Cross-Browser Testing Just Got Easier [Video]
Test and Monitor | Posted June 04, 2012

Earlier today we announced TestComplete 9.0 - a major release of the award winning product for test automation. In the wake of the release I had a chance to chat about the updates with Sergei Sokolov, our resident product director. Sergei is a a familiar face from the updated SmartBear website. Check the video and the transcript below to learn about the motivation and goals for this release.  

Why is TestComplete 9.0 a significant release? 

SERGEITestComplete 9.0 is obviously a milestone for us. It is a major release. But I do need to make one small footnote regarding major releases because, in this day and age of continuous delivery and software as a service, major release, as a notion, is pretty much obsolete. The technology moves forward quite rapidly. And the vendors who wait a year between major releases, really, are left behind. (Note: We have made the SD Times 100 List of Innovators in QA for the 6th time!)

So even though our last, "major release" of TestComplete 8.0 was two years ago, we've introduced a boatload of new functionality in the five minor releases that we've done since. And so TestComplete 9.0, while it is important-- and we'll talk a little later about why-- is just a way for us to get to our users the best we've got. It happened that we got some cool things in this release and we decided to make it version 9.0.

Why is Cross-Browser Testing important?

SERGEIWell, one would think that a Web application is a Web application and should run the same in any browser. However, we know that we probably have five significant browsers on the market, Internet Explorer, that's still hanging on, Chrome, that's grown tremendously over the years, Firefox, and then Opera, Safari and some others. So the question is, what browser will the users of your application actually utilize?

And the truth of the matter is that the browsers are slightly different. Some present dialogues in a different way. Some support JavaScript in a different way. They will throw errors differently. Some of the tags may not be processed the same.

So in the end, you can't assume that, if your stuff runs in Internet Explorer, it would run just the same in Firefox. So what people have to do, if they're really serious about the user experience, the performance, the functionality, is test on all these browsers, on multiple versions and multiple OS's. And that creates a huge problem because of resources and time and the mere setup. What we are trying to do with this release is make it very easy to set up these tests, run them and get results.

The way we're doing it is we're abstracting away a whole bunch of browser-specific details and presenting the browsers and the pages and the dialogs to the user of TestComplete in a uniform fashion across the test. This enables our users to record a test and very easily extend it to a different browser. In the end, they can use the built-in test management automation to TestComplete to set up tests on a variety of machines in parallel to run the same test on multiple browsers and different operating systems and get the results in a single report. Isn't that cool?

Does TestComplete 9.0 support HTML5 testing?

SERGEIHTML5 is a new cool thing for Web apps. TestComplete 9.0 adds support for a bunch of new things in HTML5. Of course, it's an evolution of the previous HTML standards, so it's not a radically new framework or an approach to building web apps.

However, there are new elements in HTML with version 5, video, audio, data sets, canvas and so forth, that do require special treatment. TestComplete renders these objects just the same as other HTML objects. And that makes it very easy for the user to access these objects the same way they used to with the old HTML, check their properties, make dynamic changes in the course of the test in order to validate what the application is doing and whether it's doing the thing that it's intended to do.

Who is going to benefit the most from the new capabilities in TestComplete 9.0?

SERGEIWe put software out for the benefit of the users. So we hope that all of them will benefit. Given our focus is on the web applications, web application testing, new standards, new technologies, then I should say that, predominantly, this release is going to be beneficial for the teams involved in developing web applications. We have a wide range of additions to the supported technologies, HTML5. then the two most frequently used frameworks for web development, jQuery, and Google Web Toolkit, and a bunch of others.

We're really expanding the built-in capabilities of TestComplete to make the testing process, setting up the test framework and execution of tests accessible to a wide range of testers. Both our current customers who move forward with the technology will benefit from the new technologies that we are adding on this release. We obviously improved the flow for Web testing, so that will make their testing efforts more productive. At the same time, there are general improvements for Windows developers as well.

We've added better support for Subversion. For example, there's a huge contingent of development community out there who use Subversion. And now those folks will be able to use this source control system right from within TestComplete UI. So really, it's hard to say that we're going to be directing this release at new testers or experienced testers. We think it's the entire test community that will benefit with the extensive additions to this popular tool that we make.

Why should users chose TestComplete 9.0 over other solutions?

SERGEIWell, of course, we hope that they will choose TestComplete over other solutions. And a good answer to that question I saw recently at an SQA forum. The user said that, if you consider the breadth of features, the price, the extensibility and the platform support, there's no match for TestComplete.

Why should TestComplete 8.0 users upgrade to version 9.0?

SERGEIIf they're involved in Web testing, there's no question that they should move up, because we've changed, simplified and, in our view, improved the whole process of Web testing. Moving to TestComplete 9.0 will save them time, will make their life a bit more pleasant, because they will need to worry about many fewer details in Web testing. It will also bring them up to speed with respect to the latest browsers, the latest technologies and also the upgrade path, because obviously, there's a natural progression in releases, and certain things will not be supported after a while.

What is the best test automation tool out there?

SERGEI (smiling)Oh, there's actually no question. The best test automation tool is SmartBear TestComplete!

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