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Cross browser functional testing

Cross browser functional testing is the testing of the functionality of a particular application on different browsers. It is vital to know how a particular application functions on a given browser as different people use different browsers and not all browsers operate the same way.
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 An application under test should function well on at least the four most popular browsers, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari and Firefox. It should also function well on any of the less popular browsers that the end user is likely to employ, as well as testing on mobile devices. The standard multi-browser test is run on a single computer employing one browser at a time using the same test script.

Testing then moves on to determining application functionality on different versions of the same browser. Different versions of different browsers are tested. These tests are limited to those versions of the different browsers that the application is intended to support, for example Internet Explorer version eight and onward.

Compatibility testing is important because HTML is rendered differently in different browsers and JavaScript isn’t always interpreted in the same way. Differences can range from minor variations in display, such as changing the position of a button, to genuine problems such as drop down menus not functioning, or failure to accept properly configured input, or even fields not allowing required input.

Checking that the application works correctly when run concurrently on more than one browser is useful in determining functionality when multiple users are logged is using different browsers. Concurrent testing looks for glitches such as updates not being communicated between browsers, and users being logged in on more than one browser at a time. It also looks for any odd browser interactions.

Usually, a single test script is usable on multiple browsers. Writing different test scripts for different browsers isn’t recommended unless absolutely necessary and it’s never wise to write a different script for each browser. This can cause confusion and make script maintenance difficult as the application is updated. You can get around this by writing a script that can run with manual testing on most browsers.

There are many other cross browser tests that look for everything from software incompatibility to the quality of fonts, size and position of elements and variations in colours. Cross browser functional tests are an important part of readying an application for release.


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