The How’s and Why’s of Cross-Browser Testing

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Mobile and web applications are a huge symbol of digital transformation! On an average of 2,216 apps are published to Google Play every day.

The popularity of apps and the demanding customers have forced the organisations to focus on software testing.

Also the frequent upgrades and release of new versions of devices, os and browsers have caused a nightmare to the QA and development teams as its challenging to develop compatible applications for rapidly upgrading devices, browsers and os.

Hence cross browser testing is crucial for developing compatible applications.  So let’s understand the significance of cross browser testing.

What is Cross Browser Testing and Why is it Important ?

A website is made up of many components and its relationship with other browsers may vary from one browser to another. 

For example, the HTML code in a website may not work for a safari browser but can work for a chrome browser.

Similarly the website running in one screen dimension may not work in another dimension.

So we have to make sure that a website is compatible with various devices, browsers, OS, their various combinations and their frequently updating versions. 

Cross browser testing is crucial to ensure that all the components of the application functions seamlessly across all the browsers, os and devices.

Otherwise, it may lead to distorted UI’s, bad user experience etc.

The overarching goal of cross-browser testing is to provide uniformity by enabling testers to detect bugs that might prevent a site from displaying or functioning properly across various screen dimensions and browsers.

What Modern Day Cross Browser Testing Covers ?

The modern day cross browser testing not only qualifies seamless functioning of the UI elements but also covers the unseen functionality and browser related business logic surrounding the server and client side code.

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The individual performing cross browser testing has to perform the following steps :

Validate UI: It ensures that all the UI elements are functioning as intended and the UI elements are also aligned as per the requirement 

Verifying the code : Ensure that the source code eg. Javascript, CSS, bootstrap etc functions as intended and is uniform across all the devices, browsers and os

Operations : Verify that the operations like popups, notifications, etc across all the devices and browsers works uniformly and consistently.

Check Browser Performance: Keep an eye on the various browser performance regarding various UI’s or processing performance.

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How to Perform Cross Browser Testing?

Cross browser testing is performed by automating the test cases.

Yes, automation testing is a must for cross browser testing as it involves number of iterations of test scripts through various browsers and devices, hence manual testing for cross browser testing is almost tiring and time consuming.

There are many open source tools available for cross browser testing. Selenium web driver and selenium grid are popular open source cross browser testing tools.

Cloud platforms are also best for cross browser testing as it is very scalable, supports multiple integrations and many other properties to support excellent cross browser testing. 

Advantages of Cross Browser Testing

Eliminates the Device Fragmentation Issues

Device fragmentation is the greatest challenge in application testing.

Device fragmentation occurs when a set of user is running the application on older browser version while the other set of users are using the new browser version.

If the application is not compatible with the older or new version of browser, there is a compatibility issue and the application might crash. This is called device fragmentation.

In order to avoid the device fragmentation issues, we need to ensure that the application is compatible with all the device browser combination and their updating versions.

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Hence in cross browser testing with the help of reliable and scalable tools we can work on various device browser combinations simultaneously and eliminate the incompatibility issues or device fragmentation. 

Enhances the User Experience

The incompatibility in an app with respect to the browser can directly impact the UI design.

For example, if the application is not compatible with the older browser versions then the squared corner of a signup box can appear as round corners.

Likewise, there can be a change in the shape, size, or color of a UI element due to incompatibility.

The cross browser testing ensures that the UI element of the website remains consistent as per the specifications.

Increases the Speed of Testing

The cross browser testing tools like selenium web driver wherein we can test many browsers and devices simultaneously and in parallel.

The scripts are automated. Hence the combination of automated test scripts and parallel testing helps in increasing the speed of testing.

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Increases Testing Coverage 

As we know that in cross browser testing, tools like selenium webdriver or cloud based platforms are used which are extremely scalable in nature.

These tools help in increasing the test coverage. 

Conclusion

As we can see from the above write-up how crucial cross browser testing is and especially the modern day cross browser testing which not only ensures seamless functioning of the website’s components across all the browsers but also helps in enhancing the overall user experience of applications.

Also QA teams must ensure to implement proper cross browser testing tools to enable automation testing and get more productivity for cross browser testing. 

There are a number of factors that can add to getting the proper quality for cross browser testing like scalable tools, accessibility, collaboration among teams, proper strategies and analytics.

Hence all these factors must be incorporated to make cross browser testing successful. 

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