Shift-Right Testing: Why testing and automation in production is a strategic practice
Going to production is only half of software delivery. The other half is ensuring quality on a large scale with a real workload.
Without replacing "Shift-Left Testing", which consists in an agile approach, of preparing the tests between QA / PO and developers, executing them, and evaluating the quality and performance at the beginning of the development process. Shift-Right Testing" is a complementary practice that allows you to ensure the maximum quality of your application in pre-production and in production.
In this article, we will see how Shift-Right testing is a strategic practice in your development process.
What is Shift-Right Testing?
Shift-Right testing is a testing approach that consists of moving the testing process to the right side of the software development life cycle.
This means that testing is done later in the development process, closer to the time of deployment or even after deployment.
The goal of Shift-right testing is to understand usability, stability and emerging production issues.
Shift-Right testing involves a continuous testing process that allows for early detection and correction of defects before end users, which ultimately leads to higher quality software and, ultimately, a faster time to market.
Production testing provides:
- Extended access to the production environment and to modules that are only accessible in production (third-party services).
- The actual performance of the server where the application is hosted.
- End users and their behaviors as production demand changes over time.
Shift-Right testing is closely related to the DevOps methodology, which emphasizes collaboration between development and operations teams to automate and streamline the software delivery process.
Types of Shift-Right testing
Shift-Right testing can be performed using several techniques:
A manual testing approach where testers explore the application in order to find defects that may have been missed in other testing phases.
Continuous testing is a type of software testing in which the product is evaluated early, often and throughout the continuous delivery (CD) process.
Continuous testing uses automated tests to ensure that teams receive immediate feedback to mitigate potential risks as quickly as possible throughout the software development life cycle.
The team builds and releases two versions of the same features to verify the user's response.
A/B testing is ideal for understanding software usage and user preferences, and can only be performed after the software has been released to production.
Compliance testing in production
The infrastructure on which an application relies is constantly changing.
Production testing analyzes the quality of a given production deployment and the constantly changing production environment.
The blue/green deployment requires two production environments that are maintained.
One is in use and the other as a backup. The system can quickly switch to the other environment if there is a problem in the existing environment due to new code or a server failure, for example.
In the context of software testing, the Canary Release is the release of programming code changes to a small group of end users.
These tests are used to test the code with a small sample to understand the stability of the application.
Feature flags (or feature toggle)
Feature flags are a development technique that allows you to manage several versions of an application's functionality in parallel.
Their role is to activate or deactivate an application's functionality without having to redeploy it.
This helps the team make changes without pushing additional code and allows for more controlled experimentation throughout the feature lifecycle.
Chaos testing seeks to solve the unexpected. It is an approach to build a system capable of withstanding any type of failure.
Errors are introduced in the software and in the server in order to check how the software works and also if it can recover.
This type of testing involves measuring the performance of a system under different loads or stress levels to ensure that it can handle the expected volume of traffic and usage.
Strategic advantages of Shift-Right testing
Improvement of the quality of the software
Shift-Right testing can help to discover problems that may not have been detected in previous testing phases (with Shift-Left testing).
This can help improve the overall quality of the software and reduce the risk of bugs affecting end users.
Eliminate unpleasant surprises
The actual performance of software in the production environment is unpredictable. Several external factors are at play, such as fluctuating resource usage.
Shift-Right test data is the test results of the actual workload, which helps identify performance, functionality and user experience issues.
This allows problems to be solved in small increments rather than facing big problems later.
By identifying and resolving issues quickly, Shift-Right testing can help accelerate the time to market for new features and releases, allowing organizations to remain more competitive.
Enhanced user experience
Shift-Right tests are based on how the client uses the application.
By identifying and addressing issues that impact the actual user experience, Shift-Right testing can help ensure a smooth and bug-free user journey.
By enabling rapid experimentation and feedback, Shift-Right testing helps organizations become more responsive to fluctuating market conditions and customer expectations of today and tomorrow.
Shift-Right Testing | The importance of automating in production
Automation is the key to Shift-Right testing. An automated testing tool allows you to configure an entire continuous testing pipeline including integration, performance and security tests.
These automated tools can be used to detect unexpected behaviors in the production environment as they occur. They automatically collect data on the software in production to help you easily identify elements of your software that need to be corrected.
Essentially, automation is essential in Shift-Right to get faster, more accurate and more cost-effective testing!
Benefits of automating your Shift-Right tests:
- Faster returns
- Wider test coverage
- Ensures that the software is thoroughly and consistently tested
- Cost reduction
Mr Suricate | A SaaS solution to automate your production tests
Mr Suricate is a SaaS no-code automated testing solution that detects bugs in real time on websites, mobile apps and APIs.
In the context of Shift-Right testing, the solution has several key advantages:
- Timed and regular production runs
- A system of tags and features to ensure complete test coverage
- An API that will be integrated into your CI/CD
- Continuous/proactive maintenance" service
- Dashboards monitoring the activity of the application and its usability
Our test automation solution has helped many companies innovate and accelerate their digital transformation.