Continuous Testing

What is continuous testing?

Continuous testing (CT) is a software development process in which applications are tested continuously throughout the entire software development life cycle (SDLC). The goal of CT is to evaluate software quality across the SDLC, providing critical feedback earlier and enabling higher-quality and faster deliveries. 

What is the history of continuous testing?

In older development models (like waterfall), development activities were centered around the idea of a hand off—when one team completed its tasks, it handed the software off to the next team, keeping responsibilities and activities siloed. The justification for these separate steps was an emphasis on quality. Teams had more time to perform their specific tasks and guarantee the best result.

With demand for increased development speeds, however, this older model was no longer viable. Organizations needed a means of developing and delivering to their customers faster. A newer development model, agile, evolved to address this ever-increasing demand for development velocity. In this model, organizations introduced more incremental activities, performed continuously.

Currently, most organizations have adopted DevOps and DevSecOps, which uses an environment of collaboration and shared responsibility. This shift away from older practices has enabled teams to embrace automation and continuous activities. Continuous testing is one of these key practices. 

How does continuous testing work within DevOps/ DevSecOps?

In this increasingly fast development environment, software release cycles are shortening, pushing organizations to make adjustments to their practices in order to keep up. DevOps practices and tools are essential to this success, with continuous testing playing an important role. 

CT helps boost the DevOps pipeline because it fosters testing at all stages of the SDLC, from development to deployment. At the center of DevOps and DevSecOps is the idea of performing activities (like security testing) as soon as possible, speeding up all development activities. Incorporating continuous testing into this framework helps guarantee that development moves forward unhindered, and software of the highest quality is released. 

Continuous Testing | Synopsys

What are the benefits of using continuous testing?

Continuous testing offers many benefits to the development life cycle. At a higher level, it removes the roadblocks posed by performing testing in a single step. With continuous testing, code is automatically tested as soon as it is integrated. This directly supports DevOps and the goal of delivering high-quality software, faster. 

Additionally, CT helps save developer time and effort because they no longer have to wait for QA teams to finish testing before fixing their code. Instead, testing happens continuously, enabling real-time proactive fixes to code quality and security issues. Multiple activities can occur simultaneously. 

A more overarching benefit of CT is that it reduces risk. With CT, software is reviewed or checked many more times and in many more ways, throughout its entire life cycle, instead of one time, during a specific phase of the SDLC. This enables more visibility into and more opportunities to discover areas of weakness. 

How can Synopsys help?

Synopsys’ Seeker® interactive application security testing (IAST) solution offers continuous runtime security testing for your existing SDLC, from agile and DevOps continuous integration / continuous delivery (CI/CD) to more traditional waterfall models. Seeker helps teams implement continuous testing, regardless of their development framework, seamlessly integrating into current practices. IAST easily grows and scales with your organization’s needs. 

To understand IAST, think of it as the Swiss Army knife for app functional tests—IAST does it all:

Ad hoc testing​. Seeker is perfect as a starting tool for ad hoc and manual functional tests because no security expertise is needed. 

Agile testing.​ Seeker can also be used as a security tester during functional testing; it helps speed testing and finds vulnerabilities fast.

Automated testing.​ Seeker provides continuous verification and response. It will fail the build automatically if critical security vulnerabilities are detected. 

Seeker helps address today’s automation challenges

While organizations are making the shift to adopt CT, automation often remains a hurdle. To learn more about how Seeker IAST can help in your CT journey, watch our recent joint webinar with Forrester, “The Evolution of IAST: Building Security Into Testing.”