real devices connected to live networks spread globally, providing enterprises with end-to-end control for manual and automated testing practices.

By now, most enterprises have used or at least have heard about cloud computing. However, with the advent of technology and the rapid increase in the number of users, the need for Cloud computing is increasing fast. Before adopting this new technology for your own business needs, it is important to understand the benefits of Cloud based Testing for your applications.

Accessibility

Distributed teams are more and more common nowadays. For the teams spread across different locations the Cloud based test management platform make it possible to easily collaborate with each other. You can log in from anywhere in the world, at any time, on any device, and get access to the project. The team can access the test environment from different locations anywhere in the world. A central repository for all of your testing efforts that’s updated in real-time makes it infinitely easier to share important data, communicate with each other, and track all of your testing efforts.

Collaboration and Continuous Testing

 You can test 24 hours a day. A central server connects to a series of machines located anywhere you want. A tester in any company office can connect to the cloud and select the machine he wants to test his application on. Say the day starts with European testers, moving on to North American team & ends at India QA team. This establishes a 24 hour round the clock testing process that won’t stop until your app is on the market.

This gives numerous companies, especially startups, a competitive edge. For example, if companies have a globally spread teams located on the opposite ends of the world, they can still collaborate on the most complex projects using cloud-based technologies to test their applications. All in all, this speeds up decision-making, and hence helps in speedy delivery of the project.

Benefits of Virtualization

Virtualization of testing on Cloud enables companies to get the best out of their resources with the flexibility and efficient results.  As applications become increasingly complex, virtualization brings in the benefit of resource sharing with reduced capital costs.

Budget Pricing

When you compare regular web automation tools to the cloud based, you can find the cloud based ones at a very reasonable price.  In case of regular web automation tools this is obvious from the fact that you need not spend a huge amount of money to upgrade the hardware or infrastructure. Moreover in Cloud based tools, the option of ‘pay as you use’ lets you use the tools only when it is necessary, and therefore, saves on the costs later when you are not using them. This works for most companies, especially the ones who are looking to cut down on their expenses.

Ease of Access

Cloud-based test automation tools are plug and play the moment you buy them. Easy access through the Internet allows team members to work from anywhere, anytime. No more installation woes, setup requirements, hunting for servers, or prepping of hardware to start using them. You can ignore the IT management as it is already covered in services and keep focused on the core functionalities of an enterprise.

Favors Continuous Integration

Continuous Integration – Every time you add a piece of code, test it & then redeploy it. Cloud based Testing for application is ideal for continuous integration. The various tests executed over the test pass, the app immediately moves to production and release. Cloud testing ensures that you can test under larger scenarios right away. New builds can become new versions faster than ever before, benefiting not only the testing team but also the entire development team as well.

Increase the Test Coverage better quality

Nonstop & parallel Cloud based testing of applications gives you the luxury of expanding the amount of scenarios you can cover in the same time period. Cloud testing environments offer highly synchronized and pre-configured architectures. These pre-built environments radically reduce the defects associated with unstable test configurations. With Cloud-based solutions, test your App across different environments. This improves the quality of tests to a great extent as wells as maximum test coverage in the minimum time.

Testing on different environment, more test coverage at lower cost

In most cases, cloud applications have minimal or no upfront cost. It is very much a pay-for-use service which has helped to grow adoption of the model, especially for SMBs. Without hefty fees for licensing and upgrades, the cost of adoption is less of a barrier when cash flow is an issue.

Economical testing solution

No need to buy duplicate devices even if you have more than one testing team located in different offices. Cloud based automation tools requires less hardware, doesn’t have per seat licensing costs and are very cheaper. This implies minimal capital expenditure and depreciation costs. No capital expenditure and much faster deployment times mean you can have minimal project start-up cost and infrastructure cost.

It’s Time Efficient

Like every automation tools cloud base tools too offer high productivity In less time and some additional benefits. Like quick setup, readymade environment setup, scale able and reliable. With Cloud based testing tools, there are no additional needs to advanced testing tools, server configurations, licensing, and testing resources. All of these features allow you complete the testing process within the stipulated time frame, or possibly even before that. Unlike traditional tools, they do not involve a lengthy set up and installation process. Testing can begin almost immediately from anywhere in the world. Faster testing reduces the time to market which gives companies a big competitive advantage.

Parallel execution

Coupled with the right web test automation tool like selenium, parallel execution enables you to run the same tests on multiple environments and configurations all at the same time. Instead of being limited to your computer infrastructure, you can run a test on different environments all of their own combination of sizes, versions, operating systems, even under different simulated network conditions.

Performance Testing

Using Cloud based Testing for applications enables scalable simulation of virtual users is possible at significantly lower cost. Using a cloud based approach to performance testing, the hardware is all in the cloud, using existing infrastructure. With this approach, servers can be spun up to simulate thousands of virtual users in minutes, with the charges based on a pay for what you use model. Businesses can simply schedule time for a test and resources are automatically provisioned. Licenses are now much more flexible for performance testing tools, with the rise of open source tools allowing even greater savings for comparable quality, when combined with a cloud based load provider.

Real-time Report Generation

Real time report generation of the cloud based tools provide reports thought the testing is in progress. This allows all members of the project team to collaborate in real time on a test, often including software suppliers – so that problems can be identified and rapidly resolved.

Effortless and Reliable IT Management

Cloud based tools are up and running all the time as there is a dedicated team working on the platform. You can expect 24-hour support and you should seek a contract where you’re compensated for any downtime. Reliability should be much higher than with a locally maintained solution that’s serviced by a stretched internal IT department with a lot of other things to attend to.

Cloud based tools cut down a lot of the IT management tasks inherent to traditional tools like installation, licensing, adding/replacing users and simultaneous implementation of upgrades in systems across geographies etc. With less IT management to do, employees can focus on core activities that can make a difference to a company’s business.

Easily Scalable

It’s a simple fact that projects demand different levels of testing at different points in their life cycle. Whether you automate or bring in more testers to shoulder the increasing burden, you want a management tool that’s easy to scale up and down. Cloud-based versions of the tools can be used for functional testing, performance testing, and many other testing types. In short, they can be used as a complete test management tools. With a cloud-base service you can forget about installation, configuration, and maintenance woes. You have a simple browser log-in that’s accessible on any device, and you can add or remove licenses whenever you need to.

Agile Friendly development

Agile development is the concept that cross-functional teams are involved through-out the development process, unlike the vintage development lifecycles. Cloud based Testing empowers every member with all of the tools at his fingertips regardless of where he is or what he is working on at the current moment. Hence we can say Cloud-based test management tools are agile friendly and flexible.

Traditional Model vs. Cloud-based

An increasing number of applications are migrating from the in-house to cloud-based development environments in order to build their apps more cost efficiently, with lower maintenance and operational costs. There are potential benefits of most of the developers, but not all companies can rely on cloud-based environments due to security, privacy risks, etc,. In fact, all developers & testers must carefully evaluate their needs before committing to either approach to avoid compliance issues and unforeseen expenses.

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User Experience

As a product based firm CloudQA often in its demo sessions is hit by a query – How do you assure quality to the digital audience each time? Our answer is simple – We value user experience more than the code.  Our testing approach is user-centric, and if research shows users are deviating from the traditional approach, we improvise and align our testing strategy with them.  Our Review and Fixtures models make sure to explore the product development Lifecycle, fix the testing approach and rearrange the components. How?

Read on to know How We do it…

Recognize the Transformation

UX Transformation

Users

The users are “SUPERPOWERFUL” they can push a product to its High and could even let it shatter on the ground. Many of the Founders put in their efforts to research if the idea is worth to be converted into business, but most of them forget the packaging of the idea. Does that serve the purpose? Many firms try to get users to try their beta version before rolling out it to the users, but is it not too late to put your product under stress? What if it fails?

Technology

Would you like to go for a desktop version or a mobile app as well? Would that be available only for Android or even iOS? Would open source tools be the right choice? Could these be integrated seamlessly with other third-party tools? These all questions may have a different answer when approached via the budget and timeline the firm has. But think about it from user perspective – Are the technology used safe and secured for the users? Would users be more inclined to a web version or an app would be good-to-go? Could constant monitoring be more helpful in predicting disaster before it happens?

Timeline

The timeline is another crucial aspect of recognizing the change. Users need things at a super-fast speed. They are not willing to wait for your monthly release; they need to be updated software version on a daily basis [at least].

Data

Users no longer wish to provide Name, Age, email address type data set again and again. The software should be smart and intelligent enough to pick it up and allow users to log in and showcase personalized dashboard/preferences.

With these known transformations, the traditional product development Lifecycle needs to straighten out. Currently, the three categories of Product Development Cycle that are floating are –

  1. Traditional monolithic desktop application – Products like MS Office or Chrome browser that could run independently on a desktop.
  2. Core Services – These are the software pieces that are in the form of an API and mostly need an integration. Just for example –  payment, storage, ad networks, analytics
  3. Standalone yet Integrated Applications – These are the products that are mostly user facing and could be integrated with any other third-party products or core services. They could work independently but may also be integrated with others. Just for example an online food ordering joint may work independently but could also be combined with Google Maps to know your location and provide you with personalized choices.

Now we know “the transformation” and the “product development category” so now putting up a test plan be an easy job? Not Really! Albert Einstein said

You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created.

Hence each application needs to move at a different level to be tested.

User Experience

Reviews and Applying Fixtures

If you already have a Test Automation suite we run a “Quick Review” to know why is it breaking. Based on our experience and research here are some of the common reasons for why test automation is breaking –

  1. Low User Engagement – Based on Quettra’s data shows that 77 percent of users never use an app again 72 hours after installing. After a month, 90 percent of users eventually stop using the app, and by the 90-day mark, only 5 percent of users continue using a given app. All this data highlights an interesting fact that your app is not engaging enough. Some of the reasons highlighted by users are – App Crashing, Poor performance and usability and excessive use of memory.
  2. Halted continuous delivery and DevOps – Another research shows that only 8% teams could achieve nearly 50% of test automation and 41 % of the teams had less than 1% test automation achieved. This data highlights the fact that even though the efforts were made but were not continuous and did not involve DevOps.
  3. The Huge cost of testing – Testing needs tools and resources that come with a price tag. Hence many firms cut the budget to save pennies and roll out bad quality product.
  4. Gaps between business owners and QA – There exists a huge gap between the product owner specifications and testers viewpoint that reflects the quality of the product.

Once we have identified the “problems areas” we apply Fixtures –

Ways to fix to test broken approach

@CloudQA we try to provide a remedial solution to patch up the Test Automation Suite to enable  in offering a quality product. Here they are –

Be the User

Have you ever thought how a knee replacement device could be tested? As a tester, would you cut your leg and then test it? Well, not really but the feel of the user is of utmost important for a tester designing the test cases. And these scenarios cannot be achieved by just following a High-level requirement document; you need to think and act like him.

Scope of Testing

Testing is not restricted to functional document, based on usability, performance and even security are the key aspects that need to be covered in the scope of work. In fact, our recent article on why testers need to be ethical hackers gives you top reasons to cover security aspects for sure.

Automate All Processes

While a single sign in is a user preferred choice, make sure to apply it to automation process as well. Single click should result in test case execution, review test results and analyzing the root cause. So go beyond test execution…..go for automation of all processes.

Reporting test status in terms of user experience

As a user, how/what would you rate a functionality of an app? Would the user have enough information to know about the fields? Does the UI looks scatter? Try to challenge yourself as a user, and you could surely give the best experience they ever had.

I remember my 8th-grade economics lesson – democracy is

For the people

By the people

Of the people.

And trust me that’s the same about your product. Believe in the power of users!

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Quality Assurance

Cyber threats and data security are one of the first concern of any firm. As an organization, what do you do to save yourselves from cyber threat? Firewalls? Anti-virus? Or Setting up processes and educating employees? Hiring a security firm to audit your processes and conduct penetration testing?  What else could be done to prevent Black Hat Hackers?

Have you ever thought of asking your QA team to explore the vulnerabilities of your system in an ethical manner?

We @CloudQA give you top five reasons to do so –

Quality Assurance

Economical

When an in-house team is available to extend their roles, which would be more cost-effective than hiring a security agency to perform the same function.

Continuous Testing

Once the internal QA team is equipped with the checklist, the checks or penetration testing could be scheduled at regular intervals making it a continuous process, thereby enhancing the quality of the product.

Access Provided to in-house teams only

The data, servers, infrastructure would only be accessed by the in-house team making it leak-proof. In the case of any data theft or damage, the person could be tracked easily as who caused it.

In-house Testers/Hackers Means Long Commitments

Being in the same environment like yours, one would understand the criticality of a product. Hence he/she may devote much time and energy to discover the loopholes.

In-House Team means better Stability and Back-up

An organization backed up with a skilled team set is a solid foundation for stakeholders. Just imagine a technical breach, and with the in-house team, you could get it resolved faster then, looking for outside help.

Testers could explore new skills

While manual testers are going through the tough time saving their job, it’s time for them to add some new skill set to their profile. Test Automation is on top of the list amongst the skillset, how about adding ethical hacking? With Ethical hacking added onto your resume, who knows if you could trace down one of the biggest loopholes in a system.

Technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, IoTs are knocking the doors of every firm, making it more complicated for a layman but much easier for a Black or Grey Hat hacker to get in. You can keep guards and surveillance to watch for, but do you know the big hole inside your house that could let thieves in? So, get your QA team ready and let them explore the house as Ethical Hackers performing penetration testing and stop the threats like WannaCryRedOctoberWiper,Shamoon.

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Load Testing

Quite recently when “Move to Canada” was a trending term, Canada’s immigration website crashed. Not long ago, in India, during peak hours the rail booking site used to crash every day. In 2015, retailers had a tough time on Black Friday and Cyber Mondays when most of the retail websites crashed.

The above instances reflect a hard-core reality – Load Testing is part and parcel of SDLC or any product lifecycle. That’s why we @CloudQA offer a simple yet efficient Load testing strategy to test an application under Zero-load or high-load scenarios.

Load Testing

What is Load Testing?

Have you used an elevator? All the elevators come with a message of “Maximum Limit” beyond that the machine could malfunction resulting in accidents and injuries. Similarly, for a software that could be a desktop application, a mobile app, or a website it comes with a “Load limit” that means the number of users that could browse through a website or use an app at a given time. If the users exceed beyond that limit, it may result in software crash thereby making services unavailable.

Load Limit

Why Organizations Skip Load Testing?

Although, Load Testing is crucial yet many organizations tend to skip it because of varied reasons stated below –

  1. The New launch of software may not attract “many users” hence it could be tackled later.
  2. The lack of skills, budget, and analysis
  3. We are executing Performance testing, hence do not need Load Testing
  4. It’s hard to simulate the test environment for load testing
  5. We do not have the performance measures/ KPI to measure load testing
  6. The tools available for load testing in the market are too confusing, which one to choose?

Load Testing @CloudQA

Re-use CloudQA Functional tests to drive load traffic from real browsers, using the same interactions as your users. Use one or more thorough scenario that exercises the backend and frontend of your application in a targeted and scalable fashion.

Scale up virtual user traffic from 5 to 200 concurrent users for duration of 5minutes to maximum of 60minutes. CloudQA will setup the entire infrastructure required on demand to perform the load test, gather and format the results in rich reports and graphs.

You can drive load from 7 regions around the world, through public clouds from regions in Asia Pacific, Europe, and North and South America. And take advantage of the CloudQA’s Load testing to drive load from behind your firewall for pre-production apps in staging or development environments, or internal apps that aren’t exposed to the public internet.

Who can run the load test?

Any technical or non-technical user can run the test case. User should know the basic record and playback of a test case using CloudQA. Use the already created one or more functional test cases of CloudQA to run the load.

Doesn’t this sound exciting? See how to run the Load test using CloudQA

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Docker Vs Kubernetes

Cloud Computing with its offering of “Platform as a service [PaaS]” has helped “Testing as a service[TaaS],” but could you move a running application from one VM to other? Sounds bit dicey but that’s how the Docker and Kubernetes could help in deploying containers inside a cluster and making each container as a standalone application that could be run on any Linux machine. Read our post to know how Docker and Kubernetes have made the seamless, continuous delivery process to quickly deploy Service Virtualization or Application Test to a PaaS environment.

What are Docker and Kubernetes?

Docker [swarm] and Kubernetes are the modern tools for container clustering and orchestration. Although the two tools differ a lot in terms of technicalities and designing, they are very helpful to DevOps team in managing a cluster and conveying a container on what nodes/VMs they should run, and to reboot in case of failure.

Docker Vs Kubernetes

How could Docker and Kubernetes be used in Testing?

Docker and Kubernetes with its container clustering and orchestration could aid in managing the test environment seamlessly. As a tester/DevOps, you could set up “on-demand test environment with automated deployments” for your testing needs leading to full utilization of resources and manpower.

Parag Agarwal, Developer from CloudQA, says – The primary reason for us@CloudQA to use Docker is to scale our testing capacity and improve consistency between multiple tests. We follow the create-run-destroy model where on every test, we create a container with standard configurations of selenium, run our tests and destroy it. We use Kubernetes to expose our containers to our application, manage our clusters and horizontally scale them.

Docker and Kubernetes in Testing – A comparison

Parameter Docker Kubernetes
USP ✓Capability to run single applications, packaged with all its dependencies and ready for use.

✓A Docker application can be run on almost any infrastructure with no modifications

✓Ability to manage several containers across several machines, with no manual intervention.

✓It makes managing, starting and connecting to containers easier and ensures that your applications are always running.

Limitations ✓For a large monolithic application, it’s hard to utilize the containers fully, but a modular app can use all the advantages

✓Does not Support Customized Scheduling

 
Aids In ✓Aids in Porting, improves scalability, deployment efforts and development times ✓Aids in Monitoring, Logging, Periodic health checking, restarting, load balancing, rolling updates, resource management, auto scaling and Connecting applications with services

How Docker, Kubernetes aid to Service Virtualization and in turn Agile Testing Strategy?

If you are new to Service Virtualization and keen to know How it could enhance your agile testing strategy read our blog post here.

Docker and Kubernetes are just the perfect tools to boost Service Virtualization. Create an on-demand virtual world, use it and hash it!

Kubernetes and Docker provide Developers and testers with an up hand to create an independent module or containers that could be used for testing/developing. The containers could be set up from anywhere and anytime with no dependency on the platform or services used. Kubernetes with its concepts of pods, services and replication controllers makes it easy to manage these clusters and aid to orchestration. Docker, on the other hand, could prove to be productivity booster for any individuals in his efforts of Service Virtualization.

Parag Agarwal, Developer from CloudQA, says –From what I understand by service virtualization, is that it emulates behaviors of software that an application wants to run against. Docker can aid to service virtualization due to its flexible create/destroy model. Kubernetes can assist service virtualization just like it helps any other containerized software, by orchestrating and monitoring containers.

Service Virtualization that supports Cloud Computing, Development and Testing is sure to boost Orchestrating and clustering. For Agile Team it is a way to enhance their productivity, for few others a quick Time to market for the product while for many of us – a technology revolution! Have you found an excuse for your services to go virtual?

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Improve Selenium Productivity Selenium Test Automation

Bigger, Better And Faster – Your Favorite Testing Software Just Leveled Up!

CloudQA is committed to offering its clients the most advanced and the most efficient technologies. We spend a lot of time and effort in R&D, and try to bring the most stable and effective strategies to the market. We know the value of your time and money, and don’t skimp about features and capabilities. Keeping that in mind, we’ve been working our butts off to bring you even better features in your favorite testing software.

Now, using CloudQA, you can customize your execution by recording steps updates! We’ve given you a lot of control over this, and you can now define the speed of execution steps on the basis o your application being tested, and set element wait time at the application level in your app preferences. Besides that, you can now begin your testing before the UI is developed, saving everyone a lot of time, and hastening your software development process.

You can test “get”, “post”, and “delete” HTTP requests easily, as per your requirements. You can also save the API test case, and even reuse them when you need it next. You can also add assertions to confirm the response of the API, and view the response in both raw and JSON formats. Additionally, you can add parameters and headers based on the API you are currently using.

Finally, CloudQA has made monitoring your web application so much easier, it’s child’s play! You can check your URL every 5 minutes (free of cost, we might add) and upload all your URLs in a .csv file. You can test your website’s performance, and view up and down times of your website in both heat map and graph formats. Finally, we’ve also made sharing reports with your team members much easier with shareable links that improve team communication efficiency!

Phew! That’s been a lot of work. But, as they say, no rest for the wicked! We earnestly hope you like all these new updates we’ve rolled out for you. Get in touch if you have any queries about these or any other features of the site, and we’d be more than happy to help (In fact, get in touch with us anyway, we love feedback and communication!).  In the meantime, we’ll be over here working on getting you even more awesome new features and updates that will help you get your work done faster, more easily, and more efficiently!

For now – that’s all, folks!

If you want to learn more about being more productive with Test Automation, contact us at CloudQA (info@cloudqa.io)

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Test Automation

Test Automation

Test Automation 101: A Short Introduction

Test automation refers to specialized software that makes your life much easier. Instead of overworked software engineers looking through a hundred screen and trying a hundred different input combinations manually, you just run the web test automation software, and voila! You know what problems are cropping up, why and where, all at the click of a button.

There are two broad approaches to test automation – GUI testing, and API driven testing. GUI testing, expanded to mean graphical user interface testing, measures things like keystrokes and mouse clicks. This is done to validate the behavior observed and ensure the program is running correctly in relation to these events. It mimics human behavior and mimics how a human would interact with the program, which is only limited to the interface. GUI testing finds bugs early and is a very easy way to conduct regression testing as well.

API driven testing usually bypasses the application’s user interface and uses an entirely programming interface that validates application behavior. Thus, it is a program that checks how the project under consideration interacts with other software, so that end user experience is not hampered. API testing checks compliance, security, and functionality issues.

While these are the traditional approaches, unit testing, i.e, testing of small blocks of code using xUnit frameworks, is a must in agile development. A unit is the smallest part of the program that can be tested and is extremely useful as these form the foundations for component testing.

Test automation is an extremely important part of any software development. It saves time, and it saves money.

Manual testing may take days to set up, and days to execute, and even then, it isn’t 100% accurate. These tests are done repeatedly during development and may extend project timings for weeks. With test automation software like CloudQA, you can have tests and results ready in hours.

To err is human, and humans definitely make a lot of errors. Manual testing, thus, is inherently flawed. However good a worker you may have, he or she is going to make mistakes.

You can cut that margin of error down to 0 when you used automated software, and you’ll get detailed, flawlessly recorded results at the end. All tests have meticulous records attached, so you can go over your mistakes in-depth to understand what went wrong better.

Additionally, test automation software can simulate hundreds or even thousands of users, which manual engineers cannot. Many test automation frameworks don’t even need much technical know-how to operate and reduces stress on the software development side as well.

Knowing what and when you need to start automation will go a long way in helping you develop your software. While test automation plans need to be meticulously planned out, a good rule of thumb is to start early and do it as often as you can. Going for test automation early on in a project helps because one, you get a stable base to build your program, and two, small errors in code at the beginning of the project are both easier and cheaper to fix than reworking your entire code from scratch.

When chalking out your testing plan, do not forget to include functional unit testing to ensure a bug-free end product.

When deciding upon your time-frame for web test automation, there are a couple of pointers you should keep in mind. Test when you feel there is a lot of regression work to be done, when you need to check the load capacity of your software, and when your GUI remains the same, but the functionality of different aspects has changed.

Testing automation software has changed the way software is developed and maintained in the world. It is more reliable than manual testing, and saves a ton of money and time, leading to faster, more efficient and easier to use software that has defined the market in recent years.

If you’ve been having problems in your code, and if your engineers are overworked, if you’re getting closer to your deadlines with a bigger, and bigger workload – testing automation is the right choice for you!

If you want to learn more about being more productive with Test Automation, contact us at CloudQA (info@cloudqa.io)

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Benefits of Automation Testing with CloudQA

Fast track your testing process

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Test Automation

Best Practices of Test Automation

To get maximum ROI out of automation, here are some best practices to be followed:

1. Know what to & what not to Automate

What to Automate?
· Test Cases which are important to be repeated in every release cycle.
· Test Cases which are time-consuming & tedious to execute manually because chances of human errors are high in this case.
· Test Cases which are High Risk or Business Critical.
· Test Cases which are easy to automate makes it cost effective

What Not to Automate?
· Test Cases which are not easy to automate. The effort will out weight the returns in this case.
· Infrequently executed test cases.
· Frequent requirement changing test cases
· Test cases where human intervention is a must.
· Low priority test cases

2. Keep your Tests Dry

Approach the design, implementation, and maintenance of your test suites with the same engineering and craftsman mindset you approach the design, implementation, and maintenance of your system’s data access layer, business logic layer, etc. If you’re not already familiar with the SOLID principles authored by “Uncle Bob” Martin, then take some time to read up on them. These principles are targeted to developers writing systems; however, the same principles apply directly to testers writing automation suites – if perhaps not quite to the same degree.

While I try to pay attention to all the SOLID principles in my test harnesses, I find that the DRY principle (Don’t Repeat Yourself) is especially critical for keeping my sanity as I build and maintain test suites. If you’re going to pick up one new thing about software engineering or craftsmanship, learn to love DRY.

DRY means avoid duplicating things in your test suite. One example of duplication in a test suite include having your element locators (IDs, CSS class names, XPath definitions, etc.) defined in more than one spot. Another example would be having every test perform the same steps to log on to a system.

This sort of duplication doesn’t seem like an issue when you have 20 or 50 tests, but wait until your test suite grows to hundreds or thousands of tests – and then go try to fix failing tests when (not if!) your UI or system flow changes. Duplication of this sort crushes the maintainability of your test suite over time – you spend more time fixing broken tests than you do deliver great value elsewhere.

3. Measure your ROI:

The success of automation cannot be determined by only comparing the manual v/s automation effort, but also by capturing the following metrics:

· Time required for executing automation testing for each and every release cycle
· Reduction in Time taken per release (Productivity improvement)
· Customer satisfaction Index & %age of defects found

It is good to follow a detailed process to achieve the best results from automation. At a high-level automation has following important stages:
A) Planning, Design & Development
B) Execution & Reporting
C) Maintenance

The above guidelines if observed can greatly help in making your automation successful.

Did you Know? If you have chosen CloudQA to handle all your web-testing, you don’t need to plan anything about scripting as it is codeless and keep your tests DRY, making it easier to maintain your tests. CloudQA magically runs all your test cases exactly the way you have recorded. Obviously, it saves you lots of money as well as resource time. You get more bandwidth to focus on important things to develop your product to beat the competition!!!

To know more about this amazing web-testing tool, visit www.CloudQA.io

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Benefits of Automation Testing with CloudQA

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Selenium Test Automation

Selenium is by far the most preferred Test Automation tool for web applications and more people are adopting it for their test automation strategy. As someone new to test automation, do you know what it takes to set up a successful test automation environment and be productive with it? Here are some thoughts.

Selenium Test Automation

Starting out with Selenium

Evaluate the skill set of your existing resources: Identify if you have experienced resources in-house or how you will acquire resources with experience in one of the languages that Selenium supports (Java, C#, Python, Ruby, Php, Perl & Javascript).

Selenium training: Once you have identified the people who will work on your test automation efforts, you have to account for the training period which could be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks depending upon the existing expertise of the individuals.

Test automation framework: Deciding on a framework can take a lot of work. There are a few approaches that are available that you have to evaluate and decide the one that fits best in your environment. The frameworks that exist include behavior driven, data-driven, keyword driven & now agile.

Define Object Repositories: These repositories are a collection of UI and Application object data recorded by the testing tool for the application under test.

Define a test reporting framework: Selenium does not offer any sophisticated reporting mechanism so you will have to decide what type of reports you would want for your test environment – this may include test execution results reports and test management related reports.

Once the items above are addressed, you can start building your web automation tests.

As you can see that building out an effective test environment with Selenium will require commitment, up-front time and qualified resources. For an organization with a large application that has frequent updates, you will also have to prepare for managing the test cases already written & evaluate their usability in an ever-changing environment. Just to get the initial framework ready, you can spend anywhere from a few weeks to a few months before writing a single automation test.

Selenium Productivity Add-ons

While Selenium is probably one of the best test automation tools, you should look at tools that can help you speed up the entire automation process. There are a few Selenium Automation “wrapper” tools that run on top of Selenium and make you a lot more productive and you should definitely not shy away from evaluating them for:
1. Complexity – how complex are they to set up, learn & run
2. Test coverage (what % of selenium features can they support, can they automate, say, 80% of your automation needs with little effort)
3. Test management: Chances are that you will end up with 100’s of test scenarios over a period of time. You want to ensure that can easily manage the test cases
4. Reporting: You should be able to get a wide variety of reports including test execution & analytics with past results
5. Test Execution: You want to ensure that your texts can be validated against multiple browsers
6. Other productivity benefits: check if the tool helps you in your agile development process, CI/CD integration, assist in data-driven testing, etc.

If you want to learn more about being more productive with Selenium, contact us at CloudQA (info@cloudqa.io)

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Benefits of Automation Testing with CloudQA
Fast track your testing process

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software test management

The effectiveness of Automated Testing wherever applicable in software test processes has been rarely disputed. Automated Testing reduces testing time, identifies bugs faster and facilitates continuous development (CD). However, Automated Testing environments tend to get extremely large (one with over 100 test scenarios would qualify as large and test scenarios can easily run into 1000’s) and tedious to maintain. It produces results that cannot be fully relied on. Therefore, it is critical to managing a large test environment effectively using well-defined processes and a decent set of tools.

If your test library is large, it is important that you find out if the individual test scenarios are properly organized, critical to the core application and relevant to the latest application version or to the usage pattern.

software test management

1. Test Organization: Your applications tests may involve testing various functional capabilities of an application. How do you determine which tests to run after you have made updates to just one section of your application (for example, your “billing” functionality has been updated)? You may not want to run all your test scenarios (unless doing regression tests) in order to test a small update. Your test framework should allow you to categorize your tests by functional areas so that you can quickly filter out everything else and run only those tests that belong to a specific function.

2. Test Criticality: Ideally you would create tests that cover both the critical and non-critical areas of your application. Your testing framework should provide an efficient way to manage bugs and failures. You should be able to categorize your test upfront by criticality (Critical, High, Medium or Low) so as to prioritize the testing as well as the resolution based on the criticality of the test.

3. Test Relevance: In most environments, software development and testing is a continuous process and over time you can have a large number of tests. Unfortunately, as software evolves (with new or updated features, changed processes, etc.) some of the tests become redundant or duplicate. It can be challenging managing test library to ensure that only quality test cases exist, especially if your testing framework does not allow for easy review of the individual test cases/scenarios. You should be able to log and keep a track of the entire test creation life cycle (including updates). For instance, you should be able to track the test creation date, the module/release version for which the test was created, the test case revision history along with the name of individuals who authored the tests. This would make a periodic review of test cases to identify redundant scenarios much easier and keep your test library lean and clean. It will ensure a test environment that provides high-quality test results that you can rely on to make decisions. You do not want to rely on the results from redundant tests by ignoring “passed” results or waste your time by acting on “failed” results that they produce.

4. Test Usage: If there are test scenarios exceeding 2 months sitting in your library, there is a possibility that they are just taking up space and may not be required anymore. It is vital that your testing framework should be able to identify such test scenarios so that you can make apt decisions, either to re-prioritize or re-categorize them for efficient usage or get rid of them.

By maintaining your test libraries through regular checks, you will certainly have a manageable test environment that produces reliable results on which you can make assertions and also ensure a faster and better software development process.

CloudQA and Effective Test Management

CloudQA is much more than just a Web Test Automation tool. It has some helpful features that make test management much simpler.

Test Organization: You have the ability to tag your test cases and test scenarios by functional groups or any other preferred method. (show image)

Test Criticality: Tag your test cases/test scenarios as Critical, High, Medium or Low.

Test Usage & their Relevance: CloudQA keeps a record of the run history of all your test cases. You can view the history in many ways – for example – show the behavior of “Critical” Test Scenarios in “Billing” function over the last 4 weeks OR show the “Critical” test scenarios that have not been run in the last 2 months OR look at the revision history or a particular test.

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Benefits of Automation Testing with CloudQA
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Testing As A Service

As companies rush to meet the ever-evolving, customer focused, multi-interface, and technologically complex solutions, software quality and time to market becomes a critical need. One quickly realizes that software testing plays an important role in the growth of any company offering such solutions. However surging costs, high-security environments, and software sourcing variability has made the software testing function challenging.

Testing As A Service

In such an environment, it is important to assess and implement the right methodologies to achieve scale, minimize costs and offer improved services. Testing-as-a-Service (TaaS) is considered a viable testing model by many organizations to achieve reduced costs and improved service for their IT test requirements.

TaaS does this by outsourcing testing activities associated with some of a company’s business activities to a service provider rather than using their own employees/resources. By using a consumption-based pay model, there is less risk and investment on the part of the organization.

TaaS can be used for various QA activities, such as:

1. Functional testing
2. Load / Stress testing
3. Performance and Benchmark testing
4. Regression testing

Advantages of TaaS over traditional testing

1. Scalable model via public cloud – utilize computing power, disk space, memory as per current requirements but have the ability to ramp up on demand very quickly
2. Costs – Pay for what you use. No need to own your own infrastructure. No capital costs incurred.
3. Licensing benefits – Operating system (OS), test tools, hardware, application licenses are managed by the cloud.
4. Standardization – Centralized test environment with a standard set of tools and processes will ensure repeatability, efficiency and quality results

Besides self-service SaaS-based subscription model for automated testing, CloudQA also offers Testing as a Service for companies that do not have the bandwidth to carry on this essential step in their agile development process. Customers do not have to worry about any software licensing, infrastructure, expensive testing resource or steep learning curve for the testing tool & processes. Instead they can focus on developing their own software which is their area of competency.

Why CloudQA?

CloudQA has an established framework for delivering enterprise-ready testing and providing clients with the ability to take advantage of paying for what they need, when they need it, rather than investing in expensive tool sets and experts.

1. Center of Excellence – You will interact with a group of people that promote collaboration, employ software testing best practices with both tools and techniques
2. Process – We employ industry best practices and methodologies that will result in higher productivity and you will get more bang for your buck
3. Governance – We offer relationship management, QA Project management, and a centralized test environment, with standardized software library and test suites. We also provide a self-service portal which cuts downtime required to provision test environments.
4. Infrastructure – We own the automation software and even have an offshore facility for providing a cost-effective, highly scalable, and fast automated test solution

Jump start automation of your web application

Try our Testing As A Service starting at $499/month

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Benefits of Managed Testing with CloudQA
Fast track your testing process

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software test management

The effectiveness of Automated Testing wherever applicable in software test processes has been rarely disputed. Automated Testing reduces testing time, identifies bugs faster and facilitates continuous development (CD). However, Automated Testing environments tend to get extremely large (one with over 100 test scenarios would qualify as large and test scenarios can easily run into the 1000’s) and tedious to maintain. It produces results that cannot be fully relied on. Therefore, it is critical for managing a large test environment effectively using well-defined processes and a decent set of tools.

software test management

If your test library is large, it is important that you find out if the individual test scenarios are properly organized, critical to the core application and relevant to the latest application version or to the usage pattern.

1. Test Organization: Your applications tests may involve testing various functional capabilities of an application. How do you determine which tests to run after you have made updates to just one section of your application (for example, your “billing” functionality has been updated)? You may not want to run all your test scenarios (unless doing regression tests) in order to test a small update. Your test framework should allow you to categorize your tests by functional areas so that you can quickly filter out everything else and run only those tests that belong to a specific function.

2. Test Criticality: Ideally you would create tests that cover both the critical and non-critical areas of your application. Your testing framework should provide an efficient way to manage bugs and failures. You should be able to categorize your test upfront by criticality (Critical, High, Medium or Low) so as to prioritize the testing as well as the resolution based on the criticality of the test.

3. Test Relevance: In most environments, software development and testing is a continuous process and over time you can have a large number of tests. Unfortunately, as software evolves (with new or updated features, changed processes, etc.) some of the tests become redundant or duplicate. It can be challenging managing test library to ensure that only quality test cases exist, especially if your testing framework does not allow for easy review of the individual test cases/scenarios. You should be able to log and keep a track of the entire test creation life cycle (including updates). For instance, you should be able to track the test creation date, the module/release version for which the test was created, the test case revision history along with the name of individuals who authored the tests. This would make a periodic review of test cases to identify redundant scenarios much easier and keep your test library lean and clean. It will ensure a test environment that provides high-quality test results that you can rely on to make decisions. You do not want to rely on the results from redundant tests by ignoring “passed” results or waste your time by acting on “failed” results that they produce.

4. Test Usage: If there are test scenarios exceeding 2 months sitting in your library, there is a possibility that they are just taking up space and may not be required anymore. It is vital that your testing framework should be able to identify such test scenarios so that you can make apt decisions, either to re-prioritize or re-categorize them for efficient usage or get rid of them.

By maintaining your test libraries through regular checks, you will certainly have a manageable test environment that produces reliable results on which you can make assertions and also ensure a faster and better software development process.

CloudQA and Effective Test Management

CloudQA is much more than just a Test Automation tool. It has some helpful features that make test management much simpler.

Test Organization: You have the ability to tag your test cases and test scenarios by functional groups or any other preferred method. (show image)

Test Criticality: Tag your test cases/test scenarios as Critical, High, Medium or Low.

Test Usage & their Relevance: CloudQA keeps a record of the run history of all your test cases. You can view the history in many ways – for example – show the behavior of “Critical” Test Scenarios in “Billing” function over the last 4 weeks OR show the “Critical” test scenarios that have not been run in the last 2 months OR look at the revision history or a particular test.

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