Last Updated on May 3, 2019
With the advancements and latest trends in the internet market, a lot of things have been changing continuously. Especially, the number of devices, OS, browsers, and their updates. As a regular internet user, you might know how many mobiles are launched in the market every month.
But, it’s not only the mobile devices, even web browsers and operating systems also keep getting new updates every week. Moreover, some browsers get updated automatically and we don’t even realize when a new version of the browser has been installed on our system.
There are many browsers available to choose from, such as Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, IE, etc. Every individual uses a browser according to his/her needs. So, if you’re setting up your web application or already have one, then users can access your web app from any browser.
But, are you sure, your web app provides the same user experience across all browsers and their versions?
If no, then it’s time to consider cross browser compatibility testing.
Cross browser compatibility testing
Cross browser testing is one of the most imperative approaches in web application development. It allows you to check your website browser compatibility across multiple browsers and devices. Not only that, but it also ensures that users have a seamless experience when they visit your website irrespective of the browser, device, or OS.
When it comes to performing cross browser compatibility testing, automated cross browser testing always stay one step ahead from manual testing. As a developer or tester, you might know how much time it will take to perform cross browser testing with the manual approach. However, with automated cross browser testing, you can test multiple browsers, OS, and devices at one time with a single script. Automated cross browser testing reduces the developer’s time, improve website quality, and avoid any repetitive tasks.
Why you need a strategy for automated cross browser testing?
Many developers and testers often think that it’s not necessary to create a strategy for automated testing, as all they have to do is test some combinations of OS, browsers, and devices. But, it’s not a wise decision to test your web app across a number of combinations because there are more than 2000 browsers, OS, and devices. Also, testing each of these combinations require a vast amount of time. Let’s better understand this with an example.
Let’s consider that you test a web app across Firefox, Chrome, and Safari browser, including all their versions with Windows/iOS operating systems.
Do you think it’s enough?
What if some users access your website through Linux OS with Internet Explorer? Do you think it will provide the same experience to these users? – No!
That’s why having a strategy for automated cross browser testing is very crucial for every application. Here, we will help you in creating an effective strategy for your automated cross browser testing.
Steps to create a strategy for automated cross browser testing
Creating an automated cross browser testing can be both complicated and easy. It will be easy for you if you know what to test, where to test, and how to test. However, if you’re just starting out with automated testing, then there are many things that you’ll have to consider. Below we have mentioned the step-by-step process of creating a strategy for automated cross browser testing.
1. Define your targeted audience
The first step in developing an automated cross browser testing strategy is to define your targeted audience. By defining your audience, we mean gathering information about the people who use your web app or website. It will also help you identify the browsers that your audience uses for accessing your site.
Well, gathering this information is not that easy as seems to be. So, you can take help from external tools, such as Google analytics, Stats Counter, Data from other sites, etc. Using these tools will help you track user’s data like what browsers, devices, platforms, and operating systems they use to visit your website. However, if you have a new website, then you can collect that data by examining other sites that are similar to yours.
2. Specify the test cases to automate
After defining the targeted audience, browsers, OS, and devices specify the test cases that you want to automate. You know very well that it’s not possible to automate all the test cases at once. So, determine which test cases to automate first. To make it easier for yourself, consider the test cases that are performed frequently and require huge data for repetition.
For example, automate the test cases that cause human errors, impossible to test manually, and require a lot of effort and time.
3. Test early and frequently
To make the most of your web app with automated testing, test as soon as possible and perform testing frequently. The earlier you involve yourself in cross browser testing, the more beneficial it will be for your web app. For instance, you can start with unit testing, and then build your automated test suite slowly.
By starting earlier with automated cross browser testing, you can find more bugs in the code and fix them before a user face an issue with your web app.
4. Select an automated testing tool
The important part of cross browser testing is to choose an effective tool for automated testing. You can find a variety of automation testing tools in the market, such as TestComplete, Ranorex, Testingwhiz, etc. But, most testers prefer to use Selenium for automated cross browser testing because it provides unique benefits and efficiency for automated testing.
Apart from this, Selenium is also integrated with various cross browser testing tools like LambdaTest It is a more convenient option, as the online selenium grid supports more than 2000 browsers, OS, and devices for cross browser test automation.
5. Develop quality test data
Creating quality test data is very useful for data-driven testing. This test data is used to fill input fields in the automated testing script. Usually, this data is stored in XML file or database tables. The benefit of using external test data is that it will make your automated tests easy to maintain and reusable. Also, if you want to add different testing scenarios for your web app, then these data files can be extended easily without editing the actual automated test script.
6. Find and eliminate bugs
If you start testing your web app in the early stages, you’ll find bugs easily. So, the final step of the automated cross browser testing strategy is finding and eliminating the bugs from your web app. However, finding bugs can be tricky sometimes.
You can use various bug reporting tools to keep your bugs in one place like JIRA, Asana, Trello, Github, Gitlab, etc. LambdaTest is a tool which allows you easy integration with these tools and a lot more which helps in easy reporting and bug logging directly from your testing dashboard. Also, after detecting bugs, fixing them is very challenging. Developers often don’t find an easy solution to fix bugs, which can be very frustrating when your website is live.
To deal with bugs, you can take help from external sources or other developers in the team who have sound knowledge of fixing bugs.
Keeping these steps in mind, you can easily create an automated cross browser testing strategy. Make sure; you don’t skip any of these steps while creating your own automated cross browser testing strategy.
Cross browser testing is essential at every stage of web development, and automation is the right approach to test your web app across multiple browsers. But, you cannot directly start with automated cross browser testing. You need proper planning and a strategy in mind for successful automated cross browser testing.
In this article, we tried to cover some of the essential steps that are required to create an effectively automated cross browser testing strategy.