Security Suite for PDA software testing

Testing Security Suite on Windows Mobile PDAs

This project is dedicated to handheld devices securing (namely PPCs with Windows Mobile OS on board). It has an extended history since it was submitted to QArea's daughter company dedicated to delivering QA services ??“ Bug Huntress - some years ago.

The client made his decision to the advantage of our testing team because of not only QArea's proved QA process that is smooth and running, but also a rich experience in testing of various PDA devices ??N inclusive.

At first, testing was held on a few devices run under Windows Mobile 2003; later on they were extended to new ones.

The testing project progressed by phases that appeared critical and, thus, made the project evolve and expand.

Phase One. Functionality Testing and Security Testing

Testing was made on several ??N devices with Windows Mobile 2003 on board. Main testing types applied were: functionality testing e security testing. These activities resulted in finding many loopholes in security that were successfully fixed by developers.

Apart to that, the phase was essential in the aspect of user impression from the product since it was still raw and the client needed to second-guess user reaction to the product prior to its introduction to the market. The product needed not only to be tested but developers should also have been suggested of product's existent lacks and possible improvements. In this connection the decision was made to apply exploratory testing along with usability and UI testing.

As a result, apart to 250 manhours per month another 150 manhours were contracted.

Having analyzed testing results a decision was made to add new handhelds to be tested. Added were ??N devices with Windows Mobile 2003 SE (Second Edition) on board.

Phase Two. Adding New Devices and Extending Functionality

Having issued the product the client made a decision to remove GUI almost entirely (it was decided to pass settings in file format only) and redevelop it towards providing new features. As a result major change was planned to the product functionality.

Since new devices were introduced to the project and the product functionality was extended, there emerged a necessity to add new testing engineers to the project. Manhours were increased to 700 per month.

During this phase, due to the majority of functionality undergone changes (which invoked instability in program function and large amount of bugs), a decision was made to introduce regression testing. This appeared particularly assistive in maintaining the product in good running order. We also applied load and stress testing for large amounts of encrypted data testing.

This resulted in prompt discovering and fixing of bugs and contributed to product quality.

Phase Three. Automated Testing

At that moment device quantity increased still greater: added were PPC devices with Windows Mobile 2003 PE (Phone Edition) on board.

Because the testing process was tuned fine, proceeded flawlessly, and the product was stable enough, the decision was made to apply automated testing for the case of regression testing. To implement this it was decided to apply Pocket Controller and Test Complete. Pocket Controller allowed for handhelds management from a PC and for script recording for these latter replay on devices, while Test Complete allowed for any actions to be made on a ?N with Pocket Controller installed. As a result the combination of these two programs enabled us start automated testing.

Despite the work amount increased (since new devices were added), amount of manhours decreased up to 450 per month die to reduction of manual operations. Testing engineers need not perform load, stress and regression testing manually. Their engagement was needed for analyzing the results.

Automation of the testing allowed for cutting down the expenses and helped keeping the product stable.

This resulted in testers' closer attention to the product analysis which contributed significantly to the quality. A research of new features that were embedded to the product and contributed to the end users by enhancing it's usability and efficiency.

Phase Four. Automated Testing Pattern Allows for Adding New Devices

In the course of the previous three phases, due to quality testing, a stable product was developed that contained practically no bugs and failures.

This resulted in decreased expenses and determined to make a decision of supporting yet new ??N devices with Windows Mobile 2005 on board.

Because of introducing support for new devices there appeared quite a number of bugs that were discovered due to accurate organization of the testing process. This allowed for significant decrease in risks of major expenses for supporting the new OS.

Thanks to excellent testing, the new operation system support did not cause and complications and was effected quickly and without operation error.


As a result of successful testing there was developed a product of excellent quality and was supported by a great many of devices. This allowed for the product's higher sales (i.e., in fact, it allowed to reach wider market segments than before) which benefited to our client.

The experience accumulated by our testing engineers when quality assurance of this product has been successfully applied since then on other projects. The developed pattern of PPC device automated testing enables us test quickly and efficiently almost any application software intended for run on PDA.

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