In today’s inter-connected mobile world, many of us take high-speed internet connections for granted. With ubiquitous WiFi in offices, coffee shops and homes almost taken for granted, and widespread 3G and 4G networks, it is easy for developers to “forget” that many of the people for whom they write applications and websites aren’t quite so lucky when it comes to network quality.
Network conditions, such as latency, bandwidth, packet loss, and jitter (packets arriving out of order), must always be considered when developing and testing software. As well as affecting the user experience, slow users can have an increased impact on your applications by keeping connections open for longer and consuming extra resources, compared to their counterparts on faster networks.
Despite this, it can be daunting to introduce variable network conditions into a test environment; so daunting, that many organisations don’t bother. This is a high risk approach and it makes sense to introduce at least some network variance into your testing and development teams.
Ignoring the network is one of the easiest ways to get your testing wrong. Without introducing realistic network conditions to your quality assurance, how can you be sure that your application’s mobile quality for both functionality and performance isn’t going to be turning customers away?
|What would FaceBook do?
Some of the world’s largest software companies, like Facebook, have recognised that it is essential to incorporate the network into their tests. This can be achieved in a structured way, where each test simulates realistic network conditions, or in a less formal way. Recognising that FaceBook’s 2nd largest market is India, where network conditions are poor outside corporate networks; they’ve introduced the concept of “2G Tuesdays”. When FaceBook developers log in on Tuesday, they are given the option to slow their device to 2G speeds. This is designed to give them a flavour of the user experience for users on poor networks.
It remains to be seen whether this initiative will be embraced enthusiastically by the FaceBook development teams, but it’s a clever way to ensure that the organisation at least takes network in development and testing seriously.
Could I do the same?
As a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Gold Partner, Trust IV is ideally placed to help you to implement HPE Network Virtualization™ allowing you to work like Facebook by incorporating the network experience into your app development and testing methodology.
“2G Tuesday in a box”
Trust IV can help you to follow FaceBook by providing “2G Tuesday in a box”.
By configuring HPE Network Virtualization software as a router between your application under test and your client devices, you can investigate the performance of your application under realistic network conditions. We can install and configure HPE Network Virtualization™ software on a server in your office for less than £12,000*. This would provide you with your own, configurable network virtualisation platform allowing your developers and testers to see the impact of real-world network conditions on the performance and functionality of your applications.
HPE NV integrates well with HP automated functional test tools and test management software and if you’d like to see a demonstration of HPE NV Test Manager together with ALM, QC or UFT , please get in touch.
The following links proved useful in researching this blog:
*Price based on Trust IV providing a perpetual license of HPE NV Test Manager as well as 5 days of on-site support to configure the customer’s server and get you up and running, depending on your requirements. VAT is charged at the standard UK rate.