The need of Functional Testing for Internet of Things

relevance-of-functional-testing-for-iot

Internet of Things include a plethora of software components, embedded sensors, actuators, electronics et al., that enable physical infrastructure like buildings, appliances, machines, and vehicles to communicate and exchange data with each other. Such level of automation and sophistication among physical devices requires testing of software components to check for their functionality and responsiveness. In the absence of automated functional testing for IoT, the physical infrastructure that forms a part of IoT might not be suitable for automation.

The world of computer based technology has been evolving from one paradigm to another – from Internet and cloud computing to the newer and more exciting – the Internet of Things or IoT. The latest paradigm talks about connectivity of physical infrastructure – appliances, buildings, vehicles, security paraphernalia and others, whereby each part of the infrastructure is embedded with sensors, thermostats, and actuators to enable exchange of data among them. This automation of physical infrastructure brings immense benefits to the people. The benefits include savings on power, less exploitation of resources, optimisation of productivity etc.

As the Internet of Things works on a real time basis through communication between physical infrastructure and applications, any malfunction of a part of the chain can have undesirable implications for the whole automatic ecosystem. For example, a vehicle travelling on autopilot can misread the traffic signal leading to an accident or a thermostat malfunction can lead to overheating of the geyser and cause it to burn. To prevent such unwarranted situations, it is important that each unit is checked for its intended function and responsiveness. It can be said with a fair degree of certainty that the culmination of successful functional test automation services will have a positive impact on the overall IoT testing as well.

However, the process of Functional Test Automation faces a few challenges as well:

  • The individual components, be it the subsystems or services, can be owned or manned by third party vendors, the absence of which during testing will not produce desired outcomes.

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