Customer: “I can’t see the button”
Technical Assistant: “Can you please tell me the browser that you are using to view the form?’
Technical Assistant: “Sir can you please try opening the form in Chrome browser?
This can be a typical conversation in a startup (or in an established organization as well) where their newly developed application is compatible with only one browser.
Due to the lack of resources and time, they may not make the application compatible with other browsers. Now, they may put an instruction on the website stating the browser requirements (e.g. this website is compatible with Chrome browser version…). Even with this instruction, a good share of their customers would complain about the issues which would arise due to different browser usage other than Chrome. Because of these complaints, the company can lose many of the customers who will never visit the site again.
For a company with a small number of customers, it becomes easy to guide the customer and handle the complaints. But for a large company with millions of users, it is very important to make the application compatible with most of the browsers.
In this tutorial, we will study about cross-browser testing where we will discuss testing or checking the application compatibility on various browsers and their versions.
What is Cross Browser Testing?
Cross-browser testing is a type of testing done to check the application’s working capabilities on various browsers and their versions to make sure that the application gives uniform user experience concerning the requirements.
Cross browser testing is performed by the QA team. But in some organizations, apart from the QA team, developers also play the role of cross-browser tester. Usually, cross browser testing is done not only for functional but also for non-functional requirements.
In cross browser testing, testers should try to cover the maximum number of browsers, based on their popularity and usage. These browsers should be tested on applicable operating systems and devices as per the application requirements. Testers/developers can start testing the system on any base browser, usually a popular one, to see how it looks and works. After this, they can go for testing on other browsers. Today, some of the most used browsers, operating systems and devices are as follows:
- Browsers – Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera
- Operating Systems – Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android
- Devices – Desktop, Laptop, Smartphone, Tablet
Importance of Cross Browser Testing
Cross browser testing is mainly used to check the application’s user interface design and functionalities on various browsers. It is useful to organizations for a variety of reasons.
As mentioned in the example given in the beginning of the tutorial, if the application is compatible with certain browsers only and if users are asked to use any specific browser, they might lose interest in the application especially if they don’t have the required browser and they don’t want to spend their time in downloading the same.
This might also leave a negative impression of the application on the user and the organization may see a drop in their customers/users. In such cases, it is important to make the application compatible with as many browsers as possible and give users a chance to run the application on the browser of their choice.
Cross browser testing indirectly improves the organization’s revenue. If the application is compatible with the maximum number of browsers, devices, and operating systems, a greater number of users will start using it which in turn would increase the revenue.
Cross Browser Testing Tools
Cross browser testing can be done with both manual and automation testing. Manual testing requires more resources such as testers, machines, etc. As an application needs to be tested on multiple browsers, operating systems, and devices, machines with all the possible combinations of browsers and operating systems are required.
Automation testing is another form of testing to perform cross browser testing. It has an advantage over manual testing as automation testing gives the benefit of running test scripts on multiple browsers quickly.
There are some popular cross browser testing tools available in the market, some of them are explained in brief here:
- CrossBrowserTesting – CrossBrowserTesting is produced by SmartBear Company. They offer products such as live testing, visual testing, automated testing on more than 2050 browsers. They have different pricing plans along with a free trial for 7 days. It supports Selenium and Appium test scripts.
- BrowserStack – BrowserStack is a cloud-based automated testing platform that allows users to test their application on more than 2000 real devices and browsers. They have different pricing plans and they also provide a free trial. It also supports Selenium.
- LambdaTest – LambdaTest supports more than 2000 browsers and operating systems with products to perform automated testing, live testing, visual testing and to check responsiveness. They have various pricing plans along with one lite lifetime free plan.
- Browserling – Another popular and cost-effective tool is Browserling. They support live interactive sessions, responsive testing. They have a free plan, but it comes with limited browsers, apart from other paid plans.
- Functionize – As per Functionize website, they use Adaptive Event Learning technology which incorporates self-learning algorithms and machine learning in a cloud-based solution. This technology separates them from other tools. Also, you can create a single set of tests for multiple browsers and run them simultaneously.
Cross browser testing is one of the most important testing types used to achieve customer satisfaction and is liked with the organization’s financial gain. Manual cross browser testing is time and resource consuming, and with the cross-browser testing tools, organizations might need to spend some bucks on them. But even with these drawbacks, cross browser testing is one the most important testing types that is used to achieve the increasing quality of the application and customer satisfaction; and that is why it is also linked with the organization’s financial gain.
Kuldeep is the founder and lead author of ArtOfTesting. He is skilled in test automation, performance testing, big data, and CI-CD. He brings his decade of experience to his current role where he is dedicated to educating the QA professionals. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.