Cross-browser testing plays a powerful role when it comes to testing a software application. This is because software applications should work effectively and efficiently on all types of devices, operating systems, browsers, and browser versions. And this can be verified and validated with the help of cross-browser testing.
Now, the execution of cross-browser test cases, when done manually, takes a lot of time, effort, and resources, which is not cost-effective. To overcome this, testers and developers use automation tools and frameworks, which require very little human interruption and thus save time, effort, and resources.
Selenium is a highly preferred test automation tool used for conducting cross-browser testing. It is in demand due to its collection of tools, which includes Selenium IDE, Selenium RC, Selenium WebDriver, and Selenium Grid. Also, it is freely available to its users, along with the convenience of using any programming language for scripting test cases.
Execution of cross-browser testing in Selenium is considered by most of the testers and developers due to its ability to carry out multiple test cases simultaneously and on various browsers at once. Also, this saves a lot of time and allows testers and developers to test software applications without the need for actual physical devices.
What is Cross-Browser Testing?
Cross-browser testing is a software testing technique where software applications are tested to ensure their correct functionality on various devices, operating systems, browsers, and browser versions. It guarantees the proper functioning of a website or web application’s features across all browsers, ensuring a consistent experience without any discrepancies. In today’s era of digital transformation, a website serves as the forefront representation of any organization. Ensuring cross-browser compatibility entails confirming that the website’s functionality remains robust across various web browsers and does not compromise its performance.
You can leverage the true capability of cross-browser testing by using of cloud-based platform like LambdaTest. It is a digital experience testing platform that ensures the testing of a software application across 3000+ real devices, browsers, and OS combinations. The scalable cloud infrastructure of LambdaTest ensures that developed software applications are tested in all browsers and platforms, thus giving a seamless user experience. The platform provides access to various browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and more. It enables the testing of websites and web applications on different operating systems, such as Windows, macOS, and iOS. Parallel testing across multiple browsers is also supported, effectively expediting the testing process.
What is Selenium?
Selenium, an open-source framework designed for automated cross-browser testing, has evolved from its origins as an internal tool into a versatile platform encompassing a variety of tools and libraries catering to diverse use cases, including web scraping. The fundamental components of Selenium include:
- Selenium WebDriver: This collection of application programming interfaces (APIs) empowers developers to construct and execute browser tests. Unlike focusing solely on a single browser like Firefox or Chrome, it offers the capability to manage a variety of browsers. Effective communication with Selenium WebDriver necessitates the utilization of language bindings to script the interactions.
- Selenium IDE: Serving as a test automation recorder and replayer, Selenium IDE is a tool that allows developers to capture their actions and script them. Furthermore, it enables the conversion of test cases into file formats that can subsequently be executed using Selenium WebDriver.
- Selenium Grid: Similar to Selenium IDE, Selenium Grid functions as a test automation recorder and replayer. Developers can capture and script their actions using this tool. Additionally, it provides the functionality to convert test cases into file formats for execution through Selenium WebDriver.
Efficient Cross-browser Testing Strategies for Selenium Automation
Below are some crucial cross-browser testing strategies for Selenium automation:
● Define The Scope Of Testing:
Testing scope refers to the range and limits within which your testing efforts will operate, ensuring both what will be tested and what will not be tested. This comprises the software application features, functions, requirements, and risks. By defining the testing scope, you channel your attention towards the important functionality of the software application that requires to be tested. This helps in saving time and resources for irrelevant testing that falls outside the test boundary.
● Use a Cloud-Based Testing Platform
Cross-browser testing requires a lot of resources in the name of the browser setup of testing the software application, making cross-browser testing an expensive testing procedure. But the problem can be easily solved by the use of a cloud-based testing platform. The cloud-based testing platform allows testers and developers to test software applications without the need for an actual physical device.
Also, using a cloud-based platform can help reduce the overall time, cost, and effort of developing a software application as it allows the execution of multiple test cases at a time without the need for human resources, which thereby allows testers and developers to focus on more serious issues and complex test cases.
● Use Test Automation Frameworks
Selenium automation can conduct efficient cross-browser testing with the use of test automation frameworks. Test automation frameworks such as JUnit, NUnit, and TestNG allow testers and developers to script and execute test cases on various browsers simultaneously without the need for human interruption. Thus making the overall development of software applications effective and efficient.
The use of a test automation framework also helps in the early detection of defects, along with minimizing the overall use of resources and increasing the test coverage. Hence, all these advantages give rise to another advantage, which is an increase in the test speed, which thereby allows early deployment of the software application.
● Use browser-specific Drivers
Testing of software applications across various browsers requires a large amount of resources and time, which makes the software testing process ineffective and inefficient. However, Selenium offers various browser-specific drivers separately for every browser, which helps in overcoming this issue. The browser-specific drivers will help in interacting with the browser automatically without the need for human resources in the browser environment without the actual need for browser setup. This also ensures the correctness of test case execution across each browser.
● Use Parallel Testing
Parallel testing is the best way to carry out efficient cross-browser testing as in cross-browser testing, the same amount of test cases needs to be carried out multiple times across various browsers. This takes a lot of time and effort as well as requires cost for browser setup. However, the use of Selenium automation can solve this problem as it allows its testers and developers to conduct multiple test cases simultaneously across multiple browsers.
The use of parallel testing thus reduces the overall testing time and allows the early deployment of software applications.
● Use Visual Regression Testing
Integrating visual regression testing with cross-browser testing allows testers and developers to compare how the software application looks on different browsers using screenshots. This helps ensure that the software applications do not have any visual defects or layout issues.
Integrating tools like Applitools or Percy with Selenium allows testers and developers to perform regression testing without the need for human interpretation. This is an effective approach because humans are prone to error and cannot easily identify the visual differences present in the software applications across various browsers. Thus, automated regression testing with selenium saves overall development time and ensures quality software applications to the end users.
● Name The Test Cases and Test Suites Appropriately
For efficient cross-browser testing with Selenium, it is best suggested to name the test cases and test suites appropriately. This is because selenium allows technical as well as non-technical people to work with software applications to enhance their quality. Also, they may be required to update the code for certain features. So, the name of the test cases and test suites helps in easily identifying the test case of the desired functionality or feature.
Also, when a test case fails, it is the name of the test case that helps in identifying which functionality has a defect by just looking at it. Hence, it helps save time and effort for the testers and developers.
● Set the Browser Zoom Level To 100 Percent
Sometimes, due to the limitation of resources, testing software applications on various browsers and browser versions is not possible. Also, due to the outdated browser setup, the test cannot be implemented correctly. But at the same time, ensuring the correct working of the software application on different viewports is also essential. So, to overcome this issue, Selenium allows its testers and developers to test the software application by setting the browser zoom level to 100.
This setting provides testers and developers with a native mouse feel and also ensures the correct coordination of the mouse events.
● Use BDD Framework with Selenium
BDD is the abbreviation for Behaviour Driven Development. It is one of the most popular approaches that allows testers and developers to write test case scripts in plain English language rather than the need for any programming language. This helps in the efficient testing of software applications as software applications can now be tested without the need for any technical knowledge or with very little technical knowledge.
Also, the use of the BDD framework with Selenium is best to fill the gap between technical and non-technical people, as both can now work on the enhancement of the software application by testing various functionalities without any inconvenience.
● Avoid Code Duplication
It is best to avoid unnecessary code duplication as it will help reduce the code size, which will automatically reduce its testing time, and thus, its overall testing time will decrease. The code duplication can easily be overcome by writing separate code for different features and functionality. And then calling it once whenever required without rewriting the entire code.
Duplication of code not only increases the overall size of the code but also requires high maintenance and, therefore, increases the overall development cost of the software application. Selenium can be a great choice to avoid code duplication as its feature wrapping selenium calls helps in maintaining complex test cases.
In this article, we have learned about the strategies that can be used for conducting efficient and automated cross-browser testing with Selenium. These will help you to verify and validate your software application’s effectiveness and efficiency. With this, the use of selenium is highly in demand due to its features to test software applications automatically without the need for human interference, which thereby saves time and effort and also provides a seamless user experience to the end-users.