The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the main transformation elements for digital and virtual technologies. It is widely recognized among the most essential areas of future technology and is continually gaining interest from a variety of industries. The Internet of Things is a network of collaborative devices that can be monitored remotely from any location through the use of the Internet.
What Are IoT Devices?
IoT devices are interconnected electronic devices integrated with IoT gateways to collect, filter, and transport data from one to another without human intervention but with the help of software, sensors, and network-supporting components. Household appliances in a smart home are a classic example of IoT.
What Is IoT Device Testing?
IoT device testing is the execution and evaluation of an IoT system, as well as its components and interactions between them, that is applied to confirm an acceptable level of quality. It is not just about a separate device functioning well; IoT testing involves device testing as well as the entire ecosystem in which it is operating.
IoT devices introduce software complexity and security risks that require significantly more testing than before. Adequate mobile and IoT device testing and improvement are extremely important as cybersecurity concerns continue to rise exponentially.
Why Test IoT Devices?
As the number of devices integrated with software and connected with one another increases, so does the need for them to be properly tested. It is crucial if you want to ensure seamless functioning, effective communication, and accurate data transmission. The device should be safe for both the user and the system. Comprehensive analysis helps to ensure that end-users have a satisfying interaction with the product, which then behaves as it should. In IoT-aided medical apps, for example, an unexpected performance or a minor failure might become a serious problem.
So, the main reasons for thorough IoT device testing are:
- correctly assembled product;
- identification of major performance flaws before presenting the product to the public;
- removal of faulty components from the device;
- increased reliability and quality (the cost of making a mistake in IoT is substantially higher than in any other software product).
IoT testing is more complex than standard software testing since every IoT device involves a unique strategy. System scalability, real-time scenario complexity, and an extremely dynamic environment are common challenges associated with it. A system checkup is a sequence of steps that address performance and security. The only question is, how do we organize the IoT device test process to deliver the desired quality criteria?
How to Perform IoT Device Testing?
IoT device testing introduces new challenges to the development lifecycle, since the process varies according to the IoT system and the specific configuration you are working on. It may include more than just a typical test strategy or method for testing IoT device software. But there are some common steps implemented in most IoT testing practices.
Analyze the requirements
At the very beginning, the relevant questions regarding the product and how it is intended to function are discussed in order to gain a deeper insight into what the final result is going to look like. During the requirement-gathering stage, QA managers define IoT software features, document the requirements to learn them, and identify the testable ones.
Create a plan
This step is entirely dependent on the outcomes of the previous one. It helps to define what the entire process entails from start to finish, prioritizing the appropriate set of scenarios based on different factors. A team agrees upon the scope of work as well as the experts and framework required for the next steps. The roles and responsibilities are assigned. The risks are evaluated.
The team prepares and reviews test cases and scripts. Test case designs are allocated to a QA specialist to go through functionality and priority in a test suite according to the requirements and priority values of test scenarios.
Set up a test environment
When testing an IoT solution, building the environment, which must include numerous devices, is a significant challenge. It is not enough to verify the interaction between the application and the software feature in the setup. To test IoT device in a way that will be officially available for real users, you should come up with an idea of how to incorporate factors such as network connectivity or power into the testing environment. The environment you are building must reproduce the exact production environment.
At this point, the test cases are executed. The intended and actual results are compared to determine if the product behaves according to the requirements and is ready for release. In case of bugs, testers create bug reports with a summary, severity, and steps to reproduce, communicate them, and send the product back to the developers.
Perform continuous regression tests
Regression testing continues until QA experts are confident that the product is stable and that only a few low-priority defects are left. Because of the number of layers involved in an IoT system (sensor, network, and backend), it is highly critical. Any changes to one of them may have an impact on how the rest of the layers interact.
Automate majority tests
Automated IoT testing is a game-changer in product quality. By automating IoT tests, you can improve test coverage, prevent human error, and maintain product quality despite the growing complexity of IoT. The more areas covered by testing, the better the outcome. The sheer number of devices and data in the IoT makes it prone to error if manually tested. Automating the majority of work is an ideal test solution since it brings new capabilities. For example, you can run tests that would be impossible or prohibitively expensive to execute manually. Though automated testing will take more time at first, it will reduce the overall cost of testing already in the middle of the process just by running tests repetitively again and again at a low cost.
Understanding IoT testing and applying an appropriate technique are top priorities for companies striving to manage the complexity of IoT and their share of the market. In the last couple of years, it has already shifted from being just a tech opportunity to a business one.