Ravello Provides Free Web Browser Testing Blueprint

Michael Vizard
Mar. 12 2014, 01:43PM EDT

When the time comes to test how various implementations of different types of browsers actually work with a particular application, much trial and error still exist. Despite the rise of application testing services in the cloud, testing browser compatibility against a production application is still problematic. More often than not, when testing does occur, it’s against a replica of the application running in a different environment, being accessed by browsers that might not even have any of the plug-ins that the application may need to support in a production environment.

To address that specific issue, Ravello Systems today announced that it has created blueprints for its Selenium Grid Web user interface testing. Accessed via RESTful APIs, the Selenium Grid is based on the encapsulation technology that Ravello developed to allow organizations to create an exact replica of their production environments on a testing platform that can be hosted on cloud platforms from Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, or Hewlett-Packard.

Ravello's free Selenium blueprint is a fully preconfigured out-of-the-box Selenium deployment with a hub and multiple nodes that can be spun up with just one click. Testing on the Selenium Grid is controlled via an API that allows testers to start and stop testing cycles whenever they choose.

Navin Thadani, senior vice president of products for Ravello, says that as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application, the Selenium Grid is designed to enable organizations to scale testing by spinning up multiple virtual machines that can run in parallel; all of the machines can be preconfigured with the right set of operating systems and browsers that need to be tested. Languages supported by the Selenium Grid include Java, Objective-C, JavaScript with Node.js, PHP, Python, Ruby, C#, Clojure, and Perl.

Although blueprints offer some value to organizations testing Web applications, most complex application deployments will require organizations to build their own blueprints, which allow them to create repeatable deployments that are replicas of their production applications. Neverthless, Thadani says that the blueprints from Ravello not only help jump start that process but also serve to highlight easily an organization can create a testing environment on a public cloud service.

Application testing often gets the short shrift because many developers underestimate the amount of time it takes to set up a testing environment. Many of them are also cynical about those tests because they usually don’t accurately simulate the actual production environment. Ravello is clearly trying to take both those issues off the table by leveraging public cloud services to create an exact replica of the production environment in a matter of minutes. Of course, there are many excuses for not properly testing an application. Increasingly, however, it’s starting to look like time, money, and infrastructure are no longer going to make the list.

Michael Vizard

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