Introduction – IoT
IoT is basically connecting all the surrounding smart devices (things) that contain sensors or embedded technologies to Internet enabling them for collecting and sharing data.
This technology allows the user to control devices remotely over the network.
IoT Key Components
Things: Things are devices which are embedded with sensors and software required for communication with the external environment.
Communication: – It is the network that connects the things and computing infrastructure.
Basically, communication protocol is based on the type of network such as WAN or LAN.
Computing – Computing is often done on a mobile device, desktop or server, based on the amount of data that needs to be processed and analyzed. This component receives data from different things and applications. It provides different business views and performance parameters with the help of analytical tools. Thus, helping the consumer/ enterprise to take business-critical decisions.
IoT Applications Landscape
There are many verticals which will be impacted by emerging IoT. The figure below depicts categorization of the domains:
There are many applications to monitor the health conditions of the patients like Activity Tracker, which helps to monitor heart rate patterns continuously, activity levels, calorie expenditure, and skin temperature on your wrist 24/7.
Wearable gadgets such as Fitbit bands and Apple watches synchronize easily with mobile devices. They help in capturing necessary information such as health, heart rate monitoring, sleeping activity etc. They also help in displaying data, notifications from the mobile devices onto them.
Why – Focus on IoT Testing:
These days most of the household goods manufacturers, car manufacturers, healthcare, utility and many other vendors are releasing IoT products due to the increasing expectations for IoT-enabled devices.
The enterprise world is rapidly emerging with IoT-enabled apps into the mobile app market. The expected number of IoT devices to be released is growing enormously every year and the consumer expectations in terms of technology UI and product quality is also rising very fast.
So, delivering a high-quality product is very important and it’s thorough end-to-end functional, non-functional and security testing becomes critical.
IoT-enabled devices have different sort of usability issues and challenges – For example, application is not getting installed on a device, sensor is unable to send data properly, mobile app is not able to communicate to IoT device or is regularly crashing etc.
Majority of these problems arise due to –
- a) lack of usability behavior
- b) quick roll-out into the market without proper testing
- c) compromising testing platforms
Due to above mentioned reasons, IoT- enabled devices does not perform as expected. To make sure that these devices work as desired, the IoT development organizations must follow end-to-end quality testing.
Any IoT testing must consider diverse scenarios that need to be tested, the interoperability of devices and the fact that most of the IoT devices are mission critical in nature requiring high code coverage.
The process of automating testing is essential for its success and using simulators, one can easily mimic the network of nodes which cuts down the hardware costs.
Overall, the testing challenges is a wide area to investigate starting from devices, sensors with backend data analytics and validation of various real-time IoT environments that meet application complexity and performance.
IOT Testing Scope:
There are four key IoT testing areas which the team must consider for testing any IoT-enabled product. The following diagram illustrates the same:
IoT Test Approaches
Usability Testing: There are so many devices in market of different shape and form factors which are used by the users. Moreover, the perception also varies from one user to other. That’s why checking user experience of IoT app, with respect to its usage, visibility of text, appeal and usefulness of the content to the end user is very important in IoT testing.
Compatibility Testing: There are lots of devices which can be connected though IOT system. These devices have different software and hardware configurations. Therefore, considering many possible combinations, checking the compatibility in IOT system is important.
Functional Testing: This should be done to check the way the consumer wants the output, based on specific inputs given to the IoT app.
Network Testing: This is required to verify IoT app with different network connections and ensure app to sync with all different backend combination protocols.
Security testing: Validating privacy of data, reliability of IoT app, verification, availability and authorization are the factors that need to be considered.
Verifying that app is following network security standards and authentication mechanism to authenticate the required app.
Performance Testing: To check the overall performance of the IoT app and validate the response time based on different user loads, optimize the code to improve the performance. Verify with different scenarios like low battery, less memory, switching between different networks etc.
Operational Testing: To verify behavior of IoT app when battery is fully discharged, and an updated version of app is getting installed or for any interruption of message or call received.