UPDATED 13:03 EST / APRIL 16 2013

xamarin-logo NEWS

Xamarin Acquires LessPainful, Introduces Automated UI Testing Platform

Making an app is not an easy task.  Hundreds of lines of codes to write and just one mistake could result to things crashing down in an instant.  Aside from that, after writing the code, you need to test it in various platforms to ensure that everything looks good and works well.  Good thing there are now platforms that help developers test their apps across multiple platforms with ease.

Xamarin, the company that aids developers to build fully native mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, has announced the acquisition of LessPainful, the Danish company which created Calabash – the most widely used mobile UI testing automation framework.

With the acquisition comes the announcement of Xamarin Test Cloud, an automated UI testing platform that allows mobile developers to easily test their apps on hundreds of mobile devices.  Xamarin Test Cloud allows developers to quickly get started with app testing, testing across multiple platforms on hundreds of real devices, and work seamlessly with continuous integration process.

“Testing is a significant, but time consuming and difficult, part of the mobile development process,” said Nat Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Xamarin.  “Developers need a simpler and easier way to test across the hundreds of devices and multiple platforms out there.  With our acquisition of LessPainful and the release of Xamarin Test Cloud, any mobile developer worldwide can now easily access automated UI test tools that allow them to introduce truly exceptional and elegant apps to the market faster and with less chance of failure.”

The creation of Xamarin Test Cloud is based on the fact that existing automated UI testing tools available on the market require significant investment to get started and rely on fragile methods of defining correct UI behavior that can break test cases with small UI changes.  This is the reason why in Xamarin’s survey, 92 percent of developers who participated reported not using the said tools.  Also, the automated UI testing tools do not provide cross-platform support and does not integrate well into developer’s tools and workflow.  With LessPainful’s Clabash powering Xamarin Test Cloud, it aims to resolve developers’ woes and ensure a quality users experience and more successful apps.

“Xamarin’s vision to empower enterprise app developers everywhere with the highest quality tools to create the most effective and desirable native apps across platforms quickly and painlessly is extremely compelling,” said Karl Krukow, LessPainful co-founder.  “Xamarin Test Cloud alleviates a significant pain point for mobile developers that will help enterprises easily bring quality apps to market.  We’re looking forward to working with the Xamarin team to execute on their mission to simplify the lives of mobile developers.”

Xamarin Test Cloud Features

Aside from offering automated UI testing solutions, it also offers the first cross-platform testing service with the following features:

Xamarin App Explorer – this allows users to view app UI on hundreds of devices and find regressions by testing every screen and button automatically without writing a single test case;

Beautiful reports – detailed technical feedback as well as elegant visual reporting and performance monitoring;

Access to hundreds of devices – beats device fragmentation and ensures apps would work properly on actual physical devices and hundreds of combinations of operating systems, screens and resolutions;

Continuous integration – executes automated acceptance tests as part of its continuous integration processes and application lifecycle management;

Object-based testing – makes it possible to author cross-platform test cases that adapt automatically as the UI changes.

Xamarin Test Cloud will generally be available in the third quarter of this year, but there are already several prominent customers who are enjoying the underlying technology of Calabash such as eBay.

“Calabash and LessPainful have enabled us to continuously execute out automated acceptance tests for mobile projects, obtaining higher quality, higher test coverage and reducing manual regression testing time from several days to a couple of hours,” says Marcel Stekelenburg, QA Manager at Marktplaats.nl, an eBay company.  “With this, we are also able to do cross-platform testing (Android and iPhone).”

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