Cross browser testing is a notoriously cumbersome problem. When developing web applications or websites any decent web developer or designer will try to test her work not only on her local machine, browser and operating system combination but will strive to cover as many reasonable environments that hold a certain market share as possible.
Provisioning all those configurations with every possible combination of Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer and OSX, Windows, Linux, Android and iOS can cause quite some headaches, not the least of which is that you would need a considerable number of PCs and other devices if you were to test on your own machines.
There’s a new service called “Cloudified Browser Testing” by Sauce Labs that aims to help with this problem. This service allows you to fire up a number of virtual machines on their servers running OS / browser configurations from a plethora of choices. It’s not exactly the first service of this kind (BrowserStack, browserling to name but a few) but from what I’ve seen so far Sauce Labs’ offering is ahead of the competition.
While being able to test the look and feel of a website in several browsers simultaneously already alleviates some of the problems with cross browser testing Sauce Labs provides a lot of other features that make their product even more interesting:
- Automatic testing with Selenium & WebDriver
- Video recordings
- Integrates with various continuous integration servers and programming environments
While I’m still testing Sauce I can already tell that I’m thrilled by the service so far. Pricing ranges from $12 (200 testing minutes, 80 mobile testing minutes) to $249 (8,000 testing minutes, 3,200 mobile testing minutes), which is quite reasonable for the potential savings and development speed-up.