The Need for Testing With IoT’s Rapid Popularity Growth

  Oct 23, 2019 6:38:04 AM

IoT or Internet of Things is an ecosystem comprising of various subsystems and subcomponents. It covers multiple sensors, devices, embedded hardware, platforms, and services. This integrated approach enables faster computing, efficient and optimized storage, analytic capabilities and intuitive visualization of data. It also helps establish connectivity to legacy and enterprise based systems.

Like any other software solution, it is therefore essential to test IoT solutions ensuring their robustness and quality during implementation and deployment.

Common Challenges Faced in Testing IoT Solutions
Considering the variations in application usage based on multiple domains, there will be multiple challenges associated with testing IoT solutions. Few of the notable challenges commonly faced are as follows:

  • The presence of real-time complexities while replicating sensor data and protocols for multiple device simulators
  • Depending on multiple sensors and devices leads to the creation of multiple scenarios. As a result, test automation becomes a challenge
  • Retaining the consistency and integrity of data without any loss across all modules of the solutions being developed
  • Validating the ability and performance of the solutions to handle multiple degrees of volume, velocity and variety of data
  • Establishing an efficient test environment to measure functionality and evaluate scalability and consistency of the IoT solutions
  • Impending security vulnerabilities across various layers of IoT systems poses a threat to security and data privacy

Initial Considerations for IoT Testing
Identifying the scope and coverage of testing is the most important element for formulation of a comprehensive test strategy. There are six key aspects that require testing before delivering a minimum viable quality (MVQ) IoT solution

  • Edge & Devices
    This testing involves data flow from devices/sensors to Edge and Edge features and capabilities. Device protocols and data integrity are evaluated along with Edge firmware, middleware, and application layers.
  • Connectivity
    Verifying and evaluating the existence of a reliable two-way communication channel between the Edge Gateway and Platform. These quality checks ensure no loss of data due to bandwidth crunch.
  • Platform
    End-to-end testing of the platform services to ensure integrity of data and prevention of its loss.
  • Storage
    Performance checks on functionality of the persistence layer. This ensures no compromises on data quality owing to fluctuations in the load capability.
  • Application
    UI/UX and functionality testing of the application layers that will be utilized by the end users
  • Security
    Comprehensive security testing of the IoT solution developed. This helps detect any vulnerabilities and threats to data privacy at each layer/module of the solution

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Approach and Methodology towards Effective IoT Testing

As stated before, IoT solutions require intense testing to meet customer requirements and ensuring no compromises in quality. Certain best practices guarantee the delivery of a best in class IoT solution, some of which are:

  • Identifying well-structured requirements and defining a comprehensive test framework plan, that covers both unit testing along with integration and API testing
  • Having the QA team involved during the early stages of the solution development. This guarantees them having an understanding of the architecture, flow of data between the modules and how the hardware and software interface while functioning
  • Choosing the appropriate testing tools and automation scripts that provide quality checks at each stage of the development phase
  • Employing the right mix of skillsets (Embedded and IT) for the QA team

 

A typical IoT solution architecture with the appropriate testing capabilities has been illustrated below:

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We were recently involved in the testing of an IoT solution for a large industrial player. Our approach employed a mix of manual and automated testing of various devices, interfaces, connectivity, and performance testing of platform components. The security and functional testing of the pre-existing databases and the UI were also under the scope of quality assurance checks. This approach towards the solution led to the following benefits at each stage:

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How We Help Our Customers
 IoT solutions are finding widespread adoption in all business sectors and domains in this digitally connected age. Keeping in mind the knowledge pool of various domains and multiple field applications required for effective deployment, testing plays a crucial part in IoT development. 

At Sasken we follow a comprehensive QA strategy to handle unique requirements and challenges associated with IoT applications. Our unique chip to cognition skillset and expertise brings the right flavor for IoT testing by effortlessly integrating various protocols, embedded platform testing, software platforms, and application testing methodologies. We have and continue to provide our customers with best-in-class IoT solutions having rigorous testing protocols in place.

 

Posted by:
Nisam Rahiman
Architect – Application Software

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