Microsoft, Perfecto Mobile Enhance Multi-Platform Device Testing

Microsoft enhanced its partnership with Perfecto Mobile to enable Visual Studio users to more easily test apps on multiple device platforms.

Perfecto Mobile and Microsoft

Microsoft announced an enhanced partnership with Perfecto Mobile to provide mobile app developers with a multiplatform testing experience for mobile devices.

Acknowledging that mobile-first development requires testing on the wide variety of devices, Microsoft has tapped Perfecto Mobile, a provider on on-device testing solutions, to deliver mobile testing extensions to Visual Studio, Team Foundation Server (TFS) and Visual Studio Online based on Perfecto Mobile’s MobileCloud platform.

The companies have expanded their existing partnership with new offers for Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscribers and Azure users, as well as new features for users of Perfecto Mobile and Visual Studio.

Mobile app developers need to target multiple platforms, including Android, iOS and Windows Phone. To do this, many developers write native apps for each platform, which typically means Java for Android, Objective-C for iOS and a choice of C++, C# or HTML for Windows Phone. However, Microsoft said its customers complained about productivity issues related to that strategy so the company has been working on improving the developer experience.

“We’re working on lot of things to help mobile developers, like improving emulators for these different platforms, but in the end nothing beats on-device testing to find the last 20 percent of problems with an application,” said John Montgomery, Microsoft Partner Director Program Manager for Visual Studio, in an interview with eWEEK. “So most developers are confronted with a pretty hard problem, particularly in the Android ecosystem, which is very heterogeneous, they have to go and get a drawer full of devices to test on.”

At its TechEd 2014 conference, Microsoft made some announcements involving HTML, JavaScript, CSS and Apache Cordova to enable developers to reuse skills and code to build apps and code to build apps for multiple targets. The company also has a partnership with Xamarin on the C# front and is doing work with C++ to enable developers to share assets across multiple devices.

Enter Perfecto Mobile, which offers a cloud-based solution with thousands of physical devices running various platforms located securely around the world, said S. “Soma” Somasegar, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Developer Division, in a blog post on the partnership. “This cloud-based approach provides an enterprise-grade solution that supports device governance, offshoring, security and scalability.”

Somasegar added, “With Perfecto Mobile’s Visual Studio templates, development teams can easily extend product builds and manual and automated testing to thousands of devices from their existing Team Foundation Server installations or Visual Studio Online accounts. Any development team can use TFS to manage Windows 8, Android and iOS versions of their application, while testing each version on the relevant set of real devices in the MobileCloud. When test failures occur, Perfecto Mobile automatically generates TFS work items which include screenshots and a full video of the tests that were run making it easy for developers to find and fix the issue.”