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GPRS and 3G Wireless application - Anderson C.

Anderson C. GPRS and 3G Wireless application - Wiley publishing , 2001. - 356 p.
ISBN: 0-471-41405 -0
Download (direct link): gprsand3gwirelessapplica2001.pdf
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In addition to testing how the application will perform on target devices, we must make sure that it will run on the networks for which it is aimed and on networks that we will probably introduce in upcoming years. This method is the only way that we can ensure that the varying and sometimes harsh mobile network conditions will not affect performance.
In addition to the regular function testing that we use for any software product (function testing and so on), we typically add the following tests for a wireless application:
Graphical User Interface (GUI) and usability testing. This testing involves making sure that the application looks nice on a wide number of target devices and that it offers a user-friendly interface. You should perform this test by using emulators from the start of the development process, and perform this test on real devices as the product becomes more mature.
Network performance testing. This test involves making sure that the application performs well even in the harshest of conditions, such as passing under a tunnel or coming back from periods without coverage. Getting some of this feedback in an early phase can drastically improve the end performance of the final product.
Server-side testing. As we implement more advanced functionality on the server side, we must test both the functionality and robustness of that end.
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This testing includes the application server that hosts the server side of the application and also other service network components that are involved, such as positioning servers and the WAP gateway.
When we go through these tests, the first question is how to find the right test tools. This question raises the issue of whether to use emulators or to test directly on real devices and real networks.
Emulators and Real Networks and Devices
Not only do we determine the testing environment by the actual test tool that we will use, but also by the target devices and networks. Testing everything at once in a full-blown, immediate manner is not only impractical and expensive, but also very difficult. On the contrary, the testing should start by using emulators and Graphical User Interface (GUI) testing, preferably performed separately from network emulator testing. In that way, you can focus the testing on one thing at a time and isolate potential issues. Because GUI emulators (phone/PDA emulators) are often freely available on the Internet, the most common way is to first concentrate on testing the functionality and user interfaces offline before starting to optimize the wireless properties. You should perform the testing in several phases, however, so that you follow a first round of GUI tests by simple network emulator tests and then repeat the same process until the result is satisfactory. This process enables you to discover big flaws early on, and many times a testing session can be a very valuable workshop for developers (see Figure 14.1). This statement is true not only for Java and C applications, but also for WAP and other thin client services.
Device emulator tests
Tests on real devices
Network emulator test Network emulator lesls
on early prototype
Figure 14.1 Example test flow.
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Apart from enabling the test of each part separately, this way of testing also leverages the advantages of using both emulators and real networks and devices, as we can see in Table 14.1.
Real versus Emulated GUIs (Devices)
Apart from the obvious aspects, such as an emulator being cheap but not always 100 percent correct, there are a number of important advantages of using an emulated device. Some very interesting complementary test tools are starting to pop up that enhance testing. One example is WinRunner by Mercury Interactive, which uses a test GUI with the device emulator in order to test multiple executions of a task. This functionality enables the developer to record a set of clicks on the PC-based emulator and then let WinRunner execute this test scenario hundreds of times in order to measure performance and stability.
Real versus Emulated Mobile Networks
With the fast pace of network development in the mobile Internet world, developers often create an application for a network that is not widely available in
Table 14.1 Different Test Methods TEST METHOD GUI (device) emulator
Free (mostly) You can quickly test many devices; can be used together with other test tools for repeated testing; tests can easily be logged
Usually the speed is not the same as the real device; other functionality might also differ slightly.
Real device
Emulated mobile network
The exact look and feel as the consumer will experience
Inexpensive to test on; easy to repeat test scenarios; logging of results available; easy to invoke advanced features, such as interruptions
Expensive; not always available to developers before launch
Properties may differ from real networks
Real mobile network
The exact look and feel as the consumer will experience
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