Testing Microservices – A Complete Guide For 2023
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Challenges and Solutions in Testing Microservices
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A microservice architecture refers to an application structure that contains an arrangement or a collection of different autonomous services that are loosely coupled and built to accomplish a specific business function.
This collection of distributed programs communicates over networks. They also sometimes interface with databases and third-party services. Microservices have a large number of points of failure. This has to be taken care of during the process of testing microservices.
Testing Microservices – Pointers to Keep in Mind
- Continuous Monitoring
Every portion of a broken-down microservices application produces many logs that have to be analyzed deeply. Therefore, it is important to have a very structured monitoring plan ready. For individual microservices, it is best to use service error and response time notifications together with dashboards for an overview and enable continuous monitoring.
- Getting All teams on the same page
Every team in the organization needs to be on the same page before you transition into microservices architecture. Some essentials that teams have to be prepared with include logging formats, shared API documentation, and communication standards.
- Define target architecture
Badly designed and managed microservices architecture can create chaos instead of providing the help that it was intended to. Therefore, the target architecture should be defined properly and consistency ensured across all microservices’ data. It is a good idea to consider frequent network upgrades to avoid in-service traffic.
Microservices Testing – What is The Necessity
A distributed environment’s major challenge is that there are several moving components within the systems and the subsystems. The components undergo constant changes, and also several services interact with each other simultaneously.
Your organization may be managing many teams that are continually working on different systems and subsystems and may be deploying several times a day. If you are not completely aware of these changes made by your team members, there may be some negative impacts in case thorough testing is not performed.
This situation can become highly complex, and the rollbacks can be severe in the event of errors. Because of the dependencies, eliminating one microservice from the system can be a challenging affair. Such actions may cause rollbacks of other deployments dependent on the first. Therefore, performing microservices testing is an important activity.
Microservices Testing Strategies
Given below are the three strategies to make your microservices testing more effective.
1. Identifying High-risk Microservices
Automation testing is done to fit into the continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) process. For large-scale microservices, load testing is important. Otherwise, other types of testing make it complicated and consume a lot of time (integration testing and microservices security testing). They often slow down the CI/CD pipeline.
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To mitigate future risks, it is important to spot high-risk microservices and check these thoroughly early in the cycle. This may take more time but is an effective method as it serves to reduce the issues that may crop up later in the process.
Cloud-based testing platforms such as LambdaTest allow you to conduct automated testing in just a few minutes over an online browser farm that contains 3000+ real browsers, operating systems, and devices. You can speed up the release cycles by 10X if you opt for parallel test execution. LambdaTest helps to test your code thoroughly and ship high-quality applications with confidence.
2. Service Virtualization Implementation
Service virtualization is a technique that is used for simulating various services’ behavior and components contained within the software. First, you have to create one service using the necessary URLs. This allows these URLs to accept data and respond following the service’s specifications.
3. Creating a Service Level Agreement (SLA)
Testers, developers, and other key stakeholders should all be on the same page to achieve optimum productivity at every step of the development process. For this, it is crucial to create a service-level agreement to keep all stakeholders in sync. Ideally, the SLA document should be created by developers and testers together.
Microservices Testing Pyramid
The testing pyramid for microservices explains what types of tests are to be covered while performing tests on microservices. Also denoted is how they cover different areas of the software and details about all the interactions.
Unit tests are placed at the bottom of the pyramid for the simple reason that they are fast, cheap, and easily developed. On moving upward, the tests are more complex. They are expensive and slower to build as well as maintain.
Functional tests have more code lines to them than other tests but are easier to group. Finally, integration tests interact with other entities. End-to-end (E2E) tests can be used to test an entire system or subsystem and require a lot of configuration.
Microservices Testing Approaches
Many microservices tests are available, but it is important to determine how to evaluate specific functions. Where testing at the unit level is enough for some services, it does not work in a few other instances if the services are complex and do not have any meaning to test at lower levels.
Testing strategies for microservices should be formulated to cover all the layers as well as those in between. They should also be lightweight. Some of the most crucial types of microservices testing are:
- Unit testing
- Integration testing (persistence, gateway)
- Component testing
- Performance testing
- End-to-end testing
- Contact Testing
Challenges with Microservices Testing
While performing microservices testing, you may encounter the following challenges:
- A quality assurance engineer well-versed in all software services should be engaged to develop effective integration test cases. Analyzing logs from different microservices is not an easy job.
- A software architect can find it difficult to redesign an application to suit microservices, especially when the organization is large and has complex systems.
- The software product’s complexity is directly proportional to the number of services added or delivered by the product.
- Microservices allow developers to depend less on one programming language, thus making it flexible. However, you have to maintain several database versions and libraries.
- When there are many microservices available, the services have to be prioritized in terms of resource allocation.
Microservices Testing - Recommended best practices
- Specify and execute all the appropriate levels of tests like static code tests, integration tests, unit tests, component tests, and others.
- Check the security of the services and ensure they are proper
- Evaluate system performance
- Test how the system reacts when one of the services completely fails
- Check if your new system is automatically identified when it starts up again
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The three components of microservices are (1) containers, (2) service mesh, (3) service discovery, (4) API gateway, etc.
Microservices testing involves QA tests conducted that work to make sure each microservice's functionality and performance are as intended and do not cause major functional disturbances.
The following three areas of testing microservices applications are completed to verify that the services perform as intended: Base, Scale, Resiliency