The Role of DevOps in Mobile App Development - Mobile DevOps
Apr 09, 2020 11:14
With the increasing demands and expectations of mobile app users, organizations are focusing on improving the software development workflows both in terms of accuracy and speed. The need of the hour is to create technological solutions that are “faster”, “qualitative” and “convenient”. Developers are forced to outdo the technology that limits the speed and accuracy of a software product.
This is clearly evident when we look at the evolution of software development methodologies. Some decades before we used the Waterfall model which got replaced by Agile.
As the name suggests Agile brought flexibility in the software development cycle and enabled it to be closer to the business as the releases would reach the customers faster. DevOps is a step higher which allows developers to commit code changes frequently which enables them to produce ready to deploy codes quickly and releases can be produced not only every day but every hour. So DevOps increases the overall efficiency as well as speeds up the development life cycle as compared to Agile. To understand DevOps better let’s dig deeper into the DevOps Workflow.
What is DevOps?
DevOps means Development + Operation. We can define DevOps as a methodology and a thought process where you combine the development and the operations part of building a product into one iterative loop. So that each step of development feeds the next step. So the iterative loop starts with planning the work, deciding what features to add, then developing code for the feature, once the coding is done you can build it and test it. Once the testing is done and everything passes, you can release it which would lead to the deployment stage where you deploy the code to the production server. Post-deployment is the operation stage which is the day to day running of the system and the final step of the loop is the monitoring part. This is the basic DevOps
Challenges in Mobile DevOps
When it comes to mobile app testing, device fragmentation is the biggest challenge faced by app development teams. Developing an app that ensures Multi-Platform support is not a cakewalk. The term Multi-Platform in mobile app development world comes with a gamut of variations like Os and Os versions, Os and browser versions. Browser and browser versions, different screen sizes, screen aspect ratio, form factor, etc. So testing an app until it meets all the types and combinations of device variations and ensuring a ready to release app requires great time and effort. This challenge would definitely hurdle the speedy deployment process offered by DevOps.
The other challenges in mobile app development are Frequent OS release, ensuring ready to deploy build mechanism, meeting app store criteria, building a strong mobile app backend. When a new OS version gets released in the market, the app needs to be tested otherwise it might adversely affect app performance. We know how frequently the number of apps is increasing hence enabling ready to deploy build in less time is the need of the hour. With the increasing number of the app in the mobile market, app stores are complicating the criteria for app installation. You need to meet all the criteria set by the app store for release. These are the various challenges that might come in the way of setting a strong DevOps mechanism in your organization. But the elephant in the room is the device fragmentation. Now let’s see how we can resolve this issue.
Out of all the challenges that hurdles mobile DevOps, device fragmentation was the biggest. To avoid device fragmentation you need to test a gamut of variation before releasing an app. This can be done by choosing the right automation tools, especially which can carry out parallel testing on multiple devices simultaneously. A cloud-based testing platform can help in solving the purpose. In a cloud-based automation testing tool, you can do parallel testing on multiple devices simultaneously hence you can scale devices (mobile devices) as per the requirement and run automation test on them, you do not need to set up a device lab as the platform is virtual, they are highly scalable hence can add and reduce the number of devices as per the requirement. A robust automation testing platform is imperative to have in your CI/CD platform which will enhance your feedback loop and act as a catalyst in building a strong DevOps mechanism for mobile app development. One of the best cloud-based mobile app testing platforms is pCloudy. You can make use of pCloudy in all the required stages of the CI/CD pipeline. Thus a robust automation testing tool like pCloudy will help you fight all the hurdles for building a strong DevOps mechanism.
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