In this 5-part blog series, we will take a deeper-dive into each step for launching a continuous delivery strategy, starting with the benefits of setting up a mobile device cloud for development and testing.
How Does A Continuous Delivery Framework Make Testing More Efficient?
Take a moment and picture the mobile devices in your mobile testing lab. Where are they stored? Are they kept in a locked drawer? Do they reside on a table, clearly labeled and waiting for action? Or, maybe they are in a haphazard pile that you must climb out of each day to test and to debug?
Even if your enterprise mobility team believes that they have found a solution that works for device sharing, consider what happens with increased demand. With more pressure to develop and test better and faster, teams must be flexible and agile to rise to these new challenges in developing, testing and releasing new updates to mission-critical apps to stay relevant and viable.
Having all your devices neatly spread out on a table, or in a central drawer is doable if your developers, testers and QA are working together in one office. But, what about remote employees? What about developers, testers and QA in other office buildings, or even in other countries? How can everyone on the team share the same devices for testing, but still work quickly and efficiently?
The answer lies in setting up a mobile device cloud, the first step in creating a powerful continuous delivery pipeline.
3 Benefits of Setting up a Mobile Device Cloud
At Mobile Labs, we advocate testing on real devices. Sometimes in life, there is not a good replacement for the “real thing.” Certainly, simulators and emulators have their place in the developing and testing process, but to expedite testing and debugging, why not work directly with the devices that will be employed by users to engage with your apps?
Besides agility and flexibility, here are 3 other benefits to setting up a device cloud:
#1: Resuscitate Engineering Practices to Boost Agility and DevOps
Taken by itself, a robust continuous delivery strategy helps enterprise testing teams with agility and improved quality of apps. With better apps comes increased customer satisfaction, whether your app is for external customers or used internally to increase employee productivity on the job.
Setting up a device cloud for mobile development and testing also provides these same benefits by boosting DevOps processes. By setting up a device cloud, whether on-premises or hosted in a secure data center, developers, testers and QA can benefit from one central portal where devices are shared among all members of the respective teams.
By working with the same devices, development, testing and debugging are faster and more efficient. When paired with continuous integration, all teams can stay on top of fixing any issues with apps that may come up to keep new releases of apps on time and under budget.
#2: Increase Flexibility for Device Sharing
At Mobile Labs, one of our favorite questions to ask attendees at trade shows is how are they currently managing device sharing. We have heard a diverse set of responses over the years, but most testing teams are either storing these devices in one central location such as a table, or under lock and key in a drawer. In the drawer scenario, typically a QA Manager must oversee the process of “checking out” devices to various team members.
Imagine the time saved and the boost to productivity if there were an easier way to manage devices.
By connecting all devices in a device cloud, developers, testers and QA can quickly log in to a central portal to test and run various scripts on the device they need. Without a device cloud setup, developers and testers may have to wait on each other for a certain device to become available, or they may have to physically get up to check out a physical device from a general location in the office. Naturally, this situation can cause even more delays if devices must be shared among locations in different cities, states, or countries. Just imagine the time delays (not to mention the astronomical costs) of shipping devices.
#3: Break Down Geographical Barriers
As we noted earlier in this blog, many development, testing and QA teams are not all housed together in one central office. Although some teams are just separated by floors or city borders, others may have whole oceans between them. With barriers of this nature, enterprise mobility teams are presented with a unique set of challenges regarding device sharing.
For teams with remote members, and for those spread out all over the world, shipping the devices to various team members is not only costly, but extremely time consuming if not virtually impossible. Certain countries have laws that make it hard for devices to pass through customs and cannot be shipped to other countries. In today’s agile, dynamic world, developers, testers and QA cannot afford to have these delays while they are working together to develop, test and release updates to apps.
But, setting up a device cloud eliminates this issue of shipping devices over borders, be they country or city borders. With a device cloud set up, the devices themselves are housed in one central location, but everyone on the team can log in to the portal and access the device they need for development or testing 24/7 regardless of where they physically reside.
Housing the devices in a device cloud not only makes the process of sharing devices easier for the entire team, but it is a boost to both productivity and cost savings by eliminating the issues of shipping.
Want to learn more about continuous delivery and setting up a device cloud? Download our recent webcast to learn more about the 5 steps to launch a continuous delivery strategy and the benefits of setting up a mobile device cloud in your testing lab.