Device Farm: what is it?
Top reasons why people choose to use a certain software is its availability and functionality. Digital applications should work seamlessly on any device or browser that your customer prefers. For example, if a web application can be viewed on Chrome, it needs provide the same experience on Firefox as well.
People will never use an application that won’t work well on their browser or device. That is why, before launching any digital offering, a testing phase is essential for every developer. This is where a device farm comes in.
What is a device farm?
A device farm (also called a ‘device cloud’) is a testing environment that allows a developer to ensure the quality of their software before launching it. Device farms allows the developer to test out the application’s performance on actual devices, while stimulating real-world conditions.
Why use a device farm?
Testing a software in a device farm allows the application developer to evaluate performance discrepancies across a wide range of devices. System efficiency can also be reviewed on all platforms that the application developers want to run it on. This way, accuracy is ensured and the application would be error-free.
There is also no need to manage a slew of devices on your own, nor maintain well-trained teams to run the tests. All you have to do is upload the software to the environment, configure the tests, select the devices, and get the results within minutes.
Device farms can be used to test not just newly-developed applications but also pre-existing faulty ones. They can check for known issues or try to replicate user errors that allows the application developer to have a clearer understanding of the issues and improve it further.
Some of the biggest Device farms providers are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. These applications can run on older and newer devices, from mobile phones to browsers to virtual devices (simulators and emulators).
Application developers can also do this themselves. However, that would be unprofitable unless you have the volume of applications to warrant the investment. An in-house testing lab consists of at least six components:
- computers (old and new versions),
- multiple mobile devices with different operating systems,
- Storage Area Network (SAN),
- networks, and
Bear in mind that these devices need frequent updates and replacements. All of this together can be VERY expensive. Aside from being costly, creating your own testing lab can lead to compromised data security and infrastructure, putting the business at high risk.
Truly, device farms are becoming significant in the software testing industry. This trend has made application testing faster, more reliable and abundantly accurate. It saves both money and time. Ensuring applications work smoothly and perfectly across many devices allows the application to serve as many customers as possible.
What else can you ask for? Using a device farm is key to success for any quality assurance or application developer.