Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Testing Services on the Cloud

While Cloud promises the elasticity, pay-on-the-go and flexibility and theoretically infinite scalability when it comes to infrastructure, the real power of the cloud is unleashed when you have applications that leverage the above mentioned advantages cloud provides to solve certain unique problems of enterprises that hitherto had no solution beyond a certain point of optimization.

One such nagging problem that IT enterprises in particular have had was specific to testing services. Testing is one aspect of software life cycle, the efforts for which cannot be predicted with absolute certainty. Nor does testing infrastructure get utilized 100%. This makes testing on the cloud - on demand an attractive proposition. 

Efforts in this direction are one. One interesting effort in this direction is from SauceLabs. SauceLabs have launched Sauce OnDemand, a Selenium based on demand testing environment that rides on top of Amazon EC2 cloud. Selenium is a open source software testing framework for web applications. Released under the Apache 2.0 license, it provides a record/playback tool for authoring tests without learning a test scripting language.

With such an environment at an enterprises' disposal, customers of SauceLabs can now test in hours instead of days. Steve, of SauceLabs says that many customers see a 10- to 20-fold improvement (reduction) in test times because they can simply throw additional resources at the problem. Tests can be run in parallel, saving time and allowing for agile development and continuous integration.

What's more interesting is the additional feature called SauceTV that provides continuous screen shots of the testing as it happens on different cloud based browser instances. It allows QA teams to identify failures and see how web apps look in different browsers without having to sit through the whole process. Cool, eh?

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