MobileComplete, which provides a service where mobile app developers can test their products remotely on multiple devices and networks, plans to offer full test automation by the end of next year.
The San Mateo, California-based company was founded in 2003 and launched its flagship service, DeviceAnywhere, at the end of 2005. CEO Faraz Syed said the service has in excess of 1,000 unique handsets deployed at data centers in the US, Canada, UK and Germany, with locations in France, Spain, Italy and Japan being installed at the moment.
MobileComplete calls the technology that underscores the service Direct-to-Device: each handset is wired up to an individual server running the company’s test software. App developers subscribing to the service can thus test their products remotely on groups of handsets, which they usually select by carrier: as they may be planning to offer the app on Verizon Wireless in the States or Vodafone in Germany, for instance. Pricing for the service comprises a handset package fee (e.g. all the handsets for a given carrier in a certain country) and a per-hour usage charge.
We enable them to test on multiple operating systems, hardware and networks without their having to buy handsets, subscribe to mobile service plans or even travel to the country where they plan to deploy, said Syed. The most recent high-profile addition to the universe of devices available was, of course, the iPhone, which is also one of the various dual-mode phones that have prompted MobileComplete to deploy WiFi networks at its data centers of late.
In terms of the service offering, meanwhile, the latest addition has been a module called DeviceAnywhere Monitoring, which as its name suggests enables a developer to carry out monitoring of an app in an ongoing basis after it has been launched.
This module lets them test the availability and performance of their app by creating a script in our visual scripting environment and executing actions on the handset, getting reports and setting up alerts for when the service is deteriorating, said Syed. It will give them statistics about how long it takes for the app’s home page to load and what kind of response times it is delivering. The monitoring service is offered primarily to the app developers and, as such, complements rather than competes with the drive testing carried out by operators.
The next step will be to start automating the pre-launch test process. In our current release of DeviceAnywhere, which is version 3.3, all pre-launch testing is manual, but in v4.0 we’ll be adding some basic automation, meaning the ability to record and play back, said the exec. Full automation, however, will be delivered in the second half of next year.
That stage will see automation of testing, with a choice of either the current scripting environment or, if the developer prefers, a Java interface, which is being added to enable integrate with app testing environments from the wireline internet world. We’ve already done some integration with IBM/Rational and we’re working on HP/Mercury, in both cases via a Java API, said Syed.
This facility is aimed at institutions such as banks and mainstream enterprises that will already have a wireless app testing infrastructure in place but need to extend their capabilities out to mobile devices.
Beyond that, Syed said the company plans to add data centers in other key markets such as India, China, Brazil and Russia. By the end of next year, we plan to be in the top 15 markets around the world, he went on.