Using Fledge for Testing BlackBerry Applications
Recently I was working on one of our products, scribe2go, which is being addressed at businesses and features a BlackBerry edition as well. My job was to organize the mobile application testing process, and identify the automation tools to be used. Which in the BlackBerry case was a simple and straightforward job – we decided to go mainstream with Fledge.
Below is a short summary of my experience with Fledge, which you might find useful if you plan to test BlackBerry applications.
The BlackBerry device simulator called Fledge enables you to run and test BlackBerry applications on your computer.
Fledge includes the BlackBerry applications that are typically available on BlackBerry devices and enables you to load and test your own applications. You can simulate and test various connectivity and state changes using the simulator. When you use Fledge to perform testing, you might need to simulate additional BlackBerry services. The BlackBerry MDS Simulator and the BlackBerry email server simulator are available for this purpose.
By default, after you specify the BlackBerry device model, the simulator runs using the configuration options that are typical for the chosen BlackBerry device. However, you can manually set or change many of the configuration options, such as the screen size, the communication port numbers, and the locale.
Fledge is available either as a part of the BlackBerry Java Development Environment or as a standalone installation of the BlackBerry simulator package. You could download the simulator from www.blackberry.com/developers.
To get a grasp of Fledge’s capabilities, here is a sample list of events you could simulate in your tests:
- Adding an address book contact
- Adding a calendar entry
- Composing an email
- Receiving an incoming call
- Initiating an outgoing call
- Sending an SMS text message
- Changing device GPS coordinates
- Changing battery level
- Removing a SIM card
- Changing network coverage / signal strength
A number of supplementary services, such as call forwarding or call waiting, might be available on a BlackBerry device. You can simulate the availability of these services as well.
Fledge could leverage “controller” commands only. Controller commands can be used to instruct the simulator to perform certain operations from a script, like those described above. Nevertheless, Fledge is just a simulator – you cannot run tests written for the simulator on real devices, and you cannot record/playback test scenarios – all tests should be scripted manually.
Further, the lack of verification points means that the result of every operation should be manually checked by a tester, which makes it impossible to run tests in a batch. Thus Fledge cannot be considered universal automation testing tool for BlackBerry applications, but as far as I know it is the best tool out there.
Despite the disadvantages mentioned above, we are still using Fledge for our scribe2go automation test scenarios. Automatic execution of scripted test actions is very useful for ensuring good test coverage with each built and for decreasing the manual work necessary to achieve this.
If your company’s policy is to automate application testing when possible, I suggest you give Fledge a try.