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Why are Mobile Embedded Applications Difficult to Test ?

By SiliconIndia   |  
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Bangalore: Embedded testing is usually carried out on a product to find out whether the application functions in the desired way or not. While performing the tests, the application has to go through two phases. Initially, the application software is provided with a number of inputs, then a part of the software is implemented and the output is checked for any unspecific behaviors.

Embedded products are considered to be difficult to test as they need special testing over the layers of the product and at different system level. As these complexities of embedded systems are growing, manufacturers are facing more challenges with higher costs of fixing and isolating defects.

Jennifer Lent on searchsoftwarequality.techtarget mentioned some of the challenges. Take a look at some of them.
1. Security Testing: one of the biggest obstacles is figuring out where the mobile embedded application will be installed.  For instance, suppose in hospitals it's common to collect information from different devices and sources to enable the hospital to serve the patient better. These data are continuously uploaded across all wireless networks in big hospitals. This makes the data insecure and vulnerable to threats. "You have to establish robust testing practices to address these threats,” cited  Chris Rommel, vice president at VDC Research Group Inc. on searchsoftwarequality.techtarget referring to two techniques for security testing: source code analysis and penetration testing.

2. Wide range of platforms: Testers often finds difficulty in predicting what they need to test for considering the wide range of platforms with different specifications available in the market today.

 3. Embedded apps Raise expectations for developers and testers: Embedded applications challenges the skills of many developers and testers. Developers need to ensure that their codes work for a long period of time. "It's a more responsible role than it has ever been in the past. You have to prove compliance and prove you did static analysis. You have to show me that you are doing the right thing," said Gwyn Fisher, chief technology officer for Klocwork Inc.

4. Requires review of the codes by subject matter experts: it is important to bring in subject matter experts to review the codes. Moreover, Code review is done manually, thus making it a tedious process.  Fisher said, "Tools can vet algorithms. But they cannot replace code reviews. You have to find out if this app is going to do bad things- or is it going to do the right things?"

Some other challenges faced by testers' are- the increasing demands of the customer to release quality products, providing immediate solutions for app testing, and the complex network set-up has made it difficult to test projects on time and within the specified budget.

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