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 from account settings
  • Ensure you have Ruby installed on your system. You can download updated Ruby versions from ruby-lang.org
  • Ensure you have Bundler installed on your system. To install Bundler, follow steps outlined in the bundler 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 Local Testing, you can download and test using our sample Android Local app or sample iOS Local 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 Cucumber sample integration code from our GitHub repository.

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

Next, execute the following commands in project’s base directory to install the required dependencies:

# Test an android app
cd android/examples
bundle install

# Test an iOS app
cd ios/examples
bundle install

This will install requisite dependencies including Appium’s Ruby client :

source 'http://rubygems.org'

gem 'appium_lib'
gem 'cucumber'
gem 'rspec'
gem 'rake'
gem 'browserstack-local'
gem 'parallel_tests'
gem 'selenium-cucumber'
gem 'selenium-webdriver'

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 Cucumber sample integration code, Appium’s desired capabilities are defined in the local.config.yml file located in the examples/run-local-test/config directory :

server: "hub-cloud.browserstack.com"

common_caps:
  "browserstack.user": "YOUR_USERNAME"
  "browserstack.key": "YOUR_ACCESS_KEY"
  "project": "First Cucumber Android Project"
  "build": "Cucumber Android"
  "browserstack.debug": true

browser_caps:
  -
    "device": "Google Pixel 3"
    "os_version": "9.0"
    "app": "bs://<app-id>"
    "browserstack.local": true
    "name": "local_test"
server: "hub-cloud.browserstack.com"

common_caps:
  "browserstack.user": "YOUR_USERNAME"
  "browserstack.key": "YOUR_ACCESS_KEY"
  "project": "First Cucumber iOS Project"
  "build": "Cucumber iOS"
  "browserstack.debug": true

browser_caps:
  -
    "device": "iPhone 11 Pro"
    "os_version": "13"
    "app": "bs://<app-id>"
    "browserstack.local": true
     "name": "local_test"
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 Ruby binding for BrowserStack Local.

In the Cucumber sample integration code, the Local Testing connection is initialised in the env.rb file located in the examples/run-local-test/features/supportdirectory as shown below :

require 'browserstack/local'

#...

if caps['browserstack.local'] && caps['browserstack.local'].to_s == 'true'
  $bs_local = BrowserStack::Local.new
  bs_local_args = { "key" => "#{caps['browserstack.key']}" }
  $bs_local.start(bs_local_args)
end

#...

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 Cucumber sample integration code, the remote Webdriver is initialised in the env.rb file located in the examples/run-local-test/features/support directory as shown below :

#...

desired_caps = {
  caps: caps,
  appium_lib: {
    server_url: "http://hub-cloud.browserstack.com/wd/hub"
  }
}

begin
  $appium_driver = Appium::Driver.new(desired_caps, true)
  $driver = $appium_driver.start_driver
rescue Exception => e
  puts e.message
  Process.exit(0)
end

#...

Setup your test-case

This step will help you setup your first test case with Cucumber framework. In the Cucumber sample integration code, we have provided a sample test-case in examples/run-local-test/features 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:

Feature: BrowserStack Local Testing

Background:
  Given I start test on the Local Sample App

Scenario: Can check tunnel working
  Then I should see "Up and running"

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

Feature: BrowserStack Local Testing

Background:
  Given I start test on the Local Sample App

Scenario: Can check tunnel working
  Then I should see "Up and running"

Run the test

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

# Run using Rake
bundle exec rake 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?

If you have any queries, please get in touch with us.

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