The shift towards microservices and modular applications makes testing more important and more challenging at the same time. Learn more here.
The shift towards microservices and modular applications makes testing more important and more challenging at the same time. You have to make sure that the microservices running in containers perform well and as intended, but you can no longer rely on conventional testing strategies to get the job done.
This is where new testing approaches are needed. Testing your microservices applications require the right approach, a suitable set of tools, and immense attention to details. This article will guide you through the process of testing your microservices and talk about the challenges you will have to overcome along the way. Let’s get started, shall we?
Traditionally, testing a monolith application meant configuring a test environment and setting up all of the application components in a way that matched the production environment. It took time to set up the testing environment, and there were a lot of complexities around the process.
Testing also requires the application to run in full. It is not possible to test monolith apps on a per-component basis, mainly because there is usually a base code that ties everything together, and the app is designed to run as a complete app to work properly.
Microservices running in containers offer one particular advantage: universal compatibility. You don’t have to match the testing environment with the deployment architecture exactly, and you can get away with testing individual components rather than the full app in some situations.
Of course, you will have to embrace the new cloud-native approach across the pipeline. Rather than creating critical dependencies between microservices, you need to treat each one as a semi-independent module.
The only monolith or centralized portion of the application is the database, but this too is an easy challenge to overcome. As long as you have a persistent database running on your test environment, you can perform tests at any time.
Keep in mind that there are additional things to focus on when testing microservices.
Test containers are the method of choice for many developers. Unlike monolith apps, which lets you use stubs and mocks for testing, microservices need to be tested in test containers. Many CI/CD pipelines actually integrate production microservices as part of the testing process.
As mentioned before, there are many ways to test microservices effectively, but the one approach that developers now use reliably is contract testing. Loosely coupled microservices can be tested in an effective and efficient way using contract testing, mainly because this testing approach focuses on contracts; in other words, it focuses on how components or microservices communicate with each other.
Syntax and semantics construct how components communicate with each other. By defining syntax and semantics in a standardized way and testing microservices based on their ability to generate the right message formats and meet behavioral expectations, you can rest assured knowing that the microservices will behave as intended when deployed.
It is easy to fall into the trap of making testing microservices complicated, but there are ways to avoid this problem. Testing microservices doesn’t have to be complicated at all when you have the right strategy in place.
There are several ways to test microservices too, including:
What’s important to note is the fact that these testing approaches allow for asynchronous testing. After all, asynchronous development is what makes developing microservices very appealing in the first place. By allowing for asynchronous testing, you can also make sure that components or microservices can be updated independently to one another.
In this article, look at different ways to test microservices and how you can have a suitable testing strategy to begin with.
Both contract-based and end-to-end are ways to test full applications. I’ll talk about why we should use contract-based over end-to-end.
What are Programmer tests? See a clear example of each kind.
Companies need to be thinking long-term before even starting a software development project. These needs are solved at the level of architecture: business owners want to assure agility, scalability, and performance.
Test, Test, Test, Test: Unit, Integration, Functional, End-to-End: So you're trying to make some frequent changes to master. If you want to merge without the wait, give CircleCI a try.