SBOX is the flagship product from the team at Element 34 and allows our customers to test both their web and mobile applications on a testing grid within their own corporate network. The importance and benefits of SBOX can be understood by reviewing the 5 pillars in which it was built upon. These pillars are Security, Compliance, Scalability, Performance and Cost Efficiency.
For most companies, there will come a time when the number of test scripts that need to be executed on their own homegrown grid starts to cause performance/stability issues.
To add to this, the maintenance of this homegrown grid is never ending. Users can navigate to the company website through a number of different browsers and there will be a number of different versions that will be used at any given time. This fragmentation and constant need to update/maintain this grid can cause pain and be very time-consuming.
When companies look at alternatives, there should be a few key items they consider. The five pillars behind SBOX can represent some of these considerations.
When teams look to migrate off their own homegrown grid, security becomes a key conversation. This may not have been as important a topic initially as up until this point everything was hosted within their corporate network. Given there are some great offerings that exist outside of a company's corporate network, it is a good idea to discuss this topic and understand what is available to you given your requirements.
As most try to adopt a “shift left” approach and test as early as possible, be aware of what needs to be done to use a SaaS offering.
In some cases, you will need to create a tunnel connection from the user machine to the SaaS offerings cloud. This tunnel connection may be created by the end user which adds complexity to their testing workflow and adds potential for user error. Alternatively, you could whitelist a range of IPs which give these devices access to your test environment. Be conscious that these IPs should only be for you and not shared with other customers using the same vendor.
Finally, if you are looking to use real data, you may have made agreements with your customers around how/where this data can be used. If only looking to test outside of your network, then there should be little concern here.
The Security pillar behind SBOX is a key differentiator given SBOX is installed within the customers corporate network. We give you the benefit of a SaaS offering in terms of management and maintenance but the security benefits of a homegrown grid.
A pillar that is tied closely to the previous pillar discussed. Risk/Compliance can relate to the potential risk of opening up your testing environment in a number of different ways. With a homegrown grid, not only do your tests remain within your corporate network but any pipeline integrations also remain private. If using production data, once this leaves the corporate network, you potentially breach data privacy regulations.
SBOX addresses any data privacy/compliance issues without the need for extensive synthetic data creation.
While a homegrown solution can seem like a good idea and to get setup can be an enjoyable experience, for most enterprises, they quickly become unmanageable.
Maintaining this grid is time consuming and the team maintaining this grid cannot face too many issues or else test automation can end up postponed.
Like many other options, SBOX is a maintenance free solution. This means our customers can focus on test automation while we manage browser, driver and language/framework updates. To understand more about the scalability pillar check out our Buy vs. Build Blog here.
When reviewing build time, it is important to know where your tests are being executed from and where they are actually being run. It would be unreasonable to expect to reduce build time when tests are now being run outside of your corporate network if both options are configured to the same standard. Some SaaS offerings have multiple data centers across the globe, if one of these are close to where you execute your tests from, then performance may not be as big a concern as it may be for others.
SBOX testing in comparison to some other cloud offerings improves latency as data can move faster within a network than over the internet, making it the ideal application testing solution for enterprises with large test volumes and frequency.
When considering alternatives to a homegrown grid, it is important to know the current cost but also the cost as you continue on your automation journey. If the cost of your testing infrastructure becomes an issue at a later stage it may limit the number of tests that can be run in parallel at any given time. You should be aware of how many tests can be run in parallel and how many can be queued at any given time.
Outside of infrastructure, there may be different integrations/features not available to you in your current subscription. As we mentioned earlier, creating synthetic data may also have a cost and these are all things that need to be considered.
In summary, when looking at alternatives to your homegrown solution, the five pillars should be key considerations. Depending on your requirements some of these pillars will carry more weight than others and there may be other requirements that come to mind.
To understand these pillars, and more, in greater detail, please read our Whitepaper on Selecting A Selenium Grid in an Enterprise.
When it comes to automated testing solutions, SBOX is the safer, more secure automated testing solution in the market. That's why top global financial institutions, automotive manufacturers, and technology companies choose SBOX over traditional SaaS solutions.
Feel free to connect with us to learn more about our SBOX offering!