In this article, we are going to share different scenarios on cross-browser testing via cloud. A few of the many questions we will be covering that would appear in anyone’s mind while moving to cloud-based testing, and especially the cloud-based cross-browser testing which is the most perplexing area of a web application testing because it needs to cover a huge plethora of browsers, versions, OS, devices, etc.
Cross browser testing is indispensable. Cross-browser testing is the key factor to consider among many other essential components when you are going to launch a client’s website. Browsers have different features and behave differently on different operating systems. I can’t say it is a good habit to conduct cross-browser testing but it is unavoidable when you have so much permutation and combination of browsers, versions, devices, and operating systems. Cross-browser technique reinforces a site such that a website is compatible across all browsers and display perfectly on client-side, and in fact, both, vis-a-vis for server-side applications also. Cross browser testing comprises various benefits: makes the website easier, smooth functionality across all the web pages, good accessibility, and finally the excellent customer conversion ratio!
In fact, browser companies have deliberately intruded things to gain a competitive advantage and making life complicated for software teams. Although browsers follow standards, despite all that some bugs creep. And with advancement, some of the old browsers have fallen in declines state, have a diametrically different level of support for the technology. Sometimes, I myself encounter bottlenecks which cause my website to work so slowly on PC and differently on phones or smartphones.
Till now, a short snippet of discussion proves that to test an application manually is not feasible with so much diversity. Moreover, a system doesn’t support different versions of the same browser. That means that you can’t install IE7 and IE8 simultaneously on a particular system. A friendly cross-browser automation tool can make your life easy with those short clients’ deadlines.
When you get the responsibility to purchase an automated cross-browser testing tool, it is a mere challenge, because it has to be less time consuming, less expensive, and meeting all requirements. With plenty of tools available in the market, some of the tools require a heavy expense as compared to how much ease and features they are providing.
Selenium is proved to be the best testing framework, supporting almost every programming language and with four major tools: Selenium IDE, Selenium Grid, Webdriver, RC. Selenium Grid is the best tool which specializes in running multiple tests across different browsers.
LambdaTest which is an online tool, allows you to run tests on all browsers and operating systems in the cloud. So, no worries and no need to install browsers in the local system. And you can easily test for cross-browser compatibility on the cloud. When someone else is hosting the hardware, it potentially saves money.
LambdaTest also offers a selenium grid. Selenium is the most recognized and widely used web automation testing tool. LambdaTest ensures its customer get perfect experience on the web. Selenium Grid allows testing on different operating systems. Hub in Selenium grid remains at the centre of setup architecture, managing the network of test machines. Hub is assigned the task to find the test of given configuration(OS, browser, and browser version). Test machines or nodes execute a particular test, that was loaded on a hub. Nodes are independent of the hub, that means, a node can run on a different platform, irrespective of hub platform. You need Java Runtime Environment(JRE) or Java Development Kit installed on your machine to run a hub. Automation Testing makes testers life easy. An automation scripts run parallelly on Chrome, Internet, Firefox, and Internet Explorer(registered on different ports).
You can expand every piece of infrastructure or application since cloud-based testing with Lambda Test is scalable. A clear understanding of your business objectives can bring benefits along with when there is close cooperation between developers and testers to conduct tests throughout the software development cycle. Having a clear understanding is a lot more when you want to bring the most out of the cloud investment. Like, when you are planning to move to the cloud, mark what kinds of tests you will conduct and how much time they will require. Now, I am going to escalate topic a bit further and extensive research that must will help letting you know what the benefits and challenges you are going to experience while moving to cloud-based testing!
Leverage cloud service to keep pace with your business needs The benefit lies in when you need not use your own hardware and software that you would otherwise need if you are working in-house in your own testing lab, As a tester, you get an advantage while using cloud-based tools, wherein you widen the scope of browsers and environments. Various tools provide features to test against multiple environments, mobile operating systems, and browsers. Cloud-based testing platforms can be scale up or down without having to maintain the necessary hardware. You can use a cloud-based service which can give you more than you already have from that service. And a new service you plan to add can work well with current architecture. Test automation frameworks that integrate with cloud environments not only provide scalability, instead give ultimate power to ensure faster time-to-market and minimizes your QA cost.
For example, when thousands of visitors are using your app, you need to ensure your infrastructure can handle that kind of traffic. Having a scalable web application means, you add more power to an existing instance: more memory, faster storage, and more powerful processors. If the site can scale up to handle load and crash, will not leave user unhappy with a bad reputation. If we talk about performance, scaling may increase the response times by moving all the components: database, application code, caching onto their different servers, and thus naturally improving the response time.
Vendors involvement is a major breakthrough Organizations seek to lower the expenses and along with, need to deliver a quality product. Cost is the main factor that needs to be reduced while maintaining the infrastructure. If you keep up with cloud testing, it helps you save investing in stand-alone servers, licensing fees, and software. On the other hand, saves money on computing resources and maintenance cost because all those things need to be taken care of by the cloud provider. Online software testing services are available as an on-demand basis, thereby saving the man-hour cost for hardware and infrastructure along with the licensing fees. In the cloud, there is a relief for IT resources management as all the risk associated is transferred to the vendors and any disturbance caused in the cloud systems belongs to them. Using multiple servers is easy, you need to install software and start the testing. Cloud providers will handle the responsibilities ensuring the financial benefit to you. The whole setup is controlled by cloud when you perform the testing and later on decommission it to save cost. On the other hand, if you handle the testing in an internal environment like you try to handle many servers with various operating systems, that would require a huge amount of investment and think about keeping the servers idle when you don’t perform a test. Cloud testing gives you on-demand resources allowing you to carry out testing without any cost in any additional hardware for supporting web environments. A number of virtual users, the times the test is performed, and many other factors will define your test giving you the flexibility to compromise with cost depending on all those features.
Significance of testing tools in cloud based services Various options for test tools are available and when vendors offer a limited trial period so that you can test your application to check its compatibility with a tool before you decide to purchase the tool. On-demand is also available allowing you to use the tool whenever required and without thinking about the availability of computing resources. Make it an hourly or monthly basis depending on the number of tests and you need not go for a yearly license for your testing tool. Thus you have the agility with these kinds of options available in your hand to further shorten the overall development cycle and eventually, you can assess a faster time to market the product. Cloud computing has come in the picture to globalize software testing wherein providers have a tendency to serve customers throughout the world. Cloud computing allows you to access data from anywhere, so the access of information is easy anytime. View, modify and save the information to the original location.
A deep insight into cloud collaboration for plotting a valuable strategy You can spin up testing environments with different data and configurations. Apart from that, using Heroku or Docker to create a fully automated process gives you an opportunity to maintain collaboration among the entire product development team. Cloud-based testing has both pros and cons. And sometimes, it may look more challenging only when you are not aware or clearly articulate your needs while making a transition— and experience — that the cloud is the next best thing! You can emulate the real-world environments through configurable tools according to the application’s requirements. Thus, I would like to highlight here: the testing strategy should involve the calculation of risks for analyzing a better estimate of your testing budget and avoid any unexpected cost. While planning your testing strategy, think about the infrastructure requirements and ensure you are provided with the required tools and software, bandwidth, and hardware. As you are going to support your QA staff activities which will further remove the burden of installing and maintaining the application for each member of your staff. This would help in how early new test members could get involved and contribute to the test almost immediately.
Cloud-based testing tools enable better collaboration for remote and local teams. Cloud collaboration allows enterprise collaboration wherein employees can work together on data types and documents which could be stored off-premises. Cloud-based platforms enable to share and edit the projects together. That means, two or more people can work on a project at once. Once you create a file, you have the allow-access option to certain individuals who can view and edit the project at any time. All the changes will get saved and synced and the same version of the project gets updated, making the collaboration more sophisticated and the cloud tool lets you know who else is working or viewing the same project. You can communicate with each other while working via a chat function, that would definitely increase the work efficiency and productivity. Continuous testing involves individuals working together, sharing test scenarios, and to create one single pane of glass to reduce overhead by recreating tests. Several local desktops won’t be able to achieve cross-team collaboration and the required benefit will decline significantly. Here, only the cloud can leverage the resources to attain other teams’ execution on-demand.
Testing as a Service Testing as a Service allows you to outsource testing activities to a third party which is a specialist in simulating real-world environments, and according to the client requirement.
Mitigating risk with fast feedback Cloud mitigates software risks by allowing to perform relevant testing to generate fast feedback to developers. Cloud-based solutions with all the capabilities such as a smart lab, test reporting create the best path to success.
Create all the devices at the touch of a button for mobile testing A virtual device — emulator is a digital replica of an actual device, designed to duplicate the internal operation of the hardware, OS, software and support resources. An emulator functions exactly like a real device. You can create all the devices at the touch of a button that could be a virtual machine or emulator. Superficial resemblance to an emulator is a simulator but does not duplicate the actual operation. Cloud-based services allow you to test various device types, screen sizes, and configurations for performance testing. Mobile application industry has increased tremendously and thus the speed of application deployment. The teams working for mobile application remain under tremendous pressure to launch new apps and updates and putting the QA team in the tightest spot so that the verification does not stay pending. In past experience, it always remained a challenging task to test a mobile app as it involves testing on various devices and several versions available in the market. Until we do thorough research and testing, we are always reluctant to ensure the app will work fine on Android or will work best on iOS tool. Cloud testing minimizes the cost involved when you set up test labs for mobile app testing.
Tips for choosing a cloud proof-of-concept application The proof of concept is a critical aspect when you want to port an application in the cloud. Vendors give you a list of requirements to set up a lab environment. Ask the vendor for prerequisites to set things beforehand. In cloud-based applications, you get a “sandbox” area from providers, still, give vendors testing criteria that you want to evaluate. Stick to the timeframes as endless POC are found not doing well. If how you get things working in the environment provided by the vendor, will give you an indication whether it will or how it will be working in the production. Moreover, installation and configuration duration will decide how long will it take in production. Allot enough time for POC that will keep the salespeople off your back till the time you cover each and every corner. If you are hesitant while moving to the cloud, POC is a good first step, serving you with an excellent learning tool as well as for your development, IT and QA organizations.
Characteristics of a cloud based application For speedup, concurrent execution is necessary which can happen only when test cases are independent. Undoubtedly, automated testing supports in reducing the execution time, Further, automated regression suite allows the system to work correctly when there is any modification made. Other programs, libraries, components, and application dependencies which sometimes are implicit in original testing construct an operational environment. Automated testing includes test code, libraries, the application under test and those dependencies that the test cases executed. Once decided, migration of testing to the cloud-based environment, underline the fact that the testing is to be done in an automated manner. Let me enlist a few more points while moving to a cloud-based application:
- Security: Security encompasses data integrity and security standards. Security also plays a vital role in multi-tenancy where the authentication matters.
- Compatibility: Compatibility highlights the cross-browser testing of application deployed in the cloud and different operating systems etc.
- Negative testing: It is important to test all layers in an application deployed in the cloud such that it goes back to normal functioning when any kind of disaster happens and that without the human intervention.
- Conformance: Application deployed in cloud can be further used by other applications and thus we can’t restrict the limited usage. So the organization has compliance standards in terms of applications, retentions, and data.
- Upgrade: Application must be tested for upgrades and the recovery procedure must be considered if any kind of disaster occurs.
Forms of a cloud based software testing Testing a Saas in a cloud ensure the quality of the functional and nonfunctional requirements. Whereas Testing-of-a-cloud will validate the quality based on the cloud specified capabilities. It checks the quality from an external view. Testing-inside-a-cloud checks the quality from an internal view. The testing is based on internal infrastructure, that’s why vendors can perform this type of testing as they have internal access. Testing cloud-based applications over clouds include private, hybrid and public clouds based on system-level specifications and requirements. Usually performed by the cloud-based system providers.
Impact of cloud based testing in Devops — A symbiotic transformation
To gain success in a competitive market, quality and speed are two key factors. In fact, the business model largely depends and ties the development and operation team, that is what you call the DevOps which ensures quality and speed both. The cloud-based application is among the key factor that drives DevOps. I would like to mention some other factors also such as increasing need for parallel deployment and on multiple platforms, complex IT infrastructure, and timely release of application into production. In DevOps, the cloud brings everyone involved on the same page; working on the same code, testing, deploying and updating – at the same time—which is independent of physical location. Fast forward now, we in the software industry face a never-ending supply of a large number of platforms, and you see consumers keep on using more than two-three browsers operating on their computers like the common ones: Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome, and then you need to cover another territory of mobile devices, iPhone vs Android. Operating systems iOS 11 vs iOS 12 etc. Can you factor the number of devices and the rate of release of newly created apps. On-prem solutions, I would say, can’t cover that much large area. But more than 30-40 devices and operating system combinations, organizations keep on testing at any given time today. The cloud offers such best coverage and we don’t bother if the most recent version of Galaxy or iPhone is in our offices to test the application. With the cloud, when the organization fully embrace DevOps, the cloud makes everything instantaneous, you can work on the same code, write, test, deploy and update and no need to wait till the code is fully completed for testing as you can run the process in parallel. Cloud gives you another advantage by running always-on automation scripts across various operating systems and devices efficiently.
Centralized nature of cloud computing provides a centralized platform for testing in DevOps. Distributed systems of enterprise systems may not fit well with the centralized deployment of software and thus using a cloud platform solves the complexity. DevOps automation is cloud-centric. Providers support DevOps on their platform and that also with CI/CD tools. Such kind of integration lowers the cost for the DevOps automation technology and centralized governance for a sound DevOps process. This centralized governance protects developers from any kind of trouble in the process.
How the process becomes more manageable through cross browser testing Automated testing is similar to manual testing which allows running test cases multiple times. Cloud providers offer flexible plans for the parallel threads to choose from and support CI tools like BitBucker pipeline, TFS, Jenkins, etc. Plug-ins enable automated tests to run immediately after any code change or any deployment. In short, I would say cloud-based automation cross-browser testing is less challenging, less expensive, and less time-consuming. Companies are using several services to meet their different needs. A predefined combination of OS and browsers need to be determined for your test cases and test automation effort can be reduced by a significant percentage through predefined generic test scripts.
Cloud computing solutions provide a robust infrastructure to boost test automation performance and execution time. In addition to that, you have easy access to platforms in different geographies via globally-distributed data centers. It gives high speed of testing and
improves performance significantly. In my experience: local solutions(which is a must in web and mobile testing) always fell short in supporting multiple geographies!
Managing a selenium grid can be very difficult with the release of a new browser version. When compared to a cloud Saas solution, it is quite expensive, delays test executions, and indeed hard to do. With hundreds of permutation, scaling a grid is flaky. On the other hand, with cloud services, you get thousands of on-demand VMs and mobile devices. And for execution, no need for any setup to meet your deadlines.
Cloud-based testing addresses the ramping demands for test environments. However, the benefits extend beyond costs such as utility-like, freedom from holding assets, on-demand flexibility, collaboration factor, and an increased level of efficiency, and reduced time-to-market applications. It is advised to proactively explore cloud-based testing advantages, in fact, testing in cloud leverages the cloud computing infrastructure and the resources saved in testing and development area can be deployed for different business pursuits. Cloud has actually introduced the economic benefits and magnitude of cost factor depend mainly choosing the type of cloud: public, private, or hybrid, and types of tests you conduct and choosing the configuration of the environment. And the most important thing is choosing the right service provider, and one I recommend always and finally decided to associated with, is LambdaTest.
LambdaTest is a well-recognized cross-browser testing tool, allowing you to do cross-browser testing across more than 2000 browsers, devices, and operating systems. LambdatTest leverages both manual and automated cross-browser testing. For end-to-end automation tests, Lambda Test provides Selenium Grid for higher test coverage. You can specify, browser, version, screen resolution, and OS in your code and along with that LambdaTest offer a Capability Generator to create different browser environments.
Test coverage round the clock With the complex, component-based, and distributed nature of the application, testing teams are always under pressure. Mobile and web application have to deal with multiple operating systems, versions, browsers, different types of hardware, and a large number of concurrent users to check the performance in real-time. In-house approach cannot fit to handle such kind of complexities and multiplicities and tend to escalate the budget and resources. On the other hand, Cloud provides the resources for testing round the clock and multiple teams handle the access in off-hours too. Thus the global access to QA teams in different geographical locations extends the test coverage in a 24- hour period.
Cloud-based testing is more than just reducing cost! Cloud’s on-demand provisioning addresses all kinds of issues with a single click. You have greater control while analyzing application performance and seek the bottleneck areas even during the time tests are running. Service providers will give you everything necessary for creating a test environment that would closely mirror the real-time environment. Thus the testers run applications on virtual machines with almost no rewriting and are able to scale the environment within minutes. Reduce-expense is a compelling lure but there still remains more than just saving expenses. With cloud-based testing, you get a standardized infrastructure that prevents the inaccurate configuration of a test environment. And in fact, the considerably inaccurate configuration is mainly responsible for defects.
Challenges One of the major issues of cloud testing lies in the security challenges. As cloud testing is dependent on the internet, so the threat of viruses and no privacy of personal information is natural. Slow internet speed, internet suspending, etc. have to be dealt along with that when the information travels through the internet. Therefore, security testing is primarily important to know about any data leakage. Once you deal with the confidentiality of data, slow internet speed, viruses, and service disruption, you have to move further to deal with another challenge: security requirements to monitor and maintain the systems.
Layered testing challenge involves testing multiple layers in a cloud environment. Multiple layers are added via server performance, software and database challenges. Communication between layers is another challenge and further, it goes to plan for the risks.
Performance Various users access the clouds at a time and vendor is the one who announces service disruption, maybe due to low bandwidth or poor network, this may result in poor performance. You need to coordinate with the service provider to deal with this challenge.
Conclusion: Cross browser testing approach should ensure compatibility across all the browsers being used by end-users. And when your strict timelines postpone the cross-browser testing; it is going to make a difference in the form of loss of your valuable revenue. If users are having a bad experience, they might switch to a competitor’s app, so it is important to uncover all the unrevealed bugs during the Cross-Browser Compatibility Check. That’s why, it is recommended to check websites for all the suspicious features that may not work correctly