What is the Purpose of Localization Testing for Software & Applications

The purpose of localization testing is to ensure that an application cleanly functions and is usable on a system configured with a foreign language environment.  Compatibility testing that takes into account North American operating systems is one thing. What happens if you have to support foreign language versions? Most companies are ill-equipped to configure systems and provide a test environment for localized versions of their software.

  • Verify display and format of localized text
  • Side-by-side content validation and functional compliance

Here at Beta Breakers, our software libraries are replete with localized versions of both Windows and Macintosh operating systems and our QA staff are very experienced setting up real-world conditions – even if that ‘world’ may be somewhere else.

While the industry switch to Unicode for globalization purposes has addressed many of the early issues developers were forced to contend with when localizing an application, many potential pitfalls remain.

Font selection, properly formatting data to match cultural expectations, and even the placement of controls and the selection of iconography can all impact both how an application is received in its target market, and whether it meets its intended programmatic functionality.

Beta Breakers’ experienced test engineers are well-prepared to consider all the facets of proper localization and give your developers the feedback they need to make your application successful in any language.

Beta Breakers maintains extensive libraries of both virtual and physical operating systems in a variety of languages, as well as retaining the capability to test software localization purely through the available regional settings within a given operating system. These localized environments can be rapidly deployed across dozens of discrete system configurations, allowing our labs to rapidly simulate any desired region with a minimum of hassle or expense to our clients.

Not sure what the potential hazards of software localization are?

We encourage you to take a look at http://www.microsoft.com/globaldev/DrIntl/faqs/faqs.mspx and http://developer.apple.com/internationalization/ for a detailed discussion of what it takes to make an application truly global in scope.

Rest assured, Beta Breakers Quality Assurance Labs will be here to support your internationalization effort in every way that we can!

What is the Methodology for Localization Testing

Once the list of localized environments has been defined, a Beta Breakers test team will configure a variety of systems with localized versions of the target operating system.

If the intended testing requires browsers, settings within these browsers are adjusted so that the test suite mimics a real world environment for the target language.

Use cases are then defined in order to ensure that testing includes all aspects of what we might typically test for on a native system.

Common localization testing tasks include:

  • Testing for proper installation and un-installation,
  • Confirming that data has been properly formatted to coincide with regional expectations (date fields for example),
  • Checking to see if the placement of controls is consistent with the user’s expectations,
  • And most importantly, ensuring the core functionality of the application is still intact.

In essence, our approach to localization testing is to verify that the user experience is the same for any non-native configuration of the application and platform.