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Cross Platform Testing


What is Cross Platform Testing?

Cross platform testing is used to check the applicability and working of an application across different platforms such as different operating systems, browsers or even devices. Therefore, it encapsulates both cross browser (applicability of working on different browsers such as Opera, Mozilla Firefox, etc) and cross OS (applicability to work across different operating systems such as android, iOS or Windows) testing for software products.

What should be the approach towards cross platform testing?

  • Identifying the target audience:

    With the help of statistical data, the sections of population which are going to form the core of your application’s user base are identified.

  • Coming down to the numbers for testing:From the statistical data highlighting the use of a specific platform used by a majority of the users, available at our disposal, a well informed and thought out decision is taken to select only those platforms which cover the maximum of user base. Based on this decision, priorities are set for testing the app on those devices or platforms first, which are favoured for use by majority of the targeted user base.
  • Use of automation tools:Testing the product for innumerable platforms can be a cumbersome task and lead to fatigue in the tester at a time when he is most likely to detect a flaw in it. In order to prevent the likelihood of missing out on bugs and expedite the task of testing across countless platforms, the use of automation tools makes sense. However, human perception is not to be neglected for testing issues related to usability and appearance.
  • Use of virtual machines: In order to cut down on costs, simulated test cases are created using different combinations for platforms to run the application. The task for running simulated test cases with the aid of virtual machines can also be outsourced to different companies.

How to conduct cross platform testing?

  1. Creation of a test matrix:Before starting it is sensible to create a test matrix listing out all the possible browsers, operating systems and varied devices against which the application has to be tested.
  2. Risk prioritisation:The platforms which form the elements of the matrix are prioritised as low risk, medium risk and high risked. This segregation is very handy while working in an environment where working with deadlines is a regular feature.
  3. Selecting the most apt tool for testing:The market is searched in the lookout for tools which have shown to create maximum impact with their efficacy while being used for testing similar software products. Comparative analysis is done between shortlisted tools. In the end a proof of concept is done to come down on a tool which fits all the bills. Information can also be gathered via interacting with testers on forums of social media. Examples of well known tools are Browserstack and Testplant.
  4. Test execution:The product is tested by running test cases either by simulation, automation, and virtual machines by the parent or the outsourced company as the case maybe.