7 Mobile Test Automation Best Practices

Developing a mobile test automation scenario isn’t that complicated. Developers and testers use a variety of commercial test automation frameworks or open source tools such as Selenium and Appium to do automation. However, when trying to execute these tests on real devices or integrate them into an Agile or CI (continuous integration) workflow, things get a little complicated.

The major challenges around mobile test automation

The essence of developing test automation is to be able to use and re-use scripts many times, across platforms and environments. Test automation should be as maintainable as possible, especially as new platforms and product features are released. Many organizations that develop test automation for their mobile apps face the following challenges:

  1. Executing the tests against a variety of real mobile devices
  2. Executing these tests in parallel
  3. Leveraging existing test code (re-usability) for new tests
  4. Including real end-user environments/conditions (changing network conditions, low battery) in the tests
  5. Overcoming unexpected interruptions (incoming call, apps running in background)
  6. Running these tests unattended — over night, as part of a Jenkins CI job

These are just few of the challenges organizations confront when trying to progress from older SDLC processes and meet faster releases and enhanced Dev–>Build–>Deploy–>Test–>Deploy cycles.

7 practical test automation tips

Overcoming these challenges starts with few changes in the overall mobile app dev and test processes.

Consider these seven recommendations for building sustainable unattended automation.

Test automation

The key to mobile test automation is to start with a small number of test cases, automate them, and assure that they are robust enough and can be executed in parallel and unattended. Only then should you invest more and grow the test suite.

An important question to ask at the start is: What should I be automating? Organization often do not choose the right tests to automate, resulting in lost development time, weak ROI, and an over-reliance on manual testing.

To learn more about the 7 Ways to Overcome Test Automation Obstacles, please join us next week for a webinar hosted by myself, automation expert and author Daniel Knott, and Perfecto’s Director of Technology Uzi Eilon.

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Responsive Web: The Importance of Getting Test Coverage Right

When building your test lab as part of a RWD site test plan, it is important to strategically define the right mobile devices and desktop browsers which will be your target for your manual and automated testing.

For mobile device testing you can leverage your own analytics together with market data to complement your coverage and be future ready, or leverage reports such the Digital Test Coverage Index Report.

For web testing you should also look into your web traffic analytics or based on your target markets understand which are the top desktop browsers and OS versions on which you should test against – alternatively, you can also use the digital test coverage index report referenced above.

Related Post: Set Your Digital Test Lab with Mobile and Web Calendars

Coverage is a cross organizational priority where both business, IT, Dev and QA ought to be consistently aligned. You can see a recommended web lab configuration for Q1 2016 below which is taken from the above mentioned Index – Note the inclusion of Beta browser versions in the recommended mix due to the nature silent updates of these versions deployment on end-user browsers.

WCReport
For ongoing RWD projects  – once defining the mobile and web test coverage using the above guidelines, the next steps are of course to try and achieve parallel side by side testing for high efficiency, as well as keep the lab up to date by revising the coverage once a quarter and assure that both the analytics as well as the market trends still matches your existing configuration.

As a best practice and recommendation, please review the below mobile device coverage model which is built out of the 3 layers of Essential, Enhanced and Extended where each of these layers includes a mix of device types such as legacy, new, market leaders and reference devices (like Nexus devices).

MobileCoverageLayers

To learn more, check out our new Responsive Web Testing Guide.

responsive web testing strategy