Earlier this week, Sauce Labs announced the addition of real devices to its cloud-based web and mobile application testing platform. The addition of real devices to the Sauce Labs cloud platform allows for the testing of mobile apps on real devices in conjunction with simulators and emulators of devices using the Sauce Labs cloud. As such, developers and enterprises seeking to test the efficacy of mobile apps on select devices can understand the performance of the application on a real device and correspondingly obtain more accurate data regarding the application’s compatibility with the device in question. The addition of real devices to the Sauce Labs mobile testing platform illustrates the urgency in the industry around testing of mobile apps and the concomitant need for platforms that deliver a controlled framework for testing mobile applications across a variety of infrastructures. Meanwhile, Sauce Labs also announced support for Microsoft Edge and OS X El Capitan browsers and thereby delivered yet another emphatic affirmation of its ability to support the most cutting edge mobile technologies as evinced by Microsoft Edge, Microsoft’s browser for Windows 10. Pricing for Sauce Labs testing apps on real devices exceeds pricing for simulators and emulators, consistent with the rest of the industry, but conversely underscores the value enabled by the opportunity to test mobile apps on actual devices. Expect Sauce Labs to continue expanding the depth of its cloud-based mobile testing functionality as it responds to the skyrocketing proliferation of mobile apps and the associated need within the industry to test apps rapidly and accurately across a variety of devices and browsers.
On June 11, Sauce Labs announced a significant update to its cloud-based platform for testing web and mobile applications in the form of an enhanced user interface and single sign-on functionality. The updated Sauce Labs user interface allows customers to understand the status of the build of an application and the associated multitude of constituent tests instead of tracking the progress of individual tests. Sauce Labs also features a range of enterprise-grade features such as the ability to more effectively manage groups of users and run analytics on usage patterns for individuals, roles and teams. The platform’s single sign-on functionality allows enterprises to more easily promote usage of the Sauce Labs cloud testing platform within their existing portfolio of applications in addition to simplifying the provisioning of new accounts. Importantly, Sauce Labs continues to refine and improve its integration with continuous integration platforms such as Jenkins, Bamboo and Team City to help streamline the incorporation of test results into subsequent builds and application refinements. The update to the Sauce Labs dashboard builds on the company’s finalization of $15M in Series D funding in February 2015. To date, over 250 million tests have been performed on the Sauce Labs platform in a clear sign that the Sauce Labs cloud-based testing platform continues to stake out a leadership position in the landscape of cloud-based web and mobile testing platforms. Meanwhile, Google recently provided further validation of the importance of cloud-based, parallel multivariate application testing as evinced by its announcement of the Google Cloud Testing Lab for Android applications.
The following Infographic, sponsored by Sauce Labs, provides data on the changing landscape for application testing given a computing environment increasingly characterized by agile application development, continuous integration processes and mobile apps. As illustrated below, the survey of IT professionals showed that continuous integration and agile methodologies led to the adoption of more automated testing. Meanwhile, cross-browser testing has achieved greater importance and developers are finding that most of the issues applications experience involve mobile devices in contrast to desktops.
On Thursday, Sauce Labs announced $15M in Series D funding from existing investor Toba Capital, the investor that led its Series C funding round of $5M. The additional funding will be used to enhance the company’s platform for mobile testing as well as continue to support its web-based application testing and support for the open source project Appium. The funding will also help drive an expansion of the company’s development team, infrastructure and international presence. Sauce Labs delivers a cloud-based testing platform that allows customers to automate parallel testing of web and mobile applications across different browsers, operating systems and environments. By automating the testing process and helping customers interpret testing results, Sauce Labs shortens the time to market for applications and dramatically increases application quality as measured by their ability to perform across a variety of end user environments. Thursday’s funding raise follows upon a year in which the company experienced 2014 revenue growth of 145% driven by significantly increased penetration into the enterprise market. Current enterprise customers include Salesforce, Bank of America, Twitter, Workday and Liberty Mutual. With an additional $15M in the bank, customers should expect the introduction of even more richness and sophistication to the Sauce Labs mobile and web application testing platform, and particularly the mobile platform as it responds to the dramatic proliferation of mobile apps across a variety of devices and operating systems.
Sauce Labs today announced the finalization of $5 million in Series C funding from Toba Capital, entrepreneur Scott Banister and current investors such as Triage Ventures. The funding will be used to accelerate the company’s business development initiatives as well as expand its customer support team. Tyler Jewell, leader of the Toba Capital investment, will join the Sauce Labs board of directors. Jewell remarked on the positioning of Sauce Labs within the software development industry by noting that the “market opportunity for automated application testing is large” and that Sauce Labs occupied “the sweet spot of this market, adding big customers names with a highly scalable and durable testing as a service” platform. Sauce Labs specializes in automated testing for mobile and web applications by delivering a testing environment that accommodates over 150 browser, OS and device platforms. The company also offers manual testing of a variety of mobile and non-mobile applications. The company’s core, automated testing platform assists customers tackle the challenge of ensuring the integrity and performance of applications given the contemporary proliferation of devices and browsers. Current Sauce Labs customers include Dropbox, McKesson, Mozilla, Yelp and Salesforce, the lattermost of which is also an investor. The company’s meteoric rise within the automated application testing space underscores the segmentation of the software/systems development lifecycle whereby application testing is increasingly outsourced given the complexity of testing applications across different environments, devices, operating systems and browsers.
Sauce Labs recently announced the expansion of its cloud-based testing solutions for mobile and web applications to include Android in addition to iOS. The Sauce Labs web-based testing application allows customers to leverage a laboratory of virtual machines that empower customers to run parallel tests on multiple browser and OS combinations. By extending the capabilities of its testing environment to Android mobile apps in addition to iOS, Sauce Labs consolidates its position as one of the key players in the mobile testing space as enterprises increasingly turn to mobile apps to drive customer retention and to facilitate operational management of employees. Adam Christian, Vice President of Development at Sauce Labs, remarked on the positioning of Sauce Labs in the context of the larger market for mobile app testing as follows:
Appium on Sauce solves a big problem at a critical time. Companies are relying more and more on their mobile channels where they have just seconds to prove their worth with a positive user experience and a lot of mobile apps aren’t thoroughly tested, if they’re tested at all. Automated testing in a virtual environment represents the future, and we’re providing it for the mobile ecosystem.
Based on the open source testing framework Appium, the Sauce Labs cloud-based platform for testing enables mobile developers to focus on definition and development of mobile apps while leveraging the Sauce Labs testing environment to facilitate and streamline testing. As the mobile app market expands, the ability of Sauce Labs to support testing of Android testing is especially crucial given that the market for Android apps is one of the few mobile app verticals experiencing rapid expansion.
According to the market analyst firm Canalys, Apple’s App Store, Google Play, the Windows Phone Store, and BlackBerry World—the top four app stores—reported 13.4 downloads globally in Q1 of 2013, an 11% increase as compared to the entirety of 2012. In revenue terms, the top four app stores reported $2.2 billion in revenue from app downloads alone, or an increase of 9% over 2012. Whereas Apple’s App Store claimed 74% of revenue, Google Play claimed 51% of downloads with the Apple App Store coming in a close second.
Canalys senior analyst Tim Shepherd summarized the market landscape for the four main app stores in the mobile app market landscape as follows:
Apple’s App Store and Google Play remain the heavyweights in the app store world. In comparison, BlackBerry World and the Windows Phone Store remain distant challengers today, though they still should not be ignored. Each of these four stores represents a different market proposition for developers, and remains the primary outlet to reach users on the platforms they serve.
By supporting Apple’s App Store and Google Play, the Sauce Labs testing platform supports the overwhelming majority of market share in the mobile app space in terms of both revenue and downloads. The company’s SaaS platform for mobile and desktop application testing currently runs approximately 5 million tests per month and supports testing on over 150 browser/OS combinations. Customers should expect Sauce Labs to additionally support testing for mobile apps via BlackBerry World and the Windows Phone Store as and assuming both markets mature.
San Franciso-based Sauce Labs has been recommended by Adobe after the latter recently announced it was closing its BrowserLab testing platform for web applications. Adobe’s affirmation of Sauce Labs underscores its success with a use case for IaaS infrastructures different from the remote hosting of applications on outsourced infrastructure, namely, IaaS for testing and development purposes. Sauce Labs uses virtual machines to provide customers with over 100 combinations of browsers and platforms for the testing of web-based applications. The company’s SaaS software empowers enterprises to conduct detailed evaluations of the testing process by way of screenshots, video recordings and support for the Firebug plug-in for Mozilla Firefox.
Sauce Labs further enables customers to conduct testing for applications on browsers for mobile devices such as iPads, iPhones and Androids. The Sauce Labs virtualized testing infrastructure platform allows customers to perform A/B and multivariate testing across a wide range of browser-platform permutations while benefiting from the security and integrity of its virtualized environment. Because each virtual machine is newly spun up and created for each testing instance, customers can rest assured that their tests are free both of cookies and traces of their applications for other customers.
As the world becomes more mobile and online interactions increasingly move to specialized applications, it’s increasingly important that these apps perform and meet consumer demands. Testing these apps has been a slow and difficult process, often done manually by teams using physical devices. Automated testing enabled by Appium represents the future, and Appium written in Node.js represents the best course toward ensuring the code continues to evolve as needs change.
The screenshot below illustrates a sample testing scenario for Everest, an iOS application tested using Appium on Sauce:
Appium reorients Sauce Labs squarely toward iOS mobile applications in a move that renders Sauce Labs the de facto cloud-based testing infrastructure for all platforms and programming languages. Its cloud-based platform for automated testing of machine and mobile apps is used by developers and enterprises alike, with Salesforce.com representing one of Sauce Labs’s prominent customers and investors. Given how customers in agile development environments iteratively tweak and add to branches of existing code, Sauce Labs’s cloud-based testing technology lies at the heart of the DevOps and continuous integration movement in application lifecycle management. Users should expect cross-platform cloud-based testing to emerge as the standard for testing and QA in software development, particularly in the wake of the heterogeneity of browsers and platforms in the industry at large.