Globalization and Localization Testing

A product goes live. This is just one side of the story. Once the product goes live, enterprises often struggle with problems related to product maintenance & support. Nowadays, both the users of products and services are not just limited to a particular geographic area, but are spread across different regions. Thanks to the era of smartphone revolutions, customers now reside in various regions through websites and mobile apps.

Both globalization and localization testing are the need of the hour. It is imperative that enterprises translate and localize several aspects of content and information used by the software to interact with customers in their native language. At the same time, it is equally important that enterprises explore ways to globalize software applications to provide users seamless access and use irrespective of location.

The smarter and constantly evolving enterprises even perform extensive globalization testing to ensure that the application delivers optimal experience to each user irrespective of the geographical and cultural differences. The fundamental objective of globalization testing is to identify the issues and flaws that affect the functionality of software with varying international support requirements. Furthermore, the testers also assess the application’s capability to accept text and input in all languages without breaking its functionality.

Regardless of the magnitude of the software, the product maintenance process can help evaluate your application’s source code and evaluate the underlying risk, and ultimately reduce software maintenance cost.

  • Is your software doing what it’s supposed to?
  • Is it performing accurately and efficiently?
  • Do you understand how your software functions?
  • Are your developers following industry best practices?
  • Are you getting ROI?
  • Are you in compliance with all of your open source software license agreements?

To meet complex business needs and control proprietary information, businesses have developed custom software applications. Custom development requires maintaining quality and knowledge of how the software functions. Failing to do either can result in significant costs and risks.

Due to the prevalence and aging of specialized applications and the unique challenges associated with owning them, businesses are seeking insights into the logic, accuracy, suitability, security and code efficiency of these software systems.

Understanding Differences between Globalization and Localization Testing

In today’s fiercely competitive world, enterprises are heavily investing resources in developing web and mobile applications that has a universal appeal and are culturally sensitive as well as linguistically appropriate. In such a scenario, the best way to validate quality and functionality of the software product is with - globalization testing and localization testing. These techniques make it easy to provide products that deliver experiences that are appropriate for a particular region, locale, and culture.

Hence, to help you differentiate these testing techniques, here is a quick comparison of localization and globalization testing.

Globalization Testing:

  • Validates functionality of the product utilizing all relevant international inputs.
  • Enable the software to be used with different languages.
  • Analyze basic and general functionality to promote global acceptance.
  • Detects potential issues & defects in the software that inhibit its expected performance.
  • Ensures linguistic accuracy & sensitivity towards culture as software specifications can change from country to country, language to language, and region to region.

Localization Testing:

  • Used to evaluate software compatibility and adaptability for a specific region/locale.
  • Check typographical errors, as well as validate linguistic accuracy & resource attributes.
  • Customize software product for a particular language.

Globalization Testing Factors

While conducting globalization testing, testers focus extensively on different aspects — the application accepts language, text, and functions flawlessly in different geographical and cultural environment. Hence, they have to focus on specific aspects of the software to decide if it meets the varying needs of global audience.

  • Local date and time formatting
  • Currency management
  • Format of address and zip code, as well as contact numbers
  • Graphical Images
  • User interface elements — menus, status bar, toolbar, and messages
  • Enabling or disabling features according to specific location/geography

Automating Globalization Testing Efforts

Enterprises often struggle to conduct globalization testing within stipulated period of time as it requires several testers to evaluate the applications in specific geographical and cultural environment. Also, it is about creating and executing multiple test cases to generate more reliable test results. Professional QA & Testers prefer to commercial globalization testing tools which make it easy for testers to create custom global testing environments, and execute test plans according to individual locale or language settings.

Global testing results will help identify issues that prevent the software from catering varying needs of global audience.

Conclusion:

It is important to consider cultural sensitivity, linguistic appropriateness, and software’s global as well as locale appeal. These factors play a crucial role in making the software suitable for the global as well as local audience and assist in increasing the popularity of the software.

With globalization and localization testing, organizations can take the steps in the right direction to improve the quality, functionality, performance, and other important elements of the software. In short, without implementing these two testing techniques, professional developers cannot develop a quality software product that can connect with target audience across geographies.


written by for Enterprise Solutions section(s).