REST APIs for automation and control of test programmes
Test platforms for mobile networks used to exist primarily in isolation. You would take the tool, activate it for a specific purpose and then remove it. Similarly, programmes were very much stop-start affairs. You would run your test suite, collect the results and move on with the next task. Testing was either ad hoc, for troubleshooting purposes, or performed at different points – before service launch, for example.
As you know, this has changed. While we still need to do testing for validation and troubleshooting (these needs will never go away), the way in which we organise test activities has to be aligned with new approaches to software delivery – largely driven by agile methods and CI/CD/CT practices.
Since automation is key to the successful delivery of new updates, as well as network operations, test platforms need to be integrated into the automation frameworks chosen by MNOs for their networks. That’s why APIs are now essential for test platforms, to enable their integration with the wider framework.
Automated Functional and Performance Test solutions
Evolver now includes a suite of REST APIs that enable seamless integration with different automation engines, such as Jenkins and Testrail. It enables full control of test programmes – covering activation, result collection, as well as the ability to change parameters that matter to individual users. Users can easily determine whether a test series or case needs to be rerun, accelerating validation and remedial actions.
Flexibility of choice regarding the automation engine ensures compatibility with the framework selected by an MNO, protecting investments and supporting seamless evolution.
In addition, Evolver enables:
- Configurable script parameters
- Different test scripts can easily be modified to test variable functionality – allowing ‘000s of tests to be run directly over the API
- High scalability
- Multiple test cases can be run in parallel, reducing time to perform test programmes and reducing costs
- Multi-system handling
- Integration with other platforms for full, system-level coordination
- Multi-site operations, with a shared platform accessible to different users and teams
- Automated export
- Results can easily be shared with other analytics and visualisation platforms
Before testing a specific application or call scenario, a key task for any test programme is the validation of the tests before they are run. With Evolver, this task can also be fully automated – covering multiple stages, such as protocol and link validation, the performance of specific operations and procedures (attach, for example), as well as provisioning subscribers.
The required scenarios can then easily be initiated from the web GUI and then executed via the automation engine.
Automation saves time
The ability to run multiple test programmes or pipelines, from a single platform, shared across different teams, means that different things can be tested simultaneously. For example, if we consider an upgrade to an SMSC platform, you may wish to run 300 – 400 tests during the migration period (which will likely be at night). Automation allows this to be scheduled in line with the software deployment, in a coordinated workflow.
This ability to support multiple test engines, in parallel, also reduces the cost of materials, as the same processing resources can be reused more efficiently.
Future integration with operational systems
While an emerging trend, it’s clear that the automation of test platforms will extend further to integration with the operational systems, so that results can be used to trigger new remedial and corrective actions. We are some way from a closed loop of detect-test-fix-restore, but the direction of travel towards this goal is clear – and the new REST APIs from Evolver will be intrinsic to these evolutions.
So, if you want to know more about how Evolver can integrate with your automation framework, get in touch today!