7 Things to Know about SaaS Application Testing

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The SaaS model naturally creates competition

Remember in like…2009 when everyone was saying, “There’s an app for that”? Now it feels like we can walk around saying “There’s a SaaS for that” and be absolutely correct.
The SaaS model has so many benefits for providers. They can more affordably deploy software because everything is in the cloud. They can create, deploy, and sell everything online as a one-person show, in fact. The barrier to entry is very low.

So, SaaS has led to increased competition in every software category, meaning companies need to be ever more vigilant about providing a quality experience every second of the day.

Less testing of software elements but more demand on software testing

  • Installation on a client or server
  • Support for multiple versions
  • Support for different platforms and backends

Even though there are fewer facets and components with software testing for SaaS, there’s actually greater demand on testing. This is due to frequent releases and the customer expectation of quick fixes. If something isn’t working, a user is likely to check back a couple hours later, expecting it to work.

Test cycles have to be short, fast, and partially automated

Performance testing ensures reliability in a shared database

With on-premise software, a user’s experience is tied most closely to his own environment and the behavior of his own organization. With the SaaS model, his experience could be affected by people on the other side of the world.

  • What is the workflow of each task and how complex is it?
  • What is the expected delivery speed of each web service?
  • How many customers use the platform how often?
  • What is expected of all integrated applications?

Either via automated simulations or manually orchestrated events, QA teams must recreate maximum-use scenarios to conduct stress testing and endurance testing.

QA can help validate the ability to scale

Communication within an organization is key. Is there a new promotion expected to bring in a massive influx of users? The QA team needs to be aware. The throughput of various workflows must be tested, as well as the capacity of the entire system.

Testers must become experts in customer experience

Testers must not only examine the pass/failure of these elements but also simultaneously evaluate how they serve the customer.

Actual (not theoretical) usage should drive test prioritization

Making use of real user data is critical for enhancing the real user experience. Testers should implement available metrics like performance and error rate to prioritize the testing of problem areas.

It’s also possible to uncover users’ favorite features, meaning that testers can identify those areas that deserve the most amount of attention for writing automated scripts and/or manually exploring.

Overall platform goals: keeping it lean or time to grow?

No matter what sort of application QA engineers are testing, it’s important to understand the business goals for the platform, to know what it is, what it isn’t, and who it serves.

But particularly in an arena with so much competition and where providers can easily pivot, the suggestions or enhancements must be made in complete alignment with the entire organization’s goals.

Quality assurance is, like any field, ever-changing, and the explosion of SaaS applications in all industries has caused some rapid changes recently. With SaaS, there’s an extra layer in the focus of QA: the need to consider the user base and platform experience as a whole, rather than just the functionality in small environments.
The heightened competition is a direct reflection of the model itself, and excellent QA is a secret weapon used by smart companies to help combat it.

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