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Using Fledge for Testing BlackBerry Applications

July 19, 2010

BlackBerry application testing

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.

Fledge introduction

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.

Fledge features

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.

Disadvantages

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.

Summary

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.

Author: Vasil Tabakov

4 comments

  • July 23, 2010 8:20 am | ramukumar

    I am really thankful to the author of this post for making this lovely and informative article live here for us. We really appreciate ur effort. Keep up the good work. . . .

  • March 28, 2011 3:46 am | anastris

    Thanx you Vasil, Nice Post,
    But i have a problem when using blackberry simulator to test my web application.
    When my web sent data to server there is an error like this
    “There is insufficient network coverage to process your request.”
    Do you have any idea to solve this problem?

    Best Regards

  • March 28, 2011 8:04 am | Vasil Tabakov

    Hi Anastris,

    I assume that it is the default network signal strength in the simulator that is causing the issue. Try changing it, here is an excerpt from the user guide on this:
    “Simulate network coverage
    The BlackBerry® device simulator can simulate various states of network coverage, from a strong signal to a very
    weak signal. The BlackBerry device simulator can also simulate a loss of network coverage.
    Set the network signal strength
    1. On the Simulate menu, click Network Properties.
    2. Select the network you want to simulate from the Networks list.
    3. If you want to edit the network properties, click Edit and type new values. Click OK.
    4. Select or clear the In coverage check box.
    5. Move the Signal strength (RSSI) slide bar to set a value. The signal strength can be between -120 dBm and -40dBm.”

  • March 28, 2011 8:49 pm | anastris

    Hi, Vasil Tabakov,
    Thanx you very much and it’s work :D

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