App testing processes were traditionally carried out in local environments, but with time, the cloud helped overcome limitations posed by this approach. However, even the cloud is not a panacea for rightfully addressing the challenges that app testing poses.
To streamline app testing, migrating app testing from the cloud to decentralized server or decentralized apps has been emerging as the way out. There are several advantages that decentralized apps (dApps) offer for app testing when compared to the cloud.
In this blog, we intend to offer you insightful details about the relevance of migrating app testing from the cloud to decentralized apps (dApps). This blog will cover how application testing happens on dApps, their importance and advantages. To begin with, first, let’s understand the cloud, how it helpz test applications and the benefits and challenges associated with application testing over the cloud.
What is cloud testing and what’s it’s importance?
Cloud testing refers to the testing process that is used to assess the performance, scalability, reliability, and security of applications. This testing procedure is carried out in the cloud environment of the quality assurance tester.
Testing on cloud greatly assists in shared and decentralized setup, where teams are dispersed geographically.
With cloud testing, testing becomes faster, easier, and more manageable.
Since testing involves multiple environments/devices, it is more complicated to set up and proceed with the test execution over a single device. Here BrowserStack comes in to aid developers/testers.
It provides them quick access to the cloud, which allows in comprehensively testing the websites and mobile apps. Such a testing can be carried out on over 2500 browsers and devices. This relaces the need to have an in-house test infrastructure.
Application testing over the cloud
Cloud Testing uses a Centralized server Architecture which is operated from a centralised server. If users need access, they can download a copy of the app, and the app works by sending and receiving information from this server. Below is the pictorial representation of typical client-server architecture.
Benefits of Cloud Testing / How cloud testing benefits
There are many benefits that can be reaped through cloud testing. Discussed here are crucial ones.
- ● Cost Effectiveness: Today, it is hard for every organisation to hold every device in the market to test their product. And also, due to rapidly changing user expectations and standards, organizations continuously invest money and human resources, escalating project budgets and maintenance cost. Cloud testing tools solve this problem by providing a real-world testing environment that closely mirrors the production environment . Testers simply have to sign up, select the real devices they want to start tests on, and start flagging bugs.
Availability: Resources can be accessed from any computer with a network connection. Since most cloud testing applications work as a subscription model, testers with access to a browser can register anytime and start testing immediately. Moreover, efforts are not limited by the physical presence of testers.
- ● Customization: A variety of testing environments can often be simulated.
- ● Scalability: Based on testing demands, resources can be scaled up and down.
Challenges in Cloud Testing
Cloud testing isn’t without its challenges. Let’s look at the major challenges that are encountered in cloud testing.
- ● Bandwidth Issues: Bandwidth plays a major role in accessing and utilising the cloud testing tools as cloud resources are accessed only with a proper network connection. If a user is unable to maintain a consistent internet connection, then it will be difficult to carry out testing in cloud systems.
- ● Security: As a subscriber to the cloud testing application, the tester/developer will be in a position to hand over the data or information to the outside part.
- ● Redundancy: There is no monitoring of redundant test plans, which results in charging for every retest application or website.
- ● Feature Coverage: If new features are added to your application constantly, then the cloud testing tool will not provide adequate coverage, which leads to inadequate coverage test execution.
Application testing over a Decentralized App
Decentralized App or DApp runs on a Blockchain network. Decentralised applications are outside the single authority– and can be developed for a variety of purposes, including gaming, finance, and social media. Let’s get some insights into blockchain to understand this better.
- ● A Blockchain is basically a chain of blocks. These blocks contain certain information, and store and transfer it in a secure manner across a network. Blockchain can also be viewed as a network of computers that are interconnected instead of being linked to a central server. So, essentially, this is a decentralized network.
- ● Architecturally, blockchain requires each participant in the network to maintain, update and approve fresh transactions. There’s no separate team or individual to control the blockchain network. Rather, each participant in the network controls the systems.
Migrating from Cloud to Decentralized Server / Decentralizing Apps
Moving from centralized server to decentralized server is no easy task as it involves architectural changes. However, moving to decentralized server provides more stable application/product as the system is distributed along the nodes. But when considered traditional system or centralized server, any problem that affects the central server can generate problem throughout the system.
Also, each transaction is verified by the peer-to-peer network in a random order which results in a higher level of security in decentralized server, whereas in centralized server verification happens in higher level and lacks security.
Since the information is not stored in central location, accessing data by large user is possible and can be done without any lack of speed in decentralized system. On the other hand, centralized systems will fail and can cause waiting scenarios, which can result in slowing down of the system.
Much like a common application, DApp, too, consists of frontend and backend layers. The frontend exhibits not much difference when compared to traditional apps and can be built using a programming language of choice. The backend exhibits a different structure and is Blockchain-based. Users hardly recognize if they are using DApp.
Testing DApp doesn’t much differ when compared to testing of traditional apps. QA engineers typically leverage functional testing to ensure that a DApp complies with functional specifications. Similarly, testers leverage non-functional testing to gauge DApp’s performance, reliability, usability, scalability and assure its secure. Testing the application in decentralized servers involves testing the application locally first. Once application tester locally tests, a testnet such as Ropsten or Rinkeby needs to be used.. This is similar to Ethereum network’s scaled-down version, having own tokens (valueless). For testing transactions on one of the test nets, you will have to have some test ETH (This you can obtain from respective faucets.)
Importance of Migrating to Decentralized Server / Decentralizing Apps
Users don’t have to put trust in a central authority: As there is no central authority, user doesn’t need to trust a single authority as there are multiple nodes which provide a secured network.
Very little risk of single point of failure: In a decentralized server, irrespective how many users come and go, application will be up and running. Risk of failure of multiple nodes is very little or zero failure which results in more qualified and stable application.
No Censorship: Centralized servers can be easily tracked and shut down by shutting down the traffic to central servers. Since there are no central servers in DApps, censorship is not possible in the apps developed in decentralized servers.
Advantages of DApps
User Privacy: User does not need to produce any personal information.
Anonymous: Smart contract used in DApps in transaction between two anonymous parties without the need of any central authority.
No Censorship: Since there is no centralized authority, any app built on Decentralized network will have no censor.
Obstacles in moving to Decentralized Server / Decentralizing Apps
- Application development is costly
- Transaction Fees is costlier in crypto platform where DApps transactions takes place