New Test Tool Streamlines Interoperability Testing
25 October 2011: Leading global home networking standards group UPnP Forum is reporting record levels of activity in its certification program.
To date over 900 devices have been certified as compliant with UPnP standards, with over 700 being publicly posted on the organization’s website. UPnP certification provides assurance to vendors and users that devices will automatically and seamlessly interoperate in home and other networks.
In recent years the output of UPnP Forum has expanded rapidly in line with the increase in the numbers and types of device being networked via the Internet. Since 2007 the Forum has seen double-digit percentage increases in the number of UPnP certifications, year over year. Compared to 2009, the organization last year certified three times as many devices that ‘render’ content – including television sets, speakers, audio players, electronic picture frames, PCs and printers. In 2011 to date it has already certified 74% more renderer devices than in the whole of 2010.
“We are seeing tremendous growth in networking in the home and small business premises of devices, be they consumer electronic AV devices, internet gateway devices, computers, or home automation devices” says UPnP Forum President and Chairman Alan Messer.
“In this heterogeneous and increasingly densely connected environment, the demand for UPnP certification and compliance, and the confidence that brings to users and retailers, is getting bigger all the time.”
To strengthen the confidence in UPnP technology, UPnP Forum recently introduced a new version of the UPnP certification test tool (UCTT 2.0) for compliance testing. This tool will extend the scope and relevance of the Forum’s certification program.
“The main goal of the certification program is to demonstrate good interoperability between different vendors’ devices, and the new certification tool increases the scope of our interoperability testing,” points out UPnP Compliance Chair Wouter van der Beek. “Furthermore, the tool - UCTT 2.0 - enhances usability and test reporting, with extensive de-bug options able to provide more information to resolve any issues that arise.”
UPnP specialist Grzegorz Kafel, who was directly involved in the project as a Project Manager at Comarch, the test tool developer, adds: “The build-from-scratch UCTT2.0 is considerably stricter in validating UPnP communication between devices under test, supporting deeper test penetration and leading to more credible results. Consequently, the compliancy assurance level is significantly higher and the certification much tougher to achieve, but potential IOP issues are detected and addressed all the way faster. Together with greatly improved ergonomics of the tool, all these lead to a new definition of user experience and enriched suitability of the tool for the whole certification process.”
The entirely re-factored architecture of UCTT2.0 makes it possible to certify both UPnP devices and control points within one tool. The active and run-time dynamic environment enables simulation of various UPnP network elements and on-the-fly analysis of intercommunication of both class devices, rather than post-processed parsing used by the previous version of the tool.
Flexibility and extensibility are important assets of UCTT2.0, that allow licensees to develop specific test cases on their own, with no need to wait for the next release of the tool. Device specific actions of non-standard or custom UPnP prototypes can easily be defined in the open, XML-based and rich-syntax format, later to be incorporated into vendor-defined test suites and structured with the use of advanced testing logic introduced by the tool.
About UPnP Forum
UPnP Forum, established in 1999, is a global industry group of 950-plus leading companies and organizations working to enable device-to-device interoperability and facilitate easier and better home networking. It promotes the adoption of uniform technical device interconnectivity standards and certifies devices conforming to these standards. UPnP Forum is an impartial group enabling member companies to participate and develop extensions to (a) the UPnP Device Architecture, which defines how to use IP to communicate between devices, and (b) Device Control Protocols (DCPs), which are services between devices. Members of UPnP Forum include market leaders in computing, printing and networking, consumer electronics, home appliances, automation, control and security, and mobile products.
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