One of the most challenging concerns when architecting an online browser farm is how much capacity to provide due to online traffic’s cyclical and unpredictable nature. One day, they could become well-known when they make headlines and hordes of people visit their website, dramatically increasing traffic. After a few days, when the media effect fades, traffic returns to normal. When it comes to timing and necessary peak capacity, such abrupt changes in traffic are frequently complex, if not impossible, to estimate accurately. As a result, it is challenging to decide when and how much capacity to provide.
Each browser produces a web page differently, and users can visit websites using a variety of browsers. No doubt, there exists a wide variety of browsers! However, if you desire to be one of the top contenders, always strive for consistency. Nevertheless, a subtle user experience is overwhelming. Based on user requests, a cloud-based web browser farm might dynamically change its size. It begins with only one web browser. When traffic spikes, the server farm instantly and automatically creates more web servers to meet the demand. Cloud infrastructure is far more extensive than most business data centers. The economics of scale contributes to further reductions in hardware maintenance and infrastructure management costs. This article will explore the end-to-end guide on online browser farms for cloud testing with the selenium grid as a reference point.
But what is a cloud-based Selenium Grid?
A software testing arrangement called Selenium Grid enables QAs to run tests simultaneously on several devices and operating systems, including browsers. In essence, it is a configuration that uses cloud-based servers to access all of a Selenium Grid’s capability directly. As a result, it is known as a cloud-based Selenium Grid.
A cluster of virtual machines running several browsers indicates a “browser farm,” which helps test web applications on various browsers. To do cross-browser testing, it essentially offers many browser versions. You can immediately access many online and mobile browsers, browser iterations, operating systems, and screen resolutions.
You can select the browser farm solution in one of two distinct ways:
You can create your infrastructure by installing several browsers on various OS systems and setting them up in a WebDriver farm. Building and maintaining this kind of infrastructure can be time-consuming and resource-intensive, which is why many businesses opt to employ cloud-based services.
Now, Cloud-based Browser Farms come into play
You may utilize a different party’s virtual machines and browser infrastructure when running tests by using a cloud-based browser farm. Comparing using a cloud-based service to setting up and running your browser farm, the former can provide rapid ramp-up periods and fewer long-term overheads.
To better understand how today’s browsers are evolving, we compiled the following list of promising features unique to one browser. All of the most recent browsers harness the power of multiple cores, implementing multiprocess technology in various ways and at varying speeds. The key features of using browser farms for web apps testing include the following:
Facilitates access to testing:
Since QA teams have quick access to various browsers and devices, it is simple for them to test and debug their online apps correctly.
Precision and Reliability:
By providing the same user experience as executing web apps on any browser on an actual desktop, browser farms assist in more precise results. QAs test the web apps in a manner identical to that of a real browser.
You can instantly check your website’s browser compatibility from anywhere, thanks to immediate access to web browsers, browser versions, operating systems, and screen resolutions.
Browser farms come to the rescue of lone developers looking to test their code builds in real-world scenarios across multiple browsers by providing a straightforward and affordable alternative.
A highly accessible pool of combinations of operating systems and browsers is accessible when needed through the browser farm testing feature, which serves as an interface between your testing framework and the pool. Switch to a cloud-based browser farm to enjoy the smooth operation of servers, databases, software, networks, analytics, and other computing functions. Execute the following steps to access a browser farm:
- Log in to your cloud platform account.
- Enter the web application’s testing URL.
- Choose the device to test, the operating system, and the browser.
- The user may now browse the desired web application on the chosen device and verify its operation as needed.
Cross-browser testing performed by the QA team using a cloud-based browser farm eliminates the need for emulators and simulators by offering cloud-based testing platforms. Additionally, it provides tools like immediate bug reporting and tracking. Users of cloud-based solutions may perform hundreds of tests concurrently, accelerating their builds and resulting in quicker releases. Since Automate offers plugins for all leading CI/CD platforms, the installation takes a few minutes and integrates seamlessly into a user’s current CI/CD workflow.
Create a Real Browser Cloud account to begin testing. Select the best versions for your testing for your desired combination of device, browser, and operating system. To test your web application, utilize the Automated tools to run manual and automated tests on actual browser-device combinations.
Most Selenium users need to make one API request to generate a URL with a temporary usage period for the Selenium RemoteWebDriver to utilize browser farm testing. Using the browser farm testing option, you can test on Safari, Firefox, Edge, and Chrome without installing them if you’re testing browsers locally.
Tests that launch a WebDriver component, such as GeckoDriver or ChromeDriver, are a staple of Selenium’s traditional local testing. Without using an intermediary, these components communicate directly with a test browser. It indicates that your tests are executing exactly where your browsers are running. Adding an intermediary, such as Selenium Server, which runs browsers remotely, is a typical option. It frequently leads to executing your tests using a headless browser on your CI server.
Switch over to substituting a RemoteWebDriver instance Using Selenium Grid for your browser-specific WebDriver. The configuration instructions in this section explain how to utilize Selenium’s RemoteWebDriver with a URL obtained via the GetTestGridUrl API call in your local WebDriver tests.
You’ll need a cloud platform account and functional tests to complete these stages.
1. Create a project to keep track of your activities.
- Sign up for a Browser Farm account.
- Select Projects from the navigation pane’s drop-down menu after selecting Browser Testing.
- Select your project’s name from the browser testing projects list if you already have one.
If not, select ‘New Project’ to start a new project. Then, carry out the following on the Create Project page:
- Name your project.
- Write a description of the project.
- By selecting the VPC, its Subnets, and its Security Groups under Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) settings, you may specify the VPC peering settings for your project.
- Select Create.
2. You must install and set up the cloud platform for the testing language before you can utilize the browser farm testing function.
3. Change your environment to incorporate your secret keys and cloud platform access. Setting up the environmental variables depends on the configuration. Hence, you must try various procedures to obtain the desired goal.
4. Create a RemoteWebDriver and obtain a URL from the browser farm testing capability rather than building a WebDriver for your browser.
NOTE: It is not possible to undo the deletion of a project.
When a project contains active sessions, you cannot delete it.
It would be best if you had the project resource name to remove a project from the cloud-based platform.
- Authenticate your account.
- Select Browser Farm Testing from the navigation box, then select Projects. Pick the undertaking you wish to end.
- Select Delete as your action.
- Select Delete after confirming that you want to remove the project and its related material.
Artefacts automatically generate whenever your tests carry out operations like starting or ending a session.
Artefacts generated include the following categories:
- The browser farm records your test. It starts as soon as your session starts and gets finished when it times out, or you terminate the same. Videos are divided into sections at regular intervals for lengthy exam sessions. Even tests that barely exceed one of these intervals are nonetheless divided.
- Selenium generates Selenium WebDriver logs.
The following traits are present in session artefacts:
- Type (video, log, other).
- file name
- Retrieve the item using an S3-signed URL with a short lifespan.
The browser farm creates a new URL for every requested item as a component of an API request. After one hour, this URL becomes inactive.
The drawbacks of browser farms
Although employing browser farms has many positives and is an excellent option for automated testing, there is only one main drawback, depending on the specific browser farm solution used. An internal browser farm demands a lot of resources and is not cost-effective to update and maintain.
1. Seek a cloud testing platform that supports the gadgets and web browsers that the target market will likely employ when utilizing the in-question programme. Users of that specific cloud will probably have access to the devices their target consumers want.
2. Conduct your study before selecting a platform. High-security levels, relatively reliable technical assistance, and minimal test queue wait times should all be features of the ideal cloud. Testing in the cloud intends to speed up testing without sacrificing quality or security.
3. Non-individual testers and WA managers should be catered to by a cloud testing platform that is worth the money. The cloud must offer collaborative testing on a consistent framework and capabilities designed to enable QA administrators to maintain pace with rapid progress and the specific activities of each team member, particularly in these remote testing times.
The highest browser coverage is provided by platforms like LambdaTest. You can use LambdaTest platform to run web browser tests across 3000+ real desktop and mobile browsers. You may instantly access operating systems, screen resolutions, browsers, and browser versions to execute a browser compatibility test on your website from anywhere.
The current demand for solutions to the abovementioned drawback and designing your online browser farm is cloud browser farms. The cloud-based options offer a fantastic platform for more easily accessible, quicker, and more precise testing with actual users. Therefore, we advise you to employ browser farms for testing and to guarantee that web applications run correctly to give a pleasant user experience and a solid internal or cloud-based product.
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