There has been a lot of discussion in the market lately about test environments and how best to leverage them to expand test coverage and speed up delivery cycles. Test environments are a crucial part of any development process as they set the stage for efficiently delivering quality software, but they often require extensive resources to set up and maintain.
The Challenge with Test Environment Management
Most teams managing test infrastructure will set up the test environments themselves in-house, use device labs, or spin up virtual machines using services like Amazon EC2 and Rackspace. The issue with each of these routes is that someone, usually a highly-skilled employee in scripting languages, has to build, upgrade, maintain, or teardown the test environments manually.
As more QA teams adopt agile testing methodologies and push to increase their test speed and coverage, the need for automated testing tools grows. This open the door to new capabilities like parallel testing and can cut down on device and labor costs. However, many of the benefits test automation tools provide are hindered by the need to constantly invest time and effort in manually managing test environments, making them the weakest link in your automated testing cycle.
The challenge stems from the need to accurately test applications across the numerous environments end users are engaging with. When looking at the total number of operating systems, browser versions, devices, and resolution configurations possible, it’s simply not practical to keep up your test environments up-to-date. New device, browser, and OS versions are released constantly, and manually managing a fraction of the total number of possibilities would eat up an exorbitant about of time and effort from the QA team. It’s just not a scalable model.
Test environments need to be managed just as efficiently as the rest of the automated testing process.
On-Demand Cloud Test Labs
Many companies are moving beyond their on premise or virtual test environments and are looking to the cloud to run their tests. Cloud-based testing tools can provide on-demand access to already-built test environments that cover every end-user scenario that need to be tested against. Leveraging Cloud-based Test Labs can save time, money, and improve test effectiveness, resulting in improved software quality for end-users.
SmartBear Named a Key Competitor in Cloud and Mobile Testing
451 Research recently released a report on Cloud –based Test Environments that discusses their evaluation of the new SmartBear Environment Manager solution. The 451 report highlights how Environment Manager, which is an integration of CrossBrowserTesting.com with SmartBear’s industry-leading automated functional testing solution, TestComplete, meets the growing need for cloud-based testing in the market and addresses the challenges of handling multiple test environments.
“SmartBear has a laser focus on this challenge, and wants to be recognized as a testing leader in the multi-cloud, multi-app, multi-device, multi-browser and multi-API markets, as well as for its ability to execute tests on demand in a cloud. Many tools and services now on the market to develop cloud, mobile and API based applications fail to include sufficient testing tools and services.”
451 Research identified SmartBear a major player in the new cloud and mobile testing era with crucial insights into the needs of QA development and testing teams.
“SmartBear has a keen understanding of the software quality control challenges developers face in the multi-cloud and mobile computing era.”
451 Research is a research and advisory company focused on innovation and disruption in enterprise technology. Their company has hundreds of analysts across the globe whose job is to research and provide insights into the competitive dynamics of various technology companies worldwide.