Mobile applications have become popular in our daily lives. We use apps for everything from communication to entertainment, shopping, and productivity. However, developing and managing mobile apps comes with unique challenges. A key issue is gathering feedback and identifying bugs from the wide variety of mobile devices and platforms that users have. This is where Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) tools and a mobile device lab can provide invaluable help.
A mobile device lab is a facility that contains a wide range of mobile devices and platforms for testing purposes. By leveraging a mobile device lab, app developers can get feedback and find bugs from real users trying their apps on different smartphones and tablets. The feedback and bug reports can then be managed through an ALM platform. ALM tools centralize bug tracking, release planning, analytics, and feedback management in one system. This enables developers to prioritize and assign bugs, track them through resolution, and continuously improve app quality and user experience.
This article will explore how a mobile device lab and the ALM platform work together to help developers manage mobile app feedback and fix critical bugs. We will look at strategies to leverage these solutions for mobile QA and life cycle management. A solid ALM strategy is key to releasing bug-free apps that delight users across Android, iOS, and other mobile platforms.
What is ALM?
ALM stands for Application Lifecycle Management. It is the process of managing an application from the idea stage all the way through until the application is retired.
ALM brings together many activities like project management, writing requirements, coding, testing, deploying, and maintaining the application. Using ALM helps teams work together to quickly create and update high-quality applications.
With ALM, applications can be continuously delivered and updated frequently instead of waiting months or years for big releases. ALM provides a framework to take an application idea and turn it into reality while planning for ongoing maintenance and improvements.
By managing the entire lifecycle, ALM helps get applications to users faster, with better quality, and in a more organized way.
Why is ALM Important?
ALM helps teams build better software by managing the entire process from start to finish. It helps make sure everyone is working together and on track.
At the start, ALM helps companies figure out what they need the software to do. It helps them set clear goals and requirements. This means the developers build the right thing.
During development, ALM helps teams test frequently. Finding bugs early is easier and cheaper to fix. Frequent testing means better quality software.
ALM also helps teams adjust plans when needed. For example, if testing shows something is too hard, the goals can change. The team stays flexible.
ALM helps different teams work together. Developers, testers, operations and security teams all collaborate. This means the software works smoothly when complete.
Finally, ALM helps companies update and release software faster. Leading companies use ALM to deploy updates daily. ALM tools and processes help them move fast. This gives them an advantage over slower competitors.
In summary, ALM improves planning, testing, flexibility, and teamwork. This results in better software delivered faster. That’s why it’s so important for modern software projects.
The 5 Stages of ALM
Application lifecycle management(ALM) consists of five stages:
This first stage involves understanding what the software application needs to do. The team gathers information from businesses about the goals and needs of the application. They document the specific features, functions, and qualities that the application should have. This helps guide the rest of the development process.
Development of the Product
In this stage, the software developers start building the actual application based on the requirements. They write code and build the different components that will make up the finished product. The developers follow best practices for writing quality software code. They use tools to help manage the development process.
Testing and Quality Assurance
Once parts of the application are built, testing begins. QA and testing engineers systematically test the application to find bugs. This stage involves activities like unit testing, integration testing, system testing, and user acceptance testing. Testing verifies that the application works as expected and meets the original requirements. Issues found during testing are reported and fixed.
After the application has been thoroughly tested, it is ready to deploy or release to end users. Deployment includes installing the finished application on user machines or servers and making it available for download. Proper deployment ensures the application is successfully delivered and implemented for the intended users.
Continuous Maintenance and Improvement
Even after deployment, the application continues to be monitored and improved. As users work with the system, new requirements or defects may be identified. The team releases updates and bug fixes. There is ongoing maintenance and additions of new features. The application is continuously monitored and improved throughout its lifetime.
What are ALM Tools?
ALM tools help teams build software applications from start to finish. They let everyone work together in one place.
Popular ALM tools like Jira, Azure DevOps, Bugzilla, etc, provide capabilities to track feedback, bugs, tasks, and feature requests for software projects, including mobile apps.
Some common features of ALM tools are:
- Project management: Helps plan and track work. Shows project status. Helps estimate time and tasks.
- Requirements management: Stores information about what users need the software to do. Links user stories and technical details. For example, the software needs password encryption to meet security requirements.
- Source code management: Developers use this to track changes to code. Multiple developers can work on the same code and combine their changes. This helps manage the programming work.
- Test management: Helps write and run tests to check the software quality. Tests every code change automatically. This improves quality and lets new features go to users faster.
- Chat to communicate.
- Manage multiple projects.
- Charts and graphs to visualize data.
In summary, ALM tools let everyone work together to build, test, and deliver software applications. The tools provide project tracking, code sharing, test automation, and more in one collaborative system.
How to Use ALM Tools to Manage Mobile App Feedback and Bugs?
Mobile apps need constant improvement and updating to fix bugs, add new features, and improve the user experience. Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) tools help manage the full lifecycle of a mobile app from development to deployment. This section will show you how ALM tools can make your mobile app shine.
- Customizable Forms
Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) tools allow creating online surveys that can be sent to beta testers. These forms can be customized to gather specific feedback on different aspects of the mobile app, like user interface design, features, functionality, bugs, crashes, etc. The forms provide an organized way to collect structured feedback.
- Google Play/App Store Integration
Many ALM platforms have integrations with major mobile app stores like Google Play Store and Apple App Store. This allows automatically pulling user reviews, ratings, and feedback posted on the app store into the ALM system. The app store feedback can then be analyzed along with feedback collected through other channels.
- In-app Feedback SDK
ALM tools provide SDKs (software development kits) that can be integrated within the mobile app code itself. These in-app SDKs provide an interface to collect feedback within the app. For example – a rating pop-up, feedback form, or in-app surveys. The feedback entered by users within the app can be directly transmitted to the ALM system for analysis. This allows gathering live user feedback from within the app.
The key is that ALM platforms provide multiple channels like custom forms, integration with app stores, and in-app SDKs to gather structured feedback on multiple aspects of the app. This feedback helps understand user needs and sentiments better for improving the app.
- Bug Tracking and Prioritization
Bugs can be reported and tracked in an Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) tool like JIRA. When a bug is reported, it gets an ID and can be assigned severity, priority, reproduce steps, etc. Developers and testers can comment on the ticket during fixing.
Bugs are prioritized based on severity and impact to users. Critical and high-severity bugs that cause application crashes or data loss get the highest priority. Lower-severity bugs like UI issues get lower priority.
Once bugs are reported and tracked in an ALM tool, they need to be validated and reproduced. This is where LambdaTest comes in. LambdaTest is an AI-powered test orchestration and execution platform that lets you run manual and automated tests at scale with over 3000+ real devices, browsers, and OS combinations.
How Does LambdaTest Simplify Bug Tracking for Testing Teams?
Compared to other cloud testing platforms, LambdaTest provides the deepest integration with bug tracking tools. This helps to test teams save time in context switching between systems and provides end-to-end traceability. LambdaTest’s focus on bug tracking integrations and simplicity is what sets them apart.
Testers can use LambdaTest to reproduce bugs based on the steps provided in the ticket. The integration allows for easy attachment of test results, screenshots, and videos as proof when bugs are closed.
LambdaTest integrates with popular bug tracking tools like JIRA, Asana, Trello, Azure DevOps, etc. Bugs raised in these tools can be synced to LambdaTest for validation. Once testing is completed, testers can update the status and add notes in the integrated tool itself.
This integration between test management and bug tracking tools helps streamline the entire devops lifecycle. Teams can stay on the same page when fixing, regressing, and closing out bugs.
LambdaTest comes with more handy features to make bug tracking and management a breeze.
- Issue Tracker: LambdaTest includes an issue tracker that allows you to keep all your bugs organized in one place. You can easily share them across different platforms through emails and shared links, export bugs in PDF and XLSX formats, print them, delete the ones you don’t need, filter bugs by type, and sort them out. Plus, there’s a “Reproduce at LambdaTest” feature to retest your bugs on the same settings.
- Mark As Bug: This feature lets you highlight any UI issues you notice during your testing sessions on LambdaTest. You can then share these observations with your team on their favorite project management or bug tracking tools like Jira, Trello, Hive, Paymo, and more. You can assign the task to the right person, describe the issue, and do all of this without leaving the LambdaTest platform. It’s all about making bug tracking and fixing super smooth!
Using LambdaTest early in the cycle improves bug quality and rapid validation. With its simple and intuitive interface, LambdaTest enhances productivity for both testers and developers.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it:
- To manage mobile app feedback and bugs with ALM tools, first integrate feedback collection channels like app store reviews, social media, and in-app feedback into the ALM tool.
- As users report issues or suggest new features, these will automatically be logged as tickets in the ALM tool.
- Developers and product managers can then prioritize these tickets by severity, impact, and effort required. High-priority bugs can be fixed in the next release, while feature requests can be scheduled for future releases.
- Once bugs are fixed and new features added, the ALM tool helps manage the release process, including version control, build integration, testing, and deployment.
- After the updated app is released, user feedback can again be monitored to measure impact. This process enables mobile teams to continuously improve their apps based on user needs.
With an ALM tool managing the end-to-end workflow, mobile apps can provide a smooth user experience.
To sum it up, ALM tools are your best pals when it comes to handling mobile app feedback and fixing those bugs. They help you keep everything in order, from the start to the finish of your app’s life. With ALM tools, you can make your app better, get rid of problems, and keep your users happy. So, don’t forget to bring your ALM tools along on your app development journey!