Automated Acceptance Tests for Mobile Applications
Mobile application ecosystems, especially Android and iOS, are changing rapidly, and at the same time getting more complex with multiple devices being launched every day. Added to this, we also see frequent upgrades to the Operating Systems by Apple and Google. With every new version of Android or iOS operating system, developers struggle to make sure that their mobile app works on all the devices seamlessly. This is a complex task considering the number of devices in the market, especially for Android.
No organization wants to lose their customers due to this reason as they work hard for every app install. This requires a comprehensive test strategy to make sure that apps are released with a faster time to market and work properly on all platforms and devices successfully. Test Automation of the Mobile apps is being adopted increasingly by organizations these days which results in high quality and reliable mobile apps with ever changing ecosystem.
Mobile Test Automation not only results in faster time to market but also leads to effective testing and high efficiency. This requires automated acceptance testing of mobile applications to make sure it is truly accepted by the users.
What is Acceptance Testing?
ISTQB defines acceptance as formal testing with respect to user needs, requirements, and business processes conducted to determine whether or not a system satisfies the acceptance criteria and to enable the user, customers or other authorized entity to determine whether or not to accept the system. Acceptance testing is also known as user acceptance testing (UAT) or end-user testing.
Acceptance tests directly trace back to the software requirements specification. To make sure that the Mobile apps meet the requirements, traceability between the requirements and implementation as well as between the requirements and acceptance tests is needed.
Automating the acceptance testing of mobile applications implies continuous validation of the app with proper use of the development and testing tools. Automated acceptance tests are critical as they need to be run every time a change is made in the mobile app. By using automated acceptance tests, the need for continuous check on the app performance is reduced, and changes or improvements can be easily made with every new release of operating systems and devices.
Automating Acceptance Tests and Tools Selection
When it comes to automating the acceptance tests, right tools can help you set the future direction of your mobile app. For successfully automating the acceptance tests, you need to make sure a right combination of tools is used. Below is a suggested list of tools, which may be used to successfully automate the acceptance tests:
- Identify the Development platform (for example Java, or C#)
- Choose a Version control tool to keep track of the changes (for example Subversion)
- Get an Integrated development environment (for example Netbeans)
- Continuous integration tool for a collaborative environment and to quickly identify when something goes wrong
- A Unit test framework (for example Junit) and
- Automated acceptance test tools for writing and executing tests
Few tools available for the automated acceptance tests are Appium, Calabash, and the Android Testing Support Library by Google which comprises of AndroidJUnitRunner, Espresso, and UI Automator.
Appium is the most preferred open source mobile test automation framework as it supports native, hybrid and mobile-web apps for both iOS and Android. Also if you have used Selenium, then it’s easy for you to use Appium in mobile app testing.
Calabash is also an open source tool which automates and lets you test any iOS or Android app, native or hybrid, from the UI level down. Calabash also supports Cucumber.
Choosing the right test automation approach for acceptance tests allows you to make/test frequent changes to your mobile apps based on the user preferences and also with every upgrade of the operating systems and launch of new devices.
Automated acceptance tests using the right tools can have a high impact on the software development lifecycle and leads to major benefits for all the stakeholders involved in the App development process. Having a good testing approach matched with right test tools ultimately results in better maintainability and keeps requirements specs in sync with the AUT.
Read more on Mobile Test Automation and how to select right tools and right approach in our Whitepaper. Download here.