AtomicJar Unveils Testcontainers Cloud Service

AtomicJar this week made available a public beta of a cloud service based on a lightweight open source Testcontainers framework. The framework uses Docker containers to create more real-world testing environments by, for example, invoking instances of databases, message brokers and web browsers.

Fresh from raising an additional $25 million in funding, AtomicJar also announced it plans to expand the types of databases and programming languages that its open source libraries support in addition to improving the developer experience.

AtomicJar CEO Sergei Egorov says the Testcontainers Cloud service is designed to make it simpler for developers of cloud-native applications built using containers to test dependencies themselves without enlisting the aid of a dedicated application testing team.

The company achieves that goal by leveraging containers to enable developers to test applications in an environment where there are real dependencies on backend services such as databases. Compared to traditional unit testing, Egorov says this approach provides developers with testing results that better reflect real-world deployment scenarios.

In addition, it eliminates the need for IT organizations to set up their own staging environment to test applications because developers can now test applications themselves before moving code through a continuous integration (CI) platform and onto a production environment, adds Egorov. Existing processes for testing applications are much less efficient because they often result in flaky tests, he adds.

Testcontainers Cloud is designed to be installed in less than five minutes and requires no access to a local Docker daemon. All the hardware and software limitations typically associated with setting up and maintaining a testing environment have been removed, notes Egorov.

AtomicJar claims Testcontainers themselves have already been downloaded more than 100 million times since they were made available in 2015. Organizations such as DoorDash, Spotify, Uber, Netflix, Google and Zalando regularly use Testcontainers within their software development life cycles.

In general, developers have driven most adoption of Testcontainers thus far from the bottom up, notes Egorov. As developers increasingly rely on platforms to help them test code as they write it, the overall quality of that code will improve. Today, testing often occurs days—sometimes weeks—after code is initially written, so developers often lose context when test results come back. The Testcontainers Cloud service is designed to enable developers to run tests as frequently as they’d like in a way that is better integrated with application development processes, says Egorov.

It’s not clear how shifting application testing left will impact app testing teams. In theory, those teams should be able to focus more on complex issues as more routine tests are run by developers themselves. In some cases, however, organizations may decide they no longer need a dedicated testing team as the overall quality of the code improves. One way or another, the number of updates necessary to fix an application should steadily decline over time as more modern cloud-native applications are deployed across distributed computing environments.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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