The Rise of Continuous Application Testing in the Cloud

Michael Vizard
Aug. 09 2013, 09:00AM EDT

In an agile world where the majority of application development is now iterative, the testing of applications has never been more important. After all, the impact of single undiscovered error can now be easily compounded through multiple iterations of an application; making it that much harder and expensive to discover and fix later on.

For that reason the need to continuously test applications has pushed the whole process into the cloud. Most organizations don’t have the time or resources needed to constantly stand up new hardware for testing. Nor do they have the capacity required to full test applications that often need to dynamically scale to support thousands of users.

Because of this issue application development has emerged as one of the primary use cases for cloud computing. Vendors of all sizes now routinely offer application development services in the cloud usually starting with some form of testing service.

Looking to compete more aggressively in a space it helped pioneer SOASTA today announced it has garnered another $30 million in financing. According to SOASTA CEO Tom Lounibos will be used to fund the globalization of the SOASTA application testing service. Lounibos says that with the rise of mobile computing there are more applications being generated than ever. Many of these applications are disposable in that they are tied to specific events, such as a product launch or activity. The challenge, says Lounibos, is that no one can be sure how popular any given event-driven marketing application may become. Testing those applications is critical, says Lounibos, is critical, because if they fail at scale a whole branding initiative around a product could easily be derailed.
Each of those applications now generated terabytes of data per test, which makes using on-premise systems to house that data cost prohibitive.

In addition to synthetic testing of applications before they launch, Lounibos says there is a lot more interest these days in real user monitoring (RUM). Organizations can now update applications faster than ever. But in order to be informed about what pressing issues need to be addressed developers need access to data that shows how the application is actually being used. That kind of information, says Lounibos, is naturally more easily collected and aggregated in the cloud.

All these requirements require automated Big Data analytics capabilities that Lounibos says will continue to set SOASTA apart from rivals. Most other providers of application testing services are relying on either manual processes or testing tools that were originally designed for another era. Web and mobile computing applications, says Lounibos, are different classes of applications that require testing routines that have been specifically developed and optimized for the attributes associated with those environments.

The ultimate proof in the proverbial application testing pudding, says Lounibos, is how quickly any giving testing service can keep up with the iterative requirements of any agile development organization. Once it becomes apparent that the testing of those applications needs to be continuous, Lounibos claims it will become increasingly clear that rival testing services in the cloud simply can’t rise to the challenge.

Michael Vizard



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