Automation to test IoT systems across tiers

This page estimates the number of internet-connected devices worldwide from 2015 to 2025.

Suppose you’re working on an IoT watch. Wouldn’t it be great to have automation to verify a functional requirement that crosses tiers with just one check?

For example, a functional requirement could be that a notification on your phone can be dismissed on the watch, and the phone displays correctly that it was dismissed.

Suppose a dev is preparing to check in a code change set that touches one or both of these tiers. You need to verify, before the change set is committed so that others are affected by changes, that the notification requirement is still met.

Clearly, you need automation, and automation that crosses tiers, at least in simulation.

Can you do this?

It turns out, that using structured data, e.g., XML, works great for this because the different tiers are nicely presented in the structure.

This page links to samples on GitHub that demonstrate how an ordered-tree hierarchy (the Hierarchical Steps pattern of MetaAutomation) enables automation to pay attention and make data available to further automation.

Sample 3 shows how this can be done across any number of tiers. The check verifies a functional requirement, and the artifact of the check run is an XML document with a supplied grammar. Any tier can drive the SUT on that tier to manipulate and gather data, and all that data is stored and available to further quality automation or to be transformed into a nice, browsable view of what the SUT is doing.

If this is not done, the above requirement could be broken for days at least until somebody notices it, which breaks people’s experience with the product (at least, on the team developing and dogfooding it) and perhaps hiding other quality issues as well. The further from the breaking change that the break is discovered, the harder it is to fix it and the costlier the break is to the team.

Speed is important, as is cross-tier capability. MetaAutomation shows how.

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