Save Time by Automating from a System Level

Automation saves time if done correctly. The ‘trap’ that most testers fall into is approaching automation from a device level and focusing on a single test case. Only when you think from a higher perspective, a system level, do you maximize the benefit of saving time. Let’s look at testing apps for mobile devices. Enterprises quickly encounter the following 7 Key Challenges in Mobile Application Testing:

  1. Variety of mobile devices
  2. Diversity in mobile platforms/operating systems (OSs)
  3. Device availability
  4. Mobile network operators
  5. Scripting
  6. Choosing how to test
  7. Rapid availability of new functionality

Smart phones and tablets in an arrangement on a table

These create a plethora of scenarios that a mobile app tester faces and translate into the fact that there is not enough time to do them all. Fortunately, there are automation tools designed specifically for app testing on mobile devices. These tools will perform the necessary automation at a device level but are limited in their ability beyond that. As a result, companies turn to a system level automation IDE tools that not only will control the device level but also any other home-grown automation tools they developed and test equipment that they want automated.

Carrying this example a bit further, let’s say you’re testing a mobile banking app. You will need to make sure that you can login, select the checking account and then validate the balance. Of course you would need to validate this across different OSs and mobile devices. Done properly, this process would be done once through abstraction and the test case becomes:

  • Reusable—reuse it on different Devices, OSs,  etc.
  • Maintainable—make changes in the future without having to rewrite test cases
  • Scalable—support a large of values without having actually to create them

But the testbed requires other, non-mobile, devices to be configured. The servers need to be validated that they are running the correct version, the routers/switches are set correctly and perhaps test equipment generating additional network load or attacks. So now what? How do you automate the entire testbed? This is where the main automation framework (usually an orchestration IDE) can control all the test cases and devices at a system level regardless of what tools were used. Imagine the amount of time that is saved by doing this.  It is not uncommon that companies see an 8-hour “test” turn into a few minutes from the click of a button.

How you get the most of your automation efforts is just a matter of making sure you have a system level approach. Investing time upfront looking at the entire automation framework will help you achieve your goals.

Take a moment and read case studies of how the Spirent CLEAR Automation solution has helped companies achieve success.

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