Testing mobile apps in the cloud

There are several services available for testing mobile apps in the cloud on real devices:

Sauce Labs

Sauce Labs is the veteran and was co-founded by Jason Huggins, the original creator of Selenium.  Sauce Labs also works on development of Appium.

BrowserStack

BrowserStack is an economical choice for testing in the cloud, but while the offer “Live” mobile devices (manual testing only), it does not appear that they offer devices for test automation.

Xamarin Test Cloud

Xamarin is a pretty good contender, but focuses their tooling around Microsoft .NET / Visual Studio developers.  It does not appear that Appium is supported (directly) Still, they have a big selection of devices for those willing to stick to Microsoft tooling. It is also nice that their metering is a soft limit.

Perfecto Mobile

Perfecto Mobile has been around for a while as a service for Enterprises.  It is proprietary, but also supports Appium.  It comes with an Enterprise level price though.  You have to call and talk to a salesperson for any plan beyond proof of concept.

Keynote Mobile Testing

Keynote Mobile Testing used to be called Device Anywhere and their experience dates back to the days before smart phones.  I don’t have recent experience with them, but they used to offer only pixel based automation.  It appears they support Appium now.  But automation is not supported outside their enterprise sales channel.

Amazon Device Farm

Amazon Device Farm is the most recent entry in the field.  But it is not only quite expensive, but requires a lot of do-it-yourself.  Perhaps it will be more practical once tooling for recipes becomes available.

 

Price Comparision of Sauce Labs, Xamarin Test Cloud, Perfecto Mobile, & Amazon Device Cloud

Service Price Device time Concurrent Devices
Sauce Labs $129/month* 1000 minutes 4
$259/month* 2000 minutes 4
399/month* 3000 minutes 6
$499/month* 4000 minutes 8
Xamarin Test Cloud $99/month** 1 hour/day 1
$379/month** 5 hours/day 3
$799/month** 10 hours/day 5
Perfecto Mobile $399/month* 20 hours 1
Amazon Device Farm $0.17/minute 1
Amazon Device Farm $250/month unlimited 1

* 25% annual discount available

** 15% annual discount available

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Setting system properties with Gradle

In Java you can pass system properties from the command line like this:

java -D MyProperty=foo MyClass

And you can then get them in your code like so:

public class MyClass {
  public String getMyProperty() {
    return System.getProperty("MyProperty");
  }
}

Pretty easy, no?

You can pass system arguments the same way with Gradle:

gradle -D MyProperty=foo run

But what if you want to manipulate or use those properties in Gradle first?

Instead of -D you can use -P to pass properties to the Gradle object, and then you can do whatever you want with it.

gradle -P MyProperty=foo MyClass

And then you can use your properties in Gradle and then pass them to the System properties thusly:

task setProperty << {

    if (project.hasProperty("ENV")) {
        println "project has property ENV"
        System.properties["ENV"] = "$ENV"
    } else {
        println "project does not have property ENV"
        System.properties["ENV"] = "dev"
    }

    println "ENV: " + System.properties["ENV"]
}

 

Some references:

https://docs.gradle.org/current/userguide/writing_build_scripts.html#N10FDD

https://docs.gradle.org/current/userguide/build_environment.html

http://mrhaki.blogspot.com/2010/10/gradle-goodness-pass-command-line.html

http://mrhaki.blogspot.com/2010/09/gradle-goodness-different-ways-to-set.html

 

When should you use BDD

1. Product and dev are talking to each other
2. You want to write something down to communicate
3. You want to read something to communicate
4. You don’t use documents as a way to avoid communicating.
3. You can come up specific examples of requirements
4. You are willing to test those requirements frequently
5. You will pay attention to the results of those tests
6. You are willing to update those requirements when they change
7. You want to execute tests automatically
8. You have an environment and data that enables you to test changes immediately.
9. You have a build and deploy process that enables you to deploy when any change is made.
10. You don’t think BDD is a way to solve any of these problems.