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Desktop Application testing vs Website application testing

Desktop vs Web application testing-ACCELQ
Posted On: 14 January 2023

With the growing number of applications, modern-day users have loads of choices on their hands. They can either install them on their desktops as desktop applications or access them on the web as website (or web) applications.

As these applications run in different environments, they require different types of software testing. Desktop application testing is all about performing testing on desktop apps. Website application testing is all about testing any type of web application or cloud-based application.

While there are some similarities, both these types of application testing need to be approached differently for the best results.

What is Desktop application testing?

Desktop Application-ACCELQ

A desktop application is any software program that can run on a desktop computer or personal laptop. Once installed, a single user can only use a desktop app. Further, these applications do not need Internet connectivity to operate. Additionally, network latency or other network-related problems do not affect the performance of the desktop application. Examples of desktop apps include Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat Reader, and Google Chrome.

Also referred to as standalone application testing. Desktop testing is for applications that can run on any operating system. Desktop application testing typically includes methods like usability testing, functional testing, regression testing, and compatibility testing. Among the latest trends, a desktop automation framework can efficiently test the functionality of desktop apps.

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Here are the salient features of desktop application testing:

  • This testing method measures the functionality, usability, and security of the application after deployment.
  • Desktop application testing must also include the installation and uninstallation functions of the application.
  • This method needs a predefined environment that can test and monitor the application.
  • Desktop testing is simpler in Intranets for a specific number of application servers and client tools.
  • This type of testing requires multiple computers with different operating systems and configurations.
  • Software testers have complete control over the desktop application testing.

What then is website application testing? Let’s discuss that next.

What is Website application testing?

Commonly referred to as a web application, website applications execute on web browsers as against installing them on any machine. Web applications are accessible over the Internet by many users using a browser tool. Simply put, users can access web applications by entering the app URL on their browsers. Examples of web applications include Facebook, Twitter, and Google.

How does a web application work? Typically, a web application requires three elements: the browser, web server, and database. Here is how it works:

  1. Using the browser tool, the user sends the request for data access to the webserver.
  2. The web server then retrieves the requested data from the database.
  3. The web server then transmits the application data to the browser.

Hence, website application testing executes on different browser tools and requires Internet connectivity. Software testers need to be well-versed with web technologies like PHP and JavaScript to perform web testing. Web application testing typically includes methods like testing for user interfaces, browser compatibility, functionality, performance, and security. Additionally, the latest development trends include the use of web test automation.

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Here are the salient features of web application testing:

  • Web application testing can test websites and web applications for any software bugs.
  • Web application testing is completed before the website (or application) goes live for users.
  • The functionality testing of web applications includes functionalities like the user interface (UI), APIs, database, and website-related functionalities.
  • Test Automation of website applications can offload repetitive testing tasks from “human” testers to machines.

Difference between Desktop and Website Application Testing

Having understood what desktop and website application testing are, let us next understand how they differ from each other. Let us look at the following parameters that highlight the main differences:


Typically, desktop app testing executes on a single computer or workstation. On the other hand, web application testing executes on a three-tier system comprising the browser, web server, and database.


For desktop application testing, code deployment, or any upgrades independently executes on all client machines. For web application testing, application deployments or upgrades execute on a single set of server machines.

Security testing:

Overall, desktop apps come with the necessary user authorization and administrative control. Hence, cyberattacks or any security threats are less likely to impact desktop applications. Thus, desktop application testing does not require (or requires minimum levels of) security testing. Web applications are extremely prone to cyberattacks and security risks due to their easy accessibility. Hence, security testing must be an integral part of web application testing.

Scope of testing:

Desktop and web application testing differ in terms of application functionality to be tested. For instance, desktop testing can include application features, including the GUI elements, backend database, and application load. On the other hand, web application testing includes application features like Browser and operating system compatibility, broken links, data volume, UI, and cross-browser.


As desktop applications are accessed only from their deployed machines, application testing would involve testing the application features on the deployed machine. On the other hand, web applications are deployed on web servers, which are accessible from any location or user. Hence, web application testing involves testing the application from different computers, including remote locations.

Why ACCELQ for Application testing?

At ACCELQ, we provide end-to-end testing for all applications built on various frameworks. Here is how you can look to accelerate your application testing with the ACCELQ platform. This ground-breaking test automation tool is designed for testing both web and desktop applications.

Learn more about our testing capabilities and how they can help your company. Just request a demo today!

Suma Ganji

Senior Content Writer

Expertly navigating technical and UX writing, she crafts captivating content that hits the mark every time. With a keen SEO understanding, her work consistently resonates with readers while securing prime online visibility. When the day's work ends, you'll find her immersed in literary escapades in her quaint book house.

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