Parallel Testing: How to Test Smarter and Faster
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Parallel Testing


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What is Parallel Testing?

Parallel testing is your ticket to faster testing and a quicker turnaround in deployments. When testing websites or applications, it is important to remember that time is a factor -- you always have a finite amount of time to test before deployments. Testing 100 percent of an application is a noble cause, but it’s not always that simple to achieve desired test coverage while still having time for exploratory testing. Parallel testing lets you get more testing done in a tighter window.

With Continuous Integration, testers are asked to be constantly writing new test scripts for different features and test cases. These scripts take time to run, and the more test cases running against an increasing number of environments can create obstacles for a timely deployment. So how do we speed up testing and prioritize QA with less time between deployments? The answer is Parallel Testing.

Instead of running tests sequentially, or one after the other, parallel testing allows us to execute multiple tests at the same point in time across different environments or part of the code base. You can do this by setting up multiple VMs and other device infrastructure, or by using a cloud test service like CrossBrowserTesting.

Parallel Testing Environments

The growing number of devices and browsers your customers are using can be a challenge when trying to test quickly and efficiently.

Before you only had to test for Chrome and FireFox, but now there’s also a need for Android and iOS devices, Safari, and multiple versions of Internet Explorer. If you had 16 hours of tests and 10 different devices or browser to cover, for example, this would take us 160 hours for complete test coverage before our deployment. With parallel testing environments, we can run our 16 hours of tests on 10 different devices at the same time, saving us 146 hours of testing time.

Parallel execution also has the distinct advantage of isolating test cases and runs to one specific OS or browser, allowing for the testers and developers to dedicate their meaningful resources of serious problems with cross-platform compatibility.

Parallel Testing in CrossBrowserTesting

CrossBrowserTesting has two methods for parallel testing — Record & Replay and Selenium Testing. If you are familiar with how to write a Selenium script, it’s easy to plug that script in with CrossBrowserTesting. If you’re just getting started with test automation, Record & Replay is a great place to start for codeless test creation. Whichever you choose, you have the ability to run suites in parallel to drastically cut down testing time and extend coverage.

The maximum number of automated Selenium and Javascript unit tests (API initiated tests) that can be run concurrently is limited according to your subscription plan.

We understand the importance of running as many tests concurrently as possible to increase the velocity of your continuous integration flow. To support this, we do not place arbitrarily low constraints on the number of parallel tests.

A major advantage of our service is that we provide a combination of real operating systems and an extensive array of physical phones and tablets. While we do maintain a large number of mobile devices, they are not unlimited. Ensuring the load is spread across the configurations is important in providing availability for all our customers.


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