The Weidenhammer Blog

A Review of Browerstack, a Cross-Browser Web Service

Posted on: January 30th, 2014 | Category: Technology

One key to good IT Project Management is having adequate QA Tools to support you client’s web applications. To that end, here is my review of Browserstack, a cross-browser web service.

Rather than testing with multiple machines on hand or creating multiple virtual machines for testing, I recommend using the Browserstack cloud service. The Browserstack service creates real virtual browsers on the fly within your browser using Adobe Flash technology without installing anything. For example, a user that has Firefox in a Windows 7 environment can emulate a URL within IE 11 on Windows 8.1 within their own browser (they do not even need IE!). A user enters a web page address and chooses three items (operating system, browser version, and resolution) to render the virtualized Web page. The permutations are exciting when you consider the choices they offer. Current choices include:

Operating System choices include desktop and mobile/tablet emulators

Desktop

  • Windows XP, 7, 8, or 8.1
  • Apple OS X Snow Legend, X Lion, X Mountain Lion, or X Mavericks

Mobile

  • iOS – Mobile Safari
  • Android Browser
  • Opera Mobile

Browser/Mobile/Tablet choices dependent on Operating System chosen may include

Browser

  • IE versions 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, or 11
  • Firefox versions 3, 3.6, 4, 5, 6, …. , 26, 27.0 beta, and 29.0 aurora
  • Safari versions 4, 5, and 5.1
  • Chrome versions 14, 15, …, 31, 32.0 beta, and 33.0 dev
  • Opera versions 10.6, 11.1, 11.5, 11.6, 12.10, 12.14, 12.15, 12.16, 15.0, 16.0, 17.0, 18.0, 19.0 next, and 20.0 dev

Mobile iOS in parenthesis

  • iPhone 3GS (3.0) , 4 (4.0), 4S (5.1), 4S (6.0), 5 (6.0), and 5S (7.0)
  • Numerous versions of Samsung, Motorola Droid, HTC, Sony, and LG mobile platforms for Android
  • Numerous versions of HTC, LG, Nokia, Samsung, Motorola Droid and Atrix mobile platforms for Opera Mobile

Tablet iOS in parenthesis

  • iPad (3.2), 2 (4.3.2), 2 (5.0), 3rd (5.1), 3rd (6.0), Mini (6.0), 3rd (7.0)
  • Amazon Kindle, Google Nexus, and Samsung Galaxy

Resolution choices include

  • 800 X 600
  • 1024 X 768
  • 1280 X 1024

Pricing is very affordable starting at $35/month billed annually for one session and three users on up to Enterprise $359/month billed annually for 10 parallel sessions and unlimited users.

Lastly, other features include Local Testing (before you publish your site), Command Line Testing, Screenshot Generation (single or multiple browsers at once), Automated Selenium Cloud Testing, and Responsive Design Testing across Devices. Browserstack also includes Integrations and Add-Ons to create customized links with particular test options to open within one of Browserstacks’s specific browsers. Also included in a Browserstack license is a hefty assortment of Developer Tools loaded on Browserstack’s remote browsers across OSX and Windows machines.

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Kurt Bauder

Kurt Bauder

Kurt Bauder is a Project Manager and Senior Business Consultant with Weidenhammer Systems Corporation. He has over 14 years of Information Technology experience as a Project Manager, Senior Business Analyst, and IT Consultant with roles in requirements development, project management, software testing, and implementation. His expertise includes requirements elicitation, project planning and control, BI cube analysis, process flow modeling, cost control, project lifecycle, risk management, and quality control. Kurt is an adjunct professor at Indiana Wesleyan University teaching business courses to adult learners online. Kurt is a PMP Credential holder and a MCTS in MS Project 2007 and MS Project Server 2007. He has a MBA with a finance concentration from Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.