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Article Type: Technology Focus          Published: 09-2015         Views: 1691      



Eran Kinsbruner of Perfecto Mobile explains why businesses need a hybrid cloud for testing mobile apps.

For many enterprise developer and QA teams, the move to a digital experience for customers has made app testing in the cloud a littleā€¦ complicated.

The benefits of a private hosted cloud are well-known - 24/7 support, unattended automated testing, and data centres with enterprise-grade security. Buying phones and managing an internal device lab is an expensive proposition and if you're doing weekly app updates and your own lab goes down for a day, your testing schedule is ruined. To keep pace with fast mobile app release cycles, the best environment for app testing would seem to be a private hosted cloud with access to real devices, real user conditions, and guaranteed 99.9% uptime.

But is a private hosted cloud always the only solution? No sir. For most companies, there isn't one deployment method that meets all testing requirements.

Companies with a sound digital engagement strategy know that some test cases can't be validated by a hosted cloud service alone. There are tests that must be done locally for unique devices and locations. In some cases, corporate security regulations simply dictate that at least some app testing be done on premise.

But no company should ever have to buy separate cloud and local solutions. As the scope of app testing and quality expands from strictly a mobile experience to a "digital" experience rife with smart home appliances, responsive design websites and wearable devices, having the option to test through various cloud set-ups is key.

Enter the hybrid cloud. A "hybrid cloud" describes the different deployment options of a cloud-based service. This primarily means a mix of a hosted private cloud, a local private cloud (on premise) and/or a shared public cloud, depending on the company's business goals and user requirements. A hybrid cloud allows teams to add devices provided by a vendor and also add their own for device-in-hand testing of features like scanning a barcode or capturing a check image. For some tasks, it's better to rent, so a more cost-effective public cloud can be used to test on older, lesser-used devices that are still relevant for users.

This flexibility is what the hybrid is all about: You can create one customised cloud-based lab designed by you to manage test cases for more locations and unique devices.

Sensors and the Internet of Things are the main reasons for the rise of hybrid cloud testing. Applications need to not only work within smartphones and tablets themselves, but also be tested to connect flawlessly with Bluetooth-enabled beacons, car dashboards, refrigerators and thermostats, to name just a few IoT scenarios.

We see these hybrid testing scenarios with Perfecto's enterprise customers. A well-known airline has implemented a private onboard Wi-Fi network for passengers to watch streaming movies and other content. Although the airline also uses Perfecto's private hosted cloud for most of its app testing, it also needs to test the app for a specific location (inside the plane). A private hosted cloud alone would not be able to run these tests, so the airline also has a local set-up that connects a smartphone or tablet to its private cloud via USB (a service we call LocalLink) to test that the app works on the private onboard Wi-Fi network. The airline's arrangement successfully combines the benefits of cloud-based testing with the ability to test against specific locations or IoT devices.

Getting to choose which testing scenario works best for an organisation has never been more important as IoT scenarios become more common. Whatever shape your hybrid cloud takes, the ultimate goal is to extend your coverage of all digital interactions, and reduce those dreaded app failures that damage your brand and bottom line.
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