In Pursuit of Digital Transformation - Benefits and Strategy

Testing Challenges in a Microservices environment

Microservices offer unprecedented advantage in a software development environment. They help break large monolithic applications into smaller blocks of code and functionality. Multiple microservices together form a business application, where each microservice communicates with other microservices through APIs.

However, this approach has its own challenges. The fact that there are so many microservices making up an application means, in addition to testing each microservice separately, the overall application must also be tested to ensure its performing as expected. This creates various complexities in the testing process. Furthermore, Aloha Technology developers understand, not only the internals of the microservices must be tested, but also the APIs to ensure they are all communicating seamlessly with each other.

The complexity requires more QA engineers to test in this fashion. It also requires extensive planning. Further, over time, several hacks and solutions have evolved to help QA teams test applications that have been developed using Microservices.

Unit and Integration Tests

CUnit Tests and Integration Tests ensure that every piece of the code at even the lowest levels, and every single microservice is tested.

Unit tests: Microservices follow a continuous integration (CI) pipeline approach, whereby, 80% of the code is tested during the build process itself, before the microservice interacts with some inputs or is integrated with other parts of the application.

Integration Tests These tests are created for an entire object to test if all its inputs and outputs are working as expected. Once they are working satisfactorily, the object can be deployed into the next level up, without affecting any of the microservices or integration points that rely on this object.

System and User Acceptance Tests

Like with any other testing environment, Aloha Technology developers use test automation tools that can be used to test new functionality, working around bugs and defects, and also tracking why other automated tests failed. Some of the popular tools are Selenium and JMeter.

Once the unit and integration tests are completed, its time to test out various use-cases and storyboards on which the microservices and user interfaces are based on.

Like with any other testing environment, developers can use test automation tools that can be used to test new functionality, working around bugs and defects, and also tracking why other automated tests failed. Some of the popular tools are Selenium and JMeter.

Service Virtualization Products

Traditional testing does not undertake a comprehensive testing of all the inputs and outputs. At best, it simulates specific end-points using data. This only provides basic validation of the code and functionality; and cannot be relied on to simulate the real-world environment in which the application will be used.

This challenge is being overcome using 3rd party service virtualization products which have become very popular overtime. These simulate the end-point of an API in such a way that the entire call tree is used, like how it would in a live business environment. Aloha Technology offers a wide variety of such services which include simple, open-source-based products and enterprise-class products with advanced features.

Validating and Monitoring API Runtimes

Use-cases surrounding one or more microservices should be monitored as and how the API moves through the continuous integration pipeline. However, in practice, most companies test these use-cases only in the customer environment. Aloha Technology provides a better option, which is to monitor all the use-cases from start to finish, so that there are no unpleasant surprises later.

As an alternative, Aloha Technology developers code the microservices using the Open API standard. This open standard helps define the UIs better and create better documentation. Further, there are a whole lot of tools which help import the API into the API Management space. This provides a failsafe method for validating and monitoring run-time APIs.


The combination of Containers and Microservices is very powerful and helps achieve the Service oriented architecture, a popular concept since 2000s. Even as microservices create a radically new approach to application development and deployment, they also require a new and comprehensive approach to testing their environment.