SaaS Testing Methodology & Development Process
SaaS Testing refers to the methods used to ensure that applications built using the software as a service model of development function as designed. SaaS Testing occurs after a specific iteration of the SaaS Development Process has been brought to closure. The SaaS Development Process and SaaS Testing are driven by the demands of a fast moving market of competing software services. Likewise, SaaS Testing and the SaaS Development Process must both use agile methods to achieve their intended goal of delivering quality software in a timely manner, to a very competitive marketplace.
The shorter testing cycle for SaaS delivery is also driven by differences in the architectural model of software delivered as a service, as compared to traditional software delivery. Subsequently, several testing elements within the scope of traditional software testing can be eliminated from the SaaS Testing Methodology. Along these lines, SaaS Testing does not require test cases for: client or server installations, multi-platform back-end support, multiple version support or backwards compatibility.
SaaS ISV’s typically have new or existing software pending release on a monthly basis or at least multiple times per year. This represents a substantially higher demand for testing and deployment than what occurs with the traditional model of software delivery. 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.
SaaS ISV’s can employ automation tools to handle any of the following QA (quality assurance) tasks: unit testing, functional testing of key application interfaces, testing of SOA interfaces and performance testing of the application running on the cloud services platform. This could possibly entail a public or private cloud environment. SaaS Testing may also be inclusive of any of the following elements: how the application performs in terms of its adherence to a specific set of industry standards, how the application performs in terms of security or how the application performs in terms of stated SLAs (service level agreements) that are required by clients of an ISV.
It is important to note that while testing automation promises to deliver optimal results in terms of the speed at which testing can be executed, it is still not a replacement for a well designed quality assurance plan. A solid QA plan should include the following: a well defined scope for elements to be tested, the identification of the automated testing tools that support the required testing, the level or depth of testing that will occur for each SaaS component, the processes for handling failed automated test cases, methods for managing the test cases in general, methods for managing the feedback received from the automated testing system and identification of QA resources to carry out the various task required for the entire Quality Assurance or SaaS Testing function within the organization.
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