The Internet of Things (IoT) has become one of the most commonly used terms in the IT sector today; but, what exactly does IoT (Internet of Things) mean?
Well, there are different definitions of IoT on the internet. Consequently, finding the answer to this question is not set in stone because everyone has a different viewpoint for IoT.
However, “Internet of Things” means “smart appliances”, “smart products”, or “smart things” that have sensors and work with technologies to connect and exchange information with other systems and devices through the internet.
At present, the market is flooded with the IoT devices, such as Smart Refrigerators, Smart Mobiles, Smart Watches, Smart Fire Alarms, Smart Door Clocks, Fitness Trackers, Smart Security Systems, and Medical Sensors, etc. These devices are technology-specific and work through the internet.
Why Quality Matters for IoT Based Systems?
An IoT Based System covers devices/sensors which communicate with the cloud. Yet, the point is how a connection is established between IoT systems and the cloud? Actually, the cloud is the internet of all things that you can access remotely over the internet.
If something is in the cloud, it means a particular command or piece of information will be stored on internet servers rather than a computers’ hard drive. If there is any data in an IoT-based system, this data first needs to be stored or sent to the cloud. After that, the data processes into software, and then the software might decide to perform an action. For example, it can send any notification or automatically adjust the device/sensor without the need for the user.
Therefore, we can assume that IoT devices use some communication models or paths or any network or service to help people and things be connected anytime, anyplace, with anyone and anything.
In other words, IoT is all about a network of physical objects or things that connect and interchange data with other devices and systems over the internet. And when exchanging the IoT based data from one device to another, it is necessary to focus on IoT device testing and Quality Assurance as the purpose of IoT testing services is to ensure that the IoT testing company will rigorously test your IoT-based application and fulfill all your end-to-end performance, functionality, connectivity, and other business requirements.
With IoT device testing, you can easily resolve significant challenges faced by the IoT testing company:
- Network and internal communication issues.
- Lack of standards for authorization and authentication of IoT edge devices.
- The complexity of the system and software may hide bugs present in the IoT technology.
- Security is the main issue in IoT platforms because all tasks are run via the internet.
- Lack of resources that one needs to consider during IoT device testing are battery life, bandwidth, memory, and processing power, etc.
In an IoT-based system, any mistake can lead to the disastrous outcomes such as physical accidents, security lapses, non-optical use of resources, small functioning, etc. Therefore, it is crucial to test IoT devices or systems for service availability for optical performance. One can also hire IoT testers to get the test done with various conditions.
For instance, there are four main components of the IoT system: Sensor, Application, Network, Data Center (Backend). Testing of these components are critical to assure that IoT-based systems or connected products will communicate and send a wide variety of data to the cloud and upload it safely.
Moreover, the simplest architecture of any IoT system will work based on the given functionalities:
- Data Collection & Monitoring
- Data Processing
- Feedback Mechanism
It is essential to verify the system against requirements in both functional and non-functional ways. Besides, a Quality engineering team should consider those factors, which are usually absent from the conventional application testing agenda.
- The volume of data, frequency of data collection and monitoring.
- One must know the environment in which the system is deployed with various factors such as humidity, temperature, elevation, pressure.
- Backend system simulation by controlling the object behavior.
- Reliability, accuracy & stability.
- Interoperability, velocity and location interfaces.
- Network conditions such as bandwidth.
- Interruptions and Disruptions.
- Calibration skills require before carrying out the QA as it helps produce accurate results.
How to Achieve Quality Assurance for IoT Systems?
If you want to acquire quality assurance for IoT systems, you can consider IoT testing services from the best IoT software testing company because it has subject-matter expertise with several dedicated teams of testers to test various applications’ features and systems’ behaviors in real-time. In addition, the company should have sufficient working experience in IoT device testing with a thorough understanding of business objectives and use cases that are critical to developing the optimal Test Suite.
Real-Time Operating Systems
The IoT testing company should have real-time operating systems to deliver the modularity, scalability, connectivity, and security benefits for IoT. Generally, Real-time Operating Systems are operating systems that aim to manage hardware resources, host applications, and process data on a real-time basis. Thus, it is necessary to perform IoT testing in a real-time environment because it can help you achieve the quality that matters for your customers.
Continuous Integration/ Continuous Deployment
IoT-based solutions require continuous testing because the behavior of every system can vary based on internal and external factors and as per the different components of the system.
Automation plays a great role in connecting IoT devices. For instance, there are numerous uses of automation in IoT, and it depends on components and key technologies that are used to connect devices to the internet.
Consider the example of IoT sensors. They help collect the data from the environment and process it later through automation. Moreover, the connection and identification are made from the device to the IoT system through an IP address.
Actuators are also based on a similar concept. They help take action to the devices based on data collected from their own sensors and network feedback. In addition, the IoT gateway assists in transferring the data from the different devices to the cloud. Similarly, User Interface helps get the data from various devices and allows making executions to the system based on the requirements.
In short, there are several factors in IoT that one needs to consider while conducting IoT device testing. Manual testing of all these factors may end up turning into a highly consuming and costly task.
However, automation for testing of all IoT components, allows you to ensure that the defined processes would work perfectly even after the much involvement of human beings (the key areas that need manual testing). Also, Automation can help making way for several benefits such as higher production rates, product quality, efficiency, improved safety, lower production costs, and improved security, and many more things, which otherwise are not possible with manual testing alone.
IoT is becoming increasingly popular due to its ability to connect all potential objects to the internet so they can interact with each other and help humans get a comfortable life.
Connected appliances, autonomous farming equipment, wearable health monitors, smart home security systems, biometric systems, wireless inventory trackers are some of the top examples of IoT devices that one needs to test carefully.
All in all, the inability to offer Quality Assurance to your users could lead to a poor product experience, making your brand suffer. However, with reliable IoT device testing services, you can test your IoT related operations and make the most with your intelligent products in terms of quality, seamless performance and overall functionality.
Kanika Vatsyayan is Vice-President Strategies at BugRaptors who oversees all the quality control and assurance strategies for client engagements. She loves to share her knowledge with others through blogging. Being a voracious blogger, she published countless informative blogs to educate audience about automation and manual testing.