With the advent of the digital transformation era, web applications and mobile applications have gained immense popularity as they are the primary source of branding, communicating and service rendering mediums to many organizations all over the world. An excellent website can acquire, nurture and retain users. Hence brands are focusing on improving the user experience as much as possible. Website development and testing for both frontend and backend have evolved tremendously over the years and nowadays even browsers have become smarter. One of the greatest technical hurdles that QA and dev teams face while developing a website is achieving cross-browser compatibility between the devices, browsers, and operating systems. The remedy to this is cross-browser testing. Over the years a lot of new methods have been adopted to improve cross-browser testing. In this blog, we will have an overview of cross-browser testing and the ways to improve it.
What is Cross Browser Testing?
Cross-browser testing is an application testing method to test the application for achieving compatibility between the various browsers, devices, and operating systems. Testing will be performed between the various combinations of the browsers, os, and devices. Mostly the test cases for cross-browser testing are similar, all we need to do is re-run the test cases in multiple iterations. Due to its repetitive nature automation testing is ideal for cross-browser testing. In Manual testing, it is extremely difficult to cover more browsers and devices for testing. Hence mostly automation testing is utilized for cross-browser testing and with time it has evolved, we will discuss the unique ways for improving cross-browser testing through test automation, but before that let’s understand the need of cross-browser testing.
The need for Cross Browser Testing?
When it comes to mobile application testing, device fragmentation is the elephant in the room. Device fragmentation issues are caused due by the incompatibility between the device os combination, os device combination, browser device combination, device browser combination, screen size, form factor, etc. In order to solve this issue, we need to test the application through the various combinations of devices, browsers, and os.
Otherwise, the complete GUI of the application can get distorted for some devices, can experience device responsiveness issues, and most importantly the functionalities of tested. Here cross-browser testing comes into play. Cross-browser testing ensures that the various combinations of the devices, os, and browsers are compatible. Parallel testing combined with automation testing is the key to achieve efficiency in cross-browser testing. So let’s discuss some o the unique ways to improve cross-browser compatibility.
Three unique ways for improving Cross Browser Testing
1. Implementing Selenium Grid for Cross Browser testing
The selenium grid used client-server architecture for testing. In this terminology, the client machine is termed as the “hub” and the servers are termed as the “nodes”. The selenium grid allows you to execute cross-browser testing through a variety of combinations of browsers and their versions, os, and its versions and devices with various physical parameters. Hence the selenium grid brings the required amount of “parallelism” and “distribution” in the test execution environment. The selenium grid can have only one hub and n number of nodes. The primary goal of the selenium hub is to distribute the test cases supplied to the “nodes machines” which matches the requirements required to execute the test cases for performing cross-browser testing. There are a lot of versions of the selenium grid and the most popular ones are Selenium 1.0 and selenium 2.0. In fact, as per the latest report selenium 4.0 has special functionalities for the selenium grid.
2. Make use of code linters to create clean code
Having clean and consistent code is fundamentally important to track bugs more efficiently. Hence, make a point to have your developers focus on the coding and style guidelines to deliver clean and error-free codes. There are many resources available on the internet to follow the style guidelines. Enforcing the style guidelines will simplify the complicated code flow and hence. In order to deliver clean code, make use of code linters that automatically checks the code against the guidelines and reports minor errors. This way we can get cleaner codes which also decreases the amount of time spent by the testers in rectifying the codes.
3. Use headless browser for testing websites
Headless browsers are browsers without a UI, hence the time taken in rendering these browsers is extremely less due to the absence of the memory space occupied by the UI.
Hence cross-browser testing with Headless Browsers increases the speed of testing by 3X times.
4. Implement Continuous Integration
Continuous integration is a process where the codes are committed into a centralized repository several times a day. Once the code is committed, a build is made, tested, and deployed to the production server. So due to the frequent committing of small pieces of codes in the repository in a day, the frequency of the entire activities of the ci/cd pipeline increases by multiple times. Hence utilize continuous integration for cross-browser testing for better speed and quality as well.
In this world of technologies where the product delivery of the updated and efficient product is crucial, cross-browser testing helps to develop user-friendly and error-free websites. Over the years, due to the advancements in automation testing, we can improve the speed and quality of cross-browser testing by adopting some of the tricks mentioned in this blog. Do make use of these tricks to improve your cross-browser testing.