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October 25, 2022

How to Overcome Mobile Automation Test Challenges When Leveraging Mobile Device Management

Mobile Application Testing

For many organizations, the handling of private or confidential information often resides within the mobile devices of their employees. While the information can be critical for the employee to do their job successfully, it leaves the potential risk of being exposed if the proper IT enforcements are not in place.

With mobile device management, those organizations can rest assured that their devices are under the same blanket of protection that they would be at home under the corporate roof. This blog will detail what mobile device management is, how to overcome the challenges of automated mobile tests when using MDM solutions, and why Perfecto is uniquely suited to handle whatever automated mobile testing you may require.

What is Mobile Device Management? 

Mobile device management (MDM) is the administration of mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablet computers, and laptops. MDM solutions handle deployment, data management, deployment management, endpoint management, inventory management, software management, and synchronization scheduling.

It is a tool that allows IT departments to enroll and enforce productivity tools and applications while keeping corporate data secure.

A typical MDM system. VMWare Workspace ONE Unified Endpoint Management


Why MDM Solutions Can Pose a Challenge to Automated Testing

The purpose of mobile device management is to secure the mobile units' communications and operations. Therefore, it actively blocks the devices communications with external resource. These include testing websites, Appium servers, handset servers, and more.

In addition, MDM solutions can enforce security rules to prevent any unattended automation activities from functioning. That means features like detect and forcedly stop automation activities, mandatory screen locks, and block procedure to take screenshots will not work.

Key workspace security benefits

3 Key Aspects for Successful Automated Testing With MDM Solutions

While there are many things to take into account when working to incorporate automated testing with MDM solutions, there a three components that are especially important.

Customer Trust

The most important hurdle to overcome is earning the full trust of your client. Clients need to know that their devices and data are handled with care and as securely as they handle it themselves.

You can only achieve that by offering top-notch secured facilities to host client devices, as well as guarantee their data and devices are secured both physically and logically.

Assure the client that devices can only be accessed by professionals on a need-to basis by whomever has signed a nondisclosure agreement with the customer.

With the full trust of the client, restrictions to mobile device management can be eased and security polices can be delegated to the data centers where the devices are hosted. To allow the devices work successfully with automated tests, mobile device management policies will need to be carefully reviewed by both MDM security specialists and the automation experts to find out which policies will impact or block automation procedures. Removing those MDM polices from mobile devices will be the first step in customizing the environment for running mobile automated tests.

A practical way to go about this is to create a set of customized policies to ease the restrictions to allow the automated tests to run. That could be allowing devices to be paired with the server, allowing devices to be exempt from mandatory screenlock, allowing profile install, or allowing screenshots.

In the MDM system, create special tags for those special policies. For instance, create a tag — Manual Mobile Testing, for example — with eased policies that allow manual mobile testing. Create another tag — Automation Mobile Testing this time — with another set of policies that allow local mobile automations. Create yet another set of policies to allow devices that are hosted by cloud services like Perfecto.

By employing tags, managing mobile devices can become as easy as tagging and un-tagging devices in the MDM system to allow different levels of QA testing procedures to be performed. 

Device Support Experience

The support team is playing a critical role in handling devices managed by MDM solutions. Not only do they need to understand the mechanism of MDM management systems, but they also need to know the symptoms and errors that are caused by all kinds of MDM restrictions. Lacking experience with MDM solutions can cost customers a lot of extra time investigating and onboarding devices. Worse, they may even wreck the whole project and result in a complete failure of onboarding MDM devices that you want to submit to automated testing.

Agility & Knowledge From the Mobile Device Management Admin

MDM admins are typically not very involved in mobile automated testing or automation in general. Work closely with them by sharing the automation requirements needed. For MDM specialists, it is very important for them to understand and quickly find solutions within the MDM system to enable a successful automation project.

Why Perfecto is Uniquely Prepared to Partner With Mobile Device Management Systems

Perfecto's data centers adopt the highest security measures to guard customer data and devices from any possible damage or losses. The Perfecto global support team has extensive experience with operating devices that are managed by different MDM systems. In some cases, half of the devices are managed by MDM solutions and operating them dramatically improved from the Perfecto device operation team experience and resolution base. 

To get a glimpse of just how powerful Perfecto's automated mobile testing platform is and how it can help communicate with whichever of the MDM solutions you rely on, start a 14-day free trial today.

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