Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Internet of Things and Its Impact on Software Testing Industry

Impact on Software Testing Industry

As a network of physical objects, Internet of Things (IoT) enables a wide variety of devices to collect and exchange data through sensors, software applications, and network connections. The environment provides each device with a unique identifier, and allows various devices to collect and exchange data over a network through machine-to-machine interaction. The machine-to-machine communication will make the devices both smart and complex. Also, the interaction will have a huge impact on the software testing industry as most devices will use specialized software applications and tools to collect and exchange data with each other.

Assessing Major Impacts of Internet of Things on Software Testing
Strong Testing Strategy
The conventional software testing strategies normally focus on specific devices, operating systems and web browsers.  But businesses have to focus on embedded software while making strategy to test IoT applications.  They have to ensure that all aspects of the application are tested thoroughly and in many environments. At the same time, the testing strategy must emphasis on unit testing, continuous integration, clear requirements, complete test coverage, lean test plans, detailed user stories, and informative test reports. The conventional testing strategies have to be completely revamped to deliver a flawless IoT application. 

Emphasis on Cloud-based Applications
The devices will communicate with each other over the internet, and through software applications and sensors. Most devices in future will be designed with sensors. In addition to making it smarter, the sensor will further enable the device to gather, measure, and analyze data. But the sensors are completely different from conventional machines. The enterprises have to build the right infrastructure to leverage the information collected through sensors. Many businesses will soon rely on cloud-based applications to interpret and exchange the data collected by sensors. So IoT will require testers to assess a variety of cloud-based applications to check the effectiveness of sensors and embedded software.    

Focus on Usability, Performance and Security Testing
IoT will make it essential for enterprises to emphasis on usability, performance and security testing of IoT applications. Normally, the next generation applications will sport a minimal design, with smaller controls or buttons. So the testers must perform usability testing to ensure that the users can operate the device in a quick and convenient way. Likewise, the testers have to perform elaborate performance testing to assess the application’s performance under varying internet connections. As the application will gather and exchange data over the internet, the testers need to ensure that it detects, collects and stores data despite disruptive internet connection. At the same time,   the professionals also need to perform security testing to protect the IoT environment from various security threats. The security testing will include emphasis on assessing the strength of passwords and effectiveness of encryption techniques.

Test Automation becomes Essential
The QA professionals have to perform a variety of tests to assess the functionality and performance of an IoT application accurately. They also need to repeat certain tests to assess the application under different conditions or based on various parameters. So enterprises have to automate the manual testing efforts to increase test coverage and complete all required tests within a shorter amount of time. The test automation tools will further help users to evaluate code coverage and interoperability of devices without putting any extra time and effort. Likewise, the emulators and simulators will help the enterprise to test IoT applications across many devices without investing in real devices and hardware.

Need for New Testing Tools and Frameworks
The businesses cannot rely on conventional software testing tools and frameworks to test applications accurately in the IoT environment. They will need test automation tools designed specifically for testing sensors, cloud-based applications, and embedded systems. Likewise, they will also need tools to assess the application’s performance across many devices, platforms and networks. The managers will also be required to pick the right test automation tools to assess custom and complex IoT applications.  Many companies are expected to launch specialized test automation tools by targeting the IoT environment.

On the whole, businesses have to explore innovative ways to test software applications developed for the Internet of Things environment. Also, the testers will need advanced and customized tools to assess effectiveness of the software application to facilitate communication and data exchange between a variety of devices.  

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