Comprehensive Guide to Effective Microservices Testing

Effective Microservices Testing - ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft has been providing software testing services for 31 years and test automation services for 19 years.

Microservices Testing: The Essence

Microservices testing is a combination of QA activities to ensure each microservice’s performance is stable, its failure doesn’t result in software errors, and all microservices smoothly function as one application. Microservices testing usually comprises granular automated functional and performance testing, regular regression testing, and security testing, if required.

Microservices Testing Setup Plan

A microservices testing setup plan depends greatly on the current SDLC stage of your microservices project and the software requirements specifics. Still, there are some universal steps to follow.

Note: The best practice with microservices testing is to ensure that the majority of test suites are automated, as the number of test cases per iteration can be multiplied by the number of microservices. A comprehensive regression test suite should be run each time a new microservice is deployed.

Microservices testing setup plan

1. Microservices testing process design

Assign a QA manager and a test automation architect to ensure microservices requirements specification testability.

Decide on a set of software testing KPIs relevant for testing microservices like test cases’ granularity, test scripts’ maintainability and robustness, test cases’ runtime, and other. You should also consider microservices testing quality risks and design a risk mitigation plan.

As every microservice is developed and deployed independently, you should integrate a test engineer into each cross-functional microservice team and establish collaboration scenarios between microservices teams.

2. In-house microservices testing preparation

To pave the way for microservices testing:

An assigned QA manager

  • Prepares a test strategy, plan, and efforts estimation (typically, a test engineer is assigned to each microservice, still sometimes more test engineers may be required depending on the microservice architecture and functionality complexity).
  • Assembles a test team, hire test automation talents experienced in microservices testing and consider additional training for test engineers.

An assigned test automation architect

  • Considers what test scenarios are repeatable, stable, and involve a high data volume to be automated first. Design a test automation architecture.
  • Chooses and configure relevant tools and frameworks for automated functional and performance testing.
  • Decides on service virtualization and API mocking tools essential for testing microservices.

Designing the test plan, make sure the following software testing types vital for microservices testing are well-represented:

Unit, integration, component, contract testing

Unit tests are written and run by developers. Your test team can start with integration test cases (validating communication paths and interactions between components within each microservice), proceed to component testing (verifying a microservice behavior with the help of API mocking tools) and contract testing (checking the real communication between microservices). These testing types should comprise the majority of microservices test suites.

It should include load, stress, endurance, and scalability testing at the microservice level (when a microservice is deployed) and the application level (when all the microservices are deployed).

Regression testing

To avoid application breakdowns upon introducing new services or API evolution, a test engineer within each microservices team should verify how their microservice interacts with its dependencies.

3. Vendor selection for outsourced microservices testing

If you decide to outsource your microservices testing, during a testing vendor selection you should:

  • Consider QA vendors with experience in microservices testing or ample experience in test automation.
  • Look through the portfolio for microservices software testing or test automation projects.
  • Consider the testing vendor’s tool and resources stacks to meet your microservices application’s specifics and scale.
  • Short-list 3-5 vendors with relevant hands-on experience and resources.
  • Request microservices testing cost estimate and service-specific presentation from the shortlisted vendors. This way, you can get an understanding of the vendor’s approach to microservices test team lineup, the planned test automation involvement, testing toolkit, and therefore, decide on microservices testing ROI.
  • Decide on the most appropriate microservices testing vendor.
  • Negotiate a SLA and microservices testing costs, sign a collaboration contract.

4. Microservices testing launch

To launch the microservices testing process, either an outsourced or an in-house test team should choose and configure the test environment, start to develop test cases and test scripts, and get down to manual or automated test data generation.

Team Required for Microservices Testing

QA manager

  • Manages the microservices testing process and team.
  • Checks that each microservices software requirement is clear, measurable, and complete.
  • Draws up a test strategy and plan based on business and project goals.
  • Selects test management software.

Test automation architect

  • Designs a test automation architecture.
  • Selects and configures test automation tools and frameworks.
  • Manages test automation engineers to improve maintainability and granularity of automated tests and decrease test execution time.

Test automation engineer

  • Sets up the test environment and test data generation.
  • Develops, executes, and maintains automated test scripts.
  • Reviews automatically generated defect reports.
  • Collaborates with other cross-functional team members to improve maintainability and granularity of test scripts.

Test engineer

  • Designs and maintains test cases.
  • Executes manual testing.
  • Reports defects via outlined tools.

Microservices Testing Sourcing Models

QA management and implementation are in-house

You have complete control over the microservices testing process. At the same time, there are risks bound to incorrect testing efforts estimation, the lack of test automation talents, an unbalanced test automation strategy, the irrelevant selection of testing tools and frameworks.

QA management is in-house; a test team is completely or partially external

You can optimize microservices testing costs by quickly scaling up and down the number of QA talents. Still, you need a well-versed QA manager to design the testing process, manage and regularly assess the microservices testing progress and the external QA team’s performance.

QA management and team are outsourced

You get well-established microservices testing with experienced QA management, test automation excellency, and microservices testing best practices. Still, you should be careful during the vendor selection process and ready to eliminate possible communication issues within microservices teams.

Microservices Testing Tools

As multi-level functional testing comprises the largest share of microservices testing, here are some of the most popular tools suitable for automated functional testing that may be used in your microservices testing project.

Postman
Highlights
  • Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice 2020 for full life cycle API management.
  • A comprehensive automated API functional testing tool.
  • REST, SOAP, HTTP API calls and responses testing.
  • Compatible with popular CI/CD tools (Jenkins, Travis, GitLab, etc.) to add testing into a new or existing CI/CD pipeline.
  • Light mocking capabilities without actual service virtualization, thus inappropriate for component microservices testing.
best for

Automated integration, contract, end-to-end API testing.

Pricing

Open-source.

SoapUI
HIGHLIGHTS
  • Belongs to SmartBear family – 2019 Gartner leader for software test automation.
  • All-encompassing automated API functional testing.
  • Support for HTTP, SOAP, RESTful testing.
  • SOAP, REST Mock Service, and service virtualization (with ReadyAPI) to enable API mocking and service virtualization.
BEST FOR

All-encompassing automated API functional testing empowered by API mocking and additional service virtualization tools.

Pricing
  • SoapUI - open-source.
  • ReadyAPI Virtualization – $1,378/user/year.
Apache JMeter
Highlights
  • Tool for testing software behavior and performance under varying continuous loads.
  • Supports functional test suites via features like HTTPS sampler.
  • User-friendly GUI.
  • 71 customizable plugins to extend core capabilities.
Best for

Automated load, stress, and functional testing.

Pricing

Open-source.

Microservices Testing Costs

Each microservices testing project is as different as each microservices solution. Let’s take as an example a microservices project with the following characteristics:

  • 10-month long.
  • 2-week iterations with testing going in parallel.
  • 100 new test cases per iteration.
  • 80% coverage by automated tests.

The rough estimate for such testing project including senior test engineers’ rates, testing tools’ licenses and test environment costs, will be $50,000.

Microservices testing cost factors include:

For an outsourced option

  • The number of iterations.
  • The number of new test cases per iteration.
  • The percentage of automation test coverage.
  • Test cases/script development and maintenance efforts (complex end-to-end tests require much more build and maintenance time).
  • Test team members’ rates.

For an in-house option

  • The number of microservices and the pace of their deployment.
  • The complexity of each microservice’s functionality.
  • The number of required third-party integrations.
  • Microservices performance requirements.
  • The number of test engineers and test automation engineers.
  • The cost of employed tools (for example, licenses and test servers).
Get to Know Your Microservices Testing Cost!
ScienceSoft will carry out microservices testing cost calculation and ROI analysis for you to knowingly decide on a testing budget and lay the base for microservices testing planning.

Consider Professional Microservices Testing Services

With 31 years in software testing and 19 years in test automation, ScienceSoft promptly grasps your microservices architecture specifics to ensure the solution’s quality at all levels.

Microservices testing consulting

  • The analysis of the microservices application architecture and requirements, the existing QA process.
  • QA strategy, microservices test plan, test automation strategy and architecture design.
  • The selection of tools and frameworks optimal for your microservices testing project.
  • Microservices testing cost and ROI calculation.
  • Optimal sourcing model selection.

Microservices testing outsourcing

  • QA strategy, microservices test plan, test automation architecture design and optimal testing tools and frameworks configuration.
  • Test environment setup and automated test data generation.
  • Test automation script development and maintenance.
  • Microservices test artifacts compliant with ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119-3:2013, including regular detailed defects and test closure reports.

About ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft is a global IT consulting, software development, and QA company headquartered in McKinney, TX, US. We deliver test automation services for microservices testing projects and guide our customers on how to ensure maximum quality of microservices-based software, balance testing budget, and reduce testing time.