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Challenges in Testing Web Based Applications

In this tutorial you will learn about Challenges in Testing Web Based Applications Introduction, Why testing Web Applications is different? Factors effecting Testing of Web Applications, Why technology platforms affect testing? Challenges in Testing Web Based Web Applications, Summary Introduction: Web based Applications are increasingly becoming more feature rich, important and also the most popular means for de!eloping commercial systems "ost companies opt for de!eloping web based software where!er possible This helps in catering to large number of end users The deployment of the apps #once the infrastructure is in place$ is fairly easy The web based applications are powerful and ha!e the ability to pro!ide feature rich content to a wide audience spread across the globe at an economical cost %ence it is a daunting tas& to test these applications and with more and more features testing these apps is becoming e!en more comple' In this article we will study the challenges faced when testing these applications Why testing Web Applications is different? Testing web applications is different because of many factors scenarios affecting the performance and user e'perience Web applications can typically cater to a large and a di!erse audience Web Applications can also be e'posed to wide range of security threats Web applications may open up illegal points of entry to the databases and other systems holding sensiti!e information To ensure that the web application wor&s reliably and correctly under different situations these factors need to be accounted for and tested %ence a lot of effort needs to put in for Test (lanning and Test )esign Test Cases should be written co!ering the different scenarios not only of functional usage but also technical considerations such as *etwor& speeds, Screen +esolution, etc For e'ample an application may wor& fine on Broad Band internet users but may perform miserably for users with dial up internet connections Web Applications are &nown to gi!e errors on slow networ&s, whereas they perform well on high speed connections Web pages don,t render correctly for certain situations but wor& o&ay with others Images may ta&e longer to download for slower networ&s and the end user perception of the application may not be good Factors effecting Testing of Web Applications: As mentioned abo!e Web Applications can ha!e a lot of !ariables affecting them such as- Numerous Application sage !"ntry # "$it% &aths are possible )ue to the design and nature of the web applications it is possible that different users follow different application usage paths

For e'ample in an online ban&ing application a user may directly go to .Bill (ay/ page and other users may chec& account balances, !iew pre!ious transactions and then .(ay the Bills/ 0enerally a large number of usage paths are possible and all are supposed to wor& well All these (ermutations and Combinations need to be tested thoroughly - &eople 'ith (arying bac)grounds * technical s)ills may use the application *ot all applications are self e'planatory to all people (eople ha!e !arying bac&grounds and may find the application hard to use For instance a Business Intelligence application with .)rill1)own1+eports/ may wor& out for certain users but not for others Although this affects the design of the applications, but these factors should be tested in usability testing of the applications - Intranet (ersus Internet based Applications Intranet based applications generally cater to a controlled audience The de!elopers and architects can ma&e accurate assumptions about the people accessing the apps and the hardware2software2technical specifications of the client machines While it may be difficult to ma&e similar assumptions for Internet Based Applications Also the intranet users can generally access the app from 3trusted, sources whereas for internet applications the users may need to be authenticated and the security measures may ha!e to be much more stringent Test Cases need to be designed to test the !arious scenarios and ris&s in!ol!ed - The end users may use different types of bro'sers to access the app Typically for internet based applications users may ha!e different Browsers when accessing the apps This aspect also needs to be tested If we test the app only on I4 then we cannot ensure if wor&s well on *etscape or Fire1Fo' Because these browsers may not only render pages differently but also ha!e !arying le!els of support for client side scripting languages such as 5a!a1script - "(en on similar bro'sers application may be rendered differently based on the +creen resolution,-ard'are,+oft'are Configuration - Net'or) speeds: Slow *etwor& speeds may cause the !arious components of a Webpage to be downloaded with a time lag This may cause errors to be thrown up The testing process needs to consider this as important factor specially for Internet based Applications - A.A ! Americans 'ith .isabilities Act% It may be re6uired that the applications be compliant with A)A )ue certain disabilities, some of the users may ha!e difficulty in accessing the Web Applications unless the applications are A)A compliant The Application may need to be tested for compliance and usability - /ther 0egulatory Compliance,+tandards: )epending on the nature of the application and sensiti!ity of the data captured the applications may ha!e to be tested for rele!ant Compliance Standards This is more crucial for Web Based Applications because of their possible e'posure to a wide audience - Fire'alls: As mentioned earlier Applications may beha!e differently across firewalls Applications may ha!e certain web ser!ices or may operate on different ports that may ha!e been bloc&ed So the apps need to be tested for these

aspects as well - +ecurity Aspects: If the Application captures certain personal or sensiti!e information, it may be crucial to test the security strength of the application Sufficient care need to be ta&en that the security of the data is not compromised Why technology platforms affect testing? Technology platform upon which the Web Application was built also creates different strengths and wea&nesses )ifferent Test Automation tools 7 pac&ages are a!ailable for different Technology (latforms This can influence the Test Strategy and the way in which Test 4'ecution is done Challenges in Testing Web Based Web Applications: To ensure that sufficient Test Co!erage is pro!ided for Web Based Applications and to pro!ide a secure, reliable application to the user the abo!e factors need to be considered For internet based applications accessibility and security can be important issues 8n one hand 8rgani9ations would li&e to cater to their users around the world on the other hand they could end up e'posing their security holes all o!er Testing could be the last chance to ensure the safety of the data and the organi9ation +ummary: In this article we studied the !arious challenges in Testing Web Based Applications Why Testing Web based Applications is different and different factors affecting the testing