Cross Browser Testing
The diagram above, illustrates the bridge between the software applications and the three most important & popular browsers. As can be seen above, the link between the software applications and the browsers - Google Chrome as well as Mozilla Firefox - is perfect, whereas the bridge is broken for the Internet Explorer browser. The main motive behind this illustration, is to show the capability of the software to work across multiple browsers. The application will be incapable to perform its proper functioning with the Internet Explorer, due to compatibility or linking issues, whereas it can effectively work with the other two browsers- Chrome and Mozilla. The one stop solution, to detect and resolve these kinds of issues between the software application and different web-browsers, is cross-browser testing.
Defining Cross-Browser Testing:
Cross-browser testing is rapidly gaining popularity among software testers around the world and is frequently used for creating a truly global, user friendly, & search engine friendly websites and software applications. With the assistance of this software testing technique, testers can validate remarkable user accessibility of the software as well as a positive business image.
Cross-browser testing is is specifically done to evaluate the efficiency of the software product to perform and function across multiple browsers accurately. This type of testing is carried out to check whether the software application, especially web applications, being developed is working, across all the browsers uniformly and without displaying any defect or error.
In short, apart from the compatibility with the browser, it also ensures similar and accurate working of the software product on all the browsers.
Cross Browsing Testing Features:
Nowadays, when competition among organizations is at its peak, it is vital for them to test their software system’s compatibility with various web and mobile browsers. This can be achieved with the assistance of cross-browser testing, whose features are described below:
- Performs the testing of web applications over various types of browser.
- Ensures the compatibility of the web application or website, with each, known and popular browsers.
- This type of testing may be carried out manually, with the help of the specific tools, available in the Market, such as BrowserStack, SauceLABS, etc.
- It involves, QA team, along with the other teams such as business team, marketing team, designing team, client, etc., which helps in determining the scope of the testing, like, which browser to choose, at what extent, the testing is required to be carried out, and such other things.
- This type of testing, may be brought into action, as soon as, web page(s) are ready, whether one or more than one. However, it may also be performed, on the completion of complete web-pages or fully developed functional website.
Cross Browser Testing Method:
When it comes to testing an application or a website through cross-browser testing, it can be done either manually or with the aid of automated tools. Both, manual cross browser testing and automated cross-browser testing, ensure that the application operates consistently across multiple browsers, OS, and devices. Following is a description about these two methods of cross-browser testing, to help you understand their features and benefits, as well as to help you choose the appropriate method.
- Manual Cross-Browser Testing: During this process of cross-browser testing, testers create tests and executed them manually on each browser separately, to validate applications compatibility with them as well as to ensure application’s functionality and performance is as expected by the team of developers. This, though, is an efficient way of testing the software, application, & website, it does have some disadvantages like, it is time consuming and requires excessive efforts of the testers.
- Automated Cross-Browser Testing: Automated cross-browser testing is another effective way of testing application, websites, and software, wherein the team first chooses a tool or automated way of testing and then create test cases accordingly. Furthermore, all these test cases are designed with multiple conditional statement, which allow the team to execute test cases based on specific browser type. Once, this has been achieved by the team, the test are executed across various platforms. This method is extremely cost and time efficient and can help testers make the process of testing agile and advantageous.
Process of Cross-Browser Testing:
A type of non-functional test, cross-browser testing helps ensure that a particular website or web application works as expected on various web browsers. It allows testers to validate the consistent behaviour and functionality of the software and website in numerous environments. To ensure the accuracy of this process, following is the process of cross-browser testing:
- Determine Statistics: Before initiating the process of testing, the team should examine and determine the stats for traffic on various browsers to test the application’s compatibility accurately. This allows them to target appropriate browsers.
- Analyze Application Under Test: Once the stats are prepared, the application under test is analyzed to determine the area(s), where testing is required. It is during this stage of the process, that the team decides whether the whole application will be tested or just few specific areas.
- Decide the Way of Testing: Here, the team decides upon the method of testing, whether it will be performed manually or with the assistance of the automated tools. Apart from deciding the way for testing, decisions are also made regarding task distribution among team members.
- Execute Test: Finally, after the method of testing along with other necessary details is decided, the team executes the cross-browser testing. Here, regular functional test cases can be used for validating the efficiency of the software system.
- Record & Report: After accurately testing the software, all the issues and errors are recorded and reported to the development team for rectification.
Reasons for Cross-Browser Testing:
The necessity of carrying out cross-browser testing, can be described, through the following points.
- Generally end users/customers are not choosy or supporter of any particular browser. They have the wilful access to different types of available browser, and they may switch their working to any of them, depending upon the accessibility and their personal choice.
- It might be possible that the software product may not work on every browser. But this time, the inefficiency is from the browser side to accept the software product incorporated with the best and the advance technologies. In that case cross browser testing helps in determining these issues along with the possible changes that may be implemented in the software product in order to make it compatible with each browser.
- Internet access is not limited to the conventional desktops or laptops. Today's world, have got the accessibility to the web, on a single touch, through smartphones. These smartphones have become the necessity of the peoples, as it provides the ease to access web, any time, and at any place. In that case, cross browser testing will prove to be beneficial, as these smartphones also, comes under multiple platforms viz Operating systems.
- Every browser has its own design, architecture, specifications, etc., which may make your web page style and appearance, look different from the others. Therefore, it might be possible, that the data or coding, which is confidential, and developer does not want to disclose it, for the security purpose, such as hacking, cracking, etc., may get explore or gets visible, in one or more than one browser.
Advantages & Disadvantages:
Just like any other software testing technique, cross-browser testing also offers various advantages and few disadvantages, some of which are mentioned below:
- User Accessibility.
- Offers positive business image.
- Accurately detects defects and issues in the system.
- Enhances browser compatibility.
- Specific cases require special attention and handling.
- The team needs to manage the environment, where tests are run manually.
Cross-Browser Testing Tools:
As stated earlier, cross-browser testing is executed by software testers with the help of numerous free and paid tools available in the market. As cross-browser testing is a critical part of any software and web based project, it is important to consider the various factors that can impact the process of testing, such as time, resources, cost, among other things. To help you get the most efficient and affordable tool, here is a list of top cross-browser testing tools.
- Test Complete.
- Spoon Browser Sandbox.
- Microsoft SuperPreview.
- IE Tab.
Get the detailed list of cross-browser testing tools, here.
One of the most important testing technique performed on any website or web based application, cross browser testing allows the team of testers to validate the behaviour and functionality of the website, application, & software, while ensuring its compatibility with multifarious browsers.