Increased usage of mobile devices in the recent years has attributed to the popularity of mobile applications. Today a number of cutting edge mobile applications are being used to improve the contemporary lifestyle. The biggest challenge of developing newer apps lies in ensuring the robustness and stability of the product. This is why the mobile application testing industry is flourishing everyday. This article offers an insight on test bench architecture for automated mobile application testing.
A test bench is a virtual environment used to verify the soundness and correctness of a software product. An automated test bench architecture for testing the mobile applications has been designed and developed for addressing the following challenges:
- Mobile applications should be developed and tested before the delivery of dependent layers. Sometimes the test is conducted to simulate the functionalities of important features without any actual hardware.
- Validation of the newly developed software is another critical challenge. A typical regression test for a mobile application is a huge task, as it needs repetitive run of the tests before each release cycle. For the mobile applications, the most preferred environment is a computer with unit test setup. But this process also has its own limitations as real time simulation is a highly difficult procedure.
l Validation of time period is a huge challenge as it directly regulates the time to market, which might affect the cost of the project as well.
Automated test bench architecture aims at embedding the test execution application within a mobile device instead of using an external user, who performs manual testing for the applications. This process actually acts as an external agent for triggering the testing procedure and validating the applications. Test bench for mobile application testing creates scenario files for storing the commands and corresponding data, which are able to automate the mobile testing cycles.
Test bench applications are present within the mobile devices as a process. Different types of test cases, such as regression, integration or unit test cases are considered as inputs to this application. The test cases are then converted to a set of commands, which are directly fed into the scenario file. The application can read the commands for automatic execution of the testing procedure. A test bench application includes below-mentioned subsystems:
- A parser that interprets the commands for test case
- A state machine algorithm that executes the test command
- A logging module that records the execution flow and the results of automated test
- Scenario files that record the test cases
Any message that disturbs the natural sequential flow of system execution is known as asynchronous message. During the execution of test cases, a number of asynchronous messages might interrupt the testing procedure. To handle such situations, the system should have a unique trigger Id. Some test bench architectures select the screen Id as trigger Id. This Id, along with a handler is registered in the test scenario file as an asynchronous message. Whenever an asynchronous message occurs, notification is generated to test bench application, which will check if the Id is registered or not. For a registered Id, it will start executing specific scenario associated with this event.
It is possible to configure the application to be tested via a scenario file. The test bench applications send commands to configured applications without any code change. Configuration is helpful for testing third party applications that are integrated with the platform. Apart from the applications, log file names, type of logs with detailed information are also configurable via the scenario file, which is stored in the file system. The scenario files do not require any compilation with the application; rather the compilation of the entire solution is done at the time of final delivery.
Test bench architecture is able to track and record the flow of execution, which has enabled automated test cases to run before every major release. The goal of test bench architecture is to automate the mobile application testing procedure to the maximum limit. This is helpful in simultaneous testing of multiple products with minimum or no human intervention. Automated test bench architecture for mobile application testing is able to save considerable amount of time and money, ensuring quick delivery of stable and robust solutions to the clients.
Manual testing of mobile applications is a tedious and time consuming process. Test bench architecture should be designed and developed to automate the mobile application testing procedure.