Cross-Browser Testing - 5 Reasons Why You Should Care
Test and Monitor | Posted June 13, 2012

Test automation tools like SmartBear TestComplete 9.0 are catching up with browser wars going on. Here is a nice infographic describing the history of browser competition: ...Stats from the Great Browser Wars. If you are still not sure if cross-browser testing matters to you, here are the 5 reasons why you need to reconsider your testing strategy.

5 Reasons Cross-browser Testing Matters

1. Your customers don't want to be locked into one browser

The times of Netscape, or Internet Explorer dominance are over. The more successful your Web application is and the more customers you have, the more their browser usage will look like the data recently published in Business Insider: Google Chrome Just Passed Internet Explorer To Become The World's Most Popular Web Browser. If you want to make sure that you don’t lose customers because of lack of support for one of the three major browsers you must consider testing your Web applications on all three of them.

2. Difference is not just in style, but also in function

If your application works well in one browser, you can’t assume that it is going to work the same way in the other two major browsers. This is especially the case with rich Internet applications (RIAs). The difference is not just esthetic, but in functionality. The best way to verify correct functionality in different browsers is to repeat the same use cases, or tests across browsers and automate comparison of differences in terms of information being displayed and actions being taken.

3. Cutting edge technology is not equally well supported in  all browsers

To take advantage of some of the cutting edge technology available, for example in the HTML5 standard that delivers the promise of cross-platform portability, including mobile platforms, you must verify implementation in each of the browsers and you should also check browser versions as well. The same form that works well in one browser may not work in the other.

Watch our June 12 webinar, now On-Demand, "How to Automate HTML5 Testing" with Nick Olivo to learn more about automated testing of HTML5. Nick covered the basics of cross-browser test automation, specifically for HTML5 content, including video, audio and graphics extensions.

4. You don’t want to develop and maintain separate tests for each browser platform

Creating automated tests that can be recorded in one browser and then played back in other supported browsers requires new test automation technology like the one just released in TestComplete 9.0. While it is possible to create cross-browser tests through custom scripts, there are many corner cases where such custom solutions won’t work. You can see the new cross-browser testing platform in action here: Cross-browser Testing with TestComplete 9.0.  A good example of a test-breaker is handling of browser dialogue boxes. Even if you address different browser implementation in a single script, such an approach increases the cost of maintenance and it also increases the risk of test failure due to its complexity.

5. You don’t want to run browser-specific tests

Not having identical tests for each browser platform makes it difficult to compare test logs and test results. Having one test that runs in multiple browsers and having technology that automatically handles browser differences makes your life easier. You can tell exactly whether some discrepancy in results is esthetic or functional and you can easily reproduce the scenario that leads to the different result.

Ready to get started? Download a free trial of TestComplete today.

Photo credit:Sean MacEntee

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