Graphical test automatism across platform
12 Jan 2017

Graphical test automatism across platform

Research outcome about software test automatism across multiple platforms in our digital era.

12 Jan 2017

Research outcome about software test automatism across multiple platforms in our digital era

We want to share one of our research outcomes about software test automatism across multiple platforms. Very often we developed products not only for a single platform but for multiple platforms simultaneously. Developing for example the Olympic Games App with Bellboxx and Sport1 or the in-house solutions for SwissPost and Postfinance, where we needed to test the projects on multiple platforms (Web, iOS, Android), target devices (desktop, phones and tablets), OS and browser versions, the QA phase was one of the most challenging parts during the projects.

Cross platform Testing

Regardless if you are developing products for your own company or if you develop software for your customers, at one point you also need to test your software. Either you have the a QA guy or maybe even a QA team, maybe the developer himself is testing – anyway, we are all familiar with the situation: you fixed one bug and just introduce another.

There are in meanwhile several options for a developer to write their own Unit test automatism. Android Studio is for example just with a few clicks allowing JUnit tests that run on the local JVM or an instrumented test that runs on a device. Additionally, developers can extend their tests by integrating frameworks such as Mockito to test Android API calls and Espresso (still in Beta) or UI Automator to repeat user interaction in instrumented tests.
On the other hand Apples Xcode 7 introduces new UI testing features fully integrated into the IDE, and finally, XCTest supports both Swift and Objective-C. It was initially released as a Unit Testing tool and is now expanded to support performance testing.

But what options do our customers have to perform repeating test cycles on one or multiple platforms, from the launch of a new product through a hopefully long life and release cycle. There is often a lot and critical time of the project spent on the customers test and approval phase and we all know, time is very precious at the end of each project.

The requirements are simple

So we decided to research for a cross platform supporting graphical test automatism services and we where optimistic that we will find several of them. The requirements are simple: we want to support the major mobile platforms, Android and iOS, as well as Desktop/Web Apps. Additionally, the target user group should be “non-developers”, and after the initial integration of libraries the QA could start creating independently test scenarios and run them later on.

But while researching it turned our that most of those either required deeper technical skills when writing test scenarios or the tools where only supporting a single platform and for every additional platform an additional tool needed to be integrated.

We tested several tools, installed their trial versions (or failed to do so) and tested them for Web/Desktop, iOS and Android. Our winner from this review is called: Ranorex.

test automatism tools

Ranorex is one of the very few tools that support cross platform testing. It is easy to setup and runs smoothly, has a reasonable price and is compared to other cross platform solutions only in the setup requiring the developer’s help. Ranorex has several high-value features, a great documentation and a lot of video tutorials. Only downside so far: it requires to run on a Windows machine.
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