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Mobile Application Testing: Step-by-Step Approach

by (December 12, 2012)

Mobile Technology is transforming the way people use their cell phones. Although demand is highest for consumer apps, enterprise applications are evolving too, allowing businesses to work more productively. Right from Publishers, Retailers, Automobile Dealers, Financial Service Providers, Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Providers, the mobile application usage trend has now extended to schools and Universities providing faster interaction between staff and students.

Due to the ever-growing demand for mobile apps, decision makers are focusing on creating mobile strategies and roadmap before implementing the application for their users. It is important to build an app with all features and functionality required by the customer and which is beneficial to the app user, but it is even more critical to have a rigorous mobile testing plan before the mobile app is deployed. A comprehensive plan gives customers the confidence that the app will function as intended on different devices with varying screen sizes, resolutions, internal hardware, operating systems and across telecom operator networks.

Mobility Testing Process

A typical end-to-end mobile testing process, should start from creating test cases of the application, performing user acceptance and finally device testing stage.

The stages in mobile application testing process are as follows:

 

Described below is the mobile testing process we followed for a native educational application which we launched recently.

Case Study

Developed Native Applications for one of the largest higher education providers in North America.

The client is a leader in education and learning systems with over 4bn$ in revenues.

The mobile application allows interaction between faculty and students. It is accessed by over 5, 00,000 users in the University. The app is available for both iOS and Android phone users.

To deliver an issue free app was challenging given that, the application is downloaded and accessed by several thousand users. And this is difficult to achieve as every user is different from another.

Step-by-Step Mobile Application Testing Process followed:  

1. Identified Types of Testing – It was a mandatory requirement that the application has to work in all iOS and Android devices as the end consumers can have diverse devices. To ensure that the app worked in all the devices we selected  combination of manual testing, automation testing and testing in cloud simulator – Device Anywhere.

2. Performed Manual and Automated Testing –The development process followed for this project was SCRUM and each sprint was two weeks long. Every two weeks development team delivered a logically completed product to the QA team and QA would run their test cases on the build. Regression was a challenge because in each build QA had to ensure that previously completed items were still working. To accomplish this, QA team had automated basic set of functionality using Experitest and ran the automation script on each build which saved good amount of time. We used JIRA to file and track defects.

3. Provided 24 hours of QA Support – We follow a SCRUM development model (QA team is integral part of the development team throughout the project). We provided 24 hours QA support during the development phase since we had onsite as well as offsite teams working on this project. This ensured timely and steady progress in the app implementation.

4. Beta Testing – After this initial setup, once the particular build was moved from the QA bucket, user acceptance testing was conducted for this QA/ST build. This was achieved by asking the beta users (a set of hundred students from the University) to browse every single page within the mobile app. This ensured that every bug was fixed before the app was released. And that the app captured all necessary features and functionality.

5. Performance Testing - The functionality, performance (stability, responsiveness, resource usage, stability parameters as per standards) and user interface for the delivered build was thoroughly tested.

6. Device Testing – The app was tested across multiple OS versions/devices using the Device Anywhere simulation tool and also physically tested in our dedicated mobile application testing labs.

7. Maintained Test Case Sheet –During the whole process the QA team maintained the test case sheet (with all functionality implemented), at last certified the build to release. The entire end-to-end mobile application testing process involved collective effort between onsite and off- site teams.

8. Generated Test Summary Report – Finally QA manager generated the test summary report. This is a management report which provides details of any important information uncovered by the tests conducted, includes assessments of the quality of the testing effort, the quality of the software system under test and statistics derived from incident reports. The report also records different types of testing performed and how long did it take to complete the testing. This helps to improve any future test planning.  This final document indicates whether the software system under test is fit for use and has met acceptance criteria defined by project stakeholders.

This project was a good learning for our team and we were pleased to release the app successfully as planned.

Do let me know if you have any questions.

Rahul E.T.

QA Lead, RapidValue Solutions

12 COMMENTS

  1. Melissa /  January 17, 2013 AT 11:01 am / Reply

    So true. Honesty and evertyihng recognized.

  2. Mohammad Zafar /  June 12, 2013 AT 6:37 am / Reply

    Any idea how to do Mobile Application performance testing?

  3. Rahul /  July 10, 2013 AT 8:49 am / Reply

    Hi Mohammad,

    Performance Test can be achieved using automation tools like SeeTest tool, Robotium, Eggplant etc.

    Rahul ET

  4. bamidele /  August 20, 2013 AT 5:28 pm / Reply

    Thanks for the information. it has really been helpful.

    Please which template did you use for your summary report or what criteria did you use to determine if the app is acceptable to usage?

  5. Rahul /  August 21, 2013 AT 11:14 am / Reply

    We use our company’s standard template which is designed based on industry standards and the acceptable criteria is based on the reports weightage based on parameters like Bug density, Requirement accomplishment etc.

  6. Deepak /  February 27, 2014 AT 2:31 am / Reply

    Hi Rahul,

    We are planning to release a mobile app in our company. We want to do a performance testing of that app. Can you tell whether we have any free tools that are available to do good/reasonable amount of performance testing.

    Also, could you point out any other types like security etc., that could be done on the app apart from the functional testing with any of the free ware tools.

    Thanks for your H E LP

    –Deepak

  7. Rahul E T /  February 27, 2014 AT 4:38 am / Reply

    Hi Deepak,

    Free tools only support minimal requirement.

    For performing a reasonable coverage of ‘performance testing’ ,it would be good to research on available tools and buy the one which meets your requirement.

    Rahul E T

  8. lakshmi /  March 5, 2014 AT 7:54 pm / Reply

    Plz Which one I choose
    mobile application testing or cloud computing or etl testing or sap tedting or performance testing
    Could u tel me present and future which one has growth and job opportunities

  9. Rahul E T /  March 6, 2014 AT 4:49 am / Reply

    Hi Lakshmi,

    Mobile App testing,Cloud Computing,Extract Transformation and Load Testing,SAP testing all are good stream.

    If you are a beginner I would suggest to start with Mobile App testing and make a strong background in testing(Manual & Automation).

    Automation testing knowledge is very important for you to perform test execution through tools.

    Field Service App testing(SAP) experience will be a value add to your testing experience and good Job opportunities.

    Thanks,
    Rahul E T

  10. Saikumar /  July 6, 2014 AT 2:39 am / Reply

    It’s Helpfull. Thanks

  11. Amol Suryawanshi /  November 21, 2014 AT 6:37 am / Reply

    Hello Rahul,
    thanks for helpful info about test process you followed.
    I am also a Testing Professional for mobile app & games.
    I face many challenges.
    I wanted to know how you implemented performance tests?? Have you used any tools?
    Which automation tools you have used? What are the criteria to choose automation tools?
    Can you suggest me any easy and simple automation tools for app/game testing??

  12. Prajakta /  December 3, 2014 AT 4:55 pm / Reply

    Very helpful. Thank you so much for sharing.

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