Why Cloud Testing is the next logical step: Software developers are beginning to seek out cloud-based testing via “on demand” services

We live in a world that it hungry for software.  Whether it’s corporations developing specific types of software to help manage its internal operations, or dedicated developers who are producing specific products to send to the market, software testing is critical and in demand.  It used to be that even a basic series of tests might require a significant investment in terms of additional infrastructure.  Now, thanks to cloud testing, virtually any sized company can now conduct the various tests required to ensure that their software is stable and effective.

But before we get into the exact reasons why cloud testing is likely to make a huge impact on all types of software development, let’s break it down.  First off, the basic purpose of cloud testing is to ensure the integrity of load balancers, firewalls and even the hardware running everything.    Specifically, there are normally 7 types of tests that are carried out:

Stress test
Using the scalability of the cloud as a substitute for real traffic, the software or system is flooded in an effort to push it to, near, or beyond the breaking point.  This allows one to accurately gauge the basic limitations of what you’re testing.

Load Test
A Load Test can help to accurately determine what the subject is capable of dealing with and responding to.  This also allows one to work on enhancing overall performance.

Performance Test
During a performance test various types of workloads might be simulated.  The end goal is to identify quantifiable values like thresholds, bottle-necking points, etc…Armed with this critical knowledge it is possible to set up contingencies to alter the responses to certain types of traffic (given certain conditions).

Functional Testing
In short, functional testing is carried out in order to ensure compatibility with host environments as well as the reactions across a large set of standard system requirements.

Compatibility Testing
While similar to functional testing, compatibility testing deals with operating systems and their measured responses to newly created software.

Browser Performance Testing
Browser performance testing is a common type of test that’s usually applied to applications destined for use in or with the most popular browsers and browser-based OS’s.

Latency Testing
Latency testing is used to determine the delay present (if any) between initiating an action and getting a result from an application.

So, the question remains, why would a software developer want to seek out cloud-based testing exactly?  Simply put, budgetary constraints often make it impossible for certain companies to carry out their required tests.  Up until cloud-based testing emerged, a great deal of money, time and effort was often placed in ensuring the functionality of software in development.  Likewise, creating a better product often meant developing a better testing framework!  In other words, a software developer would have to create a testing framework that’s as (or more) impressive than the product that they’re working on.  Needless to say, it’s usually better to leave certain types of development projects to the specialists in that particular field.  For example, if a software development company spends most of their time, money, and energy on creating testing frameworks, they’re probably not working on software (which is their true goal and purpose).

Thanks to cloud testing, software developers can simply elect to sign up for an on-demand cloud-based service.  This not only helps them keep testing costs low, it also affords the knowledge and experience of the testing service providers, not to mention the use of their equipment and infrastructure.  Additionally, while most of those seeking out cloud testing tend to be cloud subscribers as opposed to owners (public vs. private clouds) it’s worth mentioning that cloud testing is suitable for either camp.

However, these are all largely economic reasons.  The truth is, cloud testing is a step up from traditional methods because it is able to combine both the accumulated knowledge of specialists in the testing field as well as the power and efficiency of cloud computing itself.  Moreover, cloud testing just makes sense; after all, we’re talking about drastically improving the quality of developed software while at the same time trimming the costs which are traditionally associated with testing as a whole.

Also, for those that might be worried about granting access to either your system or software to complete strangers – it is possible to conduct thorough tests while at the same time limiting access to critical components.  For example, if you’re hiring contract workers to perform certain duties with regards to testing, they will not be able to automatically gain access to your company’s infrastructure or information without having been previously authorized.  In other words, there is little to worry about when it comes to security concerns in the midst of a big software testing operation.

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