The Role of Proxy Serves in Application Testing

Proxy servers are not all about accessing restricted content. Tests like localisation testing require you to use a proxy to access your clients’ test environments. This article will discuss what a proxy server is and its role in testing.

What is a Proxy Server?

A proxy server is an intermediary between a company’s network and the internet. When users access the internet through proxies, the request will be routed through the proxy. It will, then, assess this request before forwarding it to the internet. This allows users to browse the internet with anonymity

Proxy servers are protocol-specific. This means that different types of proxy servers have different functions depending on how you use them. It can be location-based, traffic flow-based, or IP-based.

One of the most popular proxy servers used is residential proxies. This proxy server makes you look like a real user in a specific location of the website you want to access. It gives you a different IP address, which is connected to a real device. This proxy is useful when you want to do web scraping.

Role of Proxy Server in Application Testing

Suppose you want to know what the language setting your application displays to users. The best solution would be to go to your target location and check the website as a user. 

This is easy if you’re only targeting one specific location. But it’s more difficult with multiple locations. That’s why companies use proxy servers to test the application’s functionality

Proxy servers function in three ways in application testing:

  • Monitor traffic between the application and server
  • Modify application requests and server responses
  • Change internet connection speed

Proxies such as Charles can help you find a bug in your application. They allow you to monitor all HTTP traffic between you and the internet. To elaborate, you can easily get to the source of the problem and look through different errors that are identified. After this, the proxy will replicate multiple test scenarios. Consider this. While testing one of your applications, you find that it sends you a different result when you try searching through it. 

When you use a proxy, you can configure it to forward to you all of your application’s traffic. By doing so, you can check all the requests that your application is creating and determine which of these are sending errors.

Their role still depends on what testing tool you are using. For example, a traditional proxy server can help you monitor the performance and availability of applications in multiple areas. Testing applications that rely on third-party services benefit most from this.

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Usually, testers don’t know where in the map a user will run the app. This creates problems because they won’t know which third-party cloud storage the app should connect to. Cloud storage providers behave differently in different regions. That’s why testers must consider using a proxy while testing an application that is dependent on cloud storage.

Benefits of Proxy Servers in Application Testing

Aside from localization testing, there are other ways proxy servers can help you when you undergo application testing. These include:

1. Limits traffic to only one application

Instead of setting up the whole operating system, a proxy server allows you to configure a specific application to use the proxy. One application can connect to a different country, while other applications continue to connect to their needed services. This can happen when you use a proxy server.

This is extremely useful when you’re performing application testing. By doing this, you can reduce unnecessary delays with your testing software.

2.  Allows you to perform parallel testing

You can allocate one proxy server to use for every application that you open. And they don’t interfere with each other. This takes away the time needed for testing your applications since you can run a series of tests. Each one of the tests will use its own proxy server.

3. Your applications support proxies

Proxy servers have been used in the HTTP standard for almost two decades. The applications you’re using most likely support them. Additionally, they can be set up as though it is a part of your test suite, instead of some type of external command.

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Conclusion

Proxy servers provide companies with different functions depending on their needs. It has its uses both in increasing security and in application testing. A proxy server is best used when doing localisation testing. Although you may encounter challenges when you perform application testing with proxy servers, it’s still worth it in the end.

 

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About the Author

Dan

Dan has been building teams and coaching others to foster innovation and solve real-time problems. Dan also enjoys photography and traveling.
Find out more about @danielm

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