The Battle of the Superheroes – Desktop Vs Web Application Testing

Tuesday, 27 December, 2016

A quality application cannot be assured without professional application testing performed by the superhero team named Software Testers. Application testing is a process of application evaluation by looking for any possible errors that could cause a breakdown.

In other words, Application Testing is looking for potential improvements of an application and its features, which is necessary for delivering a high-quality product to end-users. Or, as we like to say it, the Application Testing is a super-heroic act that provides a peaceful and pleasant experience to the majority of people by defending them from any threats. That is why the Software Testing is the most important part of Software Development Life Cycle.

Looking for errors in software product

Looking for errors in progress.

However, as you already know, not all superheroes are same. On the contrary, they are entirely different. Some come from Krypton, while the other ones come from Earth, but with the same goal in mind – to save humankind. The same goes with Application Testing. They can vary, but they all aim to provide the best possible solutions for clients’ and end-users’ needs. So, let’s get down to business and let’s talk about Desktop vs Web Application Testing.

Superhero no.1: Desktop Application Testing

What are Desktop Applications?

Before we start with a deep analysis of this superhero, we need to explain what does this superhero defend. Desktop Applications are full-function apps that indeed dependent on hardware resources. They require installation on each computer separately, and although nowadays people are sometimes afraid of that, they are still very popular. The Desktop application can be run on private computers and laptops or at a workstation. That is the basic guideline for creating the right environment while implementing Software Testing.

Web application testing

In the corner number one- salty snacks!

Common errors

Here are a few common errors that arise while developing Desktop Applications:

  1. Incorrect Shortcut Icon – especially common while updating an application to a new version with a new Icon.
  2. Incorrect Error or Warning Messages – especially important because if the message is incorrect – no one will be able to find solutions for his or her problems.
  3. Error While Installing – yes, this happens more often than you think.
  4. Unauthorised Features – it is always an issue when an application brings unauthorised features.
  5. Unauthorised Access – something that cannot be allowed. Approaching to any of the Application’s features in this way can cause enormous damage to users and the company.

So, now that have described the environment of our superhero, let’s start with its superhero characteristics.


Desktop Application Testing is essentially saving the application from breakdown by defending it from any possible errors or threats. It is not an easy job to do, but with great superheroes and professionals – everything should be smooth and satisfying. While performing a Desktop Application Testing, it is necessary to create the right environment and to test it on as many possible computers with a different configuration (different operating systems, 32 or 64 bit, with less/more RAM, etc.) as is possible. Software Testers should have full control over the application, which can be very complex if the testing is done through the Intranets.

Superhero Powers of Desktop Application Testers

As we have already said, there are plenty of super-heroic acts performed by Desktop Application Testers. A crucial part of writing the test cases is creating a testing checklist. In that way, they can easily create many test cases that will help them while testing Desktop Applications.

The Testing checklist should include:

  1. UI – Graphical User Interface Testing
  2. Functional Testing – Broken Links, Themes, Installation Testing, Warning/Error Messages, Testing with various User Accounts, Print, End-to-End Testing, Sleep Mode, Cache
  3. Performance Testing – How is everything performing, what’s its behaviour in an extended period of use
  4. Compatibility Testing – On various operating systems and versions of the system, on different configurations, etc.
  5. Power Consuming – Taking a look at Power Efficiency Diagnostics Report

Those are only a few of many different superhero powers of Software Application Testing. Performing by those procedures and end-to-end testing, they assure the quality of the final application to end-users. So, before we start with the final battle: Desktop vs Web Application Development, we need to describe all the powers hidden behind the Web Application Testers.

Superhero no.2: Web Application Testing

If we want this battle to be fair, we need to do the same as we did with the opponent, so allow us first to introduce the Web Applications.

Web applications are, as its name suggests, URL driven applications that work on web browsers. They are loaded on the server machine, and they do not require any installation on personal computers, laptops or workstations. They are online, and they have a lot to offer. The multimedia features of web browsers allowed the creation of interactive, multimedia, and user-friendly interfaces. These applications are more complex than Desktop Applications, which is the reason why they need special attention and extensive testing.

Web application testing requires a knowledge of different technologies, such as C#, .js, .php, .html and many others so they could know in which of these technologies the errors appear. It is also necessary for debugging the errors, but most of the time that procedure perform developers and not the testers.  Also, web application testers need to execute their test cases on various browsers and operating systems (Compatibility Testing). Software testers need to seize opportunities. They need to see if there are any places for improvements in functionalities, user interface, user experience, performance or anything else that could take the application to another level of greatness.

Web application testing

In the corner number two – Sweet snacks!

Superhero Powers of Web Application Testers

As we have seen in Desktop Application Testing, every superhero has its strengths and powers. These are the basic techniques of web application testing superhero acts:

  1. Functional Testing – Similar to Desktop Application testing, checking Broken Links, Forms, Cache, Cookies and Database connection.
  2. Usability Testing – User Experience and User Friendliness, Anchor Text, Sitemaps, etc.
  3. Interface Testing – Interaction between Application Server and Database Server.
  4. Performance Testing – Web stress testing and Web Load Testing.
  5. Compatibility Testing – Web browsers, Operating Systems, Mobile browsing, etc.
  6. Security Testing – As its name says, for safety purposes.

However, that still isn’t the end of our superheroes – Web Application Testers. They need to monitor the application and do a live testing before uploading it on the World Wide Web. After that, constant monitoring is necessary because an app that millions of people are using can easily be the main target for hackers and frauds, so they cannot allow any loopholes.

Now that we have presented their Powers and Strengths, it is time for the Superhero Battle: Desktop vs Web Application Testing.

The Battle of the Superheroes: Desktop Vs Web Application Testing

Desktop Applications are trustworthy and easily accessible. You can run them from everywhere you want if you have them installed on your computer. They do not depend on the Internet connection, so you can use them even if there is no network (unless it is a different kind of application that requires an Internet connection). They are safe because you have total control over them and the data is stored on your computer.

However, if you take a close look, not everything is great. You can access them only from a specific computer, and they require installation. Also, the performance deeply relies on your computer’s hardware and speed. Given that, you have probably realised what the main advantages and disadvantages of Desktop Application Testings are. These Applications need to test on every possible Operating System, and on as many different hardware as possible because they will not work the same. Also, it is impossible to monitor users while using the application.

The biggest advantage of a web application is flexibility. It does not require any installation, and it can be accessed from any computer by using only web browsers. Also, it is easy to monitor the behaviour of users while using the app. The biggest disadvantage of web applications is that they do have more security risks than their rivals because of everything being online. Also, everything depends on an internet connection, so if you get lost in the woods with your laptop, you cannot use it to find a map to get out of there. That makes web application testing much more demanding than the desktop application testing. Web application testers need to take a good care of everything before releasing the application, just like superheroes do need to think about the consequences.

Battle between Web and Desktop applications

Who Won the Battle?

Since every application is different, we cannot pronounce the winner of this Superhero Battle: Desktop vs Web Application Testing. Both desktop and web applications have their benefits and weaknesses, and they work separately, so their testings cannot really be compared.  But, we can say that desktop and web application testings are both application’s superheroes who can save them at any given moment.

Ana Lozančić

Ana is a content Marketing specialist and blogger. She graduated in Faculty of humanities and social sciences. She enjoys learning and applying knowledge about marketing and social media, covering latest trends and topics about software development subjects.

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