How Important is Quality Assurance for the Internet of Things (IoT)?

Internet of Things

The process of checking whether a service or product is satisfying customer requirements called Quality Assurance. On the other hand, the connection of home appliances, vehicles, medicinal equipment using microchips and embedded electronics to collect and exchange different kinds of data is referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT). It is a technology that helps users to control their devices remotely over a network.

We can say Quality Assurance is the company’s responsibility or the people who take work and money from the business owner. For IoT, if the company gives the commitment to make IoT applications and software, their professionals also ensure that the entire network of IoT devices will work well with each other and deliver as per customer’s expectations.

Role of QA

There are a wide variety of applications under development to grow the existing hyper-intelligent connected world. However, companies need to get the testing done on these applications before revealing them in front of the audience. The role of QA is critical because it includes testing of software and hardware and transmission of real-time intelligence. Top Challenges and solutions of QA may consist of:

A Working System is not Sufficient:

To validate an IoT service or system, it is solely not sufficient to ensure that the set of applications are working. For example, a shipment tracking system with devices and sensors that communicate with two or more software back-ends will require intelligent algorithms to assure the product will be delivered accurately. This needs a very powerful QA (Quality Assurance) validation process. The use cases can be complex in real-time. It may require a variety of real-time scenarios to address QA challenges.

The Software/Hardware Convergence of QA:

Undoubtedly, sensors, applications, and devices help form the ecosystem. Still, when it comes to checking the experience of applications in a dynamic environment, testing is a must. There are several different types of devices and sensors that provide the best experience when combining with smart software. The nature of IoT systems are very complex; mere functionality validation is not enough. Moreover, IoT is the latest technology that helps industries build a wide array of systems, products, and services. Therefore, it requires quality assurance to ensure that everything will work correctly in real-world environments.

Larger Number of Sensor Interactions:

Implementing an IoT project in real-time is a big challenge. It requires not only environment configuration to validate the correctness but also demands access to reliability and scalability. The system is based on various analytics engines and needs extensive simulation experience to develop a test environment. Usually, the device manufacturers test the hardware and the protocols to understand the application’s intelligence. The real-time device’s complexity is a new art and science for many QA experts and application developers.

Due to the complexity of sensors, devices, big data (i.e., huge volume, variety, and velocity) that makes validation of IoT in real-time is a severe headache, it is necessary to address the IoT QA’s complexity with testing. First of all, you need to make a comprehensive QA strategy to perform the IoT testing in detail.

The strategy of QA must involve the test lab setup. Testing tools and various types of testing and simulators that should be deployed. While generating big data in a testing environment, you need to evaluate virtualization and data simulation techniques. Similarly, you can consider stubs as options in the initial stages and data recorders in later stages. Performing metrics-driven exhaustive test execution is essential to obtain a stable system beyond data simulation and test planning.

IoT Testing

It is a type of testing to examine IoT devices. Nowadays, getting a delivery of better and faster services is the desire of every person. There is a huge demand to create, access, use, and share a large amount of data from any device. Performing IoT testing on the testing framework is essential to have greater insight and handle different IoT devices that are interconnected.

Some Examples of the IoT Practical Applications

Traffic Monitoring

The Internet of things is useful to manage vehicular traffic in big cities. When mobile phones are using as sensors to collect and share data from vehicles through apps such as Google Maps or Waze, we require the Internet of Things to demonstrate the conditions of different routes, at the same time monitor the traffic, improve the information on the different routes to the same distance, destination, and estimated time of arrival.

Wearables

Fitness bands, virtual glasses like GPS tracking belts, calorie expenditure and heart beats are some examples of wearable devices that we are using more in our everyday lives. Companies such as Samsung, Apple, Google, and other popular professionals have introduced and developed the Internet of Things and applications to improve the standard of people.

Moreover, these organizations make energy-efficient and light-weight devices that are equipped with sensors to measure the reading of hardware, collecting and organizing the information and user’s data from the software.

Healthcare

There are numerous apps to monitor the health conditions of patients. As per the benchmarked data, the services help regulate the dose of medicine at various times in a day. For example, UroSense is an application that is used to monitor the levels of fluids in the patient’s body. At the same time, the IoT app allows transmitting the data wirelessly to several stakeholders.

How Does QA Testing Help to Enhance the Factors of IoT?

Component handling, exception handling, performance monitoring, security testing, and other types of testing are some IoT factors that one can improve with QA Testing.

Component Handling

The IoT is formed with components that may work together to develop the network and an IoT device. Hardware, interface, software, data flow, connectivity, and cloud are some IoT components that you need to test efficiently. The entire system is checked by QA and IoT components are separately checked to examine whether it can work well together and deliver quality results.

Exception Handling

Tons of devices are connected in an IoT ecosystem. Some unexpected exceptions occur while working on the entire system and each component has specific functions that one needs to monitor carefully handled by quality assurance tests.

Performance Monitoring

An individual setting helps the device perform well. Whether you are a proficient tester or a developer of the IoT software company, it is challenging for you to predict the errors and faults when tons of IoT devices communicate with each other. When it comes to checking that all the IoT-based tasks work as per expectation and to ensure that the device is able to communicate with each other, performance monitoring is vital that is also a part of the QA (Quality Assurance) and is beneficial for knowing the efficiency of IoT devices.

Security Testing

It is easy to share a bunch of data via a common network and help IoT devices for communication. IoT devices contain both valuable and sensitive data that can be lost in the wrong way if the network faces security breach issues. That’s why security plays a significant role in quality assurance and IoT devices. QA ensures that all the devices and networks are entirely secure and keep the data safe from outside attacks. Security testing is necessary to ensure data encryption and decryption methodologies, identify data leakage and loss, examine data packets, and keep the entire system under control.

Other Types of Testing

QA includes virtual testing of devices that are a portion of smart cities, integration testing, cross-browser testing, integration testing, and functional testing of wireless connections. In this phase, professionals can test all the IoT devices’ interfaces to find the smallest of bugs. Other types of testing are usability testing, reliability and scalability testing, compatibility testing, data integration testing, performance testing, etc.

Adoption of advanced test automation methods is essential because testing becomes a more complicated concept. The future of the IoT era depends upon the strong service virtualization that you should also keep in mind. Lastly, don’t forget to review the code as it helps improve the QA (quality assurance).

Conclusion

Every company follows a different IoT testing approach based on the architecture of their applications. For IoT testing, testers should focus more on the TAAS (Test-as-a-User) approach rather than performing testing as per requirements.

The major IoT testing player is integration testing that should be robust and accurate enough to identify bugs in the system. Right now, the world is dependent on IoT mobile app development due to benefits such as workplace safety, improved customer experience, cost-effective service, productivity enhancement, and understanding of consumer behavior. However, there is an infinite scope of security risks with IoT devices. That’s why we need to use innovative strategies of QA to assure that IoT risks don’t become a major threat. Working as an IoT tester may be the toughest job. Still, it is exciting for testing teams due to having a chance of evaluating a complex mesh of devices, operating systems, hardware, protocols, and firmware. Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.

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