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How to automate your web testing on real mobile and desktop browsers

How to automate your web testing on real mobile and desktop browsers

| May 6, 2021

In the good old days when we were using a basic phone, the web application used to run on only a desktop. Mobile phones were not so evolved to run a web application in the browser. But today, each of us uses a mobile phone for running web applications and websites.

When we are talking about web testing, we mean web applications and website testing in web browsers. Here, we are dealing with the web-based programs accessed by multiple users at a time. They require internet connectivity and a browser to run on.

Therefore, the web applications and websites should be compatible to run on both desktop and mobile browsers. We achieve this by performing web testing on mobile and desktop browser programs. 

Statistics by Statista says- “As of January 2021 there were 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide – 59.5 percent of the global population. Of this total, 92.6 percent (4.32 billion) accessed the internet via mobile devices.”  Isn’t it amazing? So many internet users might be running the websites and web applications on their phone browsers. 

Digital population as of January 2021

Reference: https://www.statista.com/statistics/617136/digital-population-worldwide/

Why use automated testing tools for testing websites?

As is clear from the above statistics, web testing requires catering to a wide spectrum of users. So can we do it manually? Of course, we can, but it is going to cost huge effort, time, test lab set-up, and resources, thus, a significantly more budget.

Also, if the application covers a large user base then definitely it is next to impossible to manually cover all possible device, browser, platform, and version combinations that your target audience may be using. We would want to use automation testing as a resort, in this case, else it is a mammoth task.

The below points provide a glimpse of why we should use automation tools for web testing on real mobile and desktop browsers:

They provide a real environment for testing:

We need to test the application on API, backend, UI, cross-browser, security levels preferably on real devices. We would want to test the application on a real device’s browser to rule out any possibility of bug slippage in the real environment. Any bug in the real environment will cost catastrophically for any web app.

For that purpose, it is always wise to research thoroughly the users and their devices/browsers before commencing the testing. Accordingly, we can select the real devices/browsers where we can perform the automated web testing.

Minimize cost:

Can we procure and set up a test lab to have all the real devices with all possible combinations of browser versions? Definitely yes we can! But can you imagine the cost incurred and maintenance needed to match all browser versions in a real user environment? We can minimize the costs by using automation tools that provide a ready-to-use cloud test lab with access to thousands of real devices.

This considerably saves the cost incurred on purchasing the real devices. With automation testing tools only a fraction of it will be spent on using the cloud-based real devices. With automation testing tools only a fraction of it will be spent on using the cloud-based real devices and browsers.

Supports faster software delivery:

When we seek help from automation tools in our testing activities we can deliver a quality software product faster. There are multiple reasons for this – 

  • With automation tools, we can run test cycles 24*7, which helps quicken the release.
  • Enormous test lab setup and maintenance time is saved by the project if automation tools are used.

Better use of human efforts:

We would want to skip spending human attention and effort on setting up test labs and writing test automation scripts. It will be a better idea to let people focus on the test strategy, test cases, exploratory/ad-hoc testing, and other testing-related activities. This way we can save ourselves from the extra work of setting up and maintaining a test lab. 

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How do tools solve the problem of automated testing of websites on real mobile and desktop browsers ?

There are many tools in the market that are available for automated testing of a website. The best option to go for today is choosing a tool that also allows you to test your website on real devices. The testing of a website on real devices is called responsive testing. 

These various tools may have different approaches on the front end, though the end result is usually the same. The result is the automation of the desired workflow. These automated test cases can then be executed on available devices/emulators.

The best way to decide the best tool is to go through them, try the ones that suit your needs, and decide the one that you find the easiest and most efficient. 

The various ways that these tools implement for test creation vary from just record and play to enabling users to create flowcharts and multiple other ways. To read the details on these ways, check the article here

The general steps would be:

1. Identification of the ‘locators’ of various elements on the web page using CSS/Xpath/ id etc.

2. Creation of repositories for elements on the different web pages of the website

3. Creating a flow or a program that tells the tool what step to take on the web page. This is where different approaches to test creation are employed.

4. Execution of the automated test case on the selected devices/browsers. This is the most important step. Here, you need to make sure that your tool allows you to execute your test cases on real mobile devices and desktop browsers.

5. Reporting of the result of the automated test case

Above are general steps and there could be variation in these steps depending on the tool and the type of test case being automated. For eg, a data-driven test case will require integration with a source of data that is then fed to a test script before execution.

How Testsigma solves the problem of automating your web testing on real mobile and desktop browsers?

Testsigma helps you automate your test cases easily and efficiently via the below features:

1. The tool is completely cloud-based so all your costs and efforts related to procuring infrastructure and setting up would be saved.

2. This is a codeless automated testing tool so to create automated test cases you won’t need people specially trained in a specific language. Your present team members can start working on the test automation easily and quickly.

3. The test cases can be automated in simple English thus there is no need to learn coding or complex programming languages to start automating. A typical automated test case on Testsigma looks like below:

4. Object recognition can be done automatically or can be done manually. The objects are scanned in such a way that the most crucial information is saved and if in some scenario there is any change in structure, the recognized object is not lost.

5. If there are any failures in any of the test cases, Testsigma also suggests you affected resources such that you can easily fix them.

6. Testsigma connects you to 5 different device labs on the cloud for exhaustive cross-browser and cross-device testing.

7. On execution, you can choose to get a video recording, screenshots, and logs of the complete test case execution or the failure. Thus, debugging the test case becomes very easy.

8. The status of execution can be shared on different mediums – emails or slack or any other as per your requirement.

9. Testsigma team provides 24×7 customer support, thus if you are stuck somewhere during automation, you can easily call them up and get it resolved.

Start your automated web testing on real browsers and devices

Testsigma can be used to automate the testing of web applications on real devices and browsers as presented in this article. A detailed tutorial to outline how to test mobile web applications using Testsigma is here.

Conclusion

“As a rule, software systems do not work well until they have been used, and have failed repeatedly, in real applications.”Dave Parnas It is important for us to do our web testing on real devices and browsers as emulators and simulators do not give the real picture. Today, when working in CI/CD models for continuous delivery, we want continuous testing to be faster, high-quality, automated, monitored, and managed.

Therefore, relying on cloud-based continuous testing automation tools for cross-browser testing, like Testsigma makes sense. Testsigma is driven by AI to ease the whole testing process by managing the test cases automatically. Hence, human focus and attention can be used on making better decisions and testing strategies.

It has a robust reporting and feedback system which makes it the apt choice for CI/CD-based development. It provides a unified platform to keep everyone on the same page and reduces redundancies.