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January 20, 2014

Social Media, Cloud, Analytics and Mobility (SCAM)

Social Media, Cloud, Analytics and Mobility: These are 4 common buzzwords that we hear today. They are indeed very much inter-related as well!  Social media allows instantaneous interactions, sharing of news, photos, videos etc. From a technical perspective, this requires elastic omnipresent storage capability.  Cloud provides this for the Social Media. The moment something is on cloud, it can be big - big data. Small data can be hosted locally. If data is big, cloud is a good medium and the data can be leveraged for analytics. This facilitates informed decision making. For an end user, this should be omnipresent, thus available at fingertips. Mobility facilitates that.

Application development time has decreased significantly. Platforms and Wizards facilitate drag and drop 'app' developments in days, if not in hours. Rapid strides in the business space demands this. Validating or Testing these 'apps' or applications becomes a matter of utmost importance.  This blog explores the validation of social media based applications.

 

Businesses are increasingly using the social media as a platform to promote their service and offerings and to solicit feedback. It allows customer engagement and ability to interact. Marketing and advertising unlike the pre-digital age is highly dynamic. Previously, the customer reaction could be gauged only after weeks or months altogether, post analyzing the sales data. Increased presence of business on the social media makes it imperative to be monitored continuously. Below are some of the key aspects in validating social media content: 

·         Understand the reason for your existence in social media: drive sales, brand building, increase audience? Testing teams should validate the corporate apps, facebook pages keeping the above intention in mind.

·         Validation should also ensure if the business objectives are aligned with the social media objectives.

·         Beta testing teams can ensure and validate if the social media participants / users are the same as the target market for the enterprise.

·         Usability of the apps. There are 'n' number of browser / Operating system combinations today. Social sites like  Facebook, twitter etc. are available on almost every platform. Testers need to validate the 'rendition' / interoperability of their content on these various platforms.

·         Device specific validation: does the page render well on all common hard ware?

·         Performance: Validate the time for loading, first time loading etc.

·         Security Aspects: If the apps involve financial transaction capability or otherwise, security is of utmost importance. The last thing to happen is allow an intruder in through the social media channel.

·         Functionality: Referential integrity with the web based application and validation of the basic functionality.

Social media validation is more end-user centric and similar to erstwhile UAT in that aspect. However, there should be an increased focus on the underlying technology as well.  We will focus on the other 3 (Cloud, Analytics and Mobility) in the next blog.