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Dedicated Devices for mobile app testing and development are allotted for a specific user or user group that can access the devices maintained and kept online in the cloud. The device management aspect of dedicated devices in the cloud is awesome: the device is online and available 24/7 – and it’s taken care by someone else. Also, dedicated devices on premises provide plenty of benefits as all devices can be centralized and mobile DevOps practices can make sure device is available for its users all the time.

What do Dedicated Devices mean for their users, administrators and IT in general? We’ll take a look at these user groups and how they can get the best out of dedicated devices.

The fundamental difference of ‘dedicated devices’ and ‘dedicated mobile devices’ is that mobile devices contain more intelligence and they are typically regular mobile phones, tablets or wearables used by end-users. The old term of ‘dedicated devices’ has typically meant generic devices dedicated for one or few jobs: tape drives, printers or plotters.

dedicated devices on cloud

The real value from Dedicated Mobile Devices come from the accessibility, maintenance, and easiness to adopt and use. Here are a few examples of how users see Dedicated Devices differently and what they should know about when using those and managing devices.

All Bitbar solution deployment options provide its customers to host dedicated devices that are available and visible to only a group of users. This allows creating a device pool used only for continuous integration runs that need to be timely executed.

Below is explained how to set up using dedicated devices and what Dedicated Devices mean for different user groups.

Users – Developers, Testers, QA, Anyone with Device Access

Bitbar Testing users are typically developers, testers, QA folks and basically anyone who needs to either run test automation scripts on real devices in the cloud or do manual testing with remote devices.

Users typically start with dashboard view. They see their projects on the left-hand side and can manage (create/remove/adjust) as they wish.

Bitbar Public Cloud Dashboard View
Projects – the project management view provides a glance to all user’s projects, test runs and summary of results. This is the control panel for all test automation, test runs and getting tests executed in specific projects.
Reports – reports view provides capabilities to generate reports of projects and test runs, at any level.
Device Groups – this is where the user manages their devices that are used for test execution. Depending on which product deployment option they use there are all devices available devices view where users can create their own device groups.
Manual Testing – manual testing feature wherein user can manually access any dedicated device for a user.

Admins – How they control and assign devices

First of all, admins can assign and dedicate specific devices for users. To get started with this, admin should have administrative access to the solution (Public Cloud, Private Cloud or On-Premise) or alternatively authorized access to dedicated devices that are in their group of users.

First the method to identify devices needs to be updated to also include the ACCOUNT field.  This can be done from the Admin -> Devices -> Device Models table. On top right corner there is button () to edit criteria for device identification. New device model criteria should be as below.

This change can take a while as all devices in the cloud need to be updated with this new criteria.

1. Enabling the feature. To enable the feature there MUST be ACCOUNT in device model criteria.

device management with bitbar testing products

When admin adds the device model there will be a few-second delay as devices are getting processed and instantiated.

Next a device can be assigned to a specific account. Find the new device from the Device Instances table and open device configuration window. There change the device from Public to Dedicated and provide the main user account email that should be able to have access to the device. The device is then available to the specified user and all of its sub-users and is not available anymore to other users.

2. Assigning device to a specific account. In admin one can assign device instance to a specific account:

dedicated devices and admin control view

This action will create a new device model (if one doesn’t exist already). If no new device model is created, the device model will be removed from all device groups in order to disallow use it for other users. The device is available to all users under the specified account (includes sub-users).

Furthermore, this device is no longer visible on public device list and this applies to all product deployment options: Public Cloud, Private Cloud and On-Premise.

3. Changing or removing device accounts. If admin selects changing or removing the device account, the specific device model will get removed from all device groups to in order to disallow use of it for the previous owner. The device can be made visible on the public device list for all users. There is no need to remove it from all device groups – the previous owner can still use it as it’s public.

IT and Management – How Can They Follow the Progress

Dedicated Devices provide superior benefits over the public devices used widely with different users and user groups. Dedicated Devices provide ultimate flexibility to reserve certain devices for certain users – and that makes the test execution, and even manual testing, efficient using real devices from the cloud.

IT and management can quickly see the bottlenecks of testing effort, what issues arise with test automation and manual testing while the mobile app is getting tested in different phases of the development.

In addition to versatile test reports, the thing that really makes testing on cloud-based devices flexible is the remote access in three different levels: manual testing using a device on a browser, full test automation with frameworks and integration with API to remove all manual interactions for your device testing effort.  This provides IT and management fine-grained details of how testing is going and if there are any adjustments needed for devices, resources or frameworks.

Ville-Veikko Helppi

Mobile Testing Product Expert