Acronym for Software as a service, Saas is a software licensing and distribution model in which a cloud provider hosts applications and makes them available to the end-users over the Internet- as a service. So, instead of installing and maintaining software in-house, you simply access it via the Internet (software is located on external servers), freeing yourself from complex software and hardware management. SaaS applications are also often referred to as Web-based software, on-demand software, or hosted software.
In the SaaS model, an organization need not purchase the entire software or hardware, it’s a subscription-based model where you make the purchase on a pay-as-you-go basis from a cloud service provider. Put simply, you rent the use of an app for your organization and your users connect to it over the Internet, usually with a web browser.
The SaaS model has been gaining massive momentum and is widely adopted by organizations as they are realizing the benefits of using SaaS over On-premise installed applications. It has definitely influenced changing the classic development processes and shifting them to the cloud. Although it brings a slew of benefits, it’s quite a tough decision sometimes for the organization to opt for SaaS as there are ample factors that come into play such as complexity of the system, application stack, and operational stacks. The decision becomes even tougher for organizations with legal applications as they are likely to have invested in their own data centers. Some of the other factors that come into play while choosing SaaS applications are Security, Compliances, ROI, Platform Suitability, and Integration. All these factors make SaaS testing necessary.
SaaS testing refers to processes or methods used to ensure that the applications developed using the SaaS model of development function as designed. It occurs after a specific iteration of the SaaS Development Process has been completed. The SaaS Development Process and SaaS Testing are driven by the demands of a fast-moving market of competing software services. Also, they both must use agile methods to achieve their objective of delivering quality software in a timely manner, to a very competitive marketplace.
SaaS applications entail thorough testing for their integrity, different from that of on-premise applications. This involves testing data security and privacy, business logic, data integration, performance, interface compatibility, scalability, etc.
SaaS testing also has shorter testing cycles because of the architectural model of software delivered as a service, as compared to traditional software delivery. SaaS testing methodology thus does not require test cases for client or server installations, multi-platform back-end support, multiple version support, or backwards compatibility.
The SaaS Testing Methodology incorporates agile methods to speed up application testing, so a SaaS vendor’s services can be more rapidly delivered to the market. Likewise, a key element in agile testing is the use of automated testing tools. Because SaaS applications function in a cloud computing environment that incorporates SOA (service-oriented architecture) and Web Services into the fold, SaaS applications are well-positioned for the implementation and use of automated testing methods.
Here are the different testing that you need to perform for SaaS applications-
Performance is arguably one of the most important factors for SaaS applications. While on-premises applications are tilted towards users’ environment, customer experience in SaaS-based products can be affected by other people. Thus, performance testing becomes essential; where stress and load tests are executed. Testers identify the upper limits of software capacity and evaluate its behavior under an expected number of concurrent users. Here, each module of the application needs to be performance-tested along with the workflow.
During Interoperability testing, it is checked that the SaaS application is able to function properly across platforms and browsers so that users from different backgrounds can use them. With verifying every browser or platform, QA specialists cover the full scope of testing configurations and provide seamless software operation for a wide range of users.
Security is a major concern and can be a deal-breaker if you are opting for SaaS applications. Therefore, proper security testing therefore should be conducted to avoid any threats to the data and privacy. To identify vulnerabilities and dodge data breaches, QA specialists perform penetration testing searching for possible bottlenecks.
Once the application has undergone code changes, it’s important to cross-verify that the recent changes haven’t impacted the untouched or other application areas. SaaS regression testing incorporates a range of test cases.
API testing is a must for organizations dealing with SaaS products. In this case, instead of using default user inputs and outputs, QA engineers execute positive and negative scenarios of calls to the APIs and analyze the responses of system interactions. Such an approach allows ensuring beforehand that an API application and a calling solution work properly.
Your SaaS application might be integrated with many APIs. The data migration and integration should be checked and tested while ensuring data privacy and security.
Developing a truly bug-free SaaS application requires adding SaaS testing in the IT strategy within its specifics including wise cloud resources consumption, prompt updates, multi-tenancy, and customization. Though SaaS testing comes with its unique set of challenges, the right skillset and planning can help mitigate risks associated with it.
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