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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Browser Compatibility testing OR Cross Browser testing

Browser compatibility testing which is also called as cross browser testing, multi browser testing , in simple words, is testing a application in different browsers and also in different versions of browsers. This task is mostly automated because it is very difficult to perform it manually. But here I’m going to provide a series of steps which will help you give more test coverage by performing the cross browser testing manually. At the same time there are many hurdles when you start testing a application in different browsers. For example chrome will not let you install different versions of it in your system, similarly with Firefox. So here we go for a quick round up of how to test a web application in different browsers with different versions without struggling.

Points to be remembered before performing such testing
  1. Note down all the browsers along with their versions in which application needs to be tested. Check the minor versions in them and reduce the count by removing minor versions. For suppose if Firefox version 3.5 and Firefox 4.0 does not have any major changes then select any one of them. Reducing the number of browsers will reduce lot of effort.
  2. Consider these scenarios as part of your basic test plan
    1. Test major css (cascading style sheet) issues
    2. Check for end to end flow
    3. Check the user interface issues
    4. Display of controls, pop ups, flash images. Alignment of the controls also. Font size font color.
    5. JavaScript features
    6. Performance or page load time
    7. Browsers with different screen resolutions
    8. Html validation
  3. If a tool is to be selected for cross browser testing, then check following factors in the tool.
    1. Is it an open source?
    2. Does it provide different versions of at least popularly used browsers Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome?
    3. Does it provide screenshot for the URL which we provide? Or does it let us navigate through different links in the application?
    4. Please check “Best articles on Cross Browser Testing” section at the end of this post for the list of tools which does cross browser testing and also main features of each tool.
Cross browser testing Automated
If any tool is allowed to be selected then here the list of best tools which can be used for such things

Cross browser testing manually
Manually testing the web application in various browsers will be a hectic one as we cannot have more than 1 version of a browser in our system. So here are some solutions as to how we can overcome this hurdle in different browsers.

  1. Internet Explorer :
    1. Developer tool: Open the internet explorer and click F12, You will find a section opened at the bottom of the browser. Select Browser mode in it. If IE9 is installed in your system then you can check out IE7, IE8 and IE9 in the list of “Browser modes”. Load a web page, it is displayed in IE9 then select browser mode IE8 page will get refreshed and will show how it works in IE8.
    2. Another option in case of internet explorer is IETester. IETester is a web browser which allows you to test in different versions of IE.
  2. Firefox :
    a.Utilu: It is a tool which will allow installing different versions of Firefox based on your selection at the time of installation. It can allow more than 5 versions of Firefox to be opened at the same time to execute a web application. Enter the web application URL in one page before start up and all the versions of Firefox will open with the same url and then we can continue our testing. Sounds cooool right.
  3. Google Chrome :
    Chrome will never allow to us to install the old versions and use them for testing. As soon as we open the about popup to see its version it updates its version to the latest. And this creates pain in the neck.To avoid this here are some tips.
    1. Stop Chrome from getting its version updated without notice
      1. Go to cmd prompt and enter MSConfig. System Configuration popup gets opened.
      2. Select start up tab and check that “Googleupdate.exe” is available in the list or not. It should be present if chrome is installed in your system.
      3. Uncheck the exe file so that it does not get updated every now and then.
      4. Reopen Chrome.
    2. Another option to stop from chrome getting updated without user permission is :
      1. Go to cmd prompt and enter Regedit. It opens the registry editor.
      2. Go to folder HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > Software > Google > Update.
      3. Add a new DWORD value named: DisableAutoUpdateChecksCheckboxValue. Set it to 1 to disable automatic updates.
      4. If you want to enable it, set it to 0.
      5. Close the Regedit.exe application.
      6. Reopen Chrome.
      7. Here is an important site for chrome fans….
Best articles on Cross Browser testing
  1. http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/06/04/cross-browser-testing-a-detailed-review-of-tools-and-services/
  2. http://designm.ag/resources/browser-testing/
  3. http://www.softwaretestinghelp.com/best-cross-browser-testing-tools-to-ease-your-browser-compatibility-testing-efforts/


Ricky Ponting said...

Thanks for the good article on cross browser compatibility testing

testing Software said...
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ram ramky said...

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vishnu said...

Nice Post. Explained perfectly and thoroughly. It is very useful for me.

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