The current pandemic confronts startups with a wide variety of problems and challenges. The entire Tapkey team is in the home office, true to the motto #stayathome. As a company that deals with digital work, we are lucky that operations continue as normal as possible under these circumstances. But there are also areas in which the team has been faced with challenges. In our office in Vienna we have a comprehensive test setup with various smartphones and locks. Of course, this is not the case at home, but we created the opportunity to carry out tests from anywhere in the world. We developed the Tapkey Hardware Simulator. It’s our proof that innovation must not be left behind even in crises.
Testing Hardware Without Hardware
The idea behind the Tapkey Hardware Simulator is that our developer team can simulate real locks without having to rely on existing hardware or electronic cylinders. Resources and equipment are limited in the home office. For this reason, this solution is ideal to make working from home easier.
The hardware simulator creates electronic locks—poof!— in the cloud. This means that both automated tests and tests during development can be carried out without physical, electronic locks. The application enables locks to be created and all features of a “real” lock to be used. The simulation of the system allows—with a few exceptions—to test all aspects of the software. You can not only add locks in the tool, but also assign access rights, time-limit them and revoke them. Of course, you can also unlock a virtual lock.
There is also another possibility that results from the new functionality. Apps that interact with hardware, e.g. with access devices are very difficult to test automatically. Without significant manual effort, there are hardly any opportunities to test all components of the solution altogether. Extensive automated tests are the backbone of efficient software development. In contrast to real locks, their virtual siblings can be started and stopped easily—and fully automatically—and also integrated in automated tests. This makes the extensive range of automated tests of the Tapkey solution even more realistic.