What is CeRC?
CeRC (Customer Experience Remote Control) is a distributed solution that simulates the behaviour of customers/subscribers by performing predefined network service tests such as voice and data testing.
The CeRC solution consists of three distinct parts: i.e. IoT Platform (centralised backend), Gateway Controllers (distributed) and Mobile Handsets (distributed).
CeRC can control any number of mobile test devices connected to our IoT platform via a gateway controller. All devices connected to CeRC can be pooled and can be tasked to perform any network related tests such as calling and/or data session tests.
CeRC’s backend residing on our IoT Platform is used to build and schedule network tests. The required test devices are auto-selected (based on selection criteria), and various network tests can be scheduled based on time or trigger conditions.
Hardware required for CeRC
CeRC makes use of multiple Android devices connected to a controller allowing for remote access and control of these devices. A CeRC deployment may include multiple distributed controllers.
CeRC Automation and Remote Testing
The CeRC solution can be used to control the Android devices that will be used in the simulation. These devices can then be configured to perform certain tasks such as initiate and answer calls or start data sessions.
The backend of CeRC is used to configure the service simulation tests that need to be run. The devices that need to be involved in the test can be selected, the various tests can be chosen and the time or conditions under which the service should be conducted.
CeRC allows full remote control of the pool devices including the ability to mirror a device display and control it from a remote location. This function allows quick tests to be conducted as if the user had physical access to the device.
CeRC utilises an intelligent algorithm to select the appropriate devices to conduct a simulation based on all the devices available in the pool. This intelligence ensures load distribution and maximum utilisation of all devices available within the system.
Mobile Application Testing with CeRC
CeRC manages mobile application deployment and removal across all system devices including upgrades and granting of permissions. A post install script can perform additional actions such as logging into an account, accepting disclaimers etc.
The script creator is used to generate reusable objects that can determine whether an application is performing in an expected manner. Scripts are designed to perform actions such as “Open App”, “Login to App”, “Select User Menu” etc.
Using the device remote control module, a user can easily create a “Macro” script, which can be saved as a script object for use in future test cases. The macro creation function allows complex sequences and actions to be captured easily by users that have no scripting experience.
CeRC can also dump all visible text and objects that are on the mobile device screen into an XML format for evaluation. This can be used to reliably determine if an application has performed an action correctly e.g. Look for “User logged in successfully”, otherwise mark the action as failed.
It can also be used to reliably insert test or perform click actions even if the location of controls changes in an app such as after an update e.g. Find the control labeled “User Name” and insert the test “TestUser”. If the control is not found the action can be marked as failed.
Screen dumping also allows CeRC to wait until an action has been successfully completed before continuing as opposed to guessing how long to wait e.g. Wait for “File Upload Complete” before performing the next action.
Alarming and Reporting
CeRC has an alarming module allowing an action to be taken based on user-defined criteria e.g. If “Login to operator app” test fails more than three times, then generate an SNMP trap and send the information to trouble ticket system.
The CeRC reporting module allows for the design of custom report components that can be used to summarise any aspect of test cases that have been executed e.g Line chart showing % success for all tests run in XXX region over the previous month.
CeRC also has a Drive Testing Application allows operators to remotely execute network performance tests on a device, effectively making any Android device a drive testing tool. Test types include HTTP testing, Speed Testing, Streaming Video, Social Media Testing etc.