The Internet of Things, popularly known as IoT, is a network of multiple things thanks to the power of internet. It could be a bunch of devices, vehicles, buildings or anything that you can connect to an internet network to facilitate the collection and exchange of data.
The whole system of IoT has four major components – sensor, application, network and backend data centre. To build and maintain this robust system, you need to take it through a thorough IoT testing process that gives you the ideal results.
With the increasing need to deliver faster and reliable results across various industries, people are lapping up the idea of IoT with a lot of enthusiasm. However, creating such IoT systems or networks is not that easy as there are several challenges they face.
Security, scalability, user experience, software-hardware interaction, real-time data velocity and platform diversity are some of the common challenges that companies face while implementing IoT in their business. This is where the efficiency of the testing approaches you uses matter a lot.
When dealing with something as complex as IoT solutions, one needs a multi-dimensional testing approach that covers all the bases. The strategies involved in the testing must constantly evolve with time. The testing process checks on every component of the IoT system so that there are no lapses on any fronts.
Here, we explain the best testing approaches through different types of testing one should perform in such cases.
While performing Usability Testing, the idea is to check how good the interface of the device is. The ultimate aim for any creator is to please the user by offering a great user experience. Therefore, all the basic features like responsiveness, navigation, preserving nativity are the things that need to be kept in mind while creating the test cases. The goal should be to create a simple system where the user does need training or a guide to operate it.
Security Testing should be done in a way that the primary focus is to safeguard the data transmission and storage in a secure manner. All the data transmission should be encrypted and no other device or user without approval should be able to gain access to the information in the IoT system.
One thing to note here is that the testing should not only be done for the app or the software but for the devices connected to it as well. You should identify the vulnerable points in the system to prevent theft of data, cyber-attacks or the malfunctioning of a device that can eventually lead to security lapses in the whole system.
Here, the idea should be to come up with real-life scenarios, like intermittent failures or a total loss of internet connectivity to check how the system operates. Moreover, the interconnectivity of the devices too is important to check, whether they are compatible enough to be used under a single umbrella or not. Simulating such real-life scenarios helps in determining the robustness of the devices and also the network, as a whole.
During Performance Testing, you mainly need to focus on the responsiveness of the application or software while the users are using it. Furthermore, you need to check if the system can handle a spike in traffic.
Here, you need to check whether all the devices in the system are compatible with each other. Since there are multiple kinds of hardware, operating systems, variable speed and networks, browser types and so on in the loop, it is important to perform tests under all possible scenarios to reduce the failure of the system.
One of the key aspects of IoT test approaches is that you should put it through Regression Testing from time to time. As and when there is the need for an upgrade, you must perform tests to check whether the system will restart with similar smoothness.
Also, you need to ensure that all the data is preserved in the upgraded version. For this, you need to perform tests in different staging environments before pushing the final upgrade in the system.
IoT Testing Tools
Here are five of the most popular and effective currently tools used by our developers at TestUnity.
It is a tool that enables you to identify the number of devices that are connected to the internet at a particular point of time. It helps you to keep track of all the devices in your network and spot an unknown device immediately.
Thingful is one of the most useful IoT testing tools out there as it secures the process of interoperability between millions of devices via the internet. It is basically a search engine for IoT. Furthermore, it can control how the data is being used by the devices, thus ensuring safety and enabling you to take valuable decisions in quick time.
If you are to analyse the traffic visible on your network, then using Wireshark is a great option. It is an open source traffic analysing tool that helps you to monitor all the traffic on the interface, including unicast traffic. It has a Graphical User Interface (GUI) and some sorting and filtering options as well to improve its usability. It runs on macOS, Linux, Solaris, BSD and Microsoft Windows.
If you want a toned-down version of Wireshark, then Tcpdump is ideal as it does not have a GUI. It is a command line tool that gives information on the sent and received TCOP/IP and other packets over the big network.
If you want an IoT testing tool that performs multiple functions, then the SOASTA CloudTest can help you. It enables you to perform four types of testing – Mobile Functional and Performance Testing and Web-based Functional and Performance Testing. The tool has the ability to simulate a scenario where millions of users from different geographical backgrounds access the IoT system at a time to test it under huge loads. CloudTest gives you real-time analysis and integration of test design, monitoring and reporting, to make your job easier.
With over 20 billion devices set to join IoT systems by the end of 2020, the need for ideal test approaches is surely high. To get the best testing services for your IoT software system, get in touch with TestUnity.