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Understanding IoT Interoperability Testing

IoT has changed the way we perceive and operate the devices and systems around us. It is strongly rooted in the concept of interoperability. Interoperability is nothing but the ability for systems and devices to communicate with each other despite disparate technical specifications. When there many connected devices involved, and they are exchanging data streams to the network or other devices, it can face several risks.

There cannot be room for loose ends in an IoT system, as this may result in heavy losses. These risks may be on the device side as well as the on the software side. To minimize these issues testing plays an important role. The main aim is to tie the loose ends and minimize the possibilities of any intrusions or data erosion without compromising on the performance of the system or device. This is why we need to test the interoperability of connected systems effectively.

What is Interoperability Testing?

Interoperability testing involves testing a specific software program or technology to validate its compatibility with others along with promoting cross-use functionality at the same time. The reason why it is important to perform this kind of testing is that various technologies are being built into architectures with various parts, and seamless integration and operations become critical to the success of IoT. It ensures that disparate devices operate cohesively and securely together.

Gartner had predicted that by the end of 2020 there would be at least 25 billion devices that will be producing huge volumes of data. Therefore, when we are talking about billions of devices connecting to the internet, then we can expect the number of threats and issues to rise as well. This is where Interoperability testing becomes an important element in your testing plan.

However, while implementing interoperability testing, it is important to have a holistic approach. It means that interoperability cannot be limited to an application or a device. It should also include how devices interact with different applications in the system. Interoperability testing can be implemented as a mix of manual and automated testing, along with room for negative testing to complement positive testing.

If you need to carry out interoperability testing, you should consider a few things.

Definite Planning: Before starting a testing procedure, it is important to start with a definite plan to execute the process. The tester needs to understand the system as a whole before building the test cases. The best practice is to ensure that the plan is properly documented.  Any alterations that are required can be made later on based on the test conditions.

The test conditions cannot be kept limited to the individual applications; rather it should be based on the flow of data through the entire set of applications. The test condition has to be designed to achieve maximum coverage of the applications. Each application has to be covered. Once the test condition is identified, the tester will move ahead with automating the test cases.  Once the test cases are automated, the tester can map them with the test conditions to see if they are fulfilling the requirements.

Proper planning will also have to be done to carry out Non-functional testing. However, this does not have to be documented like the functional testing, but without testing the non-functional aspects, testing will not be complete.

Execution: This is the phase where you carry out the planning you have done. Testers will follow the testing cycle, where they execute their plans, both functional and non-functional, and find bugs to report and resolve. Then possible retests are carried out later on and leading to its closure.

Checking the Results: This is where all the results have to be checked and mapped with the traceability index and validate whether it is meeting all requirements. The tester will need to validate that the data, which is covered does not get altered or modified. The entire execution process needs to be verified, to identify any issues that may have occurred in the practice.

Acting on the Retrospective Items: In this phase, the practices that are identified as good are used further, while the practices where the testers faced issues are rectified and improved for future use.  The practices where a tester may have faced issues should not be repeated until rectified.

Overall, to implement interoperability testing, you need to have proper planning and execution, or a partner with good experience in testing large-scale IoT systems. eInfochips, with over 25 years of experience has a testing methodology focused on end-to-end testing and automation for maximum testing coverage while realizing cost savings for large scale implementations. To know more about our IoT testing capabilities, get in touch with our experts.

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