MarketsandMarkets Recognized the Advanced Integration Testing Capabilities of SmartBear’s API Testing Tools
Integrations are a critical piece of IoT ecosystem. Robust testing of these integrations is critical to ensure the success of the IoT project, which often requires extensive project investments. SmartBear’s API testing tools provide extensive integration testing capabilities across traditional and IoT protocols. These capabilities were recently recognized by MarketsandMarkets in its report on the state of the IoT testing market.
Nature of IoT Implementations
IoT projects are often layered on top of the existing IT infrastructure of a company. The Internet of Things enables effective monitoring of hardware, collects data from inaccessible hardware and enables central command and control of multiple devices.
A good example is the IoT implementation on transportation infrastructure. Small sensors provide granular, millisecond by millisecond updates on the vehicle’s location, internal temperature and the state of the exits. This information, if processed in-time, enables easy monitoring and maintenance of the vehicles. For example, if the door doesn’t close properly, the vehicle can be immediately flagged for repairs and then directed to the maintenance zone.
Implementations like the above although are very valuable, but at the same time are heavily dependent on integrations with a variety of new and old systems. These systems include sensors, devices, gateways, directories, maintenance schedules, ERP (for vehicle parts), cloud services and data sinks.
Variety of IoT Integrations
IoT components come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. These could be heavy and dense like a stream of temperature and light intensity data from a cluster of solar panels or gradual like hourly bursts of moisture readings from a soil sensor to an automated irrigation system. These components are critical and need to be integrated first, as they enable data flows.
A good example of this is the data flow from sensors to IoT gateways over protocols like MQTT and CoAP and from IoT gateways to local or cloud servers over REST APIs. This data is then analyzed on predictive analytical platforms and will often trigger actions based on the results on systems like ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), which may include ordering new parts to maintain the inventory.
This diversity of devices and differences in the performance capabilities of these systems result in the usage of a mix of protocols. Effective ROI from such capital-intensive systems results from good analysis of data which, in turn, depends on timely delivery of information over the integrations. This requires that these integrations work well, but ensuring proper integration between diverse systems is hard and needs work.
Challenges of IoT Integrations
IoT integrations bring forth a bunch of challenges and a few of them are captured below:
How often should the gateway upload data to a cloud endpoint when it’s being continuously inundated with light intensity data from the sensors? If it cannot upload the data quickly to the cloud, then should it persist this data locally? If it does, then how do we ensure data consistency and durability?
How do we ensure that data on MQTT (which is in a specific format), gets correctly translated and transmitted into REST requests on cloud storage?
Does the IoT gateway work well with a hundred sensors? What happens if the sensor count increases to a thousand?
The good news is that we have faced these challenges before, and many solutions already exist to solve such issues. To solve the first problem around uploading data to the cloud, the data must be stored after it has been queued from the sensors. Also, an upload policy should be established that determines the frequency of uploads to the cloud infrastructure. What we’re seeing here is the usage of existing set of software architectural blueprints being used for IoT. This also implies that testing practices that go parallel with these blueprints can be introduced to ensure the quality and durability of the IoT integrations.
Right Tools for IoT Integration Testing
IoT integrations must enable a defined, secure and reliable pipeline to send and receive data from different systems into a central hub. This pipeline can be of any type or size and can be composed of a variety of protocols and standards. What is important though is that these pipelines or integrations be tested at places where there is a change in protocols. Well established tools should be used for robust testing at these points — specifically ones that support multiple protocols and enable the creation of robust testing scenarios for multiple protocols. It’s also important to note here that the tool needs to have holistic testing capabilities with the specific IoT protocols. Many of the integrations of the IoT system will be with traditional APIs like REST and Swagger, hence the testing tool should work well with these systems too.
SmartBear is a Major Vendor in IoT Testing
MarketsandMarkets recently released a report on the IoT testing market, which predicts that the total size of the IoT testing market will be a whopping $1.3 billion by 2021. In their research, they discovered that the major players in this space have leveraged partnerships, integrations and collaboration to deliver strong IoT services and products in this growing market.
“IoT testing market is certainly expected to grow and has been one of the key discussed terms across forums this year including at the MWC 17’,” said Abhijeet Mahajan, Industry Analyst for IoT and Security Markets at MarketsandMarkets. “Channel partnership programs of IoT vendors entering the maturity phase and need of shared security services model is an evident booster for the supply side.”
Considering the strong IoT API testing and automation offering from SmartBear, MarketsandMarkets has identified SmartBear as a major IoT vendor. SmartBear’s API testing applications that include SoapUI Pro, LoadUI Pro and Secure Pro offer holistic capabilities to test IoT integrations. These solutions enable creation of complex end to end IoT testing scenarios by chaining IoT protocols like MQTT and CoAP with other protocols like REST and SOAP. This ensures that teams testing at different integration points in an IoT setup can easily record and create test scenarios and then test them for functionality, performance and security. SmartBear’s solutions ensure that your integrations work well, work all the time and are safe from attacks.
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