What is Browser Automation?
In the early days of the internet, there were only a select number of browsers to develop, test, and use. However, as the web has evolved, so has the selection of browsers, operating systems, and devices.
There are now dozens of browsers, not to mention many versions of each browser as they have updated over years, multiple operating systems, and mobile browsers with the emergence of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.
Skipping cross-browser testing completely is not an option, even if you’re testing the browser with the majority of users. Chrome holds about 52 percent of the browser market share, which means if you only test on Chrome, you’re leaving 48 percent of users unaccounted for. Rather, it’s best to target a few configurations and choose which are most pertinent for testing.
The Need for Browser Automation
Manual testing used to be the standard method for testing, but because of the uptick in browsers, operating systems, and devices, it’s no longer sufficient on its own.
In order to reach acceptable test coverage across the vast number of configurations, browser automation has proven necessary to take the time out of manual test execution. By automating tests so they run across browsers, teams can more easily find bugs on other machines and release high-quality software to end users, in a more time efficient manner.
Additionally, not only does browser automation save time and effort, it also reduces the risk of human error. While manual testing is essential to make observations about the application, it’s not efficient to have a person manually doing regression tests by conducting the same steps over and over in order to check previously working function. Automation is the answer to ensuring that your results are consistent and will provide a “Pass” or “Fail” result.
Automated testing takes care of time-consuming tasks so you can focus on testing new areas and building new tests, rather than manually repeating the same tests.
Achieving Browser Automation
With tools like Selenium and Record and Replay, it’s easier than ever for teams to achieve browser automation in order to shorten testing cycles and improve code coverage.
Instead of manually testing across Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer, you can create one test and repeat it across multiple browsers in parallel.
With Selenium testing, testers that have scripting knowledge can write one test and then run it across browsers and devices through a Selenium grid or with a test automation tool like CrossBrowserTesting.
Record and Replay, on the other hand, allows you to manually perform a test that will be recorded. It then takes that recorded test and replays it across different browsers and operating systems on CrossBrowserTesting.
Additionally, parallel testing allows teams to run browser tests simultaneously instead of one after the other. This helps to drastically cut browser automation down from taking weeks to days, days to hours, and hours to minutes.
With a selection of over 1500 real desktop and mobile browsers in CrossBrowserTesting, you can have an unbeatable number of configurations at your disposal so you can automate across any browser version, operating system, or device your users might be on.