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.