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Making it easier to create and manage Test Users

July 27, 2011ByChristopher Dentel

As part of Operation Developer Love, we are continuing to improve documentation, fix bugs, and build features that make it easier for you to create and manage apps on Facebook Platform. Over the last few weeks, we released the new Developer App, Graph API Explorer, and improved App Insights. Over the next few weeks, we will continue to release new features that address feedback that we have heard from you.

Today we are announcing the ability to create and add Test Users to your apps from the Developer Site. Test Users are invisible user accounts associated with an app created for the purpose of testing the functionality of that app. Test Users are not visible by others on Facebook; They can only be friends with other Test Users, but can still experience your app as a regular user. The programmatic interface to create a Test User has been available since November, but we have now built a simple user interface within the Developer App.

To get started, go to the Roles page on the Developer App. A new role, “Test Users,” has been added. Click the “Add” link in the Test Users section to create new Test Users.

In the “Add New Test Users” dialog, specify the number of Test Users to add. You can also authorize the Test Users for your app so that they are ready to begin using your app immediately. Otherwise, your Test Users will have to go through the standard permission dialog.

After your Test Users have been added, you will be taken to the “Manage Test Users” page.

From here, you can:

  1. Edit names of Test Users (Click name to edit). Clicking on a Test User name prompts a dialog that allows you to customize the name (e.g., Chris Test).
  2. Make all of the selected Test Users friends (Make Friends). Making your Test Users friends with each other simplifies testing the social aspects of your app (e.g., sharing content with friends, sending requests, etc.).
  3. Add the selected Test Users to another app that you own (Add to App). When adding Test Users to another app, you are also given the chance to authorize them for that app. You can also select multiple apps to add the Test Users to.
  4. Remove the Test Users from this app (Remove). Removing a test user only removes it from the current app. If the Test User is a Test User for another app, it will remain a Test User for that app. Generate an access token (Show Token). Click “Show Token” to fetch an access token for that specific Test User.

To begin using your app as a Test User, click on the “Switch To” link. This will log you out of your account and log you in as your Test User with just one click. From here, you can customize your Test User further or begin testing your app.

When you are finished with your Test Users, you can delete them or keep them for later testing.

We have started making these features available in the Developer App to a small set of developers today and plan to make them available to all developers by next week.