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Mobile Application Testing Techniques: How to Optimize Your Automated Mobile Application Testing

How to Optimize Your Mobile Application Testing Techniques

Mobile Application TestingYour mobile application testing approach is an instrumental component of successful app development – and testing automation can help you get better results faster. However, going into mobile app testing automation without a plan for optimization can waste your time and resources. Before you start or refine your existing mobile application testing techniques, you should review these best practices.

1. Start with a Sound Framework

The success of your mobile app testing techniques relies on the framework you’re using to develop your test. You’ll need to design your test so that it can give you the most comprehensive information about what needs to be changed and altered within your app before its release. For example, you need to figure out how you want to set up your test. How are you going to break out your multiple components? Are you going to use keyword- or data-driven approaches?

Developing your framework with these notions in mind is essential to the process. Knowing what you’re going to test and how you’re going to test it will help you focus your test strategy for mobile applications and use automation to its fullest extent.

2. Find a Framework that Supports Multiple Objects

To increase the efficiency of your testing techniques, you need to use multiple objects. Any framework that you use should have multiple, pre-defined objects. In addition, the framework should enable manual identification of additional objects and the capability to change or add the object properties in order to meet your testing needs. Finally, you should be able to save an object repository file that you can use as part of your future mobile testing techniques. With multiple objects that can be edited and saved, your testing efficiency will dramatically increase.

3. Understand the Differences between Mobile Platforms

Your app testing approach should take into account the mobile platform on which your app will run. You need to have familiarity with the subtle differences in UI and functionality of each platform. When developing your tests, you’ll come across differences in the way your app performs between platforms.

Using a framework that supports multiple objects can help because it enables you to isolate the functionality of a specific object and determine whether it needs to be altered for the iOS or Android platforms. For example, your app may have a selection menu that needs to be presented as a scrolling list for iOS and a radio-button selection list for Android. With a testing solution that supports multiple objects, , you can easily and efficiently run tests for both scenarios. It is also a good idea to break these differences into reusable functions.  With functions and objects that support differences between platforms, you reduce the amount of maintenance needed to keep up with changes to your mobile application.

4. Use a Testing Platform You Already Know

Although there are several differences between testing mobile applications and testing Web and desktop apps, there are also several similarities. In many cases, the test automation platform you use to test traditional applications can be leveraged to test mobile apps. The benefits are tremendous, including leveraging your company’s existing investment in its test automation solution as well as using enabling your testing team to use their existing skills to also test mobile apps.

If you’re using a sophisticated testing platform for automated Web and desktop testing, like HP’s QuickTest Professional®, for example, you may be able to use an add-in that extends QTP so you can test your mobile applications. Depending on the add-in, your testers may be able to use the same testing language they use for QTP (VBScript) to test mobile apps.  By finding an application that builds on a testing platform you already own, you can hit the ground running.

Implementing these best practices for your mobile application testing can make the testing process more effective and efficient. You can accelerate mobile app testing and reduce rework to get your app performing the way it should – every time and on multiple mobile platforms.

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Steve Orlando

Steve Orlando is a seasoned development and quality assurance professional with experience testing and developing mobile, Web, mainframe, CRM and desktop applications. In his role as director of product development for Mobile Labs, Steve drives the design and implementation of the company’s private mobile device cloud, deviceConnect™ as well as its automated mobile app testing solution, Mobile Labs Trust™. Steve also leads the team of developers focused on Mobile Labs' solutions. Prior to Mobile Labs, Steve was a solutions architect and development manager for Pyramid Consulting where he designed a solution accelerator for HP QTP to extend automated testing to a mobile device and served as the subject matter expert for automated testing. Steve’s experience also includes various IT, QA, development and programming roles for companies including Verizon Wireless, Alltel Wireless, Matria Healthcare and the University of Georgia.

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