Everything You Need To Know About Cloud Testing

Posted by Himanshu Sheth | September 14, 2020
Cross Browser Testing • Automation •

198534 Views | 12 Min Read

What Is Cloud Testing

The duration of release cycles has become one of the key metrics for website application development. In a dynamically changing business environment, Time To Market (TTM) becomes extremely important as you always want to stay ahead of the competition. Being late erodes the market, be it about releasing products, providing updates, or addressing customers.

Be it startups or large-scale enterprises, all of them are on the lookout for tools and techniques that can accelerate their development and testing process. When it comes to on-premise testing, you would agree that complicated, scalable infrastructure setup and continued maintenance could significantly increase your burn rate. Whether you have a small QA team where all the team members are seated on the same premises or have a large distributed team spread across different locations, cloud-based testing has something to offer for everyone. It even helps in solving the biggest remote testing challenges.

Cloud testing is primarily used for simulating testing environments over the cloud. In this cloud testing tutorial, we take a deep-dive into the fundamentals and types of cloud testing. We will also discuss the significant benefits offered by cloud-based testing when it comes to web application testing.

Let’s get started!

What Is Cloud Testing?

Cloud testing (also termed cloud-based testing) is used to assess web applications (or websites) for scalability, performance, security, and reliability. As the name indicates, this form of testing is performed on a third-party cloud computing environment that houses the required infrastructure to perform tests. The various types of cloud testing processes allow you to test software and hardware without the usual constraints of a limited budget, geographical issues, multiple test cases, costs running high per test, etc.

This cloud testing tutorial will help you understand all the aspects of cloud computing and eventually using it to scale up your existing test cases.

Cloud Testing Use Case

To understand the concept better, let us consider an example of this cloud testing tutorial. Your team has worked hard on the feature development of a web application (or website). Still, your organization has limited (and non-scalable) infrastructure as far as cross browser testing is concerned. Should you release the product by testing only on the most popular web browsers?

Definitely not as you have cloud-based testing to your rescue. With a cloud-based cross-browser testing platform, testing can be performed remotely and securely on numerous combinations of browsers, devices, and platforms (or operating systems).

Keep the worries about the infrastructure’s scalability on the back burner as you do not own the infrastructure☺.

The result is improved test coverage, faster TAT (Turn Around Time), and much-better product quality.

Why Adopt Cloud Testing Automation Tools?

There are countless benefits of website testing on the cloud. I have listed down the top reasons (or benefits) for adopting cloud-based testing. This might just help you accelerate the testing of your web application. Here’s the why and how-

  1. Cloud-based testing is useful in eliminating environment-related schedule delays. Environments that provide cloud-based testing can be provisioned rapidly and efficiently, eliminating the need to share environments (or infrastructure) amongst teams (and team members).
  2. Automation achieved using cloud-based testing automation tools aid in improving collaboration between diverse teams and members of the same team. It becomes easy to monitor other’s activities, which is useful in avoiding any ‘activity overlap’ between team members.
  3. The total cost of ownership of cloud-based testing automation tools is significantly less than the in-house infrastructure. Most cloud-based testing providers use a ‘pay-as-you-go’ model, which means that you save costs when the tools are not in-use or plan to scale down testing activity due to business reasons.

    Briefly, leveraging a cloud-based testing infrastructure for cross browser testing (or any other form of testing) is an economically and technically viable option than setting up an in-house testing infrastructure.

  4. The hardware & software resources that provide access to cloud-based testing automation tools are accessible 24/7 (barring aside any scheduled downtime for maintenance on cloud testing provider’s front).

    This improves the overall collaboration between geographically dispersed development & test teams as resources are available whenever they want.

  5. Testing on locally hosted infrastructure can hit a roadblock once your web application grows in scale & size. Testing throughput will be defined by the infra resources’ scalability and availability.

    For example, cross browser testing on a remote Selenium Grid cloud can be highly beneficial as automation tests can be executed in parallel on the Grid. Thus, testing on the cloud enhances the speed and efficiency of automation testing.

  6. Cloud testing automation tools are handy for identifying performance issues in a web application. This is made possible by scaling the application to a vast number of concurrent users that access the web application resources over the cloud.

    With an in-house testing infrastructure, the onus of its scalability and reliability lies with the resident DevOps team. This can be a significant overhead, considering the plethora of browser versions available in the market.

    On the other hand, a platform that facilitates cloud-based testing has to ensure that its testing infrastructure is up-to-date so that its existing customers can continue working on their tasks. That’s what this cloud testing tutorial recommends you to use!

  7. There are cases where testing on real devices might not be required in terms of mobile website testing. Take the case of cross browser tests where you intend to check whether the interface and logic-flow of the web app work as expected on different browser combinations.

    Setting up an internal device farm is a costly exercise, and for cross browser tests, you may not require real devices for testing as mobile simulators can suffice the purpose. A platform like LambdaTest helps you perform cross browser testing on 2000+ real browsers and operating systems online. Mobile simulators for cross browser testing ensure that the user experience is uniform across different browsers and device viewports.

  8. As a product owner, you do not want a critical bug is left unsolved in a live version of the web application. The communication gap between development and testing teams is one of the potential reasons for such a mishap.

    Along with bridging the gap between the respective teams, you could also look at locally hosted web application testing supported by platforms like LambdaTest. It supports integration with popular CI/CD tools that helps in building a robust delivery pipeline. With cloud-based testing platforms that support integration with third-party tools, it becomes a tad easy to track bugs, manage projects, prioritize tests, etc.

  9. Cloud-based testing platforms offer improved reliability and scalability. Owing to the parallelism feature offered by cloud testing providers, you can execute tests faster than before. Test coverage improves multifold as extensive testing is performed across different combinations of browsers, platforms, and desktop devices & mobile simulators.

    Cloud-based Selenium automation testing tools by LambdaTest also support integration with popular test management & test reporting tools so that you can analyze the results of tests performed on their platform.

    I hope the above section of this cloud testing tutorial helped relay the message of why cloud-based testing is the need of the hour. Next, in this cloud testing tutorial, we will look at the common challenges faced with on-premise testing.

Challenges With On-Premise Testing

Based on what we’ve discussed in this cloud testing tutorial, I’m sure you must be wondering about on-premise testing and its applications. If I’m not wrong, the first question that popped up in your head is this-

Does this mean that on-premise testing is not suitable at all?

Definitely not. But the drawbacks of on-premise testing outweigh the number of advantages that it can offer. Below are some of the critical challenges with on-premise (or in-house) automation testing vis-à-vis cloud-based testing:

  1. On-premise testing is ideal if you are looking for testing the web application against a select few browser and platform combinations. This is rarely the case, as you would want your application to work seamlessly across platforms, browsers, and devices. This requires scaling up the on-premise test infrastructure, which in turn requires a significant amount of investment.

    Scalability is the biggest bottleneck as far as on-premise testing is concerned.

  2. Let’s assume that you have an exceptional IT team that set up the local test infrastructure. Excellent job; sadly, that is not where the job ends. ☹

    Continuous maintenance and IT up-gradation are integral parts of test infrastructure essential for cross browser testing of web applications. This means that you would require a dedicated IT & infra team that has to keep a tab on the latest trends in the web application-testing scene and upgrade the on-premise test infrastructure accordingly.

    This can cause an incremental rise in your IT spending. It may also hamper the folks’ productivity, as they have to focus on infrastructure up-gradation and regular day-to-day jobs.

    Maintainability is another factor that does not work in favor of on-premise testing.

  3. Tight coupling of test suites (and test cases) with the in-house test infrastructure could hamper the implemented tests’ scalability. This is essentially the case if the organization decides to sell the existing systems, in which case the entire exercise of setting up the in-house test infra needs to be done from ground-up.
    Scalability is another factor that impacts on-premise testing and its real-world applications.

    To summarize, having an on-premise testing infrastructure can lead to high overhead costs as it requires continuous maintenance & up-gradation to meet the business needs continuously.

    The sentence above concludes the essence of this cloud testing tutorial. Now it’s time to explore more about the types of cloud testing.

Types Of Cloud Testing

Cloud-based Testing can work on automated functional testing, as well as non-functional testing. There are various types of cloud testing implemented for different purposes. Below are the broad categories or types of cloud testing-

System Testing

Here, the product (or application) features are tested to check whether all the application functions are working as per the expectations.

Interoperability Testing

As the name indicates, this type of testing is used to check whether the application works seamlessly if there is any change in the infrastructure.

Performance Testing

Stress testing and load testing are two significant types of performance testing. It ensures no degradation in the application’s performance if there is heavy load or stress from a vast number of concurrent users.

Availability Testing

Under this form of testing, the application’s admin should ensure limited (or no) outages if there are function changes at the cloud provider’s end.

Multi-Tenancy Testing
Like stress testing, this form of testing ensures the application’s performance & security is top-notch. It also ensures that there is no sluggishness when many concurrent users are accessing the application simultaneously.

Security Testing

This type of testing is extremely crucial to ensure that the application’s security is fool-proof, and the data (and code) in the application is secure all the time. Security testing helps in identifying and minimizing security vulnerabilities in an application.

Disaster Recovery Testing

This testing methodology ensures that you don’t lose data or face other severe repercussions if there is a cloud outage (or cloud downtime).

Browser Performance Testing

This is similar to browser compatibility testing, where the features of the application are testing against different combinations of browsers, devices, and operating systems. It is essential to check if the application delivers optimal user experience, irrespective of the browser & OS combination being used for testing.

Case Study

How Eric’s Tech-Startup Accelerated Testing With Cloud Testing Automation Tools

Eric works in a tech startup that develops applications and websites for a wide range of clients. Their company is bootstrapped, and their engineers like to leverage open-source technologies for development and testing.

They also had clients in the fintech domain, and their target customer segment is developing economies where mobile penetration is still picking up. Eric and his team had all the client’s inputs, but their testing focus was limited to specific browser and platform combinations.

Their verification team turned a blind eye on Internet Explorer, the aging browser that surprisingly has a good user base. Their client reverted with the necessary statistics on browser usage patterns in their target market. With those inputs, Eric and his team went back to the drawing board and realized that they could perform testing with in-house infrastructure, but it won’t be scalable and economical.

This made them shift their focus to cloud-based testing tools that provided them with much-needed scalability. As per their testing requirements, they chose the best-suited plan. Now, they could accelerate their testing efforts, as their testing and development team no longer had to worry about the ‘maintenance of their in-house infrastructure.’

They could finally focus on their ‘actual’ work, and executives could get better RoI from these investments.

After Eric’s recommendation, cloud-based testing has become the default testing approach for other development and testing teams working in their startup!

Wrapping Up!

Adequate product testing can help in unearthing issues for the betterment of the product. In today’s hyper-competitive times, companies have to leverage cloud technologies to the maximum to save on infrastructure costs. Cloud-based testing is one methodology that can accelerate the testing process and also reduce the overhead costs of maintaining the in-house infrastructure.

LambdaTest is one such cloud-based cross browser testing platform that lets you test your application or website across 2,000+ browser, OS, and device emulator combinations. By leveraging parallel execution on LambdaTest’s cloud-based Selenium Grid, companies can accelerate their testing efforts and improve their product’s quality. It’s time for your team to make the switch as well!

Happy testing!

Written by Himanshu Sheth

With 7+ years of experience in test automation, BDD, TDD, Himanshu Sheth work as an automation engineer with LambdaTest. He is also an avid blogger.

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