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8 challenges one must know before testing SaaS applications

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software delivery model in which the software and the associated data are hosted centrally and made available to the end users over a network, typically the Internet. Due to its exclusive model, testing of a SaaS implementation from the client's point of view possesses unique challenges. Following are the 8 unique challenges one must know before testing a SaaS application:

  • White box testing is not possible since the SaaS service Provider would only provide access to their test environment and not to their code base.
  • Access to the database will be restricted and hence verification of test results needs to be done only from front end.
  • Testing team has no control over the scheduling of jobs and needs support from the vendor.
  • Testing team will not have access to communicate with the Technical Team of the vendor which might lead to ineffective communication.
  • It is always a tussle between the testing and development teams in seeing eye-to-eye for what a defect is and what is not.
  • Another potential source of miscommunication could be in pointing out the difference between what a configuration defect is and what a code defect is.
  • Since SaaS applications come bundled with several features, it is imperative that testing team is aware of defining the scope to avoid spending effort and time on testing unnecessary functionalities.
  • The last challenge stems from the fact that SaaS providers keep making major updates to their existing clients on a periodic basis. Testing teams in general are not accustomed to see the complete overhaul of the User Interface or new functionalities in the middle of a testing cycle. However while testing SaaS Application; the team needs to be well aware that such possibilities exist.

In a nutshell, if the testing team acknowledges the existence of unique challenges specific to testing SaaS Implementation and plans accordingly, a lot of surprises would be avoided at later stages. "Failing to Plan is planning to fail" - Hence plan to address these challenges before testing begins and a smooth roll out would surely follow.


Very interesting post!!

SaaS product testing is essential to build a reliable platform using unfailing solutions. It is more helpful for us in resolving these kinds of challenges because challenges are the best way to get more knowledge.


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