What is Cloud Testing: Benefits & Best Practices
Shreya Bose, Technical Content Writer at BrowserStack - February 5, 2021
What is Cloud Testing?
Cloud Testing refers to the verification of software quality on the cloud. Essentially, this translates to running manual and automation testing on a cloud computing environment with the requisite infrastructure.
Testing in the cloud takes the entire testing process online, sparing QAs the hassle of limited device/browsers/OS coverage, geographical limitations, extensive setup and maintenance processes, and the like.
With Cloud Testing, testing becomes faster, easier, and infinitely more manageable – as this article will demonstrate.
Real-World Necessity of Cloud Testing
Imagine the development process of a website or app. Once testable features have been created, they need to be tested for performance, security, reliability, and scalability. Given the extent of device fragmentation in the global digital market, the software must be tested on real browsers and devices. Otherwise, there simply is no guarantee of its flawless functioning in real user conditions.
Of course, one could set up an in-house device lab, regularly update it with the thousands of new devices released every year, and invest significantly in maintaining it at desirable levels of uptime and security. But that sounds, and is, exceptionally expensive and effort-intensive.
It is far easier to opt for cloud testing tools and platforms that allow testing without any overheads associated with an in-house device lab. Tests can be run remotely and on a much greater range of browser/device/OS combinations. It would spare QAs the effort to maintain/update device labs and would almost always translate to lower expenses for the organization developing the software to be tested.
The Necessity of Cloud Automated Testing
Because of its nature, automated testing is almost always more complicated to set up and execute than manual testing. With an in-house device lab, complications are doubled because of the reasons mentioned above.
With cloud automated testing, the process is simplified for the following reasons:
- Cloud automated testing platforms are set up to facilitate tests for multiple users and teams on multiple devices simultaneously. That means QA teams won’t have to share test environments with other teams/projects. Even if some tests have to queued, a cloud-based testing environment worth the cost is schematized to expedite tests without compromising accuracy.
- Efficient cloud automated testing platforms also possess features to accelerate and enhance collaboration between teams or members of the same teams. This helps monitor all team members’ progress and keeps everyone on the same page about project direction and achievements.This is also available for cloud-based manual testing platforms, such as BrowserStack’s Live for Teams, but this is much rarer than the former.
- With automated testing, testers need to access devices and relevant test automation frameworks as well as technical apparatus such as CI/CD tools, test logs, test execution screenshots, debugging tools, etc. Once again, setting this up for an in-house device lab can be draining on finance, human effort, expertise, and other resources. Cloud automated testing platforms are already equipped with these abilities, making life easier for devs and testers.
- Once a website or app starts scaling (be it in terms of features or users), it will require faster, more extensive testing. This is needed to ensure that the software can handle increased loads, provide expected services, adhere to customer preferences, and look good while doing all of the above.Instead of rushing to update in-house labs to scale according to expanding applications, it is far easier to access a cloud-based automated testing solution built to support and encourage scaling, usually via parallel testing.
Benefits of Cloud Based Testing
- Generally, in-house labs for most organizations do not possess the infrastructure necessary to replicate real-world devices and software usage. Additionally, due to rapidly changing user expectations and standards, organizations will have to continually update their labs, demanding constant money and human resources.Cloud testing tools solve this by providing a real-made testing environment that mirrors the production environment quite closely. Testers simply have to sign up, select the real devices they want to start tests on, and start flagging bugs.
- As explained previously, setting up on-premise device labs incurs high costs. Not only does the organization have to keep purchasing new devices hitting the market, but they also have to upgrade frameworks, testing software, renew licenses, pay maintenance costs and ensure device security. It is far cheaper to leave all of that to a third-party platform and only pay for access to devices and session time.
- Cloud testing tools offer optimized test environments with all requisite software-hardware configuration in place. With platforms like BrowserStack, testers can be assured that every device on the real device cloud is pristine. Every device offered is calibrated to factory settings. Once a test is complete, every last bit of data is destroyed.
- With automated testing and parallel testing, testing in the cloud allows QAs to accelerate test execution and results significantly. Faster results can also be achieved by virtue of features that allow for improved collaboration and project management.
- Leading cloud testing platforms like BrowserStack offer 99% uptime. That means testers can access real desktop and mobile devices for testing anytime, from anywhere.
- Cloud based testing on platforms like BrowserStack offers integrations with numerous tools that assist with implementing DevOps and CI/CD workflows. This allows for a more streamlined, result-oriented software development pipeline.
Best Practices for Cloud Testing
- Look for a cloud testing platform that offers the devices and browsers the target audience is likely to use while using the software in question. For instance, BrowserStack offers 2000+ real browsers and devices. Chances are that users of this cloud will have access to the devices their potential customers would prefer.
- Before choosing a platform, put in the research. The ideal cloud should offer high-security levels, reasonably consistent tech support, and ensure that wait times for queued tests are not too long. The point of moving tests to the cloud is to speed them up without compromising on quality or security.
- A testing cloud worth the cost should cater not just to individual testers but to WA managers as well. Especially in these times of remote testing, the cloud should provide team-wide testing on a single plan, as well as features designed to help QA managers keep track of project progress and individual activity of each team member.
BrowserStack Live for Teams allows users to test from anywhere and at any time. It enables teams to connect the tools they already use to capture bugs, file issues and notify the right team members without leaving their dashboard. Teams work together, spend less time context switching and more time focused on high-impact work. With instant access to 2000+ browsers and devices, Dev and QA teams can concentrate on testing without worrying about device availability.
Cloud Testing is the most effective way to meet testing standards and requirements, no matter the number of tests or the extent of device coverage required. By choosing to run testing in the cloud, teams and QA managers can meet their goals faster, with greater accuracy and minimal investment. Cloud Testing is easy, fast, and practical, contributing in every way to technical and business requirements.