Service Virtualization

Mobile Testing Monday #7 - Differing Product Points of View within Mobile Testing

By Anon Anon posted 10-20-2014 03:18 PM


Screenshot 2014-10-20 11.31.29.pngWe often hear disclaimers in Ads.  The guarantees that seem so straight forward in the Ad seem to be limited. Ads are also accompanied by lots of legal fast talk at the end.  The desire to to be simple is clear but there is lots more to it than the tag line or slogan.  What these short Ads often miss even with the disclosure is the detail to help you see if the claims being made are really valid for you and your needs.  If I was guaranteed to save 15% I would be a fool not to call, but the disclaimer helps me understand that the offer is truly conditional.


I often encounter customers who are looking for something specific from our tools or our competitors - often we find that in the exact same problem may have two very different ways of accomplishing a similar task between tool sets.  The problem becomes one of aligning your needs as a customer with the product point of view, but often vendors provide only lists of features (This is due to the RFP response culture of function point scoring as much as anything but I believe its fundamentally misinformed).  I have never seen an RFP ask "What's your Product Point of View" but almost all ask for Roadmaps of features (A Lost opportunity to understand how the vendor addresses problems for sure!).   I do think that customers should understand the Product Point of View (PPOV) clearly.  The reason I say this is the PPOV will drive both how solutions are addressed and also how things might be solved in future versions. 


In mobile there are three main Product Point of Views I see in the market (Your analysis may find more or different groupings):


#1 - Mobile Only Platforms - These platforms put the Device and App at the center and construct their functions on top of the device.  Typical to products with this POV you will see  higher level mobile functions added that are not shared for instance within Web Testing, concepts like "Home", "Dial Number" which are composites of other commands and intended to make things easier for mobile testers.  What's missing here is the ability to have dependency or interplay between testing multiple layers of the application i.e. APIs or Back ends associated with the Mobile Application.  This Product Point of View is tightly placed on the Device experience.  Often you see a branching out to monitoring for vendors in this space.


#2 - Mobile as a Check Box - These platforms add Mobile as another target and offer the mainline set of features they offer in Web or API testing.  The adjustments to include mobile are minor and typically do not add higher level functions.  These Mobile add ons are typically quite recognizable as add ons, they will not incorporate Mobile needs fully as they still must optimize for the larger whole.  This Product Point of View IS driven by the RFP format sadly and you will find shortcuts in the delivery of features.  Often these will actually bring a burden to the Mobile Device where SDKs or Client apps are required for Testing.  This is seen most clearly in IBMs RTW product where the device requires an addition of a test client.  In my opinion adding apps to the System Under Test violates the premise that you are testing a real user experience.  These Mobile as Checkbox vendors typically seek to broaden the test targets but require you to build your tests internal to their system.


#3 - Mobile Composable Platform - This platform adds Mobile testing capability to an existing test platform to allow for extension of test capabilities as well as leveraging additional external functions in a composable fashion.  This Point of View seeks to bring together functions the customer has required such as Service Virtualization, API testing, and Mobile Device Testing all within an automation framework.  This is a hybrid view where Mobile specific features are added to the Testing Platform while embracing the evolution and speed of innovation seen in the Mobile Only Platforms.  Within the Mobile composable platform we see innovative features which align with the Product Point of View adding features for DevOps Automation, Test Generation, and Real User Defect Reporting.  The goal within this Mobile Composable Platform is to create a extensible solution, a solution that can be added to incrementally and which can be incorporated into your practices and procedures.  The flexibility afforded by this decision also requires an open approach to testing, since integration is paramount there is little in the way of proprietary formats or conventions here.


Wondering which Product Point of View CA Application Test for Mobile embraces?  Take the poll Which Product Point of View does CA Application Test for Mobile embrace?


You will experience this composability at CA World via our Demos and integrated cross product Demonstrations in DevOps  and DevCenter.