SaaS or Software as a Service model is increasingly becoming popular. Thanks to its features like – quick deployment, reduced dependency on internal systems, an increase in availability, reliability of resource and most importantly low upfront costs, it serves as the best choice. However, looking at the flip side, the companies are under immense pressure to release new features at a fast pace. Adapting agile methodology for development and testing has helped the businesses, but has also come with the challenges – the need to deliver quality software. So, what could be done? How can you assure the quality of the software yet make a quick delivery?
Codeless Automated testing for SaaS-based web apps
We all know how crucial is to test any software, but with a SaaS-based application there are numerous challenges that makes testing of utmost importance. So let’s take a glance to the challenges of SaaS Application and how codeless testing could help overcome them –
|Serial #||Requirements of a SaaS application||Why is it important||Solution By Codeless Test Automation|
|1||Frequent Updates and UI Validation|| || |
|2||Scalability and Performance|| || |
|3||Security|| || |
|4||Integrations & APIs|| || |
|5||Cross Browser functionality|| || |
As an entrepreneur, if you are looking to reduce the testing efforts, test automation could be beneficial. It not only reduces the time-to-market but could also help you with providing accurate results. For building the test automation framework, test automation strategy in-house, here is the quick approach and best practices that could help you –
Test Automation Approach for SaaS Products
An efficient automation is one reduces manual effort, improves test coverage, reliability and provides a positive ROI. Hence while formalizing a test automation framework, fundamentally for a SaaS product, you should keep in mind the features of SaaS –
Record and Play Approach
The most basic test automation approach offers convenience, low implementation cost and easy to be deployed. However, it does not provide flexibility and maintaining a record and play tool when manual intervention is required could be a costly affair in the long run.
The approach is best suited when a significant amount of data is to be tested under different combinations. It involves some scripting, and hence team should be skilled enough to check data output under various conditions.
A testing approach that could be expanded to various platforms, applications and environments. It suits for large/small data sets and projects of long/short duration. However initial implementation cost is one of the major pitfalls of this approach.
Hybrid Keyword Approach
The most sophisticated test approach that is long-lasting, flexible, provides you with ample checkpoints, sustainable and comes with an ability to integrate with external objects. But again, the initial implementation cost is enormous, and during initial months you may not witness a positive ROI. Hybrid keyword approach is a long-term test automation strategy and may not be the right choice for short-lived and straightforward projects.
Best Practices for Testing SaaS Products
- Make sure to set aside resources and time to measure the performance of the SaaS application.
- Get a clear understanding of the requirement and “How it needs to be tested.” Just for example does SaaS product needs integration with any other application? Or Would it work under different environments?
- With frequent release, set aside some time for exploratory testing in every release that helps in getting new test cases and bugs
- Make sure to perform upgrade testing, data migration testing with frequent upgrades and changes of SaaS application
- Ensure the security, stability and quality of the SaaS application when connected to third party APIs
- Set an estimate to your test automation efforts. Just for example once you guys have decided on the approach, how much time do you think it would need to write one test script? How much time does it need to execute it? It would help in comparing the estimated and actual efforts, thereby re-aligning your test strategy and leading to a higher ROI.
- The user base is quite crucial for a SaaS application, hence make sure to have room to scale up in case it is needed.
- Set up a plan for disaster recovery to ensure your users are not in a hung state in case of discontinuance of service.
- Ensure Reliability testing in your release cycle for smooth deployment of code onto live site.
While founders know, the prime motive of building a SaaS application is that it is customer focussed. Have you thought they are also getting the quality? SaaS testing is a comprehensive test solution that includes Functional, Security, Load, Performance, Cross-Browser, and compliance testing. Codeless Test Automation of SaaS test scripts shortens the test cycle helping in frequent upgrades and release of SaaS application.
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Quick time-to-market earns customer loyalty
In my previous firm when we were looking for a team collaboration web app, we approached one of the solution providers. We liked their product but it needed some customization to suit our needs. They promised us a quick delivery.
On the delivery day, we had big smile on our faces. But as we ran the product all of us were left disappointed. The web app failed as it returned erroneous data when fetching information from other productivity apps. It was too buggy to be useful. The whole promise of delivering it first, delivering it best, vanished.
With competitors at every corner, deploying first could reap benefit only when you can assure quality. By automating your functional test suite you are assuring quality in the agreed time. Your ability to deliver will earn you customer loyalty.
Amplified reusability of test scripts
A booking web app can have input parameters with many variations. Say, a date input which varies across the users. The date needs to be tested with various combinations of logins, locations, time, and other user inputs.
With manual testing, any such web app can take hours if not days of work. The same tests can be put on automation. The scripts once made will be repeatedly used for various combinations of inputs. This amplification reduces the effort significantly while testing for a wide range of inputs.
Moreover, manual testing doesn’t reduce your efforts when minor changes are made to a feature. With automation you only need to edit the test case for the changed part. As this takes only a few minutes, the tests can start running immediately. Thus, the feature is deployed much faster.
It is important to note that not all automation frameworks support importing data sets. Some frameworks only allow changing data set from the script. Few other frameworks need variations in the scripts for a single data set. These are laborious and time consuming approaches.
Hence, you must use a framework that allows importing of data sets. By doing this you can test all possible combination of inputs with a single script. This approach gives higher ROI compared to other frameworks.
Improved quality leads to a strong brand
One of my acquaintance (a crazy shopper) has abandoned a shopping site for a small reason. She found that few items in her cart disappeared when she wanted to checkout. The website had a fault – It couldn’t notify the items that cannot be delivered to her location. All her efforts in selecting the items was wasted. She left the website angry.
Although this website offered great discounts, she has not changed her mind. She (like many other users) speaks about this experience in her social circle. The bad review gets compounded and the brand will lose customers for not meeting the quality.
Brand building comes from years of effort. The web app also grows more complex and has chances to ruin the reputation even with small errors. Thus, precision in testing a complex web app is important. Even a diligent tester will make mistakes during manual testing. Automated tests perform the same steps with more precision and never forgets to give detailed results.
Ensuring quality in large number of new releases
Ensuring quality in large number of new releases is difficult even with a QA team. One of our FinTech clients frequently releases features and updates. They have a team of eight QA engineers testing the code developed by thirty developers. The QA team leader is constantly under pressure to sign off on the quality of these releases to production.
For example, last week, they introduced 2 big and 3 smaller features, such as a change in user interface (UI), a new report, as well as stability issues and bug fixes. And these needed to be live in two days.
This is a tall order to manage. To avoid having to spend nights and weekends at work, their team adopted CloudQA to automate their entire regression test suite. The team made their workload manageable while ensuring that the releases maintained quality.
Enhanced test coverage boosts team morale
Imagine this – you have a team of manual testers, working on functional testing to be released into production in few days. The usual constraints and glitches (like environment not up or the build failed or smoke test failed) shorten the duration to one day, they try their level best and make the release. The next day your client reports a priority one bug. You could take out the frustration on your team thereby making the team frustrated.
Automating would help the team to perform exploratory testing in parallel or perform integration testing before the release. The unimpeded performance of the product will help boost the morale of your team.
We can help in improving the functional quality
CloudQA can help you in deploying high quality web applications faster. TruRT, our functional test tool will help you in building a comprehensive test suites. You can amplify reusability of test scripts, get precision in testing of complex web apps, and boost capabilities of your QA team.
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Benefits of Automation Testing with CloudQA
Fast track your testing process
Cyber threats and data security are one of the first concern of any firm. As an organization, what do you do to save yourselves from cyber threat? Firewalls? Anti-virus? Or Setting up processes and educating employees? Hiring a security firm to audit your processes and conduct penetration testing? What else could be done to prevent Black Hat Hackers?
Have you ever thought of asking your QA team to explore the vulnerabilities of your system in an ethical manner?
We @CloudQA give you top five reasons to do so –
When an in-house team is available to extend their roles, which would be more cost-effective than hiring a security agency to perform the same function.
Once the internal QA team is equipped with the checklist, the checks or penetration testing could be scheduled at regular intervals making it a continuous process, thereby enhancing the quality of the product.
Access Provided to in-house teams only
The data, servers, infrastructure would only be accessed by the in-house team making it leak-proof. In the case of any data theft or damage, the person could be tracked easily as who caused it.
In-house Testers/Hackers Means Long Commitments
Being in the same environment like yours, one would understand the criticality of a product. Hence he/she may devote much time and energy to discover the loopholes.
In-House Team means better Stability and Back-up
An organization backed up with a skilled team set is a solid foundation for stakeholders. Just imagine a technical breach, and with the in-house team, you could get it resolved faster then, looking for outside help.
Testers could explore new skills
While manual testers are going through the tough time saving their job, it’s time for them to add some new skill set to their profile. Test Automation is on top of the list amongst the skillset, how about adding ethical hacking? With Ethical hacking added onto your resume, who knows if you could trace down one of the biggest loopholes in a system.
Technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, IoTs are knocking the doors of every firm, making it more complicated for a layman but much easier for a Black or Grey Hat hacker to get in. You can keep guards and surveillance to watch for, but do you know the big hole inside your house that could let thieves in? So, get your QA team ready and let them explore the house as Ethical Hackers performing penetration testing and stop the threats like WannaCry, RedOctober, Wiper,Shamoon.
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As companies rush to meet the ever-evolving, customer focused, multi-interface, and technologically complex solutions, software quality and time to market becomes a critical need. One quickly realizes that software testing plays an important role in the growth of any company offering such solutions. However surging costs, high-security environments, and software sourcing variability has made the software testing function challenging.
In such an environment, it is important to assess and implement the right methodologies to achieve scale, minimize costs and offer improved services. Testing-as-a-Service (TaaS) is considered a viable testing model by many organizations to achieve reduced costs and improved service for their IT test requirements.
TaaS does this by outsourcing testing activities associated with some of a company’s business activities to a service provider rather than using their own employees/resources. By using a consumption-based pay model, there is less risk and investment on the part of the organization.
TaaS can be used for various QA activities, such as:
1. Functional testing
2. Load / Stress testing
3. Performance and Benchmark testing
4. Regression testing
Advantages of TaaS over traditional testing
1. Scalable model via public cloud – utilize computing power, disk space, memory as per current requirements but have the ability to ramp up on demand very quickly
2. Costs – Pay for what you use. No need to own your own infrastructure. No capital costs incurred.
3. Licensing benefits – Operating system (OS), test tools, hardware, application licenses are managed by the cloud.
4. Standardization – Centralized test environment with a standard set of tools and processes will ensure repeatability, efficiency and quality results
Besides self-service SaaS-based subscription model for automated testing, CloudQA also offers Testing as a Service for companies that do not have the bandwidth to carry on this essential step in their agile development process. Customers do not have to worry about any software licensing, infrastructure, expensive testing resource or steep learning curve for the testing tool & processes. Instead they can focus on developing their own software which is their area of competency.
CloudQA has an established framework for delivering enterprise-ready testing and providing clients with the ability to take advantage of paying for what they need, when they need it, rather than investing in expensive tool sets and experts.
1. Center of Excellence – You will interact with a group of people that promote collaboration, employ software testing best practices with both tools and techniques
2. Process – We employ industry best practices and methodologies that will result in higher productivity and you will get more bang for your buck
3. Governance – We offer relationship management, QA Project management, and a centralized test environment, with standardized software library and test suites. We also provide a self-service portal which cuts downtime required to provision test environments.
4. Infrastructure – We own the automation software and even have an offshore facility for providing a cost-effective, highly scalable, and fast automated test solution