It is very shocking if you analyze the massive differences between the present software Development Industry and the traditional approach. One of the essential factors to justify these differences are the continuously evolving market requirements. For instance, the older market was restricted in terms of available resources and customer demands. Back in the day, a Desktop was the only platform that could access the internet. The old browser markets didn’t have many variations either. Internet Explorer was pretty much the only option the users were stuck with. However, with the evolution of Technology, everything began to change. People started accessing the online world on desktops, mobiles, tablets and other smart devices. All of these platforms had something to offer for a specific audience. There was also a similar evolution in the browsers industry.
With so many options available in the market, maintaining optimal and stable performance became very critical. Web development companies started integrating new and advanced technologies to tackle this problem. One such advancement was the Integration of cross browser compatibility testing. With this article, we’ll explore various ways to improve the efficiency of cross-browser compatibility test cases. Before that, we must have a definite idea about this advanced testing process.
The Basics of Cross-Browser Compatibility Testing
To understand the basics of cross-browser compatibility testing, we need to have a clear idea about the working mechanism of the internet browsers. Currently, all modern browsers use openGL standards for Website rendering. However, every browser has its approach for interpreting these rendering Technologies. This means that the stable performance of a web application on one browser will not automatically guarantee the same performance on another Browser. These renders also create discrepancies in website performance depending on the specific browser version. This is because all web browsers typically update the rendering engine with future versions. Due to all of these issues, the developers must ensure the proper functioning of the web application for every single Browser. However, it is practically impossible to physically test the performance of the web application on every single Browser.
Thousands of browsers are available in the current industry. Moreover, hundreds of new browsers are released every other day. Now, if we consider all the operational versions of a single browser then, the total number would reach an absurd figure. Cross-browser compatibility testing helps to solve these issues for a web development company. Using this form of testing the developers can verify the proper functioning of the web application on multiple browsers and browser versions. Another popular approach is the integration of Automation Testing with cross-browser compatibility testing. Using this process, the developers can use automated test cases in this scenario. As a developer, you must remember that the physical specifications of a device will also have an impact on the performance of a browser. This means that during compatibility testing you should also consider the screen resolution, operating system and other details.
As a developer, you must remember that you cannot afford to alienate any segment of the customer base due to their browser incompatibility.
- Benefits of Cross-Browser Compatibility Testing
Cross-browser testing is one of the few technologies that can benefit every website irrespective of its size or purpose. Let us analyze some of the primary benefits of using cross-browser compatibility testing:
- Higher Test Coverage
With cross-browser testing, there is absolutely no limit to your testing capabilities. It allows you to test the functioning of a website on every browser and browser version. You can also increase this test coverage by using automated cross-browser test cases. One of the major benefits of automated cross-browser testing is that it allows you to test the functioning of a web application on browser versions that are no longer available in the market. It is important because a recent survey shows that 80% of internet users seldom update their browsers. So, you must try every possible way to maintain your website performance on Legacy browsers.
- Accuracy in Test Results
The accuracy in the test process is highly essential to create a stable application for the end-users. Cross-browser testing aims to achieve this goal by using automation test cases and reducing human involvement. Using this process, the company can reduce bugs and errors in the final test report. The developers can also verify that the application behaves normally according to the sets of data entered by the user. This process will help to maintain an intuitive user interaction on your web application.
- More Testing While Using Fewer Resources
The general benefit of Automation Testing is increasing the test coverage while using fewer resources of your company. This rule is also applicable when you are using automated cross-browser compatibility test cases. For instance, the automation of cross-browser testing will use fewer testers than the manual test cases. Moreover, it will also save the hassle of maintaining an expensive device testing lab for the test cases. The use of fewer human testers also ensures faster test execution phases. This entire process has a massive role in maintaining your company’s stand in the competitive development industry.
- Massively Saves the Company Resources
This benefit is only applicable if you are using Automation Testing with cross-browser compatibility testing. The testing phase can become repetitive and boring if you are conducting it regularly for every browser and browser version. This process will generate fatigue in human testers and can reduce their accuracy. On the other hand, automated cross-browser testing completes this process with the help of automated test cases. So, the developers do not have to bother about these test cases after the initiation phase. They can in turn use this extra time for developing other innovative features for the web application. So, this process not only saves the company resources but also improves the overall quality of the application.
Important Steps that Can Influence Your Cross-Browser Testing Approach
- Proper Choice of Devices and Browsers
The planning phase has significant importance in the effectiveness of your cross-browser test cases. During this phase, you have to choose all the browsers and operating systems to conduct the testing process. This is because it is practically impossible to verify the functioning of an app on every single browser and app. The best way to shortlist the devices and browsers for the testing process is to conduct market research. It is also a good idea to consider the preferences of your target audience. You must remember to provide optimal performance on both desktop and mobile devices. For reference, Google Chrome is currently the most popular browser in the desktop segment. It is followed by Safari in second place and Mozilla Firefox in the third position.
In the mobile industry, Google Chrome still manages to retain the top position. It is then followed by Safari in the second place and Samsung browser in the third position. So, it will be an ideal choice to choose these browsers for running the primary test cases. Experts also suggest that the developers should not choose the latest version of a browser as the benchmark. This is because a massive portion of the audience base does not update their browsers frequently.
- Using Cloud-Based Testing with Automated Parallel Test Cases
In-house testing involves keeping a physical copy of all the devices, operating systems and browsers for running the test cases. Considering the total number of choices available in the market, it is an expensive process for any company. The best way to solve this problem is to conduct cross-browser testing with the help of cloud-based services. With this process, you can use cloud servers to conduct test cases on any device from anywhere in the world. However, the developers must choose the servers carefully to maintain the accuracy of the testing process. This is because most of the common servers only use virtual machines and emulators to run the test cases. It’s impossible to understand the proper functioning of a web application without using real devices.
Automated parallel testing is another important process that can help you to conduct cross-browser testing quickly. With parallel testing, the developers get initiate multiple tests at the same time. This means you can verify the functioning of your web application on multiple browsers, devices and operating systems simultaneously.
- Using the Perfect Cross-Browser testing Tool
Various tools and platforms can help a developer to utilise the full potential of a Cross-Browser testing environment. However, the developer must choose the perfect tool that suits their developing requirements. Currently, thousands of tools and platforms are available in the market for cross-browser testing. It is a good idea to conduct thorough market research according to the needs of a company. The developer should verify that the tool supports the programming language that they are using during the web application development. Various platforms provide cloud-based services to simplify the testing process. We can use the example of Lamdatest to elaborate this concept:
LambdaTest is a platform to perform live testing of a web and native apps. With this platform, the developers can use cloud servers to run the test cases on a secure Selenium Grid. Using LambdaTest, the developers can perform the test cases on virtual machines, emulators and even real devices. Therefore, it produces highly accurate test results that can be used for future references.
Currently, LambdaTest allows web development companies to run the test cases on more than 3000 different Browsers and browser versions. The developers can also customize the test environment according to different operating systems and browser combinations. Using this platform, the developers can also perform parallel testing on web applications. LambdaTest also helps to verify the cross-browser compatibility of locally hosted web pages.
To understand the loyalty of a tool or platform, the developers can check for user reviews. These reviews are available on all online forums and user communities.
We can easily conclude that cross-browser testing is one of the essential ways to ensure high quality and user satisfaction. The web developing companies should also invest a proper amount of time and effort in training their testers. It will allow the companies to improve the knowledge of the testing team and help them to utilise the full potential of the testing environment. As a developer, you should also get yourself accustomed to this modern technology. Experts also believe that the industry will continue to integrate other modern technologies with cross-browser compatibility testing. These integrations can involve the use of cloud services and artificial intelligence. It is a good idea for the developers to keep themselves updated about all the modern cross-browser testing trends.