Why IoT testing is different

The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is growing by the day. Thanks to the increasing connectivity of devices and sensors and the increasing flow of valuable information it brings to create new and imaginative vistas. IoT creates new products and adds functionality to existing products. We can couple endless series of products and let them communicate with each other. This means another approach to quality and testing.

An IoT solution contains a broad set of expertise. Think of data storage, business intelligence, (internet) connections, apps and web portals or the “Thing” itself. Testing in an IoT environment is new but on the other hand lets us reuse a lot from existing test environments.

From TMap to IoTMap

TMap is proven methodology to set up and execute tests. With building blocks the right techniques can be chosen to implement a test strategy. For IoT solutions we can define a set of IoT layers that make the IoT stack. Existing knowledge from TMap can be applied to each layer. This creates a set of test expertise areas for each part of the IoT stack. Here lies the basis that makes IoT testing different.

Less functional testing more IoT experience

Testing an IoT solution is all about combining test expertise. In each IoT layer functionality and specific quality attributes is tested. For example testing confidentiality in relation to data storage or interoperability when looking at connections between different “Things”.

At full IoT system level, it is more about looking at the IoT experience than functionality. Functionality should work and can be covered within each IoT layer. Testing in IoT environment shows a shift from functional testing to testing the IoT experience (with focus on quality attributes).

The difference with traditional testing

Testing in an IoT environment differs from testing as we know it. IoT distinguishes from regular testing with:

  • Combining a broad set of test expertise
  • Testing a physical “Thing” within the IoT chain
  • Shift focus from functional testing to IoT experience testing
Five steps to IoT testing

A detailed description to go from the IoT stack model to an IoT test strategy can be found in my book ‘IoTMap: Testing in an IoT environment’. In five clear steps the book guides you to set up testing with the correct quality attributes at the right moment and gives you new IoT building blocks with examples. IoT test environments and IoT test automation is covered in order to give you everything you need to test your IoT solution.


IoTMap book launch now!

Also curious about testing in an IoT environment? After the 21st of April the book (and ePub) can be ordered. On the 21st of April a book launch event is organized in the Netherlands where you can learn more on IoT testing and receive the book for free. More information on the IoT testing book can be found here.

Tom van de Ven is a senior testconsultant high tech and author of the book: testing in an IoT environment

This blog was first published on Sogetilabs