As a software developer, the compatibility of your web application is one of the most important aspects for you. This means all the browser-centric components of the web application must be functional on every browser available in the market. It also means that your application should also be accessible on all devices. All these factors are highly crucial for having a huge audience base for your company.
While developing a technological product, your primary goal should be to provide convenience, speed, and Novelty to your customers. So, to provide a Universal experience the application must be stable irrespective of the device, operating system or browser version. Developers use various testing techniques like an online device farm to achieve this goal.
Now, the idea of web testing on all the above said parameters might seem easy at a glance. Let us consider how many devices are currently available in the market. We can get a slight idea about this number if we consider that almost a thousand new Android devices are released every year.
Now, if you add to this list the total number of Browsers and Browser versions that are operational, we can truly feel the diversity. You now have to verify that the app is functional for all the possible combinations that can be made with all of these browsers and devices. During the testing process, you also have to consider certain physical factors like a low battery level or unstable network connection.
The basic solution to this problem is to have a physical device testing lab. You have to update the lab regularly according to all the latest releases in the market. In case you cannot afford a device lab, your only options are the use of virtual machines and simulators. This substitute might seem reasonable to some extent. However, as developers, we should agree that nothing can substitute the accuracy of testing on real devices. So, the modern solution that can solve both of these problems is the use of a cloud device farm. This article will discuss everything that you need to know about cloud device farms and their importance.
What is an Online Device Farm
An online device farm is also known as a device cloud. It is a technology that allows the quality assessment teams to remotely check the proper functioning of the web application. Using this farm, the developers can access both modern and Legacy devices from almost all the popular manufacturers in the market. Moreover, these online device farms come pre-installed with multiple Browsers and operating systems. It is almost impossible for small companies or individual creators to spend almost a fortune setting up a device testing cloud. However, you must remember that certain online services provide access to only emulators or simulators. So, your primary goal should be to look for online device farms that also enable testing on real devices.
Real device testing allows you to monitor how your web application performs in the real-world load. For this testing, the developers only have to use the application in a way that a normal user will use it. They can perform this similar action on mobile devices, tablets and desktops. During this interaction, the developer will verify how all the components of the web application look and perform on different mobile devices. Using this process, developers can easily monitor all the functional errors and find the missing elements in the web application.
It also helps you to monitor the performance of the application under multiple physical load scenarios. This means you can monitor the battery consumption, CPU usage, network usage and the stability of the application under unstable conditions. In simple terms, online device farms allow developers to monitor the performance of the application from an end user’s perspective.
The Impact of Online Device Farms on the Testing Landscape
The introduction of the online device testing cloud has been one of the most revolutionary additions to the Application Development Industry. This introduction has not only improved the accuracy of the testing process but has also made it simple and fast. It has also eliminated the hassle of guessing what bugs might appear in the application when it is released in a real-world scenario. The developers can check for themselves when they are testing the application on a device farm. They just have to run the code on the combination of operating system and device which they are intending to use for the testing purposes.
This device lab also helps the developers to accurately analyze the reaction of the application according to various user interactions. For instance, while testing a mobile application developers can understand how the application handles various swipe gestures. Another major feature of the online device farm is that it allows the developers to verify the functioning of the application on devices that are no longer available in the market. An online device testing farm means there is absolutely no limit to the number of devices that are available for testing. This means that the developers can make the application available to a wider range of audiences. This means that the online device firm also has an indirect impact on the growth of a company.
Currently, new devices and browsers are released very frequently. It is a common idea that companies will have to spend huge amounts of money to keep their physical device testing labs updated. So, an online device cloud is a perfect solution for new developers or small companies. It is not only very efficient but also allows the developers to initiate the test instances from anywhere in the world. So, the developers can guarantee the stable performance of the application irrespective of not having a big corporation with them. In this competitive industry, it is also very important to quickly deliver the end product to the customers. An Online device farm also helps in this segment by introducing parallel testing.
Parallel testing is a process of initiative multiple test instances simultaneously. This means you can verify the functioning of the application on different combinations of browsers and operating systems at the same time. Many experts believe that with the help of parallel testing the developers can complete all the stages of the testing process within 2 days. This feature mainly benefits the Agile teams. Using this feature, the Agile teams can quickly deliver high-quality bug-free applications to their end-users.
The Working Mechanism of Real Device Clouds
It is very easy for the developers to get started with device clouds. Let us take a look at the set-up process:
- The first step is for the developers to log into their accounts.
- The developers have to choose the device and operating system combination for the testing process.
- The next step is to type in the desired URL for testing.
- The final step is to start all the actions that are critical to verify the proper functioning of the application. Now, the testers will be able to see all the critical flaws that are present in the application. These errors can massively hamper the smooth functioning of the web application.
In most cases, the dev tools are already present in the testing interface. This feature allows the developers to detect and remove the bugs quickly. While testing on mobile devices, the developers will have to follow the same steps that are mentioned above. The only difference is that the developers will have to choose mobile instead of desktop in the device section. While performing the test on a device farm, it is also very simple to introduce test automation. There are various popular test automation frameworks like Selenium that support online device testing.
How Can You Access Device Clouds Through Third-Party Platforms
Many developers still do not have an idea about how can they access these online device farms. The best way to access online device farms is to use third-party platforms and tools. Currently, there are multiple such platforms and tools that are present in the market. The developers must choose the correct platform according to their knowledge and development project needs. During the tool selection process the developers should also analyze the primary knowledge of programming languages and the company’s estimated budget. We can use LambdaTest as an example to shed more light on this tool selection process:
LambdaTest is a cloud platform to check the cross-browser performance of modern web applications. Cross-browser compatibility testing is the process of ensuring that a web application retains its optimal performance irrespective of the browser or browser version. LambdaTest helps the developers to verify the optimal performance of the web application on a secured Selenium cloud grid.
Using this grid, the testers can run the test cases on over 3000+ browsers and OS combinations. The testers can also use this platform to check the working of all the locally available web pages. LambdaTest helps to reduce the testing period by using modern technologies like parallel testing. The Online device farm of LambdaTest helps the developers to run mobile app test on real device cloud.
During the tool selection process, the developers should also remember to verify the trustworthiness of the tool. This feature is essential to ensure that the platform or tool does not have any negative impact on the functioning of the test grid. A simple way to perform this process is to visit multiple online forums and check for user reviews. These reviews will help you to get a general idea about how the tool will perform in real-world scenarios. For the sake of reference, LambdaTest has thousands of positive reviews from users all over the world.
The primary goal of this article was to analyze the role of an online device farm in the modern application Development Industry. For the sake of the discussion, we used various parameters including real-world use cases to understand how this technology can impact your testing standards. We highly recommend web developing companies start investing in online device farms to maintain their stand in this competitive industry. With the passing years, the total number of functional devices will continue to rise.
Cloud testing will be the only logical solution to accurately test the functioning of the application. This is because in this competitive market a company cannot afford to alien any segment of the industry due to compatibility issues. A device cloud will allow you to run both live and automated test cases. You should use all of its features for the ultimate testing experience.
Author Bio: Vixit Raj is Product Growth and Communication Specialist in LambdaTest : The Cross Browser Web App Testing Platform. He is an E&C engineering graduate and in the digital marketing domain for the last 5+ years. He always tries to stay updated with the latest advancements in technology, product growth, software testing and coding.