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Dedicated mobile device has been one of the top features that device farms have to offer for its customers. While a majority of indie developers love to use a public cloud for maximal device coverage with reasonable costs, many of larger companies want to dedicate mobile devices for their needs – and spread the use of those across their teams. This sort of product has been available for a few years with our Bitbar Private Cloud and it has provided the business-critical feature and tons of benefits for many top mobile app and game companies.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at why dedicated devices are a superior feature and how to quickly jump on board with it.

The internet is full of comparisons of public vs private clouds – and to add another dimension to this – on-premise clouds. Each and every one of these has its own characteristics, benefits and features tailored for certain types of users. While public cloud is extremely popular with companies that want to minimize the costs, but to gain device compatibility across all possible device variants used by end-users, private cloud and on-premise clouds can provide the same benefits – and yet more efficiently.

Dedicated Devices with Bitbar Testing Deployment Options

There are 8 facts about dedicated devices (compared to public, shared devices) that every developer and user of cloud-based devices should be aware of:

1. Unlimited Device Time and Unlimited Users

Dedicated devices provide the 24/7 timeslot for its users. When considering the costs versus available testing time, there is no better option than dedicated devices in terms of cost efficiency, accessibility and easiness of use. With dedicated devices – regardless of usage with any product deployment option – the user only needs to select devices and testing on those can start in a blink.

With dedicated devices administrator can configure priorities and users that can access these devices in fashionable, modern UI with few clicks. The unlimited device time and the unlimited number of users (inside the organization) is a great platform for distributed teams and all maintaining will be taken care for – as a devices-as-a-service.

2. Clear Separation for Usage, Accessibility and Priorities

Dedicated devices provide the ultimate scalability in terms of usage, access and priorities. When compared to shared devices, dedicated devices make it easy to allocate certain devices for manual testing, certain devices for test automation (either or with full access to Android and/or iOS) and mobile web testing.

The major benefit of dedicated devices comes from the separation of how these devices can be used by its users. Manual testing occupies the devices and the test session can take whatever time so it won’t have any impact on test automation scripts as different dedicated devices would be used for that purpose. In addition, dedicated devices are easy to break down for each app team, QA team or even provide access to those externally.

Three Levels of Mobile App Testing

3. No Interruptions or Delays for Mobile App Testing

Continuous integration is a heart of mobile app development and agile methodologies are widely used by app developers. When continuous integration gets its job done the test can instantly start on real, physical devices in the cloud. As there won’t be any other tests running on those dedicated devices test runs can start right away, without any delays or interruptions by higher priority customers or test runs.

In fact, it actually means like you’d have a device on your desk and as soon as CI has pushed test for that device, the test run will start in the cloud. In addition, the superior queuing system with CI and cloud combination takes care of getting all test runs executed. Even the queue gets huge all test runs will be executed and the results will be delivered back to the cloud dashboard and even your CI environment.

4. Special Configurations Are Easy to Enable

Not every test automation adoption is the same and because of these dedicated devices can bridge the requirements and actual implementation together, and make it more productive for teams and users. Admin can quickly configure device access, details and permissions, as well as assign or remove access to a specific type of user.

Furthermore, dedicated devices provide a way to tailor test automation, used framework and other test details for a specific use case. For instance, Bitbar Private Cloud provides support for pretty much ANY test automation framework (open source, even custom and customer-specific ones) in the real device context.

5. All Required Software and Hardware Hosted for You

One of the most compelling reasons to use devices in the cloud is that everything is taken care of your needs. You don’ t have to set up any hardware, no need to install any software, and typically there is no need to configure any of those devices to match with your local environment.

This speeds up the entire development and delivery flow as your DevOps time doesn’t get wasted with fire-fighting devices.

6. Security with Data and Device-Governance

Access to dedicated devices can be bridged via VPN – and everything on cloud-end is SSL secured. This includes all data from test runs, applications and results achieved from those tests, are all encrypted. In addition, all login details are saved & allowed only under authorized access and specified networks. For instance, dedicated devices hosted on our premises are located in our secure lab premises with restricted access.

When a user or a team gets access to dedicated devices, they are the only user(s) for those specific devices. Unlike with Public Cloud that devices are used by a variety of different types of developers and testers, these devices do not show up outside of its user. There won’t be any visibility to these devices, test runs, usage, results or data. This makes dedicated devices the super secure option for enterprises to ‘outsource’ their device-governance and hosting to the external provider.

7. Features That Scale Across Deployment Options

Dedicated devices span across different device farm deployment options. It basically enables getting started with Private Cloud or Public Cloud and then scale to On-Premise or even larger setup of devices around any of these deployment options.

8. Remote Access to Devices: Manual, Automation and API

The thing that really makes testing on cloud-based devices flexible is the remote access in three different levels: manual testing using a device on a browser, full test automation with frameworks and integration with API to remove all manual interactions for your device testing effort.

With test automation and API users of dedicated devices can scale parallel test runs to cover any number of devices they have configured for their system. With our test automation practices, there is no limitation on the number of how many devices can be used simultaneously. We simply do not limit parallelism and concurrent test runs anyhow.

Ville-Veikko Helppi

Mobile Testing Product Expert