In the current fast-growing software trend, many customers are aiming to spread their business across the globe and targeting to reach customers from various parts of the world. So customers demand that their applications and products meet the global standards in terms of functionality, readability, and ability to view the application. Globalization testing has two key subcomponents, “Internationalization testing” and “Localization testing”. Testing them together is called Globalization testing.
What is Internationalization Testing?
With the fact that many countries have their own languages (other than the commonly used English language,) it is a challenging activity to create multiple applications for each language. However, this can be addressed by coding the application such that the website or application content is displayed based on the customer’s location and language preferences. Testing this is called Globalization testing.
A product needs to follow specific standards defined as I18N while designing and developing the application to call it an internationalized product. It gives flexibility for the developer as the product doesn’t require much effort to fit into different regions across the world.
Globalization testing primarily focuses on making sure the language compatibility, UI compatibility, application’s support to multiple platforms (including browsers, operating systems, etc.) and easy to install & use the application.
What Is Localization Testing?
As discussed above, certain tests need to be performed to confirm the stability of the product in terms of its Globalization. A few key tests are listed below:
- Compatibility Test: Language compatibility is the primary focused area in this test. This includes testing the product behavior when customized to a specific language environment.
- Functionality Test: Functionality testing is one of the key testing aspects of the I18N testing process. It usually includes regression tests when the application is invoked from various language environments.
- User Interface Test: As in any other application, the UI test ensures that the application is visually flawless when loaded in different languages. This includes any visual defects, including text overlapping, image overlapping, content truncation in the page, graphical issues, etc.
- Interoperability Testing: It ensures that the application interacts and works as expected with selected platforms like browsers, operating systems, applications versions, etc.
- Usability Testing: It ensures that the system is easy to use. Especially when the language is changed to a specific region or locale, the user should be able to access the application easily.
- Installation Testing: It makes sure that all the required and relevant messages (like help messages, warning messages, error messages, alert messages, etc.) are displayed to the user in the corresponding language during the application installation and uninstallation processes.
- Database Testing: A few of the International languages support special characters like Unicode and ASCII characters. From the testing point, the tester has to ensure that the associated fields of the database support these types of special characters.
When it comes to localization testing, testing focuses on the correctness of the language and regional translation in terms of:
- Content Testing: This test is to ensure that the application content is properly translated into selected local or regional languages, which include text in the application, button names, etc.
- GUI Testing: As part of the GUI testing, the user has to ensure that the menu (and submenu) items, online help files, error messages, Dialog boxes, Readme content, any training content, user manuals, release notes appear on the page based on the language selected.
- Date & Time Format: It ensures the region-specific date, time, and time zone details are shown on the application according to the user preference. Example: One region has a date in “mm/dd/yyyy” format, whereas the other region shows “dd/mm/yyyy” format. Similarly, the time details may change between AM/PM format and Hours format.
- Currency Format: Same as the date & time, currency format also changes based on the region. This test ensures the accuracy of the currency format and symbols.
- Phone Number Format: Tester has to ensure that the product shows the correct phone number format.
- Address and Zip Format: Address and zip code format may also change specific to the region. User has to ensure the correctness (example: 5-digit zip code vs. 9-digit zip code)
Globalization testing helps customers spread their business irrespective of location restrictions. At the same time, there are some challenges when we want to implement globalization testing on the product. For example, organizations need domain experts and local language translators to perform effective globalization testing. However, investing in this returns a successful product to reach closer to the customer globally and gain their satisfaction.