How To Test SaaS Platforms

Timothy Joseph
Timothy Joseph | December 1, 2020

How To Test SaaS Platforms

SaaS platforms have been on the rise for some time now. From professional endeavors to leisure activities, more of our experiences are shifting towards a virtual delivery. And because immediate access from any location makes the shortlist for any software system, consumers often choose SaaS applications over on premise software systems.

Then again, not all SaaS is alike. When not properly tested, SaaS platforms can fail to achieve the convenient, fast, quality experience that users expect.

This, of course, is not an issue when your team pairs a strong SaaS testing strategy with your development practices. Creating a strong QA testing strategy requires the knowledge of:

  • What SaaS testing is
  • How to overcome SaaS testing challenges
  • How to implement SaaS testing best practices
  • The role of test automation in security testing

This guide aims to explore the answers to these questions so that your team can devise the right testing strategy for your SaaS product.

What Is SaaS Testing?

SaaS testing is the process of performing test cases on an on-demand software or web-based software system. Software as a service testing differs from testing on premise applications because SaaS based application testing requires access to browsers and is centered around web application testing methodologies. 

A strong SaaS performance testing plan tests against real-world traffic in cloud environments in order to confirm that the software service is available, usable and optimized for all web concurrent users at all times. When following SaaS testing best practices, your team can deploy updates and upgrades faster, increase ROI, and boost user satisfaction.

SaaS Testing Challenges

To fully understand what SaaS testing is, a strategic QA team should review all potential challenges that may arise during SaaS based application testing. That way, you can strengthen QA protocols within your SaaS performance testing strategy to further increase test case efficiency and product quality.

  1. Short Development Cycles

    Speed is essential during software as a service testing. Short cycles lead to product enhancements reaching consumers much sooner. However, QA teams must innovate their testing processes in order to stay on-cycle with product development.

    Many successful companies maintain speed by following the agile methodology. QA engineers can also overcome these SaaS testing challenges by running simultaneous tests sooner within the development cycle so that issues can be resolved sooner. Unit testing and performing test automation on SaaS platforms for regression testing are designed to speed up testing practices.

  2. Security Issues

    When migrating and integrating a SaaS application, it’s difficult to maintain the integrity and privacy of test data. And with different user behaviors happening simultaneously within the software system, ensuring customer privacy can be a challenge to sustain with every product release.

    A comprehensive testing strategy should test the typical web application security issues and multi-user concerns, from access privileges to data integrity. Strong encryption at the time of integration can safeguard your test data. QA engineers can also test use networks for vulnerability and execute test scenarios designed to eliminate security threats.

  3. API Integrations

    Customers' data must merge properly for those who integrate internal or legacy applications with a SaaS application. While APIs increase the value of a SaaS product, it is a time-consuming process for your QA engineers to imagine every consumer scenario and develop test cases to ensure quality.

    You can enjoy all the advantages of API testing by developing a testing plan that validates both inbound and outbound data. Create test scenarios that review the functionality, security, usability and performance of all APIs. Having all the right testing resources in place can speed up your API testing practices.
  4. Upgrade Testing

    Frequent upgrades and releases within short amounts of time can improve the experience of your product with your consumer. However, this allows less time for QA engineers to check the security and validity of the SaaS system. Furthermore, software as a service testing needs to test all licensing factors including the functionality of the application, the number of users and usage for every new release.

    Test automation on SaaS platforms is designed to overcome these SaaS testing challenges. SaaS testing tools can assist in running these test scripts simultaneously for more efficient and more accurate results.

SaaS Testing Best Practices

Building a SaaS oriented QA testing strategy requires a thorough understanding of what types of tests need to be performed during the development cycle. After all, what is SaaS testing without ensuring the quality of your product from the inside out?  We recommend carrying out these types of software testing to verify your SaaS platform before market launch.

  • Performance Testing

    SaaS performance testing involves a variety of test cases, from testing each module of the application to determining the expected throughput in the workflow. To do this effectively, QA teams should create a performance testing checklist that outlines every step of the testing process so that your team thoroughly tests the stability, speed and responsiveness of the SaaS platform.
  • Security Testing

    This type of SaaS based application testing ensures that your SaaS system can withstand any kind of digital attack. You can verify the safety of your software by creating a cyber security testing checklist designed to uncover any weakness within your application so that all issues can be resolved before deployment.
  • Load Testing

    Following SaaS testing best practices means testing for various amounts of stress and load beyond your software’s usual operational capacity. Doing this allows your QA team to evaluate how well your SaaS application responds to unsteady loads and high-stress scenarios so that improvements can be implemented before release.

  • Integration Testing

    Because many APIs may integrate with your SaaS application, your QA engineers should create test cases that examine API and data integration within your product. Review the accuracy of API documentation as well as the API interface for safety, reliability, performance and usability.

  • Unit Testing

    Isolating each unit, or small piece of code, during testing can confirm that every part of the software performance as intended. The purpose of unit testing is to get a granular view on how your code is performing. To follow SaaS testing best practices, QA engineers often automate unit testing scenarios so that speed and accuracy are achieved.

Best SaaS Testing Tools

After understanding what SaaS testing is, it’s easy to see how SaaS testing tools can contribute towards the speed, accuracy and efficiency of the QA process. The right SaaS testing tool should support test automation for a variety of test cases, from performance testing and unit testing to testing of SOA interfaces and the functionality of application interfaces. When researching your options, we recommend reviewing the following SaaS testing tools.

  • PractiTest

    This SaaS testing tool provides an end-to-end test solution by allowing users to control their development and testing processes. PractiTest offers QA testers these key features:

    • Supports various levels of communication with organizations and stakeholders
    • Makes it easy to manage respective projects as well as testing processes and information
    • Provides project status in real time
  • Burp Suite

    When looking for a web vulnerability scanner, this SaaS testing tool is widely known for web application security testing. Burp Suite is an integrated platform for penetration testing and offers a variety of versions:

    • The Professional Edition is designed for hands-on testers for running automated vulnerability scanning
    • The Enterprise Edition offers an automated web vulnerability scanner, scheduling of scans, enterprise scalability and CI integration.
    • The Community Edition is intended for researchers and hobbyists seeking a series of manual tools for carrying out scanning activities.
  • JMeter

    This open source tool is designed for SaaS testing so that QA teams can execute essential performance and load testing. JMeter is well-recognized for offering these key features:

    • Highly portable and supports all Java-based applications
    • User-friendly GUI means less scripting efforts needed
    • Can maintain multiple load injectors managed by a single controller

Automation Opportunities

What is SaaS testing within your QA practices without test optimization? Since SaaS testing requires short release cycles, QA testers apply automated testing to reduce time spent on testing repetitive, monotonous tasks. AI-based automation testing tools are designed to accelerate SaaS testing by adapting test scenarios automatically in response to UI changes.

Test automation on SaaS platforms can be applied for several types of software testing. For example, the role of test automation in security testing is to accelerate benchmark tests and repeat them with a consistent test setup so that test cases are performed accurately and thoroughly.

What’s Next?

What is SaaS testing without speed? It’s essential when creating your QA strategy to incorporate all necessary resources for testing, be it SaaS testing tools and/or external QA testers. That way, you can maintain efficiency across development cycles without exhausting your internal experts to make that happen.

Need additional help in carrying out SaaS testing? Choose to partner with a QA services provider like QASource. Our team of testing experts specialize in SaaS testing and have years of experience testing software as a service apps across all SaaS testing tools. Team up with our QA engineers who can instill best testing practices while integrating and migrating your SaaS application. Get in touch with a QASource expert today.


This publication is for informational purposes only, and nothing contained in it should be considered legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out of this information and encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.