Devising and Implementing a Test Automation Process for Internet of Things Technologies

Niko, a leader in the development and deployment – in commercial and consumer settings – of home control IoT devices, needed a total end-to-end test solution for their IoT home automation system, Niko Home Control II. This advanced home automation system provides users with an extensive range of features and functions that include:

  • control of devices at home (lighting, ventilation, shutters, sun-blinds, etc.),
  • live and historic monitoring of energy consumption in the home,
  • receiving calls from the video door station

All these are controlled from a central touchscreen, on the Niko Home Control modules or by using a custom-designed app on a tablet or smartphone. 

The service delivery would initially involve consultancy sessions at the client between the key members of Niko's quality team and the engineers at EDT. This would determine what services were required, services that would be conducted and delivered at EDT's facility. The use of test automation was proposed at an early stage as it would enhance the testing process by:

  • increasing the speed at which tests can be performed
  • increasing the level of consistency and repeatability in the testing
  • reducing the scope for errors
  • monitoring all system services’ performance

During these consultations, the testing teams would assess which elements would be better addressed by manual testing and those that would benefit from automated testing. In this case it was determined that manual testing would be more appropriate for the embedded, web and mobile application, but that overall an automated, custom end-to-end framework would be employed for the detailed functional and non-functional testing. It is this stage that is normally more time consuming to test and which can be problematic to test unambiguously.

Another significant benefit of this testing regime is the flexibility it allows in staffing. Resources can be precisely matched to the need of specific elements of the project, rather than dedicating fixed numbers; something that incurs either a cost or a time penalty.

Through the creation and implementation of custom test procedures that included both manual and automated testing, it has been possible to improve the full testing infrastructure.

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