An approach to automating mobile application testing on Symbian Smartphones : Functional testing through log file analysis of test cases developed from use cases

University essay from KTH/Kommunikationssystem, CoS


Many developers today have difficulties testing their applications on mobile devices. This is due to a number of factors, such as the fact that the mobile phone market has become even more fragmented with the introduction of touch screen technology. Existing software that was designed for traditional mobile handhelds is not necessarily compatible with the newest models and vice versa. For developers this incompatibility increases the difficulty when creating software.

Lack of resources for testing the application may lead to the application being limited to either just a specific model or in some cases to only one specific version of the operating system software. Without providing support for a large number of models the product may have difficulty attracting customers, and hence fail to gain the desired market share.

The challenge is to find a way to make testing simple, effective, and automated on a large number of mobile devices. To achieve this test automation applicationsare needed and a test strategy must be devised. Additionally, testing is often described as never-ending since testing generally reveals errors rather than demonstrating when errors are absent. Because of this some limitations of testing are justified.

In order to limit the scope of this thesis I have selected some of the most appropriate methods for testing, and will only examine these specific methods.  The focus for the testing is not specifically to find errors, but rather to confirm that the product offers the specified functionality.

This thesis describes an approach to functional testing of an application for Symbian mobile devices based upon log analysis. Unfortunately, testing applications on mobile devices is still not straightforward, and this thesis does not shed any light upon how to lessen this complexity. However, I believe that both testing and development will be more and more built around use cases in the future. Unfortunately, automation of testing based uponthese use cases will be further complicated by the increasing use of touch screens and physical input (such as gestures).

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