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A Beginners Guide to Emulation

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A web application is the future of the software industry. It provides massive advantages that were previously unavailable with the traditional software.

For instance, the users do not want to download separate applications for every task. This is because it takes up a lot of time and space for the users.

Web applications help to solve this issue by allowing the customers to complete all the jobs from the browser itself. 

A Beginners Guide to Emulation
A Beginners Guide to Emulation

However, the testing of a web application plays a vital role in ensuring optimal performance. As a developer, you must remember that your customers might be using different types of smart devices for accessing the web application.

Therefore, you must ensure that none of the physical specifications harms the working potential of the web application. 

In this article, we will try to explore the different ways in which developers can verify the functioning of the web application on multiple devices. We will also try to analyze the role of various tools and platforms in this process.

Let us begin with the basics of website testing.

1. Testing the Web Application 

During the early years of software development, web testing of apps didn’t pose any form of threat to the developers. This is because the market was completely Limited in terms of available devices and browsers.

For Instance, the users could only use the desktop for accessing the internet, and Internet Explorer was the only available Browser. However, with the advancement of technology and the increasing demands of end-users, the market has completely changed.

Various statistics show that hundreds of new browsers are released every day to the industry.

Now, users access the internet on desktops, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and any other smart devices. Therefore, the web development companies had to completely change their approach to web application testing.

All these factors also increase the overall complexity of the web application testbench.  

As a developer, you must provide the most optimal performance irrespective of the device or operating system. This is because, in this modern competitive market, you cannot afford to alienate any segment of the industry due to compatibility issues.

These factors are also essential for keeping a check on the bounce rates and user retention rates for a business organization

2. Effect of Devices and Browsers on the Performance of the Web Application

In the early segment of the article, we discussed how the variation is increasing in the device and browser industry. Now, let us take a deeper look at all of these variations and how they affect the web application testing habits:

2.1 Variations in the Browser Market:

  • Every modern browser uses the OpenGL standards for interpreting all the elements on a web application. However, a major issue in this problem is that all the browsers have their process for interpreting these standards.
  • This variation in interpretation standards gives rise to several discrepancies in the testing process. For instance, the developers cannot use the smooth performance of a web application on a specific Browser as the benchmark to guarantee similar performance on other browsers as well.
  • Moreover, the browsers also modify their rendering standard depending on the version.  This means the only possible solution to this problem is to verify the functioning of the web application on every individual browser and Browser version.
  • Currently, Google Chrome is the most popular browser for both desktop and mobile segments. Some of the other top contenders are Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and the Samsung browser.  

2.2 Variations in the Device Market:

  • Currently Android and iOS are the most common operating systems in the mobile segment. The Android market witnesses various types of variations depending on the physical specifications of the device. 
  • A recent market study shows that almost 1,000 new Android devices were released in 2021. On average, almost four new iOS devices are released every year. 
  • Most of these devices have variations in terms of screen size, display resolution, operating system and processing capabilities. Therefore, web developing companies can’t generalize the device testing process.  

 2.3 Use of Emulators and Virtual Machines

During the initial years of browser testing, the only process of testing the application on every possible combination of device and browser was to maintain a physical device testing lab.

This lab consisted of all the devices that the developers will require during the testing process. It is needless to say that maintaining a device testing lab is an expensive process. It is almost illogical for small development companies.

So, the companies needed an alternative that can help them to solve this issue. The most effective and cheapest way to solve this problem was to introduce emulators and virtual machines in the testbench. Let us learn more about these two technologies in detail:

Emulators:

  • In the world of a computer, we can define an emulator to be software and hardware or both that allows a computer to behave like another computer system.
  • The primary purpose of an emulator system is to allow the host system for running software or using peripherals that are designed for the guest system.
  • Using this technology, the developers can emulate the environment of a mobile device on the computer. It plays a massive role in simplifying the testing process and saving costs for the company.  

Virtual Machines: 

  • Technically speaking, a Virtual Machine allows the developers to virtualize a different environment on the system. All the virtual machines are based on a specific Computer Architecture.
  • It provides a functionality that is similar to a physical computer. Thus, a virtual machine is highly essential when the developers need to analyze the effect of user interaction on a web application.
  • Web development companies often use specialized sets of hardware, software or combinations of both for implementing virtual machines.
  • Using virtual machines, developers can run an Operating system in the app window.  During this time, the desktop will behave like a separate computer system. 

However, as a developer, you must remember that virtual machines and emulators cannot substitute real device testing. This is because they fail to stimulate the physical specifications of a device.

Moreover, virtual machines and emulators cannot verify the proper placement of all the visual elements of a web application. The best solution to this problem is to combine virtual machines and emulators with real device testing. 

2.4 Integration of Modern Technologies

Modern technologies play a vital role in improving the potential of website testing across different devices. However, the developers must have proper knowledge about these technologies to use their full potential. 

Let us take a detailed look at two of the most popular Technologies:

Cloud-Based Services:

  • Cloud services play a vital role in the simplification of test cases. With this process, the developers can verify the functioning of the web application on multiple cloud servers.
  • It not only eliminates the hassle of maintaining a physical device testing lab but also improves the testing range for a company. This is because, with Cloud Servers, there is no limitation to the number of devices for which you can test your web application.
  • However, it is a good idea to choose certain servers that can also test the functioning on real devices.  Various tools and platforms will help you to solve this issue. 

Parallel testing:

  • Parallel testing is yet another process started to improve the efficiency of a test case. Using this process, the developers can initiate multiple test cases on a web application simultaneously.
  • The companies mostly use this process for testing the functioning of the web application on different combinations of devices, browsers and operating systems at the same time.
  • With complete manual testing, the developers used to take almost 5 days to clear all the test cases. However, parallel testing-based automation test cases can reduce this time to under 2 days.  Parallel testing plays a vital role in delivering high-quality web applications to the end-users.  
Web development testing
Web development testing

3. Role of Different Tools and Platforms in This Process

Tools and platforms play a vital role in improving the efficiency of browser test cases. They also help to simplify the testing procedure for developers who are new to the web developing industry. 

Due to its huge advantages and popularity, thousands of different tools are available in the current market. This big set of options can often increase the confusion for the new developers.

You must remember that only the perfect tools can help you to use the full potential of a test bench. There are certain factors that you can use during the tool’s selection process.

For instance, you can consider certain factors like your knowledge of programming languages, company budget, and the expected delivery date.

You should also consider the trustworthiness of a tool before integrating it into the core test bench. This process will ensure that it has no negative impact on your testing capabilities.  

3.1 LambdaTest cross-browser compatibility

LambdaTest is a platform to verify the cross-browser compatibility of both mobile and desktop web applications. Devs and testers can test websites on mobile emulator online across real browsers and OS combinations.

Using this platform, the developers can execute all the vital test cases on an online Selenium Grid. LambdaTest uses multiple Cloud servers to increase the testing coverage.

For instance, the developers can use this platform to conduct the test cases on more than 3000 different Browsers and browser versions.

3.2 LambdaTest parallel testing

It also offers parallel testing to help the developers initiate multiple instances simultaneously.  Using this feature, the developers can also verify the functioning of the web application on different combinations of browsers and operating systems.

LambdaTest also verifies the optimal performance of all local web pages. It generates highly accurate test results that the developers can use for further references.

4. The Conclusion

So, we can conclude that device testing plays a vital role in ensuring the proper performance of a web application. As technology continues to evolve, the variation in the device market will continue to rise and it will affect the complexity of the test cases.

So, the developers must try everything in their potential to maintain their stand. Companies should also conduct proper training sessions to increase the knowledge and experience of the developers. 

All these factors will contribute to improving the market domination of a web development company. Lastly, the developers should continue to update themselves according to all the recent market development trends.

This process will also help them improve their portfolio. It will in turn act as a stepping stone to guarantee a successful future in this industry. 

Author Bio:Vixit Raj is a part of the Product Growth and Marketing division in LambdaTest : The Cross Browser Web App Testing Platform. Vixit’s interest in latest technology advancements, coding and testing fascinates him to learn more about these things. An E&C educational background and his engineering life experiences has made a large influence on him which contributed towards his jack of all trades and master of none trait

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