Advanced Selenium Testing Strategies for Safari: Overcoming Performance and Scalability Challenges

Are you looking to automate your web app test cases? Selenium testing will probably be the best option for you due to its ease of access, flexibility, and wide browser support. However, when it comes to the Safari browser, the default browser for iOS and Mac devices, testers will face various unique challenges related to scalability and performance. 

To help cope with these issues, we will explain some of the most efficient Selenium testing strategies in this article. Since these strategies are specifically designed for the Safari browser, they can address all the challenges and ensure efficient and scalable test automation practices. 

Understanding Safari Testing Challenges 

Before anything else, the testers must understand that Safari is crucial for cross-device testing. This is because, being the default browser for all Apple devices, it has a huge global audience. However, while executing Safari testing, the testers will come across the following obstacles, which can massively hamper the testing infrastructure: 

  • Limited Scalability

The options for scalability in Safari testing are massively limited due to the restrictions in Safari WebDriver implementation. Moreover, since it has limited parallel execution capabilities, the testers have to invest a large amount of time in executing all the test instances. 

  • Performance Variability

The performance of the Safari browser will vary massively across different versions and platforms. This variation in performance makes it very challenging for the testers to create reliable and consistent test cases. It also becomes challenging for the testers to verify the performance of the Safari browser on outdated Apple devices. 

  • Cross-Platform Compatibility

Testing the performance of web apps across various versions of Safari for IOS devices and Mac operating systems requires careful consideration. This is important to ensure comprehensive test coverage and proper functioning of the web application. 

In most cases, the testers have to go through an extensive learning curve before they can start implementing the Safari test cases. 

So, to address all of these challenges, the testers will have to implement advanced strategies which will not only ensure comprehensive test coverage but will also have an important role in optimizing the scalability and test performance. 

Selenium Testing Strategies for Safari 

Based on the current app development standards and practices, we have created a list of some of the most effective Selenium testing strategies for the Safari browser. These strategies will not only help the testers to focus their testing efforts but will also streamline the entire infrastructure:

1. Using Safari Technology Preview

Safari technology preview is a special version of the Safari browser that is exclusively available to testers and developers. The purpose of this version is to allow testing on upcoming technologies and features. This version also allows the testers to access the latest features and improvements to potentially address compatibility issues at the earlier phases of the development cycle. 

Moreover, Safari technology preview often provides better debugging tools, which can be a very important part of troubleshooting test failures. Using this tool, the testers can continuously monitor the performance of the web app to detect errors at the earlier phases and address them before the app deployment process.

 2. Optimizing the Entire Test Environment 

To ensure optimal performance and scalability, it is very important for the testers to optimize the test environment for executing Safari testing with Selenium. This process includes the following parameters: 

  • Headless Testing Mode

Safari supports headless mode, which allows the testers to run the browser instance without initiating its Graphical User Interface. Running the test cases in such an interface can massively reduce the resource consumption, which will, in turn, help improve their execution speed. This approach is also beneficial for testers who do not have high-end testing machines. 

  • Using Cloud Testing Platforms

The Selenium test suite has a dedicated cloud-based tool called the Selenium Grid, which allows the testers to run the test cases in parallel configuration across multiple Safari browser instances. 

This inclusion addresses the scalability limitations that are originally present with this integration. The testers also have the option of integrating dedicated cloud-based platforms like LambdaTest to further streamline this process. 

While using LambdaTest, the developers can execute cross browser testing on more than 3000 different configurations of operating systems, devices, and browser versions, including the Safari browser. Since LambdaTest is an AI-based test orchestration platform, the testers can use machine learning and artificial intelligence for better test data management. 

This platform also has additional features like comprehensive test reporting, real-time test activity logging, and native bug tracking capabilities for improved testing experience. 

  • Efficient Resource Allocation

While executing Safari testing with Selenium, the testers must ensure that the testing machine has adequate resources allocated to smoothly execute the test instances. Some of the most important resources that require thorough monitoring include CPU and memory consumption. 

This instance is crucial to ensure that the Safari test cases are executed properly and efficiently without any unwanted crashes.

 3. Implementing Robust waits and Timeouts 

Like any other browser available in the market, Safari can also exhibit variability in the page loading times and responsiveness. This is a very important parameter to monitor, as modern users expect their web apps to load within 2 seconds. To handle this error, the testers can implement robust waits and time-outs, which will also improve the overall reliability and stability of the test cases. 

  • Explicit Waits

Using explicit waits, the testers can configure the test instance to wait for specific conditions to be made before it proceeds to the next phase of the test execution process. The inclusion of this mechanism prevents the test from failing prematurely due to certain elements not being fully loaded, available, or rendered. 

This inclusion also prevents the possibility of flaky test cases, which can return undependable test results, including false positives and false negatives. 

  • Dynamic Timeouts

Modern apps consist of multiple dynamic elements which change their behavior or positioning based on various parameters, including user interactions, device orientation, or loading time. So, it also becomes important for the testers to adjust the test cases accordingly for handling these elements. 

For instance, the testers can implement dynamic wait based on page loading times and expected response times. The implementation of this process ensures the test cases can add up to varying performance levels based on the application rendering device or browser. 

4. Handling Safari Specific Issues

Since Safari is the dedicated browser for the Apple ecosystem, it has various specific behaviors and reputations which require special attention during the test execution process. Some of the most common challenges of running Selenium testing on Safari are as follows: 

  • Cookie Management

Safari’s cookie handling is highly different compared to other browsers. This leads to unexpected behavior while running the test cases. So, the testers must ensure proper handling of cookies, especially in certain scenarios that involve test authentication and session management. 

  • Browser Window Management

The behavior of Safari browser will vary when managing browser windows or tabs compared to other browsers in the market. So, it is important for the testers to verify that window and tab handling in the test execution process is compatible with the changing behavior of the Safari browser. 

  • Input Handling

Safari also has unique behavior related to various forms of user inputs like keyboard input, file uploads, and form submissions. So, we advise the testers to verify the functioning of all these interactions thoroughly for ensuring enhanced compatibility across various versions of Safari and Apple devices. 

5. Continuous Integration and Parallel Test Execution

By integrating the Selenium test cases into a continuous integration pipeline and also implementing parallel test execution, the testers can massively improve the efficiency and the scalability of the test instances: 

  • CI Integration

The testers can consider integrating the Selenium test cases with any of the popular continuous integration tools, which include Travis CI, Jenkins, and CircleCI. By implementing this integration, the testers can automate the test execution process after every small code change. 

This process will help verify the integrity of the overall testing infrastructure and also ensure that it performs as expected on all devices and platforms. 

  • Parallel Execution

Since modern apps consist of thousands of different elements which require thorough testing, it is not advisable for the testers to implement all these test cases individually. This is because individual test execution will take several months, which will massively delay the final delivery of the app.

Instead, the testers can use the Selenium Grid to implement parallel test execution, which can run multiple test instances on different configurations and machines at the same time.  To implement this process, Selenium Grid adopts the principle of a hub that is connected to multiple nodes. Here, each node represents the respective elements present in the web app.

So, when the Selenium Grid receives a test instance, it analyzes its parameters and statistics. Then, it will automatically forward the test case to the respective node to perform the test execution process. Many testers and experts believe that the proper implementation of parallel test execution can wrap up the entire test cycle within just a few days. 

6. Managing the Test Data

By using effective test data management, the testers can ensure reliable and repeatable test instances. This process is especially useful in certain scenarios where Safari interacts with the back-end systems of the device. 

  • Isolation

We advise the testers to ensure test data isolation. This implementation will prevent interference between the test cases and also help maintain the independence of the test instance. The major benefit of this process is that the failure of any single test case will not hamper the functioning of the other test instances present within the cycle. 

  • Data Generation

Finally, we advise the testers to automate the test data generation process wherever possible. This implementation will help streamline the test setup and also reduce the dependencies on external systems and libraries. 

The Bottom Line 

Keeping in mind all our discussion points, we can summarize that Safari testing has unique challenges due to its specific browser limitations and behaviors. However, by using the right tools and strategies, these challenges can be easily overcome for efficient and scalable test automation. 

By implementing all the best practices that we discussed in this article, the testers can utilize the full potential of Safari while implementing Selenium testing. This process also ensures comprehensive test coverage and reliable test execution of web apps across different platforms and browser versions.

Finally, by following advanced Selenium testing strategies, all the organizations can deliver high-quality web experience to their Android device users for constantly expanding their target audience and elevating their brand reputation.

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