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are three ways to bullet-proof your mobile applications:
test, test and more test
the speed to market so important today, it is no wonder
developers often neglect to create sound fundamental building
blocks of their mobile applications before rushing them
out to the market.
In their haste, product testing is often compromised. Yet
it remains one of the most important routine for any product
One of the most important functions of a comprehensive testing
phase, as part of the mobile application development cycle,
is to ensure that the development team understands the key
concepts of risk.
Implementation risks are especially high in a mobile project,
largely due to the adoption of state-of-the-art technology.
These risks are created by the constant changes in technology,
a larger pool of inter-connected components to grapple with,
and the lack of technical standards.
Therefore, to manage the risks, developers need to first
determine "what" to test, "when" to
test and "how much" to test. This is first achieved
by identifying each of the tasks from an itemized project
plan of all the required tasks within the test phase. Next,
would be to create a testing strategy and how best to carry
out the testing process.
What to test? A project defect is a variance from
the intended expectations. Therefore, a defect can be any
of the following: bugs in the code (most common), incorrectly-stated
requirements, overlooked requirements, incorrect functions,
performance problems and cost overrun.
How to test? To start, focus on tasks that are likely
to cultivate defects. These problems are likely to be caused
by non-functional requirements. To prevent this problem,
use system or data diagrams, case models, operational models
and source codes.
When to test? As all project defects can be introduced
in any of the phases of the mobile development process,
testing should begin as soon as the project is initiated.
A good strategy is to perform testing throughout the entire
project life cycle.
Although this approach appears time consuming, it will in
fact reduce cycle time and overall project cost. This is
because most defects occur when the project is approaching
its end-cycle. Hence any defects discovered at the unit
level will help reduce unnecessary work in performing tests
to filter the defects at a system, module or program level.
However, it is impossible to totally eliminate defects.
Zero defect is not realistic, and even if it is possible,
it would be very difficult to justify from a cost perspective.
Shoot for near error-free instead, by applying the testing
process on each project deliverables during each of the
project life-cycle milestone or phase.
One way to keep risks at bay is to perform a risk mitigation
process that is based on risk factors and costs. This will
allow a quantifiable measurement
of risk. Given that risk
is derived from probability of occurrence and associated
cost, it follows that cost of failure = cost x probability.
From this business equation, we can form a relationship
to determine the appropriate level of testing that would
be required. From the graph above, based on the risk equation,
we can formulate the optimal testing level, so as to avoid
"over testing" or "under testing".
are generally two types of test strategy which can be applied
to mobile development projects, namely "static testing"
and "dynamic testing". A mobile test strategy
is a high-level description of all major system-wide mobile
system testing activities, which is developed during the
proposal stage of the project cycle. The strategy outlines
the approach to be used in the testing activities. This
might include elements and information generic in nature.
Having a sound strategy makes the goal more apparent, and
more achievable. It provides a common direction, approach
and terminology across multiple organizational structures
and various business units. It also helps set the expectations
of the outcome. The main steps for setting a strategy is
1. Define the test objectives
2. Identify and review the business and technical strategy
3. Identify the focus areas within the project cycle and
required test details
4. Identify the type of test to
be conducted with the appropriate criteria
5. Define a high-level quality metrics
In particular, static testing deserves special attention
since it is largely applied during the crucial early stages
of the project. The main prerogative of static testing is
to prevent defects from passing to the next phase.
Thus, static testing is very cost effective as it prevents
defects from propagating. Some of the more common static
techniques are inspection, project reviews, system prototyping
and architectural walkthrough.
Finally, the test needs to keep important information about
the level of correctness of the mobile system being developed
for each module. No defect, however small, that occurs during
testing should be ignored. Query the test results with your
team. Do the results provide sufficient details to satisfactorily
close a test process or is there a need to perform
If so, make sure to troubleshoot the testing plan and procedure.
Testing is tough and often dirty work. But the success of
your project often hinges on how thorough your testing procedures
are. Don't skimp on it!