The internet of things (IoT) is an intelligent technology
between the real and the digital world. It is a system of interconnected
devices which have the ability to collect and transfer data over a network
beyond manual interference. Enterprises are getting leverage by implementing
IoT Solutions in their business models to reduce time-to-market
and boosts productivity.
But as we know every technology has its own challenges.
Internet of Things also faces a major challenge in terms of its IoT testing. To
build a world-class IoT product, end-to-end IoT solution needs undergo quality
It means every component such as a sensor, cloud access,
gateway, user interface, and their inter-connectivity needs to be tested before
delivering it to the end-customer. This end-to-end IoT testing of every
component broadly comes under multistage validation.
Let us understand the concept of multistage validation in
An End-to-End IoT solution consists of multiple components
- User Access Component: Mobile Application or Web Application
- Cloud Infrastructure
- IoT Gateway
- IoT Embedded Devices/Sensors
Fig.1: End-to-End IoT solution
Each of the above components plays a very critical role in the functioning of the IoT solution which triggers the need for multistage validation. The multistage validation ensures that each component should perform its designated action as per the requirement.
It advocates the process of validating each component of IoT
solution while doing the system testing with closed loop test where the forward
path (from the mobile application to IoT device) and reverse path (from IoT
device to mobile application) is considered.
IoT System for Smart Air Conditioner
Let us say, a user wants to set the temperature of bedroom AC from mobile application while leaving from the office, then Air Conditioner sends the notification to mobile application when desired temperature is achieved.
IoT Solution for above use case contains following
Mobile Application: User can set the AC temperature on
his/her mobile application.
User Access Cloud: Mobile application sends the temperature
value on user access cloud using Rest APIs and also updates the database.
IoT Cloud and Gateway Device: IoT cloud delivers the “change
temperature” commands to IoT gateway device installed at user’s home.
Smart AC: Gateway device sends the desired temperature on
bedroom AC and the AC sends a notification on mobile application once the desired
temperature is achieved.
For End-to-End IoT testing, the multi-stage validation plays
a critical role as the verification at each component level is required to
ensure the system functionality.
Stage – 1: The
validation requires mobile application level to check the mobile application
functionality. Correlating with above example, the validation, in this case,
would be whether the temperature of AC is changed to the desired level or not.
Stage – 2: The
validation requires user access cloud where the mobile application or web
application access the cloud using the Cloud APIs. It is mandatory to ensure
that the functional requirements meet at APIs and database level. Also, make
sure that the changes made by mobile application and which are reflected in the
database are sent to the gateway device through IoT cloud logs validation. Correlating
with the example, validation would be done to ensure that the APIs are working
as expected and the changes made to the database for AC are as expected for the
Stage – 3: Here,
the verification is needed at gateway stage where the IoT cloud sends “temperature
change” command using IoT communication protocol like MQTT, XMPP, XML, JSON.
The validation is done to ensure that the correct message is received by the
IoT gateway device and the message is getting forwarded to intended end device
via a communication protocol such as Zigbee®, BLE, Wi-Fi whichever is available.
Correlating with the given instance, the validation would be done to ensure
that the temperature change action is made for intended AC device over a supported
Stage – 4: At
last, the validation is required at end embedded device to ensure that the
action received from IoT gateway is reflected on the embedded device.
Corresponding to the above example, the validation would be
done to make sure that temperature gets set to the desired level on AC. Air Conditioner
sends the “desired temperature achieved” notification to mobile via gateway and
cloud. The mobile application, cloud, and gateway gets validated as soon as the
mobile notification is generated from Smart AC.
Importance of Multistage
IoT Solution Testing
- It enables testing, validation, and verification of application architecture, integration between all the components and business requirements
- Able to catch the bugs at integration level and also find the issues at component level
- Enables solution testing with the perception of end user and real-time use cases