Running UIAutomation tests from Command Line

Posted in Apple, iOS, QA, Testing by AltF on February 5, 2012

Continuous Integration (CI) implements continuous processes of applying quality assurance. In the App development world, we can achieve this by automating the build and release with includes automatic trigger of smoke/functional tests and automatic deployment.

I’ve covered how to write UIAutomation tests in my previous posts (here and here) and also how to distribute stable build over the air (here). You can run your tests from command line and configure a hudson job to always deploy stable build automagically. You can run your tests from CLI using the following command.

$ instruments -t templateFilePath targetAppName

By default the tests will be executed on the simulator, you could execute the tests on actual device using the following command:

$ instruments -w deviceID -t templateFilePath targetAppName

You could execute any instruments template using command line, for example to trigger a UIAutomation template from command line you would use the command as follows:

$ instruments -t /Developer/Platforms/iPhoneOS.platform/Developer/Library/Instruments/PlugIns/AutomationInstrument.bundle/Contents/Resources/Automation.tracetemplate <path-to-your-app>/<appname>.app/ -e UIASCRIPT <path-to-your-js-test-file> -e UIARESULTSPATH <path-to-results-folder>

This is really helpful in terms of achieving CI compliance, I’ve basically written a py script that does the following:

– create a new tag from svn trunk with minor release version update
– grab the tag from svn
– complile the app from command line for xocde
– run the uiautomation smoke tests from command line (mentioned above)
– if tests are green, publish the build on the web server for OTA test distribution.
– repeat for new release


Error 3002 when upgrading to iOS 5 beta

Posted in Apple, iOS by AltF on June 8, 2011

Note: You will need to have an iOS developer account to provision your development device.

1. Make sure you have the iTunes 10.5 Beta installed – This is a pre-release version of iTunes 10.5 beta to activate iOS 5 beta on your development devices.

2. Download the correct iOS 5 Beta firmware for your device from

3. In iTunes hold *option* key on the keyboard and press *restore* (Note: option+upgrade will give you Error 3002) and locate the firmware that you downloaded for the device. If you still get Error 3002, make sure that you don’t have any entry for in your /etc/hosts file.

Refer for detailed steps.

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iOS Wireless (OTA) App Distribution

Posted in Apple, mobile, QA, Tech by AltF on May 18, 2011

One of the major annoyance of developing a native mobile application for iOS is distributing internal builds to enterprise users/beta testers. Using the ad-hoc distribution method developer has to create a release build (.ipa or .app) with provisioning profile (.mobileprovision) and send both the files to the users who then copies these files to iTunes and syncs their device to the computer. And the users have to repeat this process each time there is a new build.

With iOS 4 you can now have over-the-air installation of applications. You can distribute in-house software to users without have them to use iTunes/Computer. Installing the app is simple. Users download the manifest file from your website to their iOS 4 device, which instructs the device to download and install the apps referenced in the manifest. You can distribute the URL for downloading the manifest file via SMS or email. You can also create a custom, easy-to-remember tiny url ( and share with your users.

It’s up to you to design and host the website used to distribute apps (I use simple touch friendly template for nested list of directories . You need to make sure that users are authenticated, perhaps using basic auth or directory-based authentication, and that the website is accessible via your intranet or the Internet. The app and manifest can be placed in a hidden directory, or in any other location that’s readable using HTTP or HTTPS.

Step 1. Creating the app (.ipa) and the manifest (.plist) file

  • In Xcode, you create an app archive using the “Build > Build and Archive” command.
  • Then, in the Archived Applications source in Xcode’s Organizer, select the app and click the “Share Application…” button.
  • Then click the “Distribute for Enterprise…” button.
  • In the distribution window, enter the title and the full url to the app (.ipa) file (path to the app on your webserver) for example,
  • Xcode will then create the app (.ipa) and manifest (.plist) file based on the information you provided
  • The manifest file is a file in XML plist format. It’s used by an iOS 4 device to find, download, and install apps from your web server.

Step 2. Hosting the files on your web server

  • Along with the generated .plist and the .ipa files, you’ll need the provisioning profile and a simple index file.
  • Create a simple index file with the following href

<a href=”itms-services://?action=download-manifest&url=”>Install app</a>

Note: When you archive using XCode4 + iOS 4.3 you might see “No Packager exists for the type of archive” message in the organizer when you click on share and Distribute for Enterprise option may also be missing in XCode4. This happens when you have some linked projects inside your main project. Go to the Build settings of linked projects and set the setting “Skip install” (Deployment section) to “Yes” (leave the “Skip install” of the main project to “No”). Build and Archive again and you should be able to select the ipa and the identity and when you click next you should see an option to “Save for Enterprise Distribution”

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