Testing Individual Microservices

Tests of the individual microservices are the duty of the team that is responsible for the respective microservice. The team has to implement the different tests such as unit tests, load tests, and acceptance tests as part of their own continuous delivery pipeline—as would also be the case for systems that are not microservices.

However, for some functionalities microservices require access to other microservices. This poses a challenge for the tests: It is not sensible to provide a complete environment with all microservices for each test of each microservice. On the one hand, this would use up too many resources. On the other hand, it is difficult to supply all these environments with the up-to-date software. Technically, lightweight virtualization approaches like Docker can at least reduce the expenditure in terms of resources. However, for 50 or 100 microservices this approach will not be sufficient anymore.

Reference Environment

A reference environment in which the microservices are available in their current version is one possible solution. The tests of the different microservices can use the microservices from this environment. However, errors can occur when multiple teams test different microservices in parallel with the microservices from the reference environment. The tests can influence each other and thereby create errors. Besides the reference environment has to be available. When a part of the reference environment breaks down due to a test, in extreme cases tests might be impossible for all teams. The microservices have to be hold available in the reference environment in their current version. This generates additional expenditure. Therefore, a reference environment is not a good solution for the isolated testing of microservices.

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