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Challanges in Testing Serverless App

Serverless approaches have become a boon for businesses looking for ways to rid themselves of infrastructure management complexities that burden traditional application development. With serverless, you may simply “throw” the code on the cloud and get a functioning app. However, implementing serverless applications brings along certain complexities as well. The tight integration with the cloud plus the inability to directly access things required for code execution makes it difficult for businesses to control their work environment when they choose to go serverless. There are many implications and complexities here that have a direct impact on testing strategies. Onboarding serverless app development will, first of all, require you to understand how testing serverless applications differs from traditional app testing and how can you adapt to manage the new ways.

The key challenge of going serverless is that you may not find the right infrastructure to maintain it. If you don’t have a native infrastructure, there’s no machine from where admins can fetch the logs. Hence, when you discover an app deficiency, you cannot expect that your system admin will provide you with the required logs as the logs don’t exist at all. You will need a practical approach for serverless applications testing. Take a look at the theoretical app and dive into the details of testing it for a better understanding.

testing serverless apps

4 Challenges of Testing Serverless Apps:

Serverless solutions and technologies are expanding rapidly – blurring the differences between infrastructure and the cloud. It’s changing the methodology of app development in many cases. With countless benefits of eliminating the inherent server infrastructure that serverless technologies offer, there are several complexities and hidden challenges as well that come along. Let us explore the complexities associated with serverless solutions.

Challange#1: Relatively new technology:

Since serverless is new, businesses face the challenge of finding skilled people and resources to implement serverless technologies efficiently, effectively, and accurately. Serverless is a novel cloud-based technology that has, currently, a relatively smaller knowledge base (at least now). This introduces more challenges in serverless technology adoption considering the difficulty of undertaking and testing tasks such as designing, architecting, troubleshooting, developing, etc. with serverless components. ISVs turning to serverless are looking to do this with the help of skilled partners with relevant experience in the development, troubleshooting, and implementation of serverless technologies and solutions.

Challange#2: Reduced control – 

A persistent argument against resources migration to the cloud is that it may result in loss of control compared to on-premises environs. This is applicable in the case of serverless technologies as well. When vendors and businesses use the public cloud resources, there’s a certain degree of renounced control of applications, infrastructure, services, or data housed there. Of course, many of these strong objections have already been addressed mainly because cloud environments and providers have matured now. In point of fact, modern businesses cannot survive without the cloud because it has become a vital part of enterprise services and infrastructure.

Public cloud, over the years, has come of age and much of that has rubbed off on serverless application development too. The benefits of using serverless capabilities and functions in public cloud environments and other public cloud offerings strongly outweigh the visible loss of control on the infrastructure. Your data and system are your responsibility just as it is with any other infrastructure or system kept in the public cloud. In other words, ISVs must properly architect the serverless systems. The approach must focus on fault tolerance and high availability, hence regaining some control over the architecture via software design. With the help of multiple cloud regions meant for serverless architecture, ISVs can offer resilience from potential outages likely to occur in cloud provider networks and infrastructure.

Challenge #3: Vendor lock-in:

Serverless is a relatively new offering for a vast majority of public cloud vendors. The exact specifications and standardization of serverless are only now being determined. As each vendor is developing and updating their serverless offerings bearing in mind what the technology should offer, this may result in vendor lock-in when you choose one serverless offering than the other. That said, there are multiple serverless platforms already on offer from most of the top cloud players, making the choice wider and deeper.

Challenge #4: Integration Testing Challenges: 

Testing solutions and platforms is vital for any production enterprise solution & development methodology. Compared to traditional systems’ development, the testing and tooling of serverless components can be highly challenging to manage. Performing integration testing is more difficult with serverless systems as they are instantiated as ephemeral, trigger-based-code. In integration testing, individual components are combined and tested as a group rather than individually. As a result, issues are exposed with the interaction between existing components in the system. Serverless’ transient existences and abstractions make it even more challenging. The vendors that have been utilizing traditional ways of integration testing need to adapt to newer challenges of integration testing involving serverless components. Serverless function-code may hugely benefit from the designing code that utilizes hexagonal architecture of decomposing the function code through the layers-of-responsibility. Integration testing of serverless code with these and several other design techniques may empower ISVs to perform integration testing (that involves serverless code) successfully.

Final Thoughts:

Serverless testing has many hidden challenges and these include the technology’s newness, renounced control, multi-tenancy & resource limits, testing challenges, startup time, and vendor lock-in among others. Businesses including vendors must skillfully craft their serverless apps for considering these challenges. This should facilitate harnessing the immense capabilities of serverless architecture while minimizing the inherent challenges of serverless offerings. Talk to us to know, how to craft strategies for robust testing for your serverless apps.

Talk to Us For Testing Serverless Apps

Related Blogs:

  1. Exploring Serverless Technologies.

  2. Serverless Computing Options.

  3. AWS and Azure Business Enablers 2022.

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