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Difference in Desktop, Client Server and Web Application Testing

The key feature of these type of testing is environment in which they are tested. Each one of these has different environments, technologies and the amount of effort required is varied across different domains. When the user moves from one type of testing to another the user loses its control over the environment entirely.


What is Desktop Testing?

Desktop Testing is performed on personal computers, machines and systems. It required knowledge of how the user interacts with the application. Desktop applications require knowledge of the operating system and database. In this type of testing we focus on specific environment. It involves testing the application completely in features like graphical user interface, functionality, backend, and database and load. The user also needs to find out the ways to check memory leaks and unhandled exceptions.


What is Client Server Testing?

Client Server applications run on two or more systems. It required knowledge on networking. System is installed on the server and an executable file in run of the systems/client machines in intranet. In this type of testing we test the application GUI on both the systems (server and client), we check the functionality, load, database and the interaction between client and server. In Client server testing the user needs to find out the load and performances issues and work on the code area. The test cases and test scenarios for this type of testing are derived from the requirements and experience.   The tests performed on these type of applications would be

  • User interface testing
  • Manual  testing
  • Functionality testing
  • Compatibility testing
  • Configuration testing
  • Interoperability testing


What is the Web Application Testing?

Web Applications are the applications which run on two or more machines. The web applications are URL driven and work on web browsers. In Web application the web application is loaded on the server machine who’s may or may not be known and there is no executable file present which need to be installed on Client Systems. These types of applications are more complex and require broad testing. The tester needs to have knowledge about how the web application is interaction with the user. It also requires knowledge on various technologies like pHp, JavaScript, debugging. The web testing is done on different browsers, different OS. The application is checked for its browser compatibility and operating system compatibility, features like functionality, back end, GUI, load testing , static page testing.

The tests performed under the web application testing would be:

  • User interface testing
  • Functionality testing
  • Security testing
  • Browser compatibility testing
  • Operating System compatibility testing
  • Load  testing and performance testing, stress testing
  • Inter-operability testing
  • Storage and data volume testing

Read more on => Complete Guide To Your Web Application Testing

Difference in Desktop, Client Server and Web Application Testing


What is the difference in Desktop, Client Server and Web Application Testing:

Desktop Application Testing Client Server Application Testing

Web Application Testing

1. Application which run on single system /computer or workstation. 1. Client Server testing runs on two more computers. 1. It also runs on two more computers.
2. There is no server or client and it is a standalone application. 2. There are two or more systems in which one is server and other is client. The application is loaded on server and an executable file is installed on the client machines. 2.There are two or more systems in which one is server and other is client. The application is loaded on server and there is not executable file.
3. It has a single user. 3. It has multiple user but limited number. 3. It has unlimited users.
4. There is no client and server. 4. In this we have knowledge about the server location. 4. Here we may or may not have any knowledge about the server location.
5.  It is done on a single machine or work station. 5. It is performed on 2 tier application generally. 5. It is performed on 3 tier application generally.
6. In Desktop applications we test application features like GUI, backend and load. 6. In Client Server we test features of applications like GUI on both sides, functionality. 6. In Web application testing we test the application functionality, OS compatibility and browser compatibility.
7. Here the environment is the user machine. 7. Here the environment is usually the intranet. 7. Here the environment is web browsers.
8. These are desktop driven application. 8. These are menu driven application testing. 8. Web Testing is URL driven testing.
9. in Desktop Application there is only one user accessing it and the application may or may not require authentic access. 9.  In Client Server application there are limited users and the application user are already known before. They might have an username/password to access the application. 9. In Web Application there are u unlimited users and it can be accessed by all the users.


Example of Desktop, Client Server and Web Application Testing:

Desktop Application: Applications like MS Excel, MS Word, and Outlook. Some desktop applications made by technologies like HTML and JS which allow the developers to write code. Thus the desktop applications are also made of these technologies.

Client Server Application: These applications are 2 –tier developed in LAN usually. They have a front end in form of forms and reports. The front end would allow the user to manipulate and fetch data. These applications are developed in C#, VB, Core Java etc and would user Database like MySQL, Oracle, Sybase.

Web Application: These applications 3 –tier usually developed in Internet. These have a browser, a web server and a database. These applications are generally built in HTML, Javascript, XML etc and the web server is generally built in Java, ASP, JavaScript, VBScript, PHP. The Database servers would be oracle, sql server, mysql etc.

Read more on ==> Difference Between Two-Tier and Three-Tier Architecture



Almost every tester is working in one of the category like Desktop application, Client Server application or Web Application Testing. All the applications are different and has it’s own advantages and disadvantages. Please tell us on which category you are working on and share your experience in comment below. Also please share this article with your friends if you think they should know.
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5 comments to Difference in Desktop, Client Server and Web Application Testing

  • amol

    Very well explained sir… Thanks

  • Sammy

    Very well explained.

  • Gauri

    Please share the information on three tier architecture.

    Thanks in advance

  • Praveen

    Example of Desktop is available, And Client Server and Web Application Testing examples were missing ,can u just add if possible

  • Venky


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