Software Testing in the IoT Era: How QA Will Evolve in a Connected World
Learn more about why testing and quality assurance are vital to IoT's future success.
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When you talk about IoT, the first thing that comes to mind is devices that are connected to each other, right?
The Internet of Things has made it possible to control each and every device around you by simply connecting them to each other. As such, you could say that we are living in a more ‘connected world.’
You can connect to just about any electronic device, from cell phones and televisions, to vehicles, and even to heavy machinery. IoT creates a network for all of these devices so that they can share and transmit information and communicate with each other.
However, when all devices get connected to each other, the network created is very complex. The internal connections of devices, code, data, sensors, and other entities reflect on the performance of each individual device.
Therefore, all of these devices and connections need to be checked regularly to make sure that they deliver quality performance. Here’s where quality assurance (QA) and software testing comes to play.
Why Is QA Testing Important for IoT?
Quality assurance testing, better known as QA testing, helps determine whether the software or product meets the specified standard and performs according to user expectations.
Since the product quality is at stake in this QA, testers perform very thorough and vigorous testing to find any small, undetectable bugs and attempt to rectify them immediately.
This type of testing is done in order to deliver better and more reliable products to customers. By delivering quality-assured products, you increase your credibility and customer’s confidence in your products and services.
If customers have confidence in your products, it gives you a winning edge over competitors.
For the Internet of Things, the scenario is quite similar. Quality assurance has become one of the most important aspects of developing a reliable and optimized IoT device. All underlying processes and each small entity of the software is tested in detail to detect any errors that hinder its ability to work directly and stay hidden in the software.
The reason why QA is so important in IoT is that all IoT devices are connected to an intricate network. The quality of each and every system will affect the efficient working of the other device.
This testing not only ensures that each device performs its expected function efficiently, but also makes sure that the entire network of IoT devices work well with each other and deliver as expected.
QA testing helps to improve the following aspects of IoT:
IoT is entirely made up of components. A number of components work together to create an IoT device and network. All these components need to be tested for their hardware, software, interface, cloud, connectivity, the flow of data, and more.
QA handles this task by checking the entire system and its separate components to see if they work well together and deliver quality results.
In an IoT ecosystem where tons of devices are connected, you need to prepare yourself to face at least some unexpected exception. This exception can hamper the efficient working of the entire system and so you need to monitor the functionality of each component.
This task is also handled by quality assurance tests. The entire IoT network is tested for exceptions and these exceptions are resolved as soon as they occurred.
A device may perform well in an individual setting; however, you cannot predict what faults and errors you might encounter when a bunch of IoT devices are made to communicate with each other.
In order to ensure that the devices communicate with each other and perform their tasks as expected, performance monitoring is performed. It is also a part of quality assurance and helps determine the efficiency of IoT devices.
IoT devices communicate and share tons of data through a common network. If this network falls prey to a security failure, all the confidential and important data may get lost or used in the wrong way.
This is why security is one of the most important things for IoT devices and also for quality assurance. QA makes sure that the network and all the devices in that network are completely secure and protected from any outside attacks.
Security testing is done to identify data leakage and loss, ensure data encryption and decryption methodologies, monitor data packets, and keep the entire system under check.
QA also involves virtual testing of devices, which are a part of smart cities, functional testing of wireless connections, integration testing, cross-browser testing, and the testing all the interfaces of the IoT devices to detect even the smallest of bugs.
How QA Will Evolve in a Connected World
The world is getting connected with the help of IoT. Emerging smart cities are a great example of this new, connected world. However, with the increasing demand for IoT technology, the number of security threats is also increasing.
Software testing methods need to keep up with technological advancements. Therefore, it is very important to evolve in the way quality assurance is performed.
Here are a few of the areas in which software testing needs to evolve to keep up with the IoT era.
Regular Security Checks
As mentioned earlier, an IoT network is very complicated and has hundreds of connectivity points. There are too many things happening in a single IoT network that make keeping check of functions and operations a little tedious.
In such cases, it is very easy to overlook things that may pose a huge security risk to the entire connection and devices involved.
However, as IoT is becoming more and more prominent, this security concern will soon be eradicated.
It Will Be Easier to Decide Which Tests Are Important and Which Are Not
A system is very complicated and contains too much functionality. During quality assurance, prioritizing which tests are actually beneficial for the system and which are a waste of time gets a little difficult.
Testers end up wasting huge amounts of time on testing trivial things and forget the essential parts of testing.
As QA evolves, the important and the unimportant components will become clearer and testers will be able to focus on the tests that are of top priority.
Improved Test Automation
This is another area where IoT software testing is sure to evolve. As testing becomes more complicated, it is important to adopt advance test automation strategies.
Strong service virtualization is also very important for the future IoT era, and it is sure to improve in the future. Lastly, code reviewing can also help improve quality assurance.
The fact that the world will soon depend on IoT is undeniable. However, there is an endless scope of security risk with this IoT-dependent world.
To ensure that these risks do not become major threats, we need to adopt advanced methods of quality assurance.
All we need to do is keep an eye out on the IoT era and monitor changes in QA trends.
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