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Continuous Testing in 2024: Top 7 Benefits & Challenges

Businesses need faster software delivery. Testing is a critical component of Quality Assurance (QA), and it has been one of the primary constraints of the software delivery process.1 Software developers are developing innovative ways to achieve test automation to reduce waiting times and provide efficiency to end results.

Continuous testing is a practice that aims to bring scores of test automation and lower the impact of failure. This article provides information about this technology by providing its definition, benefits, and challenges. 

What is continuous testing?

Figure 1: Continuous testing

Continuous Testing

Continuous testing is a software development process that executes automated tests at every stage of the software development life cycle (SDLC) to obtain feedback on business risks. 

Continuous testing was developed in response to the need for faster delivery of software to end users. It was developed to reduce the waiting time for feedback for developers by ensuring that every check-in and deployment is validated. You can see the simplification of continuous testing in Figure 1.

Continuous testing is designed to verify the business expectations for functionality, security, reliability, and performance. In continuous testing;

  • All types of testing are included across all non-production environments. 
  • All types of tests in continuous testing are part of the software delivery pipeline, and they are all executed at some point. 
  • Test units are independent; they do not have dependencies with other tests. 
  • Validation of functional requirements such as unit tests, API testing, and integration testing is involved.
  • Validation of non-functional requirements such as static code analysis, security testing, and performance testing is involved.
  • Tests are executed alongside continuous integration. You can see a simplified version of the continuous testing process in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Continuous testing process

Source: Medium2


Testing is a key practice to ensure the stability of APIs. Testifi is a test automation solution provider that allows AI-based API testing automation through their PULSE tool. It reduces costs & cycle time by 50% and allows performance monitoring.

What is the difference between automated and continuous testing?

Test automation is essential for continuous testing. Although they share similar characteristics, they are not the same practice.3 One of the differences between the two practices is that while in automated testing, a test may indicate anything from a mission-critical issue to something as small as a naming error, in continuous testing a test often tends to indicate a critical business assessment risk.   

The test scripts are written before the start of coding in continuous testing. As a result, the automation tests are automatically run one after another as soon as the code is integrated. You can see Figure 3 for a simple explanation of the difference between automated testing and continuous testing: 

Figure 3: Automated Testing vs Continuous Testing.

Continuous Testing vs Automated Testing

Source: Plural Sight 4

Continuous testing aims to increase a series of automation and apply it to production test environments. In continuous testing, the tests are designed to evaluate the business risks and regularly execute tests. 

Top 7 benefits of continuous testing

  1. Responsive testing: Continuous testing runs automated tests each time a new code is written, accelerating software delivery and providing frequent testing in SDLC.
  2. Reducing feedback cycles: It provides feedback instantly thanks to the series of automated tests, reducing traditional feedback cycles and contributing to the quality of an application. Continuous testing can reduce the wasted time for changing test ordering or reporting by 92-98%.5
  3. Preventing data errors: Implementation of continuous testing in preventing data errors provides 55% better and three times faster corrections.

Figure 4: Representation of mitigating risks before progressing to the next stage of the SDLC.

Mitigating risks before progressing to the next stage of the SDLC.

Source: Wayne Ariola6

  1. Increased focus on value-added tasks: Continuous testing eliminates wasteful tests and produces value-added tasks by continuously implementing all types of tests executed at the right time.
  2. Better risk management: Thanks to better risk assessment, continuous testing establishes a safety net that allows businesses and developers to bring new features to market more efficiently and faster. It has a trusted test suite capable of checking the integrity of applications and their components; developers can act quickly if there is a negative impact of code changes.  
  3. Better trade-off decisions: Continuous testing can allow businesses to make better trade-off decisions by providing an integrative assessment of the risk of release.

Challenges of continuous testing

Challenges of continuous testing depend mostly on the team’s expectations and capabilities:

  • Infrastructure competence: One of the main reasons businesses and developer teams avoid continuous testing is that they do not have the infrastructure scalable enough to satisfy the continuous test suite. 
  • Insufficient test coverage: A similar challenge to continuous testing is that as an application develops, scales up, and gets more complex, there might be insufficient test coverage due to the challenge of keeping the continuous testing level consistent.
  • Lack of access to testing: Modern applications are growing more complex and distributed. Test suites typically require access to dependencies such as third-party services, which are unavailable for testing out of the box. Such dependencies are limited in terms of their capability to be tested. 

Development teams and businesses can focus on high-priority tests to overcome such challenges. Implementing continuous testing in production environments that hold high priority to a business rather than implementing it in all aspects of the production environment would be a better option. 

If you have further questions concerning testing practices, you can reach us:

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Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst
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Altay Ataman
Altay is an industry analyst at AIMultiple. He has background in international political economy, multilateral organizations, development cooperation, global politics, and data analysis. He has experience working at private and government institutions. Altay discovered his interest for emerging tech after seeing its wide use of area in several sectors and acknowledging its importance for the future. He received his bachelor's degree in Political Science and Public Administration from Bilkent University and he received his master's degree in International Politics from KU Leuven .

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