Tips to Consider While Creating a World Class Mobile Testing Lab

nilesh
By nilesh
May 22, 2017
6 min Read
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Tips to Consider While Creating a World Class Mobile Testing Lab

How to create a world class Mobile Testing Lab?

It can be a big challenge to build a large scale Mobile Testing Lab from scratch. Look around you and you will see that with every single day, companies in adding mobile apps in their business strategy and with it the mobile app dev and testing market is becoming increasingly competitive, dynamic and fast paced. Older testing methods are becoming obsolete and the utter multiplicity of mobile platforms, devices and networks have made it important for any company to choose the right solution (Mobile Testing Lab) in order to strengthen themselves in the market.

While creating a testing program for these mobile applications can seem like a relentless chore and a massive undertaking, it doesn’t really have to be. Here are a few considerations to choose the right lab strategy for testing your mobile apps.

Key Considerations:

• Compatibility of Device OS, Screens and OEMs: The sheer number of different device variants, OS versions and screen resolutions form a large set of factors even though each of them are significant in their own rights. In 2012 there were about 4,000 Android device models on sale. 2015 saw about 24,093 distinct Android devices. Question is, can the lab I choose, cover maximum number of devices and come close to 100 percent of my end users’ device base?

mobile labs

• Device Control Infrastructure: After you select your target devices, it is also key to look at the other parts of a reliable architecture of your hardware. Regardless of the technology to be used in building the device lab, one needs servers to control and take care of managing devices and execute tests. Moreover, it is crucial for these servers to collect, process and store results of the tests seamlessly and without interruption.

mobile testing lab

A snapshot of Infrastructure needed to create a Mobile Device Lab

mobile testing lab

Facebook Device Lab Infrastructure

Click Here to know about pCloudy Device Cloud Infrastructure

• Wi-Fi Infrastructure: This is another very crucial area that is often ignored when creating large-scale test lab. As the number of device in a WiFi network adds up, so do problems when all these devices transferring data at the same time. Most WiFi access points are not designed for this kind of bandwidth and you are bound to see different types of timeouts on server responses.

• Importance of Automated Testing: The very obvious benefit of automation of testing of mobile devices on the cloud is that through this one can carry out tests on a wider range of OS and devices in a much shorter time and with lesser life-cycle management investment. This not only significantly reduce QA spending, it also expands coverage and speeds up the resolution of issues. You can use a single script and apply the same on different devices and operating systems.

Integration with CI/CD pipeline:

Today, almost all organizations have mobile apps and for some, the mobile app is their only way of interacting with customers. With this increasing emphasis on mobile, the pressure to routinely update mobile apps means embracing Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) methodologies. Any Mobile Labs has to support the CI/CD process.

5 Tips to build a successful lab:

1. Using Real Devices
2. Tackling Multiple Devices
3. Using a Secure Mobile Device Testing Cloud
4. Automation Strategy
5. Increase Lab efficiency by integrating with your existing tool ecosystem

1. Using Real Devices: Some Devs/testers are using emulation technology for compatibility testing. However, it has been proven beyond doubt that testing on emulators is often not reliable. Real devices help you and your team to find real bugs in your App before customers do. It is only way to have a confident App release and increase the chances of success of your test lab.

2. Tackling Multiple Devices: With thousands of different devices, it can be a bit overwhelming when building a mobile testing lab that encompasses the coverage of testing in all of them. Luckily, the major mobile operating systems use logical screen sizes which are mapped to physical screen, hence, the representative devices will get the necessary coverage. The test strategy is not to test absolutely everything, but to test the crucial elements that are most represented in the popular devices in the market, and add or subtract devices as they come in and out.

3. Using a Secure Mobile Device Testing Cloud: Using a secure cloud is vital to enterprises, especially if they aren’t located under the same roof. Testing real devices for everything can become really costly and time consuming. Using a testing cloud keeps your budget in check, reduced project cost and thus helps achieve high return on investment. Be it public cloud for small businesses, or large enterprise projects that demand a private cloud infrastructure, high performance and security are essentials to have complete control over the cloud.

4. Automation Strategy: Creating Regression Automation suites once Application is ready is a passé. Agile methodology and CI/CD process demands automation creation in parallel to development. Automation strategy should be built keeping above aspect in mind.

Here is a depiction of what the automation process should look like.

Mobile Labs

As part of Automation Strategy, Mobile Testing Lab should provide the capability to allow automation run on multiple devices in parallel.

5. Increase Lab efficiency by integrating with your existing tool ecosystem: A lab is as good as how well can it be integrated within existing ecosystem. Can it integrate with your Test Management system or can it log bugs automatically after a failure? Can it integrate with your build management tool for CI process? Here is a depiction of how “Test Tools” fit in the larger ecosystem.

Mobile Testing Lab

Conclusion: A well thought strategy for setting up of Mobile Testing Lab is a necessity for every organization undertaking Mobility projects. In current times, organizations have plethora of choice related to setting up of Mobile Testing Lab. They can choose to setup an In-house lab or use a private-hosted service or use a cost effective Public Cloud lab.

Would you like to know more about Lab options with pCloudy? Click Here

nilesh
nilesh

Nilesh is the vice-president at pCloudy and has around 16 years of experience in Product development and Testing. He has worked primarily in the mobile application testing and mobile device testing domain with companies like Sasken, Motorola, Nokia, and Accenture.

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A Sneak Peek of Our Device Data Center

Suyash Dubey
By Suyash Dubey
May 9, 2017
3 min Read
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A Sneak Peek of Our Device Data Center

pCloudy’s Data Center

Ever had apps on your phone which suddenly crashed it and you couldn’t figure it out?

In today’s age, If you have a smartphone that needs to get you through most of the day, be it work or play, you must have experienced frustrating bugs on that app that is either slowing down the phone or stops you from using it when you need the most. So you uninstall it and be done with it. Try asking any app developer or tester what it is like to test usability of the app in thousands of devices across screens, operating systems and the carriers.

This is where pCloudy comes-in. A one stop solution for Developers and Testers to certify their App across variety of devices.

How does pCloudy work?

pCloudy has found an incredibly simple way of allowing users to remotely test their apps on different real and physical devices by using just a modern web browser. Alternatively, users can access the devices directly from their IDEs like (Android + Eclipse studio).

Device Data Center

Behind the scenes:

Use of Physical devices: Mobile App Testing is most effectively when done on a real physical device. That’s the reason, pCloudy currently has 500 + Android and iOS device (real device, no emulators) across various manufacturers and versions.

Data-center-2[A Device Rack in the Data center which contains pCloudy Hardware and set of devices]

Kind of hardware involved: pCloudy has a customized hardware setup, which runs the software to allow communication with real mobile devices. All the mobile devices are connected to the hardware using USB cables.

Network Setup for Devices: All the devices have a Wi-Fi connection. To ensure uninterrupted connectivity to the devices, all the racks are installed with dedicated Wi-Fi controllers and Wi-Fi access points. The Wi-Fi access points are deigned for interference mitigation and Noise (SINR) improvement. Besides, many of the devices also have real SIM cards.

pCloudy Device Data Center[Data Center: All the above is located in a secure, 24×7 operated data center]

When it comes to certification of Apps, one of the biggest concern for Users while using a solution like pCloudy is security and safety of their Data.

Why we decided Data Security was Critical?

It was important for our customers to feel safe about their Apps and data that they upload on pCloudy servers. Many a time these are not-yet-released app and related data. Today pCloudy is working with Global enterprises who are extremely concerned about safety of their Data.

Security of Data Center: A major component of the entire pCloudy offering is the data centers where physical mobile devices are connected. These devices are then made accessible through cloud via the web browser to the customers. pCloudy has hosted their cloud in a data center which meets all the global standards, including compliance with SSAE­16 (SOC­2) and ISO 270001 standard. pCloudy has 99.982% uptime commitment on the DC infrastructure which is measured quarterly, a failover redundancy mode for equipment’s setup and everything that does not get in the way of a creating an uninterruptible, stable working mobile network environment for the apps, round the clock, 24X7.

Secured Cloud Drive: Data uploaded by user (Apps/Test Data) is Stored in secured folder on our server in DC. User space is protected by username and password. Data is further protected by a layer of encryption. No access to user data by pCloudy admin.

Device Clean up: Device gets cleaned up automatically after each use. As soon user releases a device, user installed Apps get uninstalled, data uploaded get deleted and device gets powered cycle.

Suyash Dubey
Suyash Dubey

Suyash is a content strategist at pCloudy. He is a frequent contributor to the world's leading mobile technology blogs and tech forums. In his spare time, you will find him reading detective novels, watching a documentary or exploring a new destination.

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