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Biswajit Parija
Quality Engineering Automation Architect with Tata Consultancy Services
25 September 2020

What do you do if during an online purchase, you are unable to view the submit button within the viewing area? Do you scroll, zoom, browse, and click many times to bring the button within the viewing area? Or do you simply abandon the purchase and move away to another site with better aligned web page components that efficiently adjusts itself based on your browser, operating system, and device configuration? In all likelihood, the business that is most responsive to your needs wins you as its customer.

Such issues can be attributed to the tight schedules and budget constraints that compel them to test applications across only a few popular browser types and versions. But, in today's highly competitive environment where conversion rates and customer retention are critical, this compromised approach is just not enough. Multi-browser testing is the need of the hour. An on-demand cross browser test execution, powered by game-changing virtualization technology, can effectively address cross-browser testing challenges.

Are you losing business due to ineffective cross browser testing?

Rapidly changing technologies have consequently driven up the number of web-browser version releases. In 2020, Google Chrome alone had more than six new version releases for different OS and devices. This presents several challenges for web developers such as support for changing application development technologies, different markup standards, and diverse rendering mechanisms.

To address these challenges early on, businesses clearly need a smart solution that not only facilitates web application testing across browser versions, types and OS, but also speeds up the quality engineering process with customer experience platforms for automation and artefact management.

Why are testers still limiting their testing scope?

Cross browser testing, which comprises of test environment set up and test execution enables testing teams to effectively address web page inconsistencies. But, setting up a test environment and ensuring seamless test execution is a complex and daunting task.

Besides the right hardware infrastructure, building the test environment from scratch also requires multiple browser types and versions, different OS combinations, varying screen sizes and appropriate technology support – a big ask.

Traditional testing models do not offer such flexibility for multiple reasons. Installing multiple browsers in a single computer is time consuming and difficult, which further increases the number of machines and cost for a wide range of combinations. Also, older browser versions, are no longer supported.

The budget-constrained test environment infrastructure, with limited memory and computing resources, often results in system crashes when dealing with applications that require high memory footprint. Provisioning adequate infrastructure, for all possible browser-OS permutations and combinations is time consuming and expensive.

How can you assure a customized on-demand test environment?

A quality engineering (QE) led customer experience platform with pre-configured virtualized test environment setup, comprising of multiple browsers, OS, and application technology combinations, can effectively resolve these challenges for cross-browser testing. A two-tier architecture comprising of cloud infrastructure and client systems is an effective way to create the set up for this virtualized environment. It also ensures compliance for cross-platform and cross-device testing besides cross–browser testing.

Additionally, setting up quality engineering tools for automated browser testing in this platform can improve productivity and efficiency.

This test environment can be either procured from third party vendors or can be created on-premise, within the intranet. In an on-premise set up, security and data confidentiality aspects can be managed through selective user access to the environment, through multiple security channels such as secure IDs, strong passwords, and robust code access to mobile devices. Adequate firewalls ensure that users have access to only their data.

Why is customer experience platform a smart solution for cross-browser testing?

A quality engineering led customer experience platform can overcome the constraints of traditional testing models and deliver shorter testing cycles, reduced efforts, and process efficiencies up to 50 percent more than its traditional counterpart. It also supports scalability by simplifying the addition of new browser types and versions.

Deployed as a managed service, it can enable economies of scale by sharing test environments across business units and projects. Here’s how a business stands to gain with a virtualized, on-demand cross-browser testing setup:

  • Business agility with accelerated testing: The test environment can be quickly provisioned and scaled up, which can accelerate quality engineering process and improve business agility to address new business opportunities.

  • Improved Returns on Investment (ROI): The managed and/or shared environment helps improve ROI and reduce the total cost of ownership.

  • Higher testing efficiency with automation: Virtualized cross browser testing can ensure higher testing efficiency with appropriate automation tools to enable parallel test execution across multiple browsers in a single test run.

  • Efficient management: Test management effort reduces due to an effective platform architecture where various machines are centrally administered from the same server.

  • Improved coverage: Quality engineering applications across a comprehensive set of browser-OS combinations can help improve test coverage as well as the reach of a business’ web applications.

Assure customer delight

Leveraging a quality engineering led customer experience platform can imply hassle free execution, eliminating the need to find obsolete browser versions and manually configure the test environment or limit browser selection for the lack of time and resources. With these benefits, virtualized cross browser testing can assure that your web applications offer a consistent and enhanced customer experience across browsers, OS, and devices and ensure customer delight.

About the author(s)
Biswajit Parija
Quality Engineering Automation Architect with Tata Consultancy Services

Biswajit Parija, a quality engineering automation architect with Tata Consultancy Services, has over 15 years of experience in delivery across various industry verticals. He has headed many cross-browser testing engagements, and driven test planning, environment set up, test execution, risk identification and mitigation initiatives for major global companies. Besides mentoring QE teams, Biswajit has also developed testing assets and testing guidelines. He played an instrumental role in setting up a lab for cross-browser testing and automation at TCS.