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Meux – Automation Tool for Mobile Devices

I was highly excited to read the introduction of the Meux tool from Jamo Solutions. For a while now, I have been working on mobile QA, both manual and automation. Automation was always carried out using simulation tools such as Fiddler and Bayden UA Pick. But for certain testing the actual device became indispensible and that’s when manual QA had to kick in. I always hoped for a tool that would run my automation scripts directly on the phone.I was highly excited to read the introduction of the Meux tool by Jamo Solutions. It promised to do exactly what I was desperately looking for and that made it my new best friend.

Meux tool by Jamo Solutions available at http://www.jamosolutions.com/documents/downloadproduct.php is an add-in to QTP that records and plays back automation scripts on a mobile application just as it would on a regular desktop application. A pre requisite of having the Meux agent installed on the device and the QTP Add In installed on QTP machine is required. Both of these are available as a part of the installation package. The Meux Device Manager acts as the bridge between the add in and the agent. The installation and set up would require some extra technical expertise with port numbers being used by the agent clashing with the the port numbers already in use on the machine.

After the initial hiccups of setting up, I was highly thrilled to try out the application and see how useful it can be in my mobile automation tasks. Currently it supports only Windows Mobile, Blackberry RIM OS and Android OS with the limitations on the versions of the same. Recording on mobile application is almost as simple as on a desktop application. However the details and the excellence of the same can be debated upon. Meux tool does not support any customization of the Mobile OS which is very common on all the Windows Mobile Devices by HTC. As a workaround many function calls have been provided. But I am pretty concerned with the re usability of scripts across same OS on different devices or different version of the OS. With my concentration mainly on browser testing, I wasn’t highly impressed with the same.

The tool does not support many of the native functions on the mobile browser which are found on the regular browser. The browser and page objects have very limited number of native inbuilt functioanilities and much is left to the discretion of the coder. For instance, the GetChildObjects method found on a regular browser is absent on the mobile browsers inbuilt functionalities. This pretty much defeats the purpose of descriptive programming. To verify the presence of certain web object, you would have to get an array collection of all the objects on the page and then parse through each of them to find what you are looking for. This is not the most effective way of working on a highly dynamic page with high number of objects. Also, the object spy does not work on the mobile browser.

The analysis of the tool can be summarized through the following SWOT analysis of the same.

Strengths :
– Works as a bridge in between QTP Automation Tool and Mobile Device
– Records and Plays back automation scripts on mobile devices

– Does not support many important native functionalities of the web browser
– Does not support any customizations on the OS
– Object Spy does not work

– Can re run same script across multiple devices with the same OS
– Can replace manual QA

– Supports limited versions of the OS
– No agent for iPhones as yet
– Can behave highly unexpected at times

Having tried this, for the time being I would still continue using our current options viz. DeviceAnywhere and Perfecto by Perforce from Nexperience. Perfecto by Perforce provides automation scripting across various devices and platforms with a high level of re usability. But having said that, I am going to keep a keen eye on the development progress of Meux with heavy interest considering its excellent potential.

Another thing that I would like point out here is the excellent support from the Meux team especially by Jacques Wouters. In spite of being on different sides of the Atlantic and having a disastrous time difference, the support team made sure they were available when we needed it.

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