by September 3, 2012 0 comments

While using an application on your smart phone have you ever thought as to why it behaves the same way every time? The answer to this question lies in the working of an application tester who besides testing the performance of the application also tests its functionality. To streamline application development, Micro Focus’ Silk Mobile package can be one of the options you can use for functional testing. But before we can talk about how to use this package and its feature lets try to understand ‘Functional’ testing. In this form of testing, it is not important to know the internal functioning of the application, what the tester is more interested in is the way application behaves and how a given input transforms to the desired output. The advantage with such type of testing is that one need not to be an ‘expert’ for performing such tests. On the other hand, the disadvantage is the creation of test case.

Silk Mobile features

The biggest feature of this package is the ability to support application testing for popular platforms available i.e. Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Symbian, and HTML5. Besides this, the other notable feature is the ease of use, due to ‘visual’ nature of testing that requires almost no coding knowledge. Organizations can save development time by giving functional testing activities to lesser experienced employees or even freshers. Silk Mobile supports native object recognition for Android & iOS, allowing testers to build fast, robust and repeatable automation scripts that can run on multiple devices. Once functional testing is over one can export test script to Borland’s Silk4j, Silk4Net, jUnit, nUnit, C#, MSTest, Python or Perl languages. This means if your developer works on Microsoft’s Visual Studio and uses C# as the development language, he shall get the test script in C# which in turn implies that there shall be no break in your existing delivery processes.

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Setting up Silk Mobile

One can get a 30-day trial of Silk Mobile from after registration. A direct download without registration is not available. The download link along with license information is sent to your e-mail address immediately. The size of the installation package for Windows is about 111 MB. We installed Silk Mobile on a system that constituted Windows 7 Ultimate (32 bit) with 1 GB RAM. Post installation you can test applications in two modes, either use an emulator or the actual device. For the former one has to install an emulator and then hook Silk Mobile package to it. In our sample installation we used the actual Android device to test the functionality of the sample application. We checked the functionality of the ‘Browser’ application on Sony Xperia Arc S.

But before you start with the functional test, you need to connect the device using USB. This is the most painful step within the whole process and you need to search and install correct the type of drivers to make your device visible in the Silk Mobile environment. The only aid you can get is from the ‘Help’ menu where links for drivers are given for popular products. The problem with drivers becomes more chronic if you are not using a popular mobile phone brand for testing. We learned this the hard way as we were not able to hook our Micromax device (as drivers were not available). However, Sony did not pose this problem as PC software is bundled within the phone itself.

Using Silk Mobile

You start with hooking your device to the Silk Mobile application using a USB cable and then record your test steps in the package. Finally, perform the recorded test multiple number of times to check if application behavior is consistent at every point during the test.

Now to start testing, open the Silk Mobile application and then click on the green plus sign. From the list select Android device (or the device of your choice). If you have properly installed USB drivers of your device then your Android device would be listed and you just have to click on ‘OK’. After this step, click on the first icon under ‘Device’ on the left. This would start a window showing your mobile interface on computer screen.

After the above two steps, you can record the actual test scenario. Simply click on the Red record button under ‘Test’ and start using your application. Once you are done with these steps, go back to the home window and then from Silk Mobile package stop recording. To perform the recorded test simply click on the green Play button. Once the test is over you shall get a comprehensive test report showing all the steps that passed and failed. One can modify test once it is recorded and also generate code in desired language by clicking on ‘Code’ tab and then selecting desired scripting language. This readymade code can be given to developer for further testing or development.

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