Local Testing with App Automate

Local Testing is a BrowserStack feature that helps you test mobile apps that access resources hosted in development or testing environments during automated test execution. This page will guide you through enabling Local Testing for App Automate sessions, and then using it to test apps that retrieve data from servers on your local machine, CI/CD machines or nodes, and other private network configurations. In this guide you will learn how to :

  1. Setup your environment
  2. Upload your app
  3. Configure and run your Local test
  4. View test execution results

1. Setup your environment

  • You will need a BrowserStack username and access_key. If you haven’t created an account yet, sign up for a free trial or purchase a paid plan. After signup, you can obtain your access credentials here
  • Ensure you have Java 8+ installed on your system. You can download updated Java versions from java.com
  • Ensure you have the Maven installed on your system. To install Maven, follow steps outlined in the installation guide
  • You will need access to your Android app (.apk or .aab file) or iOS app (.ipa file)
Note: If you do not have an .apk or .ipa file and are looking to simply try App Automate, you can download and test using our sample Android app or sample iOS app.

2. Upload your app

Upload your Android app (.apk or .aab file) or iOS app (.ipa file) to BrowserStack servers using our REST API. Here is an example cURL request to upload app on App Automate :

curl -u "YOUR_USERNAME:YOUR_ACCESS_KEY" \
-X POST "https://api-cloud.browserstack.com/app-automate/upload" \
-F "file=@/path/to/apk/file"
curl -u "YOUR_USERNAME:YOUR_ACCESS_KEY" ^
-X POST "https://api-cloud.browserstack.com/app-automate/upload" ^
-F "file=@/path/to/apk/file"

Ensure that @ symbol is prepended to the file path in the above request. A sample response for the above request is shown below:

{
    "app_url" : "bs://j3c874f21852ba57957a3fdc33f47514288c4ba4"
}

Please note the app_url value returned in the API response (bs://j3c874..... in the above example). We will use this value to set the application under test while configuring the test later on.

Note:
  1. App upload will take a few seconds to about a minute depending on the size of your app. Do not interrupt the cURL command until you get the response back.
  2. If you upload an iOS app, we will re-sign the app with our own provisioning profile to be able to install your app on our devices during test execution.

3. Configure and run your Local test

Setup your project

Clone the JUnit sample integration code from our GitHub repository.

git clone https://github.com/browserstack/junit-appium-app-browserstack.git

Next, execute the following commands to install required dependencies:

# Test an android app
cd android/junit4-examples
mvn clean

# Test an iOS app
cd ios/junit4-examples
mvn clean
Note: If you want to try JUnit 5 examples, switch to junit5-examples directory in the JUnit sample integration code repository and follow the steps outlined here.

This will install requisite dependencies including Appium’s Java client library and Java binding for BrowserStack Local :

    <dependencies>
        <dependency>
            <groupId>junit</groupId>
            <artifactId>junit</artifactId>
            <version>4.12</version>
        </dependency>
        <dependency>
            <groupId>commons-io</groupId>
            <artifactId>commons-io</artifactId>
            <version>1.3.2</version>
        </dependency>
        <dependency>
            <groupId>org.seleniumhq.selenium</groupId>
            <artifactId>selenium-java</artifactId>
            <version>3.141.59</version>
        </dependency>
        <dependency>
            <groupId>io.appium</groupId>
            <artifactId>java-client</artifactId>
            <version>7.0.0</version>
        </dependency>
        <dependency>
            <groupId>com.browserstack</groupId>
            <artifactId>browserstack-local-java</artifactId>
            <version>1.0.3</version>
        </dependency>
        <dependency>
            <groupId>com.googlecode.json-simple</groupId>
            <artifactId>json-simple</artifactId>
            <version>1.1.1</version>
        </dependency>
    </dependencies>

Configure Appium’s desired capabilities

Desired capabilities are a series of key-value pairs that allow you to configure your Appium tests on BrowserStack. The following capabilities are required for Local Testing :

  • app capability : Its used to specify your uploaded app that will be installed on the device during test execution. Use the app_url obtained in Upload your App section to set its value.
  • device capability : Its used to specify the BrowserStack device you want to run the test on.
  • browserstack.local capability : Its used to enable BrowserStack Local feature for your test execution.

In the JUnit sample integration code, Appium’s desired capabilities are defined in the local.conf.json file located in the junit4-examples/src/test/resources/com/browserstack/run_local_test directory :

{
    "server": "hub-cloud.browserstack.com",
    "username": "YOUR_USERNAME",
    "access_key": "YOUR_ACCESS_KEY",
  
    "capabilities": {
      "project": "First Junit4 Android Project",
      "build": "Junit4 Android Local",
      "name": "local_test",
      "browserstack.debug": true,
      "browserstack.local": true,
      "app": "bs://<app-id>"
    },
  
    "environments": [{
      "device": "Google Pixel 3",
      "os_version":  "9.0"
    }]
}
{
    "server": "hub-cloud.browserstack.com",
    "username": "YOUR_USERNAME",
    "access_key": "YOUR_ACCESS_KEY",
  
    "capabilities": {
      "project": "First Junit4 iOS Project",
      "build": "Junit4 iOS Local",
      "name": "local_test",
      "browserstack.debug": true,
      "browserstack.local": true,
      "app": "bs://<app-id>"
    },
  
    "environments": [{
      "device": "iPhone 11 Pro",
      "os_version":  "13"
    }]
}
Note:

Establish a Local Testing connection

In addition to using the browserstack.local capability, you also need to establish a Local Testing connection from your local or CI/CD machine to BrowserStack servers. Within your test scripts, you can add a code snippet that will automatically start and stop Local Testing connection using BrowserStack’s Java binding for BrowserStack Local.

In the JUnit sample integration code, the Local Testing connection is initialised in the BrowserStackJUnitTest.java file located in the junit4-examples/src/test/java/com/browserstack/run_local_testdirectory as shown below :

//...

public class BrowserStackJUnitTest {
  //...

  @BeforeMethod(alwaysRun=true)
  public void setUp() throws Exception {
    //...
    local = new Local();
    Map<String, String> options = new HashMap<String, String>();
    options.put("key", accessKey);
    local.start(options);
  }

  //...

 @AfterMethod(alwaysRun=true)
    public void tearDown() throws Exception {
      //...
        if(local != null) local.stop();
  }
}

Create remote Webdriver

Once you have configured desired capabilities and established Local Testing connection, you can initialize an Appium webdriver to test remotely on BrowserStack. In order to do so, you need to use a remote BrowserStack URL along with your BrowserStack access credentials.

In the JUnit sample integration code, the remote Webdriver is initialised in the BrowserStackJUnitTest.java file located in the junit4-examples/src/test/java/com/browserstack/run_local_test directory as shown below :

//...

// Initialize the remote Webdriver using BrowserStack remote URL access credentials
// and desired capabilities defined above
driver = new AndroidDriver (
  new URL("http://"+username+":"+accessKey+"@"+config.get("server")+"/wd/hub"), capabilities
);
//...
//...

// Initialize the remote Webdriver using BrowserStack remote URL access credentials
// and desired capabilities defined above
driver = new IOSDriver<IOSElement> (
  new URL("http://"+username+":"+accessKey+"@"+config.get("server")+"/wd/hub"), capabilities
);

//...
Note: You can provide BrowserStack access credentials either by :
  • Setting BROWSERSTACK_USERNAME & BROWSERSTACK_ACCESS_KEY environment variables or by
  • Setting username & access_key parameters in local.config.json file located in junit4-examples/src/test/resources/com/browserstack/run_local_test directory

Setup your test-case

This step will help you setup your first Local Testing test case with JUnit framework. In the JUnit sample integration code, we have provided a sample test-case in junit4-examples/src/test/java/com/browserstack/run_local_test directory for BrowserStack’s sample apps. If you are testing your own app, please modify the test case accordingly.

If you are using your own app, modify the following code as per your test case:

package com.browserstack.run_local_test;

// imports...

public class LocalTest extends BrowserStackJUnitTest {
  @Test
  public void test() throws Exception {
    AndroidElement searchElement = (AndroidElement) new WebDriverWait(driver, 30)
    .until(ExpectedConditions.elementToBeClickable(
        MobileBy.id("com.example.android.basicnetworking:id/test_action")));
    searchElement.click();

    AndroidElement insertTextElement = (AndroidElement) new WebDriverWait(driver, 30)
    .until(ExpectedConditions.elementToBeClickable(
        MobileBy.className("android.widget.TextView")));

    AndroidElement testElement = null;
    List<AndroidElement> allTextViewElements = driver.findElementsByClassName(
        "android.widget.TextView");

    Thread.sleep(10);

    for(AndroidElement textElement : allTextViewElements) {
      if(textElement.getText().contains("The active connection is")) {
        testElement = textElement;
      }
    }

    if(testElement == null) {
      File scrFile = ((TakesScreenshot)driver).getScreenshotAs(OutputType.FILE);
      FileUtils.copyFile(scrFile, 
      new File(System.getProperty("user.dir") + "screenshot.png"));
      System.out.println("Screenshot stored at " + System.getProperty("user.dir") + 
      "screenshot.png");
      throw new Error("Cannot find the needed TextView element from app");
    }

    String matchedString = testElement.getText();
    System.out.println(matchedString);
    assertTrue(matchedString.contains("The active connection is wifi"));
    assertTrue(matchedString.contains("Up and running"));
  }
}

}

If you are using your own app, modify the following code as per your test case:

package com.browserstack.run_local_test;

// imports...

public class LocalTest extends BrowserStackJUnitTest {
  @Test
  public void test() throws Exception {
    IOSElement testButton = (IOSElement) new WebDriverWait(driver, 30)
    .until(ExpectedConditions.elementToBeClickable(
        MobileBy.AccessibilityId("TestBrowserStackLocal")));
    testButton.click();

    WebDriverWait wait = new WebDriverWait(driver, 30);
    wait.until(new ExpectedCondition<Boolean>() {
      @Override
      public Boolean apply(WebDriver d) {
        String result = d.findElement(
          MobileBy.AccessibilityId("ResultBrowserStackLocal"))
        .getAttribute("value");
        return result != null && result.length() > 0;
      }
    });
    IOSElement resultElement = (IOSElement) driver.findElement(
        MobileBy.AccessibilityId("ResultBrowserStackLocal"));
    String resultString = resultElement.getText().toLowerCase();
    System.out.println(resultString);

    if(resultString.contains("not working")) {
      File scrFile = (File) ((TakesScreenshot)driver).getScreenshotAs(OutputType.FILE);
      FileUtils.copyFile(scrFile, 
      new File(System.getProperty("user.dir") + "/screenshot.png"));
      System.out.println("Screenshot stored at " + System.getProperty("user.dir") + 
      "/screenshot.png");
      throw new Error("Unexpected BrowserStackLocal test result");
    }

    String expectedString = "Up and running";
    assertTrue(resultString.contains(expectedString.toLowerCase()));
  }
}

Run the test

You are ready to run your first local test on BrowserStack. In the JUnit sample integration code, switch to junit4-examples/ directory, and run the test using command :

# Run using maven
mvn test -P local

4. View test execution results

You can access the test execution results, and debugging information such as video recording, network and device logs on App Automate dashboard or using our REST APIs.

What’s next

Congratulations! You just ran your first local test on App Automate. Next, you can learn to :

  • Run tests in parallel - Speed up test execution by running tests simultaneously across multiple BrowserStack devices

Need some help?

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