parallel testing
May 15, 2020

Intro to Parallel Testing: How It Works, Benefits, & Challenges

Automation
Continuous Testing

Here, learn all about parallel testing, the benefits it provides testing teams, and common challenges you may run into.

What Is Parallel Testing?

Parallel testing concurrently tests multiple applications or components of an application in order to reduce overall test execution time.

The opposite of parallel testing is sequential testing. This entails executing one test after another. This is a much more time-consuming approach to testing.

How Does Parallel Testing Work?

In parallel testing, a tester runs two or more versions of software concurrently with the same input or test methods. Alternately, a single version of the software can be run simultaneously across multiple devices or desktop OS/browser combinations.

By integrating test automation frameworks with a cloud-based solution, which takes care of device management, you can easily scale automated test across platforms in parallel.

4 Benefits of Parallel Testing

The main benefit of parallel testing is that it accelerates execution across multiple versions. Here are a few more benefits to consider.

1. Accelerate Execution

From a speed to execution perspective, consider this. If a singular test takes one minute to execute and you run 10 tests synchronously, the total time to execute all tests takes 10 minutes.

However, if you run that same test that takes one minute across 10 parallel devices, the total test time takes just one minute. This can provide major time savings when testing at scale.

2. Increase Test Coverage

Improved test coverage is another benefit of parallel testing. It allows you to test across more mobile devices or desktop OS/browser combinations at once. Extended test coverage mitigates risk and reduces the chance of releasing with escaped defects.

Related Reading: 5 Things to Consider When We Talk About Test Coverage

3. Break Through the Testing Bottleneck

All too often, testing is the bottleneck of DevOps. Tedious testing holds up the entire cycle. But parallel testing helps you remove the bottleneck, accelerating testing and significantly reducing the risk of on-going quality visibility.

4. Fix Bugs Earlier

Parallel testing also allows for bug fixes during the sprint rather that after. This significantly reduces developers’ bug fixing time and gives them more time to innovate and create new features, rather than just continually fixing bugs.

Overcome Parallel Testing Challenges

As with any type of testing, you may run into some difficulties in achieving full-blown parallel testing.

A common challenge that teams face has to do with scalability and the availability of a secure, enterprise-grade lab that meets their requirements.

While DIY testing labs are typically considered, managing and maintaining an in-house lab is difficult and costly. It’s much more difficult to scale an in-house lab. Plus, scaling requires a significant IT investment.

An always-on, always available fully-managed lab with commonly available devices and instances of OS/browser combinations is a requirement for conducting parallel testing successfully.

A lab like Perfecto’s test cloud has all the platforms you need to test against, so scaling with parallel testing is easy. Plus, you can apply real user conditions for more accurate testing.

Related Reading: Cloud Testing Is More Critical Than Ever

Bottom Line

Parallel testing is a critical component to any DevOps testing strategy.

It can help you tackle the mountain of permutations to test in a timely manner. By saving you time, and thus reducing costs, parallel testing is a valuable addition to your testing.

Perfecto can help your team achieve parallel testing in the cloud. With Perfecto, you can:

  •  Test against devices and browsers in the cloud.
  • Debug easily without recreating the test environment.
  • Scale testing across platforms.
  • Increase visibility with test reporting and analytics.
  • Integrate with anything in your toolchain.

Try parallel testing your web and mobile apps with Perfecto. Start your free two-week trial today.

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