SaaS Testing – What it is all about?

What does SaaS Mean?

SaaS stands for Software as a Service. It is a solution whereby software is made available for enterprises over the internet.

With SaaS, organizations have no need to purchase and install software on multiple computers or terminals. It saves the cost of hardware purchase, software acquisition, system maintenance and extra support services.

It provides benefits like on-demand software delivery, cloud computing and pay-per-use.  

Some common SaaS applications include Google Apps, Cisco Web Ex, Salesforce, Hubspot, Slack, ZenDesk, and DocuSign.

These services are readily available over the internet and they do not need any installation from the end-user. 

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SaaS has helped several organizations with their software delivery and cloud computing needs.

SaaS Testing

SaaS is now a widely used solution adopted by various industries and organizations. It has advanced the growth of cloud computing.

After the development of the application has begun, SaaS testing involves testing the entire SaaS platform appropriately.

The time length of the testing cycle depends on the type of software that is adopted.

SaaS testing involves various validation processes that are designed to ensure the quality of the software is top-notch.

The validation activities for SaaS testing include performance testing, reliability testing, scalability testing, security testing, data integration testing etc.

Here are the benefits of SaaS app testing:

  • Ease of availability
  • Improved scalability and reliability
  • Pay per use
  • The flexibility of resource pricing and scaling
  • Easy upgrade and update of SaaS applications
  • Continual upgrade testing for addition of new users
  • Ease of fault recovery
  • Software deployment and maintenance cost savings
  • Reduction of internal system dependencies
  • Rapid deployment of software with higher accessibility

SaaS Application Testing

Here are the various tests that need to be carried out when SaaS applications are being tested:

  1. Business workflow test: Business workflows must work as intended for the SaaS application. It is necessary to understand the various components and competent functionalities of the application to test it and get as many benefits from it as possible.      
  2. Availability Testing: Availability testing involves testing the apps at all times to ensure that it is available for all users, and there is no downtime for any user.      
  3. Stress Testing and Load Testing: This involves testing the SaaS application with load and stress that is more than its designed operational capacity to assess how it responds to these loads and the results it provides.
  4. Interoperability Testing: This involves testing the SaaS application so that it can work smoothly in all software platforms and environments. This ensures that users from any background can use the SaaS application. 
  5. Performance Testing: The most important thing to test for SaaS applications is performance. Every module of the SaaS application must be tested along with its workflow. The expected throughput of the workflow must be determined by the testers. The system is stressed with load tests, so its ability to handle unsteady loads is determined and the maximum supported levels are determined. SaaS performance testing is critical for every SaaS provider.
  6. Security Testing: Security is paramount for every SaaS application. It is mandatory that the SaaS application is properly tested security-wise and there are no data threat or privacy threat.
  7. Migration and Integration Testing: This type of test involves integrating the SaaS application with several API and testing data integration and migration capability while ensuring data security and privacy.

Challenges in Testing SaaS Applications

  1. Performance Testing: SaaS applications require modelling of user mix, application usage, most common transactions and other properties. This requires more effort and concentration than a regular onsite application.
  2. Security testing: It isn’t easy to guarantee data integrity, data accessibility and security for various users on one SaaS application. There is a need for testers to understand user behavioral patterns, user privilege levels, and user individual requirement for every user while ensuring data privacy.  
  3. Data Migration: Data migration could be difficult across various SaaS applications and from one other application to a SaaS application. It could take a lot of time to understand the necessary requirements and the various integration validation processes that are needed.
  4. The management of change through regular releases: Each time the SaaS application is upgraded, there is a need for users to understand the changes that the application went through, the effect of the changes, the validation of the application against existing systems, and ensuring that the app upgrade does not affect existing features negatively. A lot of SaaS applications have frequent releases and it isn’t easy to manage changes within one or two weeks. Sometimes, the SaaS upgrade involves integration issues, compatibility issues and change of interface from the old to new and this may pose problems for subscribers. Live upgrades that are continually tested and simulated on the SaaS application might disturb the usage of regular users.
  5. Integration: There is a need for outbound and inbound data integration validation from a client network to a SaaS provider when subscribers integrate their internal enterprise applications with SaaS. This makes it tough to carry out exhaustive validation while guaranteeing total data privacy and security.          
  6. Licensing: The licensing of the SaaS application could differ by usage, functionality, number of concurrent users, the volume of transactions, quantity of data specified etc. There is a need to test the SaaS licensing after every release.

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The use of SaaS applications is increasing rapidly and the apps have continued to evolve over time at a fast rate.

It’s hard to find a major enterprise that isn’t using on SaaS application or the other. SaaS applications save money, time and other resources. And they offer a lot of conveniences.

Before selecting a SaaS application for your organization, there is a need for you to test it well and ensure that the application meets your specific needs.

Your needs vary from the needs of another organization, so you need to carry out all technical tests and ensure that the SaaS application is the best for you. Finding the right SaaS application will reduce the challenges you face with the application. 

Author: Pradeep Parthiban
Pradeep is a Content Writer and Digital Marketing Specialist at Indium Software with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry.