Does IBM Rational Support Testing Mobile Apps?

Man in business suit holding globe with laptop, tablet, and cell phone rotating around it

While researching Mobile Device testing tools, I asked myself, “who are the major players in the Mobile App testing space?”  After a review online, I noticed a lot of tools to pick from – they all had various features and you would need a spreadsheet to determine what ones would meet your client’s needs.

One thing that I wasn’t seeing was an IBM product and since I have used Rational’s test automation tools before, I wanted to see if there was a mobile testing tool that I could review.

Guess what?  I did not see one in my basic search so I started to talk to a few of my contacts and they told me that IBM does have a product and it is packaged with another product, “oh man.”  We have been down this road before right? Haven’t you heard someone say, “Well, to get that feature, you need to purchase this package and it is embedded in it.”  We are here to say that again.

IBM Rational does have a mobile test automation tool set for Android and IOS. It is actually embedded in the Rational Test Workbench version 8.5. That is very interesting to me since I really didn’t hear much and the tool doesn’t come up right away in a Google search.  Unless…. you specifically put in ‘Rational Test Workbench’ and search for mobile testing.  I was able to find it and I would like to share with you the features the IBM tool has for testing mobile applications.


Rational Test Workbench

Rational Test Workbench

When looking at the Rational Test Workbench, it looks like an Eclipse interface. That is the piece that goes on the Windows or Linux machine. Then there is a software part that needs to be installed on the mobile device; the client on the mobile device and the Workbench need to talk to each other in order to be able to record a test from the device. With that said, if you install these pieces, and if you instrument your application, testing a mobile application should be successful.

Now, if you have an older version of Rational Test Workbench, it would make sense that it will need to be upgraded to version 8.5.

Now that we know that IBM has a mobile testing solution on the market, are you going to go run out and purchase a license of Rational Test Workbench? If you don’t have it already in-house, I would recommend getting the trial and see how it fits into your current testing environment. If you are new to test automation, then there may be a little learning curve with the whole ‘automation’ thing, but automation does save a lot of time when having to do repetitive testing tasks and validations.

Start your own research, get started here.


By Sam Mullin, Lead Senior Consultant – Olenick & Associates, Chicago

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