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:
- Executing the tests against a variety of real mobile devices
- Executing these tests in parallel
- Leveraging existing test code (re-usability) for new tests
- Including real end-user environments/conditions (changing network conditions, low battery) in the tests
- Overcoming unexpected interruptions (incoming call, apps running in background)
- 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.
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.