IoT Testing: Defining Essential Elements

By Claire Mackerras
11 Min Read
IoT Testing: Defining Essential Elements 1

Whenever the word IoT comes, what is the first thought that comes into your mind? Obviously, it would be about the devices that are connected with one another. Isn’t so?


Well, this Internet of Things has made it possible for humans to have access if every device around them by simply connecting them to one another. In simple words, we can say that this IoT has made everything connected to each other in this world.

What is this Internet of Things (IoT)?

IoT stands for the Internet Of Things. This basically refers to the interconnection of each and every electronic device via the internet. All the electronic devices can communicate with each other through this interconnection. These connected devices are often addressed as “Smart Devices,” which could exchange data from one device to another and then upload it to the cloud. In simple words, we can address it as an embedded computing system with already existing internet architecture.

Examples of IoT are:

  • Making use of smartphone devices to turn on and turn off the electronic devices like ACs, Fridge, and TV
  • Tracking of vehicles
  • Monitoring health digitally
  • Track entries at toll plaza’s and many more

IoT Testing 

IoT testing is a method that is followed to test the devices which are connected with one another in order to make an IoT application. Every device must have faster services such as sharing of data, creation of data, and so on to have great control over different IoT devices. In order to ensure these devices work at their best, IoT testing is a must! 

Well, IoT testing consists of various other types of testing like Usability Testing, Reliability Testing, Security, Performance, and Integration Testing.

As these IoT devices are made up of numerous technologies and hardware, so it gets a lot difficult to test them. There are numerous critical bugs related to performance, security, and functionality. Since IoT is growing at a more accelerated rate, so the nature of the software in IoT devices cannot be compromised at any cost. 

Usually, the users of the connected devices are not aware of the working of IoT but are pretty much conventional to utilizing IoT technology. They want their devices to work great since the very beginning. Thus, businesses may face this challenge to make optimized & bespoke software that works well on all hardware and devices. Therefore, companies that start with IoT testing will surely thrive in the forthcoming time.

IoT Testing Approach

IoT testing holds several challenges, but with a proper understanding and approach for Quality assurance. The staging conditions almost meeting the real terms should be given. Appropriate usage of prototypes, simulators, test labs, and measurement tools be utilized. The businesses require a tradeoff among making the testing method easier and more transparent and sustaining quality at every level.

Now, we will consider a few aspects which are essential for circumventing problems with IoT.

The Top 4 Essential Elements In IoT Software Testing

IoT devices often pose a huge threat to cyber security. Maximum times, a considerable number of devices have weak security and get inadequate testing. Today, the IoT market is growing at a great pace, which is, in fact, expected to grow by $8.9 trillion by the year 2020. Plus, IoT sections in the B2B sector alone is expected to generate more than $300 billion by the year 2020. No wonder, these figures clearly speaks about the tremendous potential of the IoT tech with more than 11 million connected devices.

 Nevertheless, the plight of IoT is having a considerable level of risk. Several hackers have already exploited these IoT connected devices, thereby fostering public distrust. 

Amid the environment, it has never been more important to assure the proper testing for the IoT devices. Usually, the combination of the latest technology with software that is quickly formed on lately designed hardware, IoT devices could be challenging to test, and the means in which the devices are formed could expose them to severe bugs that may ruin interoperability, functionality, security, dependability, and execution. The following below-mentioned are the four most significant aspects to dodge disaster and allow IoT to fulfill its maximum potential in a stable way.

End-To-End Testing

To make sure the integrity of the system is well, to let your product undergo from security testing services and end to end testing is must. The various subsystems, which possess a software system, must work adequately by avoiding the risk of system failure.

Primarily, end-to-end testing will ensure the proper functionality and communication among several subsystems, thereby making the app function properly and well for its users.

Automated Testing

Presently, businesses are leveraging software-based services, updates, and products at an ever-increasing pace. Plus, aspects like efficiency and time-to-market can either make or break any business. Automated software testing is essential for the company’s stable, fast-paced, effective operations, which is clearly not any sort of bonus; instead, it is one of the significant & absolute necessities of businesses.

Development, progressions, and DevOps are an absolute inseparable from the test automation point of view. Primarily, DevOps works to enable persistent, consistent product releases & updates, which makes deployments quicker. The testing should always happen at the appropriate development platforms and updating. This is solely attainable through automation.

Interoperability Testing 

The ability of a software system to interact, transfer, and utilize information is at the core of IoT. These software programs must always be capable of routing data back and forth without having to settle the performance of the device or drop data.

Each component of the software should, therefore, acknowledge incoming data from different applications unite with the more prominent structure seamlessly and render users with valuable, convenient conclusions. Both advanced lab testing and real-world crowd testing are essential in testing interoperability, letting validators to examine existing devices and in simulated network conditions.

Security Focus

Evaluation of likely threat should be necessary for testing, and validators must be capable of testing safety by design, which incorporates network support and secure coding methods. The pervasiveness of likely attack vectors and safety vulnerabilities give safety a well-deserved status as one of the most considerable difficulties of the IoT and attests to the point that a number of businesses still have to be performed to assure reliable, sustainable extension of the internet of things space.

A reliable, full-spectrum, proactive way to security testing delivers cutting-edge assistance without needlessly acquiring destructive ventures.

IoT Testing Tools

There are several tools that are utilized during testing IoT programs and they can be categorized based on the target. Following is the list of those tools:

#1) For Software:

  1. Wireshark – It is one of the open-source app practiced to have a check over the traffic in the host addresses and interface.
  2. Tcpdump – Tcpdump functions as same as Wireshark does; it’s just that it doesn’t possess a GUI. More so, it is just a command-line based utility which assists the user in managing the IP and other packets over a network.

#2) For Hardware:

  1. JTAG Dongle: This is as same as the debugger in PC applications. JTAG Dongle helps businesses in debugging the platform code and see variable steps one after one.
  2. Digital Storage Oscilloscope: Digital Storage Oscilloscope is used to have check-in numerous events with the use of glitches in power supply, timestamps, and signal integrity checks.
  3. Software Defined Radio: It is usually used to emulate conductor and receiver for a wide range of gateways.

IoT is a developing market that has a lot of possibilities in the present growing world around us. To be honest, the time is not far when IoT will become one of the most essential things for the testers to persevere in the developing world.

Note – The Rustic design of IoT-enabled devices and programs can hinder the conventional functioning of the devices and in turn, negatively influence the UX.

Wrapping It Up

Well, the IoT testing approach varies depending on the system and architecture of the devices/program. Thus, security testing service providers, QA and testers ought to focus more on the [TAAS] Test-As-A-User strategy rather than testing through some other approach.

Plus, one other significant player in IoT testing is Integration testing. IoT is thriving if the Integration test method is reliable and robust enough to catch possible errors.

At the very starting, IoT testing may seem a difficult or challenging job; however, it is also quite interesting as well for the testing team to testify such a convoluted web of devices, customs, hardware, operation practices, firmware, etc.

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Claire Mackerras, is a Senior QA Engineer Editor associated with Bugraptors specialized in QA services.A CMMi5 certified company with extensive experience as a third party testing vendor in US. She is passionate toward writing on technological trends for manual & automation software testing.  She likes to share her knowledge, for the readers who are interested in exploring testing tact’s and trends.
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