Overcome the challenges of Cross-Browser Testing using Applitools Ultrafast Grid!

One Blog — Many Ways To Access It

I wrote my first blog post in 2010. Since then, I have published over 225 blogs on my personal blog — Essence Of Testing, not counting publishing on other blogs and books. Given all this, one would think that publishing is easy… but the reality is far from it. Each new post has to tell a story … which means different content with relevant images, tables, code snippets, etc. Yet styling needs to be consistent.

Challenges of Functional Automation

Functional automation is inherently slow. It needs a deployed product with all pieces of the architecture available (or appropriately mocked) for the automated test scenarios to execute in order to mimic the end-user behavior with the product. In functional test automation, there is extra effort required to be taken to ensure these tests are stable, and give consistent results.

The need for a vision!

The aspect that functional validation is unable to do, and hence is most done manually, is ensuring the UI / look-and-feel continues to be consistent and as expected with each incremental functional change in the product. This is one of the largest blockers to be able to release the software faster and with confidence. This is the challenge Applitools has solved in a very elegant, easy and accurate way.

Cross-Browser Testing

We saw above the need for me to run my tests (either manually, or in some automated form) across a set of browsers.

  • Manage/provision the relevant infrastructure, etc.
  • Added effort to ensure your functional tests run correctly in each combination and viewport size as well
  • Additional time required to analyze the test results for all these combinations is not a trivial effort

Applitools Ultrafast Grid

There is clearly a use-case requiring cross-browser testing — to validate the aspect of look-and-feel/user experience in all the supported combinations. This is where I am very excited to share with you Applitools Ultrafast Grid.

  • Functional tests are executed only in 1 combination. So if your tests took 1 hour to run for 1 combination, and there are 10 combinations you have, then you have saved 9 hours of test execution time.
  • Now you have visual validation results from all the supported configurations.
  • You can use the different capabilities (my favorite being Group steps by similar differences and Root Cause Analysis) from the Applitools dashboard to quickly understand the nature of differences found, and take action (like — report a bug, update baselines, etc.)

Visual Grid in Action

How can you start? Well, it’s very easy. Once you have integrated Applitools Eyes in your tests, you need to specify the Ultrafast Grid configuration and pass that to the tests.

  • Get Applitools account / API Key
  • Write your functional test — in this example, we will write a Java / TestNG / Selenium-WebDriver based test
  • Specify your Visual Grid configuration
  • Do visual validations at relevant points in your test execution

Why is this a good idea?

Data helps to show the value of this approach.

  • Run tests with Applitools integrated locally on Chrome & Firefox
  • Run tests with Applitools integrated on a Selenium Grid for Chrome & Firefox setup on a local machine
  • Run tests on a local machine with Applitools Ultrafast Grid configured

Summary

Think about your cross-browser testing strategy, and if there is no need to test the functionality on all supported browser combinations, the Applitools Ultrafast Grid is a great way to get early, fast and accurate feedback on the state of your visual rendering across all supported browser combinations.

About the Author

Anand Bagmar is a hands-on and result-oriented Software Quality Evangelist with 20+ years in the Software field. He is passionate about shipping a quality product and specializes in building automated testing tools, infrastructure, and frameworks. Anand writes testing related blogs and has built open-source tools related to Software Testing — WAAT (Web Analytics Automation Testing Framework), TaaS (for automating the integration testing in disparate systems) and TTA (Test Trend Analyzer). Follow him on Twitter, connect with him on LinkedIn, or visit his Github site: https://anandbagmar.github.io/

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