Why Are Device Farms So Important For Software Testing?

A seamless experience for users across different devices and browsers has become crucial in today’s digital landscape. From smartphones to laptops and various browsers, the diversity is vast. For any app or website to truly succeed, it needs to work smoothly on any device, operating system, and browser that users prefer. While emulators and simulators can help, real device testing remains irreplaceable. It’s a challenge considering the multitude of devices and browsers globally, but a universal and flawless user experience is the ultimate goal.

In addressing the complexity of diverse devices and browsers, real device farms or actual device clouds have emerged as a cost-effective solution. These innovative solutions provide a practical approach to testing on multiple devices and browsers. They act as virtual testing grounds, enabling developers to ensure their web apps or apps function seamlessly across various device, OS, and browser combinations. 

What Are Device Farms?

A Device Farm is a testing environment where testers can remotely assess the performance of their web apps and mobile apps on a variety of real devices. It encompasses both modern and older device versions from different manufacturers. You can either establish this environment in-house or utilize a cloud-based service. Setting up an in-house farm is challenging and expensive, requiring a diverse range of devices, browser versions, and operating systems.

What A Device Farm Offers

A device farm is a valuable resource for app testing, offering the following key features:

  1. Device Management: Easily handle a variety of mobile devices with different specifications, operating systems, and configurations. The farm takes care of device setup, configuration, and maintenance, allowing testers and developers to focus on the testing process.
  1. Test Automation Framework: Seamlessly integrates with popular test automation tools, empowering testers to create and execute automated tests on the available devices.
  1. Collaboration: Facilitate teamwork among testers and developers by providing collaboration features. Share results, discuss issues, and access detailed reports, including test outcomes, device logs, and screenshots.
  1. Security: Ensure the security and privacy of tested data and applications through secure data transfer, storage, and data isolation mechanisms.

In essence, device farm tools present a cost-effective and scalable solution for mobile app testing. They grant access to a diverse range of real devices, eliminating the necessity of acquiring and managing physical devices. Additionally, these tools enhance testing efficiency with features such as test automation, collaboration, and detailed reporting.

Benefits of Testing on Device Farms

Testing applications on multiple devices can be costly and time-consuming at scale. Device farms offer access to thousands of devices with diverse configurations. Utilizing emulators and simulators in cloud-based testing helps identify performance issues. 

The key benefits include:

  1. Device Diversity: Access a wide array of devices with different OS platforms, screen orientations, display sizes, memory, and network configurations, reducing overall maintenance and infrastructure costs.
  1. Parallel Testing: Execute testing concurrently on multiple devices, saving considerable time and accelerating the testing lifecycle.
  1. Cloud-Based Accessibility: Benefit from the secure and accessible nature of cloud-based environments, allowing testing from anywhere and enhancing flexibility and collaboration.
  1. Comprehensive Reporting: Receive detailed reports presented in various formats, such as graphs, video recordings, and screenshots, facilitating thorough analysis and bug identification.
  1. Bug Identification and Resolution: Leverage detailed reports to easily spot bugs and address them promptly, ensuring a smoother development process.
  1. Integration with CI/CD: Seamlessly integrate device farms into your CI/CD pipeline, streamlining the testing and development workflow and promoting collaborative efforts among development teams.

Pros and Cons of Building Your Own Device Farm

If you find yourself standing at a crossroads, trying to decide whether to build your own device farm or opt for an existing solution. We’ve compiled a list of pros and cons to help you navigate through the decision-making process.

Pros:

  • Enhanced Testing Capacity: In-house mobile farms facilitate high-capacity tests, allowing faster execution of a larger number of tests compared to cloud providers.
  • No Waiting, No Limits: The absence of queues and session limitations ensures seamless and unrestricted testing.
  • Rapid Infrastructure Deployment: In-house mobile farms can be set up swiftly, often within a few hours, providing a faster deployment compared to other alternatives.

Cons

  • Cost Prohibitive for Startups: In the short term, in-house mobile farms may pose a financial challenge for startups and small businesses due to initial setup costs.
  • Maintenance Expenses: Ongoing costs related to device/component renewal, scheduled inspections, and the need for on-site support specialists can be a drawback.
  • Device Relevance: The need to keep devices up to date, typically within a two-year cycle, adds to the ongoing maintenance challenge.

In various situations, investing substantial funds in constructing in-house device farms can pose significant expenses and present challenges in terms of scalability. Therefore, to get a seamless testing experience without the hassles, one should opt for trustworthy platforms like TestGrid that provide multiple options for device farms.

TestGrid provides a reliable and comprehensive testing solution, offering the best of both worlds – advanced testing capabilities without the hassle of managing your own device farm.  

TestGrid Private Device Lab: Revolutionizing Testing for Tomorrow

TestGrid Private Device Lab is the future of testing, providing a sophisticated and efficient solution for testing mobile apps and websites. With a focus on smart, secure, and scalable testing, TestGrid’s Private Device Lab offers a seamless way to test your applications on real devices and browsers.

Key Features:

  • Hosts Up-To 50 Devices: Accommodate a diverse range of devices and browsers, ensuring comprehensive testing capabilities.
  • Secure: Enjoy the assurance of a fully secure testing environment, protected behind your corporate firewall.
  • Offers Scalability: Scale your testing capabilities effortlessly by adding more devices, thanks to the daisy chain capability.
  • Centralized Management: Streamline testing across distributed teams with centralized management for enhanced efficiency.
  • Fully Optimized: Experience optimal device response for accurate testing results, ensuring a true reflection of real-world scenarios.
  • Seamless Integration: Integrate TestGrid seamlessly with your existing tools and workflows for a hassle-free testing process.

Conclusion

Any organization aiming for the success of its applications must test them across all available real devices and every browser and OS combination. Failing to do so can lead to app rejection, poor reviews, and financial losses, which can severely impact your business. 

The most cost-effective solution for such comprehensive testing is a device farm that gives access to numerous real devices and browsers whenever needed.
In this context, TestGrid, with its secure device farm, is a top-rated choice among most organizations. In essence, TestGrid’s device farm represents a paradigm shift in testing, offering a forward-looking solution for organizations seeking advanced, secure, and scalable testing capabilities.