What is Cross Browser Testing and Why is It Essential for Enterprises?

What is Cross Browser Testing and Why is It Essential for Enterprises?

What is Cross Browser Testing: Modern applications are not meant for a single platform or browser! These innovative new applications must be capable of running across multiple platforms, browsers, devices, and operating systems with utmost efficiency. With the emergence of Web 2.0 applications and modern browsers for each region, cross-browser adaptability concerns have become considerably imperative. Although the problem is generally recognized among web developers, no systematic approach to tackle it exists today.

None of the current testing tools, which presents reports or stimulation environments, mentions any notion of cross-browser adaptability, much less analyzes it automatically. This is why cross-browser compatibility testing must be done across every enterprise.

Application development companies mostly focus on testing the solutions on different platforms, also on iOS, Android, and hybrid devices. Most of the companies provide very little focus on testing modern web applications in ensuring a ‘functional consistency’ on web application behavior across different web browsers.

This leads to inefficient application performance on web browsers, such as; sometimes the images are not properly aligned or the content seems to break apart, and much more. This will definitely have a negative impact on customer experiences as most users log into a website from browsers. Having negative customer reviews and experiences will tremendously affect the business leading to a loss in profit or sometimes loss in even business.

Different Tests For Enterprises To Ensure Efficient Cross-browser Adaptability

Scope test

Cross-browser adaptability spans a wide range of concerns related to user interface and user experience (UI/UX). That is from direct visual appearance to lack of functionality and user elements in different browsers.

Lack of functionality is believed to be a much more severe problem since it can easily result in loss of revenue. Ideally, every web app should perform precisely in the identical behavior regardless of the browser type or version. Moreover, several of these variations manifest themselves as differences in the client-side environment of the application when run on multiple browsers.

These differences can be captured in an automated way by using one browser’s behavior as an oracle to test another browser’s output (and vice versa) to detect mismatched transitions and screens. The present cross-browser testing implementation only uses the DOM portion of the client-state for analysis but could easily be extended to extract differences based on CSS properties or even JavaScript variable values.

Automation test

Manual crawling or the record-and-replay approach embodied by tools such as Selenium or other alternatives require the traditional approach, with constant human intervention.

However, tools like Crawljax represent a more automated, scalable, and robust solution to behavior exploration and integrate very well with the subsequent equivalence checking. As far as the manual testing efforts are involved, the central responsibility of the QA tester consists of

  1. Providing the URL of the deployed web application
  2. Setting the crawling specifications
  3. Determining the wanted web browser standards for compatibility testing

With test automation services the time needed for the actual crawling and generation is fully dependent on the required state space and the crawling settings. It demands no manual testing criteria if the default settings are implemented. In short, the actual model generation and comparison require very limited manual effort.

Browser Sniffing test

This is an innovative technique utilized to identify the web browser of the website visitor or audience in order to provide content in a browser-specific method. A striking pattern that enterprises or QA testers have come across in their case studies is when a JavaScript library views a browser (example: Google Chrome) as the default.

Based on this default browser it uses if-else statements for various other browsers such as Opera and this is what mainly causes specific CBC issues. The obstacle begins when the website user or audience is using a browser not examined for and the default content is created by the library.

How To Ensure Cross-browser Compatibility

The below scenario demonstrates how the dilemma works out in modern web applications.

The human user or website visitor via the browser communicates with the web application, by observing dynamically served content and responding with user events (e.g., clicks, mouse-overs) and user data (e.g., form data or user authentication data). The client-side machine, in turn, interacts with the server-side tiers of the web application by sending requests to it, based on the user input and the web application work-flow. The server side responds with new web content which is served by the client machine to the user through the browser.

Variations in the presentation of a particular screen on the web browser can influence the position and nature of actionable elements visible on that screen. These elements are implemented to influence what actions the user can and does take on the visible screen. This can have an overlapping effect by remodeling requests sent from the client tier to the server tiers. The acknowledgment collected and subsequent content completed on the client, thus affecting the overall progression of the web application on the client side.

cross-browser compatibility

Here, in the above scenario, cross-browser compatibility or adaptability (CBC) is an issue that is almost as old as the web browser itself. There are multiple causes for its growth in recent years. The earliest instances of this problem had its roots in the parallel evolution of different browsers and the lack of standards for web content.

Currently, standards do exist for basic web content (e.g., HTML 4.0) and for scripting languages such as JavaScript, JScript, and Action Script (e.g., ECMA-262). However, in their attempt to be scalable and run websites that do not adhere to these standards, such as monolithic websites. Such web browsers typically implement their own extensions to the web rules and in creating so vary in their performance.

The worldwide increase in the number of browsers, VPNs, and client-side settings has only enhanced this issue significantly. Moreover, unlike the traditional web interfaces, modern, dynamic web apps administer a bigger portion of their functionality in the client tier. That is within users’ web browsers, thus additionally augmenting differences in perceived behavior.

Cross-browser adaptability is internationally acknowledged as a significant problem among web developers but is rarely addressed during the software development process. Usually, web applications are created with a particular target client-side configuration in mind, and then it would be tested for a few more. Therefore, this predicament must be addressed as a generalized issue of analyzing functional consistency of web application behavior across web browsers, rather than purely a ‘look-and-feel issue.

Conclusion

The frequent understanding is that the Cross-browser adaptability issue is confined to purely UI/UX, look-and-feel variations on multiple browser screens. While that was the reason for the previous generation of web apps, the predicament plays out in an increasingly systemic, functional way in contemporary Web 2.0 applications. Therefore, modern testing must ensure that the application is not also the same in appearance across various browsers but provide equal functionality.

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