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When To Utilize Cross-Browser Testing

We all know that if we are developing something that runs on the web using browsers then cross-browser testing needs to be done. However, there is another variation of cross-browser testing – cross-device testing. If we have an application that is supposed to work on a device and is used by a set of people who may be using multiple devices then cross-device testing is needed.

Thus, cross-device testing here is equivalent to testing your application on multiple devices (at least all the devices that your customers might be using).

In this article, we will discuss the scenarios when automating your cross-browser testing would be a good idea. And when we talk about cross-browser testing, we would also include cross-device testing in it.

The scenarios are listed here on the basis that any process is adopted with the goal of getting an ROI eventually. The ROI can be in terms of direct money, time, or space.

Scenarios When Automation of Your Cross-Browser Testing Is Recommended

1.  When You Are Executing the Same Test Cases Multiple Times on Different Browsers or Devices

Does your test execution cycle look like this: The same test cases that were executed the last few times are executed again on a number of browsers and devices. If yes, then these test cases are the perfect candidates for test automation.

You would need a test automation tool that would let you automate these test cases easily. And then with the same ease, you should be able to execute your test cases on multiple browsers and devices. It would be better if the tool comes integrated with cloud device labs for test execution.

2. When the Time of Doing Cross-Browser Testing Is Exponentially Larger as Compared to Executing a Test Case Once

Is your team executing your test cases on a large number of devices? Such that even though they are executing a few test cases, it takes a long time to complete the test execution cycle? This could be because you have a large array of browsers and devices for cross-browser testing.

In this situation, it would be better to go for a test automation tool that lets you do the test automation — creation and execution — quickly, in parallel. 

3. When Your Application Is Not Changing That Frequently

This scenario is a follow-up to the first condition. When your application does not change frequently (at least the main features), that means that your test cases don’t change too. Thus, when you automate those test cases and then execute them as cross-browser and cross-device test cases, maintenance would, definitely, not be a headache.

4. When Your Customers Report Issues That Are Browser or Device-Specific

When your customers report issues that means that issues are escaping into your production, and, that means there is something wrong in your testing process. There could be a few reasons:

  •  You are not testing on all the devices that your customers might be using
  • You are not testing on real devices and testing on emulators/simulators
  • You are testing on real devices, and on the devices your customers use – but you don’t have access to all the versions of operating systems and browsers they might be using.

If any of the above reasons are valid for you, then you should explore the option of automating your cross-browser testing. Automation makes sure that the same steps are executed on all the devices and browsers and any discrepancy in any one of the browsers/devices is caught. Also, it improves your speed of testing. In addition, you should also make sure that you get access to all the devices that your customers use.

An efficient and economic way of getting access to all the real browsers and devices that your customers might be using is via a cloud device lab. These cloud device labs usually host old as well as new versions of browsers and devices. Also, you should ensure that they do before you invest in them.

Also, these cloud device labs are updated with the latest versions soon after those are released. Thus, when your test cases are automated, you have the option to execute the test cases on the latest versions in your customer’s devices before your customers do.

5. When You Calculate the ROI of Automating Your Cross-Browser Testing You See a Return

Before you implement test automation, you should calculate the time and money that would be able to save because of it, in the long run.

To calculate the ROI, you will need to calculate: 

  • How much time, money, and space your team is using before test automation.
  • How much investment it will take for you to set up the test automation and get it going.
  • After test automation is set up, how much you will be spending (time money, and space included)

Your ROI would be “(a+b) – c.”

Note: In the case of cross-browser testing, you should also consider the cost of setting up a test lab in comparison to choosing a tool that comes integrated with these test labs.

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