Browser testing is one of the most important processes that help determine the proper accessibility of a web application. With the advancement of applications, people no longer want to download individual applications for every task. It is a lot more effective process to complete the necessary goals from the browser itself. It not only saves a lot of user time but also storage on the native device.
However, various factors can influence the proper functioning of a web application. For instance, the physical specifications of a device have a huge role in determining stable performance. This means that the display resolution, screen size, operating system and other factors can heavily influence the end-user experience. With the help of browser testing, the developers can eliminate all these unexpected errors.
The primary goal of this article is to focus on the influence of browser testing tools on cross-browser testing processes. However, we will begin the discussion by understanding the basics of browser testing.
Need for Browser Testing
During the early years of software development, there weren’t many deviations in the performance of a web application. This is because the developers have to verify the functioning on only one browser, internet explorer. The desktop was the only platform that the users could use to access the internet and this also played a major role in simplifying the testing process. However, with the advancement of technology and the demands of the customer, many alternatives started to arrive in the market. Currently, a user can use his smartphone, tablet, desktop or any other smart device to access the internet. Moreover, the browser industry is also witnessing a lot of variations. For Instance, users can access the internet from Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Samsung Browser, Safari and even more.
Currently, all modern browsers use the OpenGL standards to render all the elements of a web application. However, every browser has a different way to interpret these website rendering standards. This means the proper functioning of a web application on any browser cannot automatically guarantee the same outcome on other browsers as well. The only way to guarantee this process is to physically test the functioning of the web application on every individual Browser. Moreover, the developers should also remember that the rendering standards also vary depending on the version of a browser.
Cross-Browser Compatibility Testing
Cross-browser compatibility testing is a process of ensuring the stable performance of a web application irrespective of the browser or operating system. Using this process, the developers can ensure that none of the physical factors can influence the stable end-user experience. The traditional approach to performing cross-browser compatibility testing was to physically test every device individually. However, the developers began to realize that it was a time-consuming process and massively affected the delivery dates for the company. In this competitive developing industry, it will harm the reputation of a company if you fail to deliver the web application on time. The easiest solution to this problem is to integrate Automation Testing with cross-browser compatibility testing. Using this process, the developers can automatically verify the functioning of the web application on multiple devices.
Cross-browser testing also helps to ensure that all the visual elements of a web application are properly rendered irrespective of the device. The visual elements of a web application can include photos, videos and even gifs. All these factors contribute to maintaining an optimal level of end-user satisfaction. With the help of cross-browser testing, the developers can also verify the functioning of the web application on certain browsers that are no longer available in the market.
How to Choose the Devices and Browsers for Testing
The devices and browsers play a vital role in determining the efficiency of cross-browser test cases. Currently, there are thousands of different browsers that are available in the market. A recent survey also shows that hundreds of new browsers are released every day. Now, if we come to the device industry, then, it is also vastly populated with different types of devices. A report showed that almost a thousand Android devices were released in the year 2021. This piece of data is enough to justify the vastness of the device industry which also consists of computers, tablets and all forms of smart devices. It becomes manually impossible for the tester to verify the functioning of the web application on all of these different sets of devices and browsers.
The best way to optimize this process is to run market research and understand the usage habits of the target audience. You can also study the market and understand the most used browser in every segment. Currently, in the desktop industry, Google Chrome holds the top position. It is followed by Safari in the second position and Mozilla Firefox in the third. On the other hand, in the mobile industry, Google Chrome still maintains its domination. Then, Safari comes in the second position and finally, the Samsung browser comes in the third. For the starting phase, it is a good idea to use these browsers as the benchmark for testing requirements.
Role of Tools in the Browser Testing Process
Tools play a vital role in determining the proper execution of cross-browser testing cases. They also help to simplify the testing processes for developers who are new to the web developing industry. Currently, there are thousands of browser testing tools that are available in the market. The developers must be very careful while choosing the browser testing tool. This is because only the perfect tool will fit your project requirement and can help to utilise the full potential of a test bench. Tools also help to implement various advanced technologies in a web application testing life cycle. Let us take a quick look at two of the most common Technologies:
Parallel testing is a process of initiating multiple test cases simultaneously. This means the developers can use this process to test the functioning of the application on different devices, browsers and operating systems at the same time. Parallel testing plays a vital role in improving the efficiency of test cycles. For instance, a normal developer can take up to 5 days to complete the testing procedures without parallel testing. On the other hand, parallel testing can bring this time down to almost less than 2 days.
During the early years of software development, the web development companies had to maintain our physical device testing lab. This lab consisted of all the devices where they wanted to test the functioning of the web application. However, maintaining thousands of devices was a highly expensive process and almost impractical for small companies. The best solution to this problem is to implement cloud-based testing. During this process, the developers can verify the functioning of the application on cloud servers. In these test cases, the tool mostly uses virtual machines and emulators for testing purposes. Cloud testing also removes the limitations on testing capabilities. This means there is no limit to the number of devices on which the developers can test the functioning of the application.
However, a major disadvantage of cloud testing is the lack of accuracy in virtual machines and emulators. This is because virtual machines cannot implicate the physical specifications of a device. It cannot also analyze the behaviour of a web application according to user interaction. To cope with this issue, modern cloud-based browser testing tools are also using real devices on cloud servers. You must choose a browser testing tool that helps you to test the functioning of the web application on real devices as well.
Selection of the Most Accurate Browser Testing Tools
During the tool selection process, various factors can help you to find the most accurate browser testing tool. We can divide these factors into two primary categories. These categories are known as General factors and personal factors. Let us take a quick look at all the factors that we can put into these categories:
The Generalized Factors
Generalized factors consist of all the areas that every web development company must keep note of. It has nothing to do with the individual requirements of the development project or the developing team. These factors lay down a standard base that every new developer must keep track of. Some of the vital aspects that come under generalized factors are the trustworthiness of the tool, expected delivery time, support for multiple programming languages and integration of DevOps.
The Personal Factors
On the other hand, personal factors are some of the unique categories that vary according to the company or the developing team. These factors are also dependent on the development project that the testers are currently working on. Some of the most common personal factors include the experience of the developers, work preferences, company budget and knowledge of programming.
Now that we’ve finished understanding the factors that can help you to find the most accurate tool according to your requirements, it is time to summarize this concept with the help of LambdaTest as an example:
LambdaTest is a platform to verify the cross browser compatibility of both mobile and desktop web applications. Using this platform, the developer can perform all the test cases on an online Selenium grid.
Currently, LambdaTest allows the developers to verify the functioning of the web application on more than 3000 different Browsers and browser versions. With this platform, the developers can also initiate parallel testing on the applications. LambdaTest also helps to verify the proper functioning of all local web pages. The cloud servers of LambdaTest help the developers to test the web application on not only virtual machines and emulators but also on real devices. It also helps to keep track of all final test reports for further bug detection processes.
So, we can conclude that browser testing tools play a vital role in determining the quick delivery of high-quality web applications. In this modern web Development Industry, the developers cannot afford to compromise any factor when it comes to optimal end-user satisfaction. You must remember that your customers will not stick to the company just because of brand loyalty. The companies should also conduct proper knowledge campaigns to improve awareness about cross-browser testing processes. The developers should also constantly update themselves about all the modern trends related to the technology. This process will help them improve their testing capabilities in the coming years. From a business perspective, it also helps the companies to massively increase the audience.
Author Bio: Vixit Raj is Product Growth and Marketing Specialist in LambdaTest : The Cross Browser Web App Testing Platform. An E&C engineering background & digital marketing domain experience of 5+ years has aroused his interest towards learning more about latest technology advancements, product marketing, coding and testing.