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In today’s fast-paced environment, delivering applications quickly is crucial for competitiveness. This demands seamless integration of automation testing via robust Continuous Integration / Continuous Development (CI/CD) Pipelines. At Hitachi Solutions, we recognise CI/CD’s vital role in accelerating software delivery while upholding quality standards. With automation testing we can streamline development, foster collaboration, and ensure swift responses to market demands. In essence, CI/CD empowers us to deliver high-quality software rapidly, staying ahead in the dynamic technology landscape.

What is a CI/CD Pipeline?

A CI/CD Pipeline is like a conveyor belt for software updates. It comprises a series of automated steps designed to ensure the safety of code changes and facilitate smooth releases.

Imagine a factory where workers make improvements to a product. The Continuous Integration (CI) part is like workers constantly checking their changes against a quality standard as they make them. Once they’re satisfied, the changes progress to the next stage along the belt.

Then comes the Continuous Deployment (CD) phase, where the changes are automatically deployed for testing across various environments, such as quality assurance, production, or staging. If all tests are successful, the changes are automatically deployed.

CI/CD pipelines enable teams to detect and fix issues early, streamline the release process, and foster collaboration among development, testing, and operations teams.

Different stages of CI/CD Pipeline

The CI/CD Pipeline consists of different stages that automate the process of building, testing, and deploying software changes. These stages typically include:

 

1. Source 

This stage involves managing the source code repository, where developers commit their changes. Typically, developers use version control systems like Git or SVN to track changes and manage code versions.

2. Build

In this stage, compile the code, resolve dependencies, and create executable artefacts. The aim is to ensure successful building and packaging of the code for deployment.

3. Test

Once the code builds, it progresses to the testing stage, where automated tests are executed. These tests can include unit tests, integration tests, and end-to-end tests to verify the functionality and quality of the code.

4. Deploy

After successfully testing, deploy the code to the target environment, such as development, staging, or production, and automate deployment to ensure consistency and reliability across different environments.

Our Approach to Implementing the CI/CD Pipeline for Automation Testing:

At Hitachi Solutions, we have chosen Azure DevOps as our preferred platform for implementing CI/CD Pipelines for automation testing. Azure DevOps offers a comprehensive suite of tools and services for source control, build automation, testing, and deployment. Below is our approach for implementing an Azure DevOps CI/CD Pipeline tailored for automation testing, accompanied by a visual flow diagram:

 

Implementing an Azure DevOps CI/CD Pipeline

Step 1: Azure DevOps Project Setup

Create a new project in Azure DevOps or select an existing one for automation testing.

Step 2: Repository Configuration

In Azure DevOps, set up Git repositories. These are like organised folders for managing different versions of your scripts and test materials. You can send your code from your own computer to these spaces. This includes various tools for automating tests, like the Hitachi Solutions Automation Testing Toolkit (HAT), Open-source frameworks using SpecFlow, .NET, Selenium, and Leapwork. They all go directly into these Azure DevOps storage areas called repositories.

Step 3: CI/CD Pipeline Creation

Navigate to Azure DevOps Pipelines and create a new pipeline for automation testing.

Step 4: Pipeline Configuration

Decide what needs to happen at each stage of the pipeline. You can do this by writing instructions in a special format called YAML, or by using an easy-to-use tool provided by Azure DevOps. Make sure you include important steps like building, testing, and deploying your code, and make sure each step has a clear goal.

Add in the specific tasks your pipeline needs to do, like putting your code together, testing it out, and sending it where it needs to go. Keep track of tasks that depend on others and establish triggers to ensure everything occurs automatically as scheduled.

You can also adjust how tasks are performed by tweaking settings like timing and the conditions they need to meet. Double-check everything to make sure it’s all correct before saving and running your pipeline setup.

Step 5: Artefact Management

Set up artefact publishing tasks to store built artefacts and test results generated during pipeline execution.

Step 6: Continuous Integration Setup

Enable continuous integration triggers to automatically trigger pipeline runs upon code commits or pull requests.

Step 7: Scheduled Jobs Configuration

Define scheduled triggers for automated jobs, specifying the desired recurrence pattern for scheduled test executions.

Step 8: Post-Deployment Automation

Configure post-deployment tasks or jobs to automatically trigger after successful deployment, validating the deployed application’s functionality.

Step 9: Pipeline Monitoring and Optimisation

Continuously monitor pipeline execution, test results, and performance metrics, iterating on pipeline configuration for optimisation and enhancement.

Our approach to Azure DevOps CI/CD Pipeline seamlessly integrates a spectrum of automation tools, including Hitachi Automation Testing Toolkit (HAT), Open-Source Framework and Leapwork. This cohesive integration enables efficient testing, swift deployment and ensures software delivery across diverse projects

Seema Goswami
Senior QA consultant

Benefits of Azure DevOps CI/CD Pipeline for Automation Testing

The integration of CI/CD Pipelines for automation testing brings forth a myriad of advantages, such as:

Begin Your Journey with Azure DevOps CI/CD Pipeline at Hitachi Solutions

Implementing an Azure DevOps CI/CD Pipeline at Hitachi Solutions signifies a pivotal step towards streamlined software delivery. With our team of experts guiding the process, we ensure a seamless transition towards automation testing, fostering speed, reliability, and quality in every release.

Connect with our experts today to embark on this transformative journey, empowering your organisation to navigate the complexities of modern software development with confidence and efficiency.