Software delivery through digital transformation

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Much has been discussed about the extent to which digital computing has transformed business models. As digital products increase the use of business-to-business and business-to-consumer frameworks, the distinction of the customer experience improves. Customers respond to greater quality in software releases by demonstrating an improved adoption of software products, improved customer loyalty, and a higher rate of consumer conversions from other brands or items.

The positive increase in customer response is greatly due to the expansion and the definition of testing. A QA testing strategy that focuses on customer experience highly mitigates risk, and highly promotes marketing and the company brand. Concentration on QA testing and test innovation achieves customer goals while creating a sound definition for testing, a stable and innovative testing strategy, dynamic test execution, and insight into emerging customer interests.

The release is ‘out the door’, professionally packaged and flying on the wings of marketing promotions. Looking around, what’s happening in the testing lab? Paper! Reports, records, versions, specifications, configurations. In this age of digital communication, test management is also content management. Test and content management was handed to QA because enterprise management has reviewed its market competitiveness in respect to:

  • Analyzing in detail the market structure
  • Analyzing factors that impact market growth
  • Analysis of historical worldwide revenue
  • Forecasting worldwide market revenue
  • Deployment analysis as a segment of revenue
  • Company mergers, joint ventures, acquisitions, strategic alliances

The above enterprise considerations could be called enterprise strategic goals, against which QA testing must mitigate risk. In this rapidly changing computer age, apart from reliability, companies have 2 overriding product requirements – ease of use and scalability. Ease of use because businesses need to put the product into practice immediately. Sitting-on-the-shelf-waiting-for-instructions is not part of the production cycle.

Nor is it probably cost-effective to satisfy only present production needs that the business may later outgrow. Therefore, scalable is a product requirement. Digital devices come in all shapes and sizes, challenging QA’s testing of software applications. 

From project assessment to release QA testing of digital devices verifies the operation and validates the purpose of the software deployment. This means that, as development becomes increasingly innovative and incremental, QA testing has become a more integral portion of development. Each shippable unit is tested for accurate functionality before it is done. QA testing therefore participates in:

  • Planning to gain insight into the project content, architectural build, creative direction, and direction of purpose
  • Design, exploratory testing, preferences, product branding
  • Build, Implementation
  • Training, Employee and user, QA testers able to
  • Review and Launch, Confirm functionality, deployments consistent across business and user environments, blue/green validations

Software is also frequently updated, a task for which QA testing must be a part. Frequent updates keep pace with customer demands and preferences as to:

  • Compatibility to interfacing software (passing regression tests)
  • Acquire consistent user feedback
  • Updates to the user experience (UX)
  • Better integrate changes into the software structure
  • More quickly and easily identify defects
  • Quickly and efficiently assess readiness for deployment through test automation

Automated testing cycles ensure continuous deployment. Test automation is a single source artifact from which versioning, retests, regression tests, and module design can take place. Test environments remain stable, and multiple environments are verified by a single automated test manager.

Twelve Factor Principles

In the 21st century, software has become a service as well as a product. Companies that deliver software products also deliver ease-of-use, response to customer demands, troubleshooting instructions, help desks, chat services, and consulting services. The Twelve Factor Principles include software and service components necessary for reliable releases:

  • Instruction formats are declarative for ease of understanding
  • An entire and clean OS contract is necessary for release
  • Ensured suitable for deployment on modern Cloud platforms
  • A seamless and smooth development-production-testing timeline
  • Scalable testing without the need for additional tooling, architectural changes, or changes in software development and release

The Twelve Factors can be written in any programming language and are therefore one way to ensure that test coverage is complete, allowing the release of quality software products.

  1. Codebase

Tracking data in a version control system, or code repository. A codebase is a single repository or subversion emerging from a single root commit. Although different versions may be activated during certain deployments, the codebase itself remains constant across all deployments.

  1. Dependencies

Isolate and explain dependencies, such as support libraries. Automated test management contains a dependency isolation tool to stabilize and distinguish dependencies.

  1. Config

Variables which can occur between deployments, such as during a staging, development, or production phase, are called configs. Configs are expressed separately from development code, or are held in separate files, and assist QA testers in locating probable dysfunctions resulting from associated changes.

  1. Backing services

Backing services are retained by an application as part of the app’s normal function. An application gathers backing services over a network as part of the app’s operation.

  1. Build, Release, Run

Separating the build from the run. The build converts coding into an executable activity, compiling software dependencies into active binaries. During release, testing compares the original build with the current config. The final test of config performance is to execute config components against an actual release.

  1. Processes

When testing through processes, QA testing executes application functions in a stateless environment. The isolated script is tested for accuracy in operations.

  1. Port binding

Verifying data positions by binding a port to a port address for the complete sending and receiving of data across networks.

  1. Concurrency

Decomposing the application into independent components for testing purposes. Several operations are executed during concurrent time periods.

  1. Disposability

Testing for how quickly can the app be started or stopped. The test objective is an outcome of fast and flexible scaling, along with quick deployment. A smooth shutdown happens when the test service port stops taking new requests, allows current jobs to finish, and exits operations. Disposability is to remain stable against parallel or concurrent system breakdowns.

  1. Development/Product parity

Maintaining development, staging, and production at the same build points prevents time, personnel, and tools gaps. Scenarios to avoid are developments which take longer than staging or production; QA that lacks the correct talent for testing the component, or testers who may not have been closely involved with the properties of development; or testing that may use different system or application software than does development.

  1. Logs

Logs reveal in code the actions of the running applications. Automated testing will also provide records on tests run against applications. Both logs and records are output. Logs and test records contribute to the ability of QA testers and developers:

  • Finding specific past events
  • Tracking past trends
  • Tracking repeated alerts
  1. Administrative processes

An administrative process test assesses applications as they are used in normal business activities. Testing against console, code, database migration, or script runs in identical or different environments are process testing activities.

VIP Authorizations

Securing systems with authorizations while securing passwords and keys are crucial to software delivery. QA tests authorizations to ensure that:

  • Confidential information can only be accessed within its intended environment
  • Only machines coded for such can read confidential information
  • Private key information is not shared on the database server level
  • Database credentials are not revealed on the web server level

Today’s business landscape fluctuates dramatically with response to variations in consumer interest. Digital marketing promotes a company’s products through a form of electronic media. Electronic media is also the objective of QA software testing. QA testing in the digital age consequently includes evaluating email services, social engagement, web analytics, user preferences, optimization, user experience (UX), performance, interfaces, content engagement, and customer satisfaction. 

The traditional path from industry production to a customer purchase has changed from walk-in or drive-in to ‘digitized’. The power of computing has dynamically placed the purchasing power at consumers’ fingertips.

Automation testing verifies that applications live up to the factors with which marketing attributes software products. The bottom line is that the responsibility of
QA testing is to mitigate risk to the enterprise that concerns product release. SaaS-based testing requires that QA also evaluate the impact of packaging, customer service, support chats, company/customer relations, performance optimization on user engagement and satisfaction.

The increased public embrace of the Cloud and digital media translates to an increased responsibility on QA testing for the design and provision of modules that test consumer demands and needs. Increasingly organizations are using digital media to attract more customer interest in the digital media they sell.

The global digital market is delineated as both software and services. QA testing in the digital age brings both to the deployment table. QA acts as a consultant to the enterprise and to users as to strategic initiatives, quality, reliability, needs, demands, interest, and repurchases. QA also supports and maintains the enterprise need for record retention, version management, performance monitoring, system maintenance, and customer confidence.

As digital transformation continues to be customer-facing in focused appeal, deployment increasingly relies on QA testing as essential and transformative application release. Faster release times, improvements in quality and innovation, cost reduction, and operational efficiency, and faster time-to-market.

Digital transformation has shifted Quality Assurance Testing from simply detecting, preventing, and correcting software defects, to protecting the enterprise brand and enforcing organizational strategic goals. As customer expectations and demands for greater effectiveness and efficiency in software delivery and user experience increases, QA testing is called upon to provide consolidating automated and agile customer-facing solutions. DevOps testing and Cloud testing are also prime expeditors of consumer interest and minimizers of cost-to-market.

Today’s digital consumers are offered several devices from which to choose. The shift of power into the hands of consumers have caused companies to scramble towards the release of digital products that will continue to excite consumer imagination and inspire customer confidence.

The digital world strongly matches product quality and adherence to brand with repeated purchasing, word-of-mouth, consumer loyalty, and deployment success. Ensuring an effective customer experience through reliable testing strategies has therefore become the prime risk mitigating activity of QA testing. Approaches to testing are becoming more highly based on test cases and testing frameworks, automated test management, real-world scenarios, UX monitoring, real-time analytics, omnichannel automation, hierarchical test automation, persona-based strategies, and end-to-end testing. Customer experience testing also measures both customer satisfaction and changes in customer demographics, which QA testing holds in its departmental hands.

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