Customer habits are quickly changing and evolving. Thanks in no small part to the growth of digital technologies and smartphones. According to one of the recent report from Comscore, Smartphone penetration has surpassed 80% in the USA. Companies want to leverage this fast-growing trend and provide a second to none experience to their customers, and that’s the primary reason why more companies are investing in developing mobile applications.
Mobile app development has also increased the scope of test automation. Automation helps to reduce errors and test mobile-specific functions and deliver high-quality apps faster.
In this blog, we will discuss eight different components of an effective mobile automation testing strategy that can optimize mobile application testing.
1. Selecting the Right Tool
Tool selection is the first step towards mobile testing automation. A single tool might not achieve all the cross-platform automation goals. Hence, we must first begin with proof of concept (PoC) on a critical platform instead of moving ahead with a particular tool or toolset straight away. Check out the capabilities of the platform and make sure that it can support the current as well as the future requirements. The tool should be able to support multiple programming languages, compatible with CI servers which use automated testing to implement quality control and provide an accurate and useful report. The report should contain information such as test case name, execution date and time, Passed/ Failed status. If in case, there is a failed execution then a detailed failure statistics should be included.
2. Object Identification
The automation tool which provides a Record and Playback facility can generate an Object Repository automatically during recording. The entire automation suite can make use of these repositories as and when required. Some identification methods, the tool should provide are namely, Id, ClassName, XPath, and Name.
3. Orientation and Hardware Support
Different devices have different hardware configurations. Testing teams need to consider battery consumption, memory usage, memory leaks, CPU utilization, bandwidth usage and installation time. A right automation testing tool enables the testing team to check the hardware support. Additionally, it is also crucial to check landscape, and portrait orientation supports so to provide a break free experience.
4. Record and Playback
Whether it is Appium inspector or Selenium IDE tool, record and playback add a lot of value. Most of the automation tools record and play the application behavior and generate the test scripts in multiple languages as desired. At an advanced stage, the recording also helps to detect flaws in the design. The generated scripts can also be shared among different team members distributed across various locations. This improves the build quality and ensures quick test driven development.
5. Mobile Gesture Support
Customers use smartphones for multiple activities throughout the day. They frequently use gestures like multi-touch, drag & drop, zooming, tapping, scrolling, and swiping. It is also seen that they keep switching between them every few seconds. For instance, a pinch in and out gesture on images in shopping apps can be a deciding factor whether or not a user would proceed with the purchase. It is, therefore, necessary to get these gestures working properly to retain and delight users.
6. Remote, Parallel and Cloud Device Execution
Remote Cloud Device execution feature allows the users to run test scenarios on remote devices using automation tool. The automation tool allows to run the tests simultaneously and in parallel.
7. Mobile Automation Framework
A test automation framework is a set of coding guidelines, processes, hierarchies, reports and much more. These guidelines provide a foundation for automation testing. Its aim is to enable a user to develop, execute and report the automation test scripts efficiently and accurately. Code reusability, maximum coverage, recovery scenario, low-cost maintenance, negligible manual intervention, and easy reporting are some advantages of this framework.
There are different types of mobile automation frameworks such as Module Based Testing Framework, Library Architecture Testing Framework, Data Driven Testing Framework, Keyword Driven Testing Framework, Hybrid Testing Framework, and Behavior Driven Development Framework.
- Module Based Testing Framework – The application being tested is divided into many logical and isolated modules for which we can create an independent script and make changes in every module separately.
- Library Architecture Testing Framework – It is fundamentally built on the Module Based Framework that provides a high level of modularization along with reusability. The application can be divided into functions by determining the common steps and group them into a library which can be called within test scripts.
- Data Driven Testing Framework – It permits a user to store the test data into a database situated outside the test script. These can be property files, XML files, Excel files, CSV files or ODBC repositories. This framework can significantly reduce the total number of scripts required to cover every possible combination of test scenarios. Also, the script code does not get hampered with changes made in any test data matrix.
- Keyword Driven Testing Framework – Data driven testing framework acts as an extension to the previous framework and maintains certain keywords into an external data file.
- Behavior Driven Development Framework – Automation of functional validations in a comprehensible format can be done by this framework using tools such as Cucumber, Jbehave, and Behat
8. Commercial and Open-Source Tools
Commercial tools such as TestComplete, Ranorex or Test Studio support various types of applications including mobile, desktop, and browser based. These tools are expensive but most suitable for developing a rapid test script when the time is limited. Against this, open-source tools are free, but you need to use a combination of open-source tools to test various types of applications.
With more and more companies using Agile methodologies to reduce time to market and improve build quality, it is imperative to shorten release cycles and go to market before your competition does. Automation testing improves not only the mobile experience but also the code quality. Moreover, with limited or no manual intervention, there are fewer chances of errors leading to fewer iterations. The larger challenge here is to select the right tool, and we hope this blog would help you to get started with mobile automation.