What is most valuable?
The fact that it allows users to test on real mobile devices instead of emulators is something that projects have told us is beyond compare. Your app or your website won't behave on an emulator like it will on a real mobile device, no matter how great the emulator is - even if it's the one that comes from the OS developer that ships with the development studio. There's just no substitute for a real mobile device with its hardware constraints and the way it will behave in the hands of a user.
What needs improvement?
We like to host the tools centrally. We would need them to be multi-tenants, so different projects could log on and have their own set of devices and their own set of apps, and they wouldn't see data from other projects that are using it. Right now, the way that we're managing it is we're requiring no clients are able to access it, so if we do happen to see something that belongs to another project, it's not a big deal. But true segregation of devices and apps, packaged apps, that have been uploaded to the tool, is something that is important to us. It's not there right now.
For how long have I used the solution?
We started evaluating it about a year ago. We have conducted proof of concept with about 10 projects that are actual, real projects since April of this year. And we're still refining our final deployment of the tool and what that will look like, but we have these pilot projects that are actively using it.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It has been stable. The only caveat I would say is sometimes with the managed devices, and this is true even when we host our own devices, they will be quirky. You might have to restart a device for it to reconnect and be recognized by the Mobile Center environment. But for the most part it's a pretty stable, mature tool. And we have noticed even since we've started evaluating it, they've gone from version 2.2, 2.5, 2.51. We feel all of those have significant improvements over the previous version.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
I think one of the unique things about Mobile Center is it has the ability to use what they call a connector component and, theoretically, unlimited connectors can connect to the Mobile Center server. You can add as many devices as you want, not only directly connected to the server with some USB hubs, but also through an army of connectors hosted wherever you want, with additional devices connected to it.
How are customer service and technical support?
For us, it's been good, but we have an enterprise license agreement. We buy a ton of products, so they're always very nice and responsive to us. We've even been able to work directly with R & D and affect some of the design and the road map going forward. Maybe that's the case for everyone, but for us, it's been very good. We have few complaints there.
How was the initial setup?
The vanilla out-of-the-box setup is a simple install that you just install on a server or even a laptop if you want. Where you get some more complexity, is where you try to integrate it with other tools. Both hosted tools, like ALM, or local install tools like UFT or LeanFT, they all seem to integrate with Mobile Center slightly differently. You provide the URL and the credentials, but some of them require certificates to be installed on the machine, some of them require ports to be opened. We've managed to integrate it with everything it's supposed to integrate with, but it did take some fine tuning to make it all work.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We evaluated other mobile testing solutions and found this to be superior to all of them. I think a lot of the reason is because we use a bunch of other HPE tools, so it natively integrates with them, making it easy. But it has a lot of functionality, and they are quick with releasing patches to support new OSs as they come out and new devices. It's not like it becomes obsolete or stale at all.