Perforce this week announced it plans to acquire Perfecto Mobile, a provider of automated application development tools, in a move that signals a potential wave of consolidation across the DevOps sector. Perfecto Mobile is the fifth acquisition Perforce has made in the last two years, and company CEO Mark Ties said there will be more to come.
Schedule to close later this year, the acquisition is estimated to be about $200 million.
The primary driver of this wave of consolidation is access to inexpensive capital coupled with mainstream adoption of DevOps processes that is requiring many startup companies to scale beyond their means, Ties said.
As a provider of a cloud-based set of tools for automating the testing of web and mobile applications using a variety of open source frameworks, Perfecto Mobile will complement a portfolio of application testing tools based mainly on the technologies Perforce gained when it acquired PRKA earlier this year. Perfecto Mobile currently has more than 3,000 customers.
Application testing, along with application development and deployment, increasingly is shifting to the left as developers assume more responsibility for the overall application environment. Instead of relying mainly on a dedicated team to test applications after they have been developed, companies now are continually testing modules as they are developed. Sometimes that’s done by the developers themselves, while other organizations prefer to maintain testing teams made up of individuals who did not write the code being tested. Proponents of the latter approach contend that approach leads to higher-quality code because the individuals testing the code are not as invested in how the code was written. Of course, in an ideal world, an organization would be able to embrace both approaches.
Regardless of the approach taken, the one thing that is clear is that the rate of at which applications are being developed requires more reliance on automated testing than ever. Not only are there more applications being developed, but increasingly each one is made up of microservices. There often are multiple versions of those microservices that are subject to frequent change. To make matters even more challenging, the number of dependencies between microservices that make up an application are increasing exponentially. That means the days when organizations could rely mainly on manual testing are coming to an end.
There may come a day when machine learning algorithms are able to play a bigger role in automating application testing and DevOps. But for now, that day is still far off. In the meantime, most organizations are still incorporating multiple approaches to automated testing into their application development processes. The issue is no longer so much about whether to automate testing as much as it is to what degree.
In the meantime, the more acquisitions that occur across the DevOps landscape, the greater the validation of DevOps becomes as vendors scramble to extend portfolios that, in many cases, are still optimized for legacy approaches to building and deploying applications that increasingly are falling by the wayside.