SaaS, or Software as a Service Testing, is nothing but the method of using different validation activities to ensure that the quality of the software that is being developed is maintained. SaaS applications are those that run on the cloud rather than on hardware within the organization.
What makes SaaS testing different from traditional testing?
- The faster delivery makes quality assurance a factor of concern.
- The components of SaaS applications, which are non-configurable and configurable, can only be dealt with a good amount of business and domain knowledge.
- In order for users to have access to the benefits of the application at all times, SaaS application testers need to perform comprehensive tests.
- Automatic deployment, execution, and validation of the applications must be supported by the test environment.
SaaS Testing Methodology
As it is different from traditional applications and programs and works through a web interface on a cloud environment, the SaaS testing process involves testing with respect to specific, relevant, and on-demand web interfaces or platforms.
- Performance Testing
This involves testing the application in different chunks, that is, by dividing the application into multiple modules. The expected and actual throughputs are then compared and the bottlenecks are figured out. This is usually done via a checklist that aims to keep the speed, stability, and responsiveness in control.
- Security Testing
Although security is a detail that often goes overlooked, it is most important in case of a SaaS application. Any flaw in security could prove to be very harmful in such cases. Rigorous testing is done to make sure that your product can withstand cyber attacks from malicious softwares or people. The checklist for security testing must include multi-domain interactions, APIs, and integrations, with special attention given to those involving payments.
- Load Testing
SaaS applications can be easily accessed by the public, and therefore any new marketing campaigns can lead to heavy server traffic. In order to ensure that the application is capable of handling such loads and can keep up with the level of stress, it is necessary for testing teams to simulate these conditions.
- Integration Testing
More often than not, SaaS applications are used in combination with other applications. This is possible with the help of integration features that most applications offer today. It must be made sure that these integrations are secure and the flow of data is seamless. The data transfer must be monitored for accuracy and performance.
- Unit Testing
It is vital to check whether all the components of the application are performing their appropriate tasks. Individual pieces of code are checked with the help of automation scripts, and the errors in every section are noted for analysis.
Challenges in SaaS Testing
- Since the upgrades come very frequently, there is often little time to check both validity and security of the SaaS application.
- A major concern with SaaS testing is that the back-end components (those associated with user interface) are not validated yet
- Ensuring the data privacy of customers is difficult when there are different user behaviours simultaneously.
- Identifying the areas that are most accessed and testing them with several users from different locations are major challenges when it comes to SaaS performance testing.
- Maintaining the integrity and privacy of data during migration or integration of SaaS applications is also a challenging task.
- For every new release, SaaS testers must test usage, number of users, application functionality and other licensing factors.
- There is no standardization of the SaaS application.
How to overcome these challenges?
- Scripts must be automated so that frequent updates can be dealt with easily.
- Observe and determine the area with high level of access so that you can perform better performance testing on a time restriction.
- While integrating or migration, perform data encryption to increase security.
Best Practices in SaaS Testing
- Observe the patterns in various organizations in order to enhance your SaaS test efforts.
- Use hardware applications that have additional resources to evaluate the performance of your software
- Always ensure that you have complete access to the testing requirements necessary.
- Frequently test the performance of your application with heavy workloads by involving concurrent users from several environments.
- Prepare your test plan as soon as you receive the specification of testing requirements.
- Check security concerns before every migration or integration.