Automate your load tests with CI/CD in just a few clicks
Published Sep 19 2023 05:33 AM 2,752 Views

Ensuring that your applications perform seamlessly under load is crucial. The last thing you want is for a code change or new feature to negatively impact your app's performance. That's where load testing swoops in to save the day. But what if we told you there's an even cooler way to handle load testing? Yep, you guessed it – automating it with Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) using Azure Pipelines and Azure Load Testing.

 

Why automate load tests with CI/CD?

Before we jump into the nitty-gritty, let's understand why automating load tests with CI/CD is a game-changer:

  1. Detect issues early: By integrating load tests into your CI/CD pipeline, you can detect performance issues early . Address problems before they reach production, reducing the impact on end-users.
  2. Consistency: Automation ensures that load tests are executed consistently every time you make changes to your application.  This enables you to reliably compare test results over time, allowing identifying performance trends and assessing the impact of changes.
  3. Efficiency: Automating load tests saves time and effort compared to manual testing. You can run tests automatically whenever there's a code commit or at scheduled intervals.

Now, let's dive into the steps to automate a load test.

 

Prerequisites

Before setting up the CI/CD pipeline for your load test, make sure you have the following prerequisites in place:

  • Azure Account: You'll need an Azure account with an active subscription. Don't have one? You can grab a free account here.
  • Azure Load Testing Resource: Create a load testing resource in Azure with the test you want to automate.
  • Azure DevOps Organization: Set up an Azure DevOps organization and project. No worries if you don't have one yet – you can create it for free.

Azure DevOps and Azure AD Connection: Ensure that your Azure DevOps organization is connected with Azure Active Directory.

 

Let's automate that load test

With just a few clicks, you can now effortlessly set up load tests into your CI/CD pipeline. Currently, this is available only for Azure Pipelines. You can still configure a load test manually in Azure Pipelines or GitHub Actions, if required.

Now, let's dive into the steps to configure a CI/CD pipeline in Azure Pipelines to run an existing load test:

  1. Head over to the Azure portal and navigate your Azure load testing resource.
  2. On the left side, click "Tests" to see a list of your tests. Choose the one you want to automate.
  3. Select the test by checking the checkbox and click "Set up CI/CD."
  4. Fill in the pipeline details:
  • Organization: Pick your Azure DevOps organization for running the pipeline.
  • Project: Choose your project from the organization.
  • Repository: Select the repository where you want to store and run the Azure pipeline.
  • Branch: Specify the branch in the chosen repository.
  • Repository Branch Folder (Optional): If you need a specific folder in the repository, go ahead and enter its name.
  • Override Existing Files: Check this box.
  • Service Connection: Create a new service connection or pick an existing one to let Azure Pipelines connect to your load testing resource.Screenshot of Azure portal showing the CICD set up paneScreenshot of Azure portal showing the CICD set up pane
  1. Click "Create Pipeline" to kick off the pipeline definition process. Azure Load Testing will work its magic – creating a new service connection in Azure DevOps, committing your JMeter script and test configuration YAML to the source code repository, and setting up a pipeline definition to run the load test.
  2. Navigate to Azure Pipelines, click on the pending pipeline run and grant permission to service connection.

And just like that, you've got yourself a CI/CD pipeline in Azure Pipelines. It's all set to run your load test whenever you push updates to your selected branch. One of the coolest things about automating load tests with CI/CD is that you can check out the results directly in the CI/CD output log. The CI/CD pipeline also generates load test results as a pipeline artifact. You can download these results as a CSV file for reporting.

 

Conclusion

While this blog walks you through setting up and running your first automated load test with CI/CD, it's essential to look at the bigger picture. Automated testing in your CI/CD pipeline isn't just a one-time affair; it's a long-term commitment to maintaining application performance. Beyond the initial setup, you'll want to establish a rhythm of regularly scheduled tests to continuously monitor your application's health and performance. You can also consider integrating automated alerts that notify you when performance thresholds are breached, ensuring proactive action. Furthermore, as your application evolves, so should your load tests. Regularly reviewing and updating your test scenarios to reflect real-world usage patterns is key to staying ahead of potential performance issues

By following these steps, you've automated your load tests. Your application's performance and stability are in good hands, ready to tackle any load that comes its way. Learn more about automating pipelines in CICD here. If you have any feedback on Azure Load Testing, let us know through our feedback forum. Refer to the previous blogposts on Azure load testing here.

 

 Happy load testing…!

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Last update:
‎Nov 29 2023 10:05 PM
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