I was caught up in a discussion with my colleagues the other day regarding the huge number of mobile devices being used for frequent testing needs. It is a fact that software development and delivery cannot survive without quality control and effective testing. We realized that it is high time we should set up a centralized mobile test lab. And, then came in the considerations of managing such a test lab with a pool of hundreds of physical devices.
Managing a personal device lab can be quite tedious, especially, with a constantly increasing number of devices being added to the farm. This may further escalate the costs. Confused?
Think of a situation where every tester would purchase a large pile of gadgets and keep adding new ones as and when these are launched. Does it really make sense? The answer is definitely “No.” Also, what is crucial for you to understand is that even in such a situation, you will have to ultimately set up a centralized repository of devices to organize the testing process.
A centralized repository will have all the testers sharing the resources. This facility will take away the limitation of one person using one device at a time. The devices would not remain confined to the desk of one particular tester.
The Test lab setup adds an edge to the mobile automation testing as it centralizes the devices at a single location where all the devices are stacked and connected to a device controller server. This server orchestrates depending on the needs of project/application. Hence, the Mobile lab helps in managing the projects.
Benefits Of Setting Up An In-House Test Lab
A test lab where several unique devices are accessible within one catalogue is a boon especially for automation testing. They allow optimum use of smartphones and tablets. The main benefits derived from setting up a Test lab are the following:
1. Whole Gamut Of Devices Under One Roof
A lot of companies subscribe to device lab on cloud for testing mobile apps. This is critical to ensure app usability. However, working on the cloud based test-lab can cost a huge amount of expense and has other constraints like network latency and performance issues, an in-house testlab is the best answer to all the questions.
2. Enhances Security Of Testing Devices
Many companies have strict security policies pertaining to uploading of development versions of their unreleased applications outside the purview of the corporate firewall. The in-house test lab allows automated testing in a very secure environment. Thus, setting up an in-house device lab makes a lot of sense to attain scalability and enhance time to market.
3.Optimizes Availability And Device Usage Level
Sometimes the QA teams need to run very long soak tests that may run overnight too. When an organization has numerous development teams, the pressure mounts on the Quality Control team even more. The paucity of physical devices and optimal usage of each device for testing becomes a challenge. In such a situation, the test lab can come to the rescue of the QC team in accelerating the test speed while ensuring quality.
4.Facilities Special Setups
Often there are projects that entail a special setup for testing. The special setup involves specific hardware or environment to allow finest utilization of the devices for thorough testing of the devices. For instance, sometimes the devices need to have special bluetooth or Wi-Fi enablement. Such features remain a challenge when one uses a cloud-based device environment for. A test lab can be setup has all the capabilities to replicate it to the environment that the customer needs.
What You Need to Run A Test Effectively
Continuous integration is a way of ensuring that software is tested regularly. A continuous integration server automatically gets the current version of the code, rebuilds the software, and runs the tests. It then notifies the developers about the success or failure of the build and tests.
Continuous integration server has the ability to monitor changes to source code held under revision control.
- If the code changes, then the server can automatically spawn a new build-and-test job. This means that the software is rebuilt and tested every time the code is changed.
- It integrates the Functional automation framework (functional testing for Web and mobile) or open source software (e.g. code quality analysis with SonarQube and CI-CD Jenkins)
- Continuous integration servers will also allow build-and-test jobs to run at specific times, so a CRON-like, nightly-build-and-test, can be done, as well as on-demand.
- A continuous integration pipeline built using Jenkins, SonarQube and Selenium is most recommended since it brings all source repositories to CI pipeline for all the technologies including Microsoft .Net, Xamarin, Android, iOS, Java, Python and PHP.
Continuous integration not only improves the quality of your code and process, but also makes your development and testing effort much faster, more consistent and easier to measure.
Framework You Need To Run A Test Lab
You need to set up a centralized access to all the devices which are racked in a single test lab combined with automated testing using tools like Selenium and Appium. The other benefits of Hybrid framework are that it opens the door to cross-platform mobile testing which means the same test would work on multiple platforms.
It can automate Web, Hybrid and Native mobile applications.
Unlike other tools, the framework doesn’t require you to include some extra agents in your app to make it automation friendly. It believes in the philosophy of testing the same app which is going to submit be submitted to the app store.
Read more about this frame here Understanding A Unique Automation Testing Framework That Can Eliminate Manual Testing Woes.
- In-house developed functional automation framework for generating custom reports for easy readability by the client.
- Integration with CI/CD tools (e.g. Jenkins) and test execution (based on Selenium (Web) and Appium (for Mobile Apps)).
- All the devices included in the test lab covering the overall coverage of testing scope in a sequential manner.
Designed as a complete testing solution, mobile test lab console lets you execute, manage, track and monitor the testing assets of a project on the set of devices through automated scripts. Any device in the organization (Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, which have not been rooted or jail broken, included) can be managed using the internal mobile testing Lab.
The Mobile test lab provides a central repository to manage applications under test. A simple upload process puts the app into that repository and then triggering the automated test suite, executing the set of test cases and giving the results about the health of the Build/Application giving tester’s visibility into the apps available for test on specific devices. The applications can be sequenced for the Mobile testing needs.
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