Performing mobile testing in the cloud

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Mobile devices have become ubiquitous across businesses and are changing the app development process. Employees increasingly expect to utilize this hardware, making it imperative that the programs are tested and defects are dealt with. Many quality assurance teams are looking to the cloud to perform mobile testing, and for good reason. Here, we will look at some of the ways that this platform is used in these processes.

Quick, diverse simulations
With the number of devices emerging, it'd be nearly impossible to manually test each possible piece of equipment and operating system. Industry expert Eran Kinsbruner noted in an interview with TechTarget that the cloud allows QA teams to simulate real applications running on real mobile devices with specific OSes. Tests used in these cases often include user interface and load testing. Organizations can also leverage testing metrics from these simulations to head off any potential problems and ensure that they are fully addressing user needs.

"Once the customer has the load testing initiated, the cloud provider needs to provide all information and insights such as network traffic, device vitals and more, to allow the customer to perform optimizations and improve application performance," Kinsbruner said. "The customer has to define the right key performance indicators for his key transactions and of course the transactions themselves."

Evaluate updating processes
Applications are updated on a regular basis, sometimes even involving changes that happen behind the scenes rather than requiring user authority to make such adjustments. These processes go through the cloud, making it essential to ensure that these procedures work as intended. Testers must not only guarantee that the update is deployed through the cloud, but that their changes actually make it through to the user.

If employees have to jump through hoops to install an app or updates cause downtime in their daily tasks, they may seek to leverage other options. By testing updating procedures, QA can evaluate how effective these processes are and how to improve their delivery methods.

"During the install and uninstall tests, mobile app testers must look for crashes or any other problems that might occur," InformIT contributor Daniel Knott wrote. "After the app is uninstalled, check the device storage to make sure that the app data has been completely removed."

Consider a hybrid approach
QA teams should consider using a hybrid testing approach in the cloud. Kinsbruner noted in a piece for InfoQ that because the hybrid cloud environment is made of a variety of deployment options, it complements coverage requirements and enables collaboration across disparate teams. This functionality will be critical for improving mobile development capabilities and ensuring optimal performance.

"Hybrid cloud also meets global device coverage requirements, where a distributed team requires collaboration with a remote team who holds unique devices in their specific network," Kinsbruner stated. "Leveraging a hybrid cloud environment, said devices become part of the joint cloud where all teams share and develop or test on, regardless of location."

The cloud has opened new possibilities for mobile testing. By keeping these uses in mind, QA teams can better utilize their test management software in the cloud environment for their unique mobile app testing needs.