3 min read

NextendIT: Designed To Solve Real Problems

After the launch of our new testOps solution last week, I am excited to give you an insight into why we created NextendIT and how it supports our customers. Let’s start with the common challenges that occur with digital transformation and how NextendIT overcomes them.

What is NextendIT?

NextendIT is a testOps orchestrator that enables and optimizes E2E testing activities while keeping test artefacts from different systems in their own databases (repositories). In practice, it allows several teams to have multiple test executions independently within CI pipelines. 

By utilizing NextendIT, all teams can work with multiple test repositories and achieve continuous testing, even in huge frameworks. After only small adjustments, the teams can easily build E2E chains with their existing test cases which can then be automatically executed by NextendIT. At the same time, our testOps orchestrator enables constant monitoring of all their activities.

Thereby, NextendIT minimizes maintenance efforts to a bare minimum and makes the whole project less expensive. It supports companies with accelerating delivery while keeping their products’ quality. 

For further details, take a look at our release post.

Waterfall vs. Agile: Why transformation is important

Typically, in big companies, many teams work on numerous projects that live in one large framework together and are dependent on one another. However, it is common for development teams to follow different methods. This is because on the challenging path of digital transformation often not all projects can be converted to Agile immediately. 

Therefore, in many cases, some teams work according to the Agile methodology, while other teams use the Waterfall methodology. I have experienced this situation quite often. 

Nevertheless, to ensure a company’s products can be used properly by their end customers a lot of test cases need to be linked together and tested in a so-called business flow (= E2E testing). Though Agile teams and Waterfall teams work together in an organization, for different reasons, they often do not share the same test repositories (or databases).

One reason why this can make E2E testing difficult is that often Waterfall teams need to cover E2E scenarios which include functionalities from Agile teams. In order to start E2E testing, they wait for a code freeze phase. However, due to the constant repetition of sprints in Agile, such a phase never occurs. 

This constellation often causes Waterfall teams being left with outdated test artefacts of the impacted functionalities in their test repositories. In such a setup, the release becomes a true challenge. How can a corporation deliver its products to its customers when the E2E testing is condemned to cause complications? 

As one solution to this hurdle, some companies resort to having E2E testing performed manually. However, this costs the teams a lot of time and could, in addition, lead to human-made errors. 

Other approaches I have witnessed are either to keep all test cases of all systems in a single repository only, which makes it very slow, or even to create a separate repository dedicated to just E2E testing. Nonetheless, this causes increased effort for the teams and simultaneously more costs. 

For more details on how test repositories impact one’s delivery, check out our last blog entry. There you can also read which challenges their handling might bring. 

How NextendIT overcomes these challenges

When I found myself in the described situation, we started looking for a technical solution to remove this restriction so that there would not be redundant work for any of the teams. Since we could not find one resolving this problem, my team and I decided to design one. This is how the idea around NextendIT was created.

NextendIT handles this particular topic by giving all teams the option to work on their own tasks, in their own repository, and importing only the needed test artefacts from them into NextendIT. Each team is responsible for providing their needed test artefacts including all updates into NextendIT. This ensures that no team is working with outdated test artefacts and, at the same time, eliminates the need to create test cases multiple times into multiple repositories.

Screenshot of multiple imported test cases.

In case a given system is planned to be tested as part of E2E, all involved teams can provide the needed test artefacts with fewer efforts – no matter if they exist in the same or separate databases. The team or team member responsible for E2E tests then needs to build E2E chains with them. Last but not least, this person or group schedules these chains for execution. 

Meanwhile, if a change is done in a software, the responsible team takes care to adapt the needed test artefacts as part of their usual sprint work. This way, potential failure of E2E tests due to technical or design-related problems of the test cases is minimized with NextendIT. 

Screenshot of detailed view of an E2E chain after its execution.

All in all, NextendIT improves efficiency and accelerates the delivery of products or services to one’s end customer. Simultaneously, it reduces time for preparation of E2E testing (which is naturally highly time-consuming), maintenance efforts, and therefore also testing costs.

Digging deeper into cross-team E2E testing

To fully get to the roots of the creation of NextendIT, we need to address how E2E testing is usually managed in big setups and which obstacles impacted companies face. I will describe my experience and explain how NextendIT helps organizations to overcome these in my next article. Stay tuned!

You might be also interested in