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Software Testing – Globalization Testing

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Globalization Testing is a type of software testing that is performed to ensure the system or software application can function independently of the geographical and cultural environment. It ensures that the application can be used all over the world and accepts all language texts. 
Nowadays with the increase in various technologies, every software product is designed in such a way that it is a globalized software product. 

What is Globalization Testing?

Globalization Testing is a process of validating whether a website delivers a customized user experience to users across the globe. It is used to test the software for multiple languages and improve the application for various languages.

  • Globalization testing ensures that the application will support multiple languages.
  • It ensures that the application provides a customized user experience to all users across the globe.
  • It makes sure that without breaking the functionality, the code can handle all international support.
  • It detects potential problems in the application.

Purpose of Globalization Testing

  • Detect problems: Globalization testing is a testing technique that detects potential problems in the application.
  • Ensures customized user experience: Globalization testing ensures customized user experience for all users across the globe.
  • Ensures application has multi-lingual support: It ensures that the application has multi-lingual features and thus supports all languages across the world.
  • To define user interface: Globalization testing is used to define the user interface of the application.
  • Ensures that code controls international support: Globalization testing ensures that the code controls all international support without breaking the functionality of the application.

What needs to be Tested?

Below are some of the parameters that need to be tested in Globalization testing:

  • Date and Time formatting.
  • Currency handling.
  • Sensitivity to language vocabulary.
  • Paper sizes for printing.
  • Zip code format.
  • Address and telephone number formatting.
  • Mobile number format.

Need for Globalization Testing

1. Language vocabulary: The application should be designed in such a way that it can easily understand multiple languages.

In India —> Hindi and English

In Spain —> Spanish

2. Pincode format: The application should be designed in such a way that it handles the zip code functionality properly. For example, if the user enters Country India and then the Pincode field should only accept 6-digit Pincode.

In India —> 6-Digit Pincode

In US —> 5-Digit-4-Digit

3. Phone number and mobile number format: The application should be able to handle phone numbers, mobile number formats, and ISD codes of all countries.

In India —> +91

In UK —> +44

4. Currency format: The application should support all types of currency formats as every country has its own currency format.

In India —> INR

In Canada —> CAD

5. Date and Time Format: The time and date format vary from country to country. The application should be able to handle multiple formats. 

In India —> DD MMMM YYYY


6. Address format: The application should be tested in such a way that it can access the address format for multiple countries.

In India —> Address order is name, city, state and postal code.

In Japan —> Address order is postal code, state, city.

Types of Globalization Testing

There are two types of globalization testing:

1. Localization testing: Localization testing is a process of modifying the software product according to each locale (language, code page, territory, etc) that is to be supported. The objective here is to provide a product the look and feel for a target market irrespective of their culture, location, and the language. It is also known as L10N testing.

  • It involves translation of the software and its presentation to the end-user.
  • The transalation considers icons, graphics, user manuals , documentation, etc.

2. Internationalization testing: Internationalization testing is the process of developing and planning the software which allows to localize the application for any given language, culture, or region without demanding any changes in the source code. It is also known as I18N testing. 

  • It checks whether the application is working uniformly around various global regions and cultures.
  • The aim here is to verify if the code can deal with all the international support with no breaking of functionality. 
  • It focus on language compatibility testing which involves verifying if the product can behave correctly in a particular language environment.
  • It involves UI validation where aim is to identify visual problems like graphical issues, text overlapping, etc.
  • It involves installation testing which involves trying to install app in different native languages and check if the installation messages are displayed correctly in different languages.
  • Internationalization testing involves interoperability testing that involves testing the software over targeted cross platforms, app versions, operating systems, etc.

Globalization Testing Approach

Below are the steps that can be followed for creating a globalized product that can be released in multiple markets simultaneously:

  1. Test Strategy and Planning: This phase involves identifying the I18N and L10N areas for testing and creating test strategies for both the types of globalization testing.
  2. Test Case Design: In this phase, test cases are designed for I18N and L10N requirements.
  3. Test Environment Setup: This step involves setting up the environment with common server with multiple locale or as per the client’s requirement.
  4. Test Execution: This steps involves executing the designed test cases in the configured setup as per the user expectations.
  5. Defect Reporting and Analysis: Critical bugs are detected, reported and further analyzed to find a solution to fix them.
  6. Test Summary Report: Test summary report is created listing all the detected defects with possible fixes.

Globalization Testing vs Localization Testing

Features Globalization Testing Localization Testing
Definition Globalization testing is done to check the proper functioning of the code using every possible international input. Localization testing is done to ensure the quality and proper functioning of the product for a particular target locale.
Code In globalized product, the code is separated from the information. This is not the case with the localized product.
Focus area Focus application’s capabilities on users as the generic user base. Focus is on a subset of users in a given culture or locale.
Purpose Purpose here is to ensure that the code can handle all international support without breaking the functionality. Purpose is to verify the linguistic accuracy, resource attributes, check typographical errors, etc.
Time requirement Globalization testing takes time to implement tests. Localization testing takes less time to implement tests.
Tests performed Globalization testing validates different country formats such as address format, zip code format, date, and time format, etc. Localization testing particular address format, currency format, date and time format, etc.
Assumption While executing globalization testing, the test engineer assumes that the software is being tested and used across the world. While executing localization testing, the test engineer assumes that the software is being tested and will be used by a certain group of users in a particular locality.

Benefits of Globalization Testing

  • Helps to create scalable product: It makes the software product more flexible and scalable.
  • Save time: It saves overall time and effort for software testing.
  • Reduce time for localization testing: Globalization testing helps to reduce the time and cost for localization testing.
  • Enhance customer base: Globalization testing helps to enhance the customer base around the world.
  • Improves product quality: Globalization testing helps to improve the product quality and increase the code design.
  • Ensures application reusability: Globalization testing helps to ensure that the application can be used in multiple languages without the need of rewriting the entire software code.

Limitations of Globalization Testing

  • Schedule challenge: Test engineers facing schedule challenges in Globalization testing.
  • Requires domain expert: To perform globalization testing requires a domain expert.
  • Costly procedure: For globalization testing, there is a need to hire a local translator thus making the entire procedure costlier in comparison to another testing approach.

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Last Updated : 18 Aug, 2023
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