Test automation

How to Tackle the Challenge of Device Fragmentation with Automated Testing

Whether it is an app on a Samsung Galaxy S6 with a Chrome browser or on an HTC 10 with a Mozilla Firefox browser, companies need to overcome the challenges created by the multitude of devices, operating systems and browsers today. They have to make sure that their software runs smoothly under all the aforementioned conditions. And this trend of device fragmentation does not stop: OpenSignal has reported that there are over 24,000 different Android devices as of 2015 with a lot of new models entering the market every year.

Furthermore, costs are on the rise since not only new, but also existing components and features of software need to be tested continuously. How are developers supposed to be able to test over all the different device, operating system and software versions out today in an efficient way? Internal testing teams are unable to access the amount of devices needed to even begin scratching the surface of the device diversification issue. This has led to companies increasingly investing in new methods to assist them in dealing with platform fragmentation.

Automated testing is one of the available methods that could help overcome this challenge. While new features can easily and quickly be tested manually, test automation is a cheaper and more resource effective option for testing existing core functions in the long term. Recurring regression tests, for example, can be covered very well with test automation.

Another advantage of test automation is that it fits very well with agile development. A smooth collaboration between software developers and IT companies is a prerequisite of agile development, which is summed up by the buzzword DevOps. A central idea of DevOps is to automate deployment and testing process, which can make this working relationship much easier. The method not only enables testing on a growing combination of devices, browsers and operating systems, but is also available very quickly for short development cycles. Also, users can test in different environments in parallel allowing them to reduce the time needed for the testing phase.

Another aspect to consider is that tight project deadlines often create time restrictions, which makes test automation appear to be the ideal solution. Nevertheless, users must be aware of the fact that creating the necessary test cases is a complex procedure and therefore cost intensive. QA teams need to have the required expertise to perform test automation, otherwise external consultation is a must. However, after initial setup, most of the work is purely maintenance and extension of existing testing scripts, which is comparatively inexpensive. Automated tests can therefore be effectively integrated as a set component of the development process.

Another advantage of test automation is the reduction of human error. This method is especially applicable to critical core functions such as login, registration, booking and purchasing processes, as those components rarely ever change.

Furthermore, fast feedback, which is possible through test automation, is a great help to developers, especially in an agile environment with its short development cycles. Test automation enables those responsible for quality assurance to test immediately after changes in code take place. With continuous integration systems, this process can be automated in an efficient way. The test results are then transparent and available for everyone involved within a short time span.

Together, Tricentis and Testbirds are working on the ideal solution to meet the aforementioned needs of today’s market. With the integration of Tricentis’ Tosca and TestChameleon™ by Testbirds users can run their tests in the Cloud and benefit from 2,500,000 combinations of devices, operating systems and software.

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