What is Cloud Testing (Example, Benefits & Best Practices)
By Shreya Bose, Community Contributor - December 10, 2022
Cloud Testing refers to the verification of software quality on a real-device cloud. QA teams can access thousands of real desktop and mobile devices for testing websites and apps in real time. Since these devices are hosted on cloud-based servers, they’re accessible online at all times. Such a testing infrastructure is called a real device cloud which facilitates effective cloud testing.
- This translates to manual and automated testing with the requisite infrastructure in a cloud computing environment.
- It is also termed cloud-based testing, which 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 guide article will demonstrate with an example, benefits, and industry best practices.
Example 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 device fragmentation in the global digital market, the software must be tested on real browsers and devices. Otherwise, there is no guarantee of 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 yearly, and invest significantly in maintaining it at desirable levels of uptime and security.
- But maintaining device labs or device farms is costly and effort-intensive.
- Opting for cloud testing tools and platforms or a cloud device farm that allows testing without overheads associated with an in-house device lab is far more accessible.
- 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 almost always translate to lower expenses for the organization developing the software to be tested.
Why is Cloud Testing needed?
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 above reasons.
With cloud automated testing, the process is simplified for the following reasons:
- Cloud infrastructure is set up to facilitate tests for multiple users and teams on various devices simultaneously. QA teams won’t have to share test environments with other teams/projects.
- Even if some tests have to be queued, a cloud-based testing environment worth the cost is schematized to expedite trials without compromising accuracy.
- Efficient cloud 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.
- With automated testing, testers need to access devices and relevant test automation frameworks and 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 drain finance, human effort, expertise, and other resources. Automated cloud 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.
What are the Benefits of Cloud 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 must continually update their labs, demanding constant money and human resources.
The following benefits of testing on a cloud infrastructure like BrowserStack are:
- Accessing a testing environment that mirrors the production environment quite closely and offer optimized test environments with all requisite software-hardware configurations.
- Testers can access pristine devices on the real device cloud which means that every device is calibrated to factory settings once a test is complete and every last bit of data is destroyed.
- With automated and parallel testing, QAs can accelerate test execution and results significantly.
- Faster results can also be achieved by features that allow for improved collaboration and project management.
- 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.
- Allows testing of apps or websites on cross-platform mobile devices (Android and iOS)
- Teams can broaden their device coverage by testing the latest /legacy iOS & Android devices with the desired OS.
- QA can test from multiple sources and app testing workflows such as direct and URL uploads, beta distribution tool integrations, build tool integrations or App Store/Play Store installation.
- Perform regression testing and reproduce production bugs on apps published on Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
- Test native device features such as Geolocation testing, Push Notifications, Dark Mode, Network Simulation, and more
Best Practices Cloud Testing
- Before choosing a platform, put in the research.
- The ideal cloud should offer high-security levels, reasonably consistent tech support, and ensure wait times for queued tests are not too long. The point of moving tests to the cloud is to speed them up without compromising quality or security.
- Look for a cloud testing platform that offers the devices and browsers the target audience will likely use while using the software. For instance, BrowserStack offers 3000+ real browsers and devices. Chances are that users of this cloud will have access to the devices their potential customers would prefer.
- A cloud testing platform worth the cost should cater to only individual testers but also WA managers.
- Primarily while 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 the individual activity of each team member.
BrowserStack Live for Teams allows users to test from anywhere and at any time on the cloud.
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 and spend less time context-switching and more time focused on high-impact work.
With instant access to 3000+ browsers and devices, Dev and QA teams can concentrate on testing without worrying about device availability, it is the most effective way to meet testing standards and requirements, no matter the extent of device or automation test coverage required. By 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.