Is cloud computing a new name for an old idea? Or is there something fundamentally new about it? Businesses using cloud computing might be more interested in the benefits they get than the underlying technical aspects. However, from a code testing point of view, the question has its importance. The more web applications in a cloud environment look like ‘old stuff’, the more one might expect to focus web testing on aspects like automated regression testing. On the other hand, radically new technology might require additional procedures such as alpha and beta tests.
Cloud versus Virtualization
For some people, virtualization is cloud, and vice versa. This approach has the advantage of simplifying the matter. Virtualization is available in private data centers as well as public web nets. If you can do your web testing in private, so to speak, before unleashing your application on a world-wide basis, your process may be better controlled and more discrete (as in finding those embarrassing bugs in private). Others suggest that virtualization is one component of cloud computing and that application and storage cloud offerings add dimensions such as burst capacity and potentially greater user access.
Load and Latency Factors
That last point above leads us to what really changes in web testing for applications running in the cloud, especially for those destined for general public use. Firstly, there is less possibility for applications to hide behind network speed or capacity limits. Although cloud environments can run slow or break at times, they can also deliver enormous traffic to a node in their network. Some companies recognize the fact that users want to know why things are going slowly; the latest version 7.0 of the online hosting portal SpringBoard from LoadSpring has a dashboard indicator to show users whether it’s the app or the network that is dragging its feet.
The Web Testing Parts that Don’t Change
Some items will stay the same, whether you’re doing your web testing for an app down the hall or halfway across the world. Browser compatibility testing is a notable example. Testing Anywhere from Automation Anywhere offers a full matrix of different browser ‘personalities’ in order to test web applications from HTML sites to complex SaaS (Software as a Service) installations. It also performs a diverse range of testing procedures including data-driven testing, integration testing and load testing, by distributing EXE test procedure files across as many machines as you want. In a sense it’s a kind of reverse Hadoop for testing: instead of sharing an application out over several machines for more processing power, the EXE file distribution capability lets you concentrate load from several machines back into the app or site that is being tested.
Cloudy with Meatballs… Sorry, Mobiles
Will the proportion of mobile users accessing an application in the cloud change – and if so, what will be the impact on web testing? While a number of aspects such as browser compatibility, load and latency may be the same or similar with mobile devices, QA testers in particular may want to pay attention to more subjective criteria such as the usability of cloud applications on devices with smaller screens. In general, it’s good to keep in mind that good testing covers all of these aspects.
If you’d like to know how many different ways Testing Anywhere, the automated software testing tool, can help you save time over a whole range of software testing activities, try a free Testing Anywhere trial to see what it can do for you.