Look to the future of IoT and software testing.
Bain’s recent study predicts that IoT markets combined will reach over $520 billion by 2021. In addition, data analytics will be the fastest developing sector of IoT. This means that system integration, connectors, consumer devices, network, and data centers are key areas in the IoT market. Since IoT is showing immense promise, software testing is one of the ways to help secure the industry’s bright future and make all these predictions come true.
But first, what can we expect from IoT in the next few years?
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Bain also sees cloud services to be one of the most influential IoT providers. The research found that cloud providers might, indeed, lower barriers for IoT adoption, making use cases easier and simpler to implement. Therefore, we might see enterprises and industrial companies embracing cloud solutions for the sake of quicker product release and cost-efficiency.
The first IoT software platforms provided all-in-one solution services. But such platforms lack flexibility and fail to satisfy unique customer needs. Since businesses are taking a more customer-oriented approach, we can expect the next generation of network services to better address the broader array of customer requirements.
A shift from the independent, all-solution software platforms will make IoT applications widely-available at leading cloud providers such as Azure or AWS. New partnerships with cloud services, in-built security, and broader marketplace are the characteristics customers can expect from advanced IoT.
5G technology adds value to connectivity issues, thus making IoT a driver of industrial changes. New networks and wireless tech support can bring safety and real-time awareness to building autonomous vehicles, supporting smart highways, and planning and developing a wireless transport ecosystem. Yeah, it sounds like a fictional movie.
But what is becoming increasingly clear is that road communication and logistics could reap numerous benefits from IoT.
Besides, software applications for remote healthcare could also enhance the quality of medical services provided globally. Wireless support for surgery devices, data transfer, and telemedicine are additional sectors where IoT might influence its future.
There are still places on earth that lack urban roadside infrastructure, medical services, and/or global web access. Empowered by 5G, the Internet of Things might open new doors and problem-solving opportunities.
The democratization of IoT, impact on industries, and easier access via cloud services blew the competition away in terms of IoT and customer loyalty. And that`s where the question of software quality comes to play. As the number of IoT devices increases, consumer expectations of technology, interface, and performance grow as well. That`s why we’ve adopted the following IoT software testing stages before a release:
Since IoT systems unite a wide range of devices, software and hardware configuration for those devices can vary. The goal of compatibility tests is to run through all of the required combinations of gadgets that get connected to the system. Therefore, communication modes, device generations, browser types, and different operating systems are essential to testing items needed for IoT compatibility checks.
These tests ensure faultless implementation of the entire IoT strategy and plan. These tests make sure your IoT application speed can handle environments with large data loads. Non-standard scenarios and simulated loads help check the IoT system through sophisticated working conditions.
Since performance testing requires a well-thought-out plan, these are the key parameters:
Increased data capacity ensures IoT products perform under extreme data volumes.
Test cases with a different number of devices — from just a few to a thousand
Simulating cross-device data exchange
Monitoring utility: system usage display, power and battery consumption, temperature index, etc.
Network impact testing: measuring the performance of a deployed IoT app. This stage includes testing a device for a combination of environmental conditions and network size.
Your IoT system should be available at all-times and seamlessly connected to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 4G, etc. When the connection is running, QA engineers must ensure that data storage runs smoothly. But a “connection down” scenario requires more attention, as the tests for wireless connectivity scenarios bring importance to the software makers. The potential problems with connection shape revolve around application design. No matter how robust the network is, chances are the system goes offline. That`s why QA needs to cover the bases and check what might happen if the network is dropped unexpectedly.
QA ensures that the mechanism of data storage continues to work during periods offline. This means that data loss is prevented and stored in an offline mode. Software testing often goes into real-world tests — checking the app in the required environment switching between the connections.
While Dropcam and Nest have successfully made waves with the consumers, the Apple HomeKit works on its full home connectivity. However, testing in an unfamiliar environment might be challenging for QA engineers. In this case, it is crucial to consider compatibility (the other devices present at home) or home layout. Virtualization is a way forward for dev and test teams to model any house type and locate device states, though. Therefore, testers have a full picture of the real-life conditions the IoT system would function in.
The Internet of Things Solutions World Congress (IoTSWC) 2018 predicts the slow simplification of communication protocol standards in IoT development. That means automated testing has a good chance to fully enter the industry. For now, testing applications connected to the network often results in sleepless nights, since not all IoT devices can be approached by automation. However, the use of automated tests for IoT is always a matter of a specific device. The simulators might help to render the network of IoT nodes and deliver a range of benefits for IoT product release:
As IoT is an emerging technology in 2019, the role of automated QA is one of the ways to accelerate product delivery and enhance the competitive edge of the industry.
Seems like 2019 should be exciting since IoT technology continues to revolutionize businesses, bringing new solutions to our everyday lives. These changes might not be fast, but one thing is for sure: We can expect major market changes pertaining to IoT in the coming years. Stay tuned!