For IT organisations that develop and maintain proprietary software applications, software testing is a crucial component of ensuring that releases are functional and meet the quality and performance demands of customers. In the traditional software development process, all of the testing occur in the same time frame of the project – after the product has already been designed, coded and implemented. For organisation that utuilse DevOps, Agile or Scaled Agile (SAFe) development methodologies, testing is a frequent activity that takes place throughout the development lifecycle.
In addition to application testing, IT organisations may also test and audit their cloud infrastructure and environments to assess operational and business performance as well as security. Tests could be geared towards discovering security vulnerabilities within the network or optimizing the business performance of an application or service.
What are the Common Use Cases for Testing as a Service?
Every market niche is based on satisfying the needs of customers and of course Testing as a Service is no exception. IT organisations always have the option of developing their own test infrastructure, but there are many circumstances where the organization can garner real business benefits by outsourcing the software testing process.
What does TaaS do?
IT organisations should consider contracting with a TaaS provider when they require:
Additional Expertise – For some IT organisations or software development teams, it may be the case that members of the team lack the necessary skillsets for software quality assurance and automated testing. It makes sense to outsource the testing process when it is clear that the expertise of external service providers will enhance project outcomes.
Short Turnaround – For development teams that are pursuing a continuous integration or continuous delivery working model and embracing Agile and DevOps practices, the need for frequent testing can overwhelm developers, especially those who deliver the most value by authoring new code. When applications are too complex for the traditional manual testing model, a TaaS service provider can help execute automated testing with a short turnaround and free up developer’s time to keep pushing new code.
Simplified Infrastructure – IT organisations can incur significant up-front costs while establishing their own testing infrastructure. These costs include things like testing hardware, software licenses and the actual time taken to design and code test scripts. Due to resource constraints, it is often cheaper to hire a third-party TaaS service provider that already has the necessary infrastructure in place to perform the desired tests.
Functional vs. Non-Functional Testing as a Service Explained
Application testing activities can be grouped broadly under two big umbrellas: functional testing and non-functional testing. Virtually all types of testing fall into one of these two groups, so it is important for software developers to understand the differences between them.
Functional testing is all about testing the features and functions within an application. Functional tests focus on ensuring that the application or software program is doing what it is supposed to do, that it takes a given input and responds with the appropriate corresponding output. Functional testing includes things like unit testing, integration testing, system testing, and user acceptance testing – all activities that can be assigned to a Testing as a Service provider.
Non-functional testing deals with non-functional aspects of the application, such as performance, security, and usability. Instead of answering the question “Does the application do what it is supposed to?”, non-functional testing asks questions like:
Does the application meet the security requirements established in the software design project phase?
Is the application easy for users to interact with?
Does the application communicate as desired with other software systems?
How well does the application perform in a simulated production environment? Does it meet customer expectations for latency and responsiveness? Can it handle the anticipated workload?
As a shorthand, you might remember that functional testing deals with the business requirements of the application while non-functional testing deals with performance requirements and customer expectations.
What Types of Testing are suitable for a managed service with Testing as a Service?
IT organisations can choose to outsource many kinds of functional and non-functional testing activities to TaaS service providers. Some highlights include:
Automated Regression Testing (ART) – Automated regression testing is typically conducted after a new software update is released. The new release will run through a battery of automated unit and integration tests to verify that the code compiles correctly after a new update. ART runs through a test suite that includes all of the important functional tests for the application, as well as tests for external services that support the application.
Application Security Testing – The purpose of application security testing is to identify potential vulnerabilities or attack vectors that could be exposed in a cyber attack. A TaaS service provider uses its own security analysis tools to assess the vulnerability of an application and make recommendations for reducing correcting and perceived security flaws.
Data Warehouse Testing – When your developers are building a data warehouse with millions of lines of data, manual verification of data quality and transformation accuracy is impossible due to the time constraints and the huge volume of information. A Testing as a Service provider can create automated tests that measure data completeness, transformation accuracy, and overall data quality.
Mobile Testing – Consumers are increasingly accessing your application and web site via mobile, elevating the importance of delivering a high-quality, seamless application performance across devices, operating systems and web browsers. Mobile testing services can help your team optimize the performance of your application across platforms and ensure that it can manage the anticipated volume of mobile connections.
Server Load & Performance Testing – Performance testing services include the analysis of user scenarios and transactions in a simulated production environment. Testing as a Service providers can run simulations with a predetermined number of transactions, users, and views to assess the performance of your application under different server loads and conditions.
Testing can be a complex but vital part of the development lifecycle is a complex process, requiring a robust methodology. NWT provides a heritage in both functional and non-functional testing this includes to maximize the outcomes and ensure a greater return on investment.
Our flexible and responsive Testing as a Service (TaaS) provides the expertise you need on demand, when you need it, to deliver a seamless, effortless testing capability to your business.
NWT’s reputation for providing the highest quality Test Engineers is unmatched. Our Testing specialists have considerable expertise in business and system test strategies and execution within both the private and public sector. Following industry specific best practices and adhering to legal requirements and data privacy standards.
Our specialists manage the entire testing process as an outcome on your behalf or work as part of your own internal development teams, immediately adding value through knowledge transfer and sharing.
As with any project, engaging with the business is paramount to ensuring that the motives are understood and that the objectives of the test objectives are clear. NWT works in partnership with the client to help prove the viability of the test strategy, if this has not already been established. NWT has considerable real-world experience in test strategy and understands that best strategy for each testing project or programme will depend on a number of key factors.
Traditional testing models are neither predictable nor cost-effective. Because they often fail to leverage best-in-class processes and tools their quality may be lower than required. What’s more, the cost of traditional testing is based on the number of testing professionals involved, their skill sets and the engagement’s duration. So extra costs can easily accrue for certain skills, equipment, even desk space. Estimating your total cost can be tricky.
A more efficient way
TaaS is far more efficient than traditional testing models, too. Service providers offer an output-based delivery approach with an efficient and flexible consumption-based procurement model.
With TaaS, customers procure testing services from a catalogue of standardised deliverables that they can use to assess the functionality, technical quality, performance and even security level of their applications. The deliverables are determined based on the testing outputs needed at different stages of the software development lifecycle. That might be the creation of a test strategy, plan or automated test script or the execution of an automated test.
To make that easy, TaaS supports both modern Agile and DevOps approaches as well as more traditional lifecycles such as Waterfall.
What really differentiates TaaS from traditional testing models is that customers gain tremendous flexibility. They can adjust the type and quantity of deliverables they receive, as well as when they receive them. Customers can quickly and easily tailor their testing to meet their changing project needs, and to scale testing services up or down based on their evolving business demand, avoiding unnecessary costs.
This kind of flexibility is especially important for Agile projects. There, the development teams may prioritize and re-prioritise from sprint to sprint, based on what will deliver the most value to the business.
More scaling, less cost
TaaS is highly scalable. If your testing volumes are lower than expected, the service can be scaled down. Conversely, if demand increases and testing needs to be scaled up, more testers can be quickly rolled in to create the necessary deliverables.
Also, since TaaS is based on output, the service provider is responsible for managing the staffing and availability of tools. This lets the customer focus on higher-value items. Because the service provider manages the day-to-day activities and resources of the testing team, adjusting capacities as needed to meet demand, there’s less complexity and hassle for customers. Costs are less, too, since the customer pays only for what they consume. Because consumption prices are fixed, estimating total costs is easy and accurate.
While TaaS tests are conducted via a public or private cloud, TaaS is not a cloud-only service. It can be used with both your cloud and on-premises systems. Test management software, if required, can also be included as part of the service. The license cost is included in the service, so you won’t have to invest in long-term licenses. That said, if you’ve already made those investments, TaaS can be easily configured to use your existing test-management products.
TaaS is also a lot more than Software as a Service. SaaS includes only the tools. But with TaaS, you also get test cases, test automation, execution and sophisticated tools.
• Fully Managed E2E test service from strategy to execution
• In-sprint Automated testing complimented with exploratory testing
• Automation Framework, includes DevOps tools and continuous implementation/delivery (CI/CD)
• Rigorous governance, testing, QA, reporting, trends, analytics, continuous improvement
• Security Accreditation – protecting citizen data to highest levels
• Infrastructure/Multi-browser/Accessibility Testing – JAWS, GDS , GOV.UK styles, components
• Types: Unit, API, System, Integration, Performance, Security, DevOps, Automated, Acceptance
• Tooling: Selenium, Cucumber, Gherkin, Java, JMeter, Jenkins, Postman, JUnit, Eggplant
• Full range of E2E software testing services available as required
• Measurable cost efficiency – earlier defect identification, with faster resolution
• Range of Agile Automation methodologies – Test/Behaviour/Acceptance Driven Development
• Improved productivity and velocity – earlier implementation and benefits realisation
• In-depth expertise – help implement/improve quality and test processes
• Test Engineers with proven business/domain knowledge/expertise, and product understanding
• Scalable and blended proven resource teams for flexibility
• Open, honest clear and measurable approach
• Logical, comprehensive , understandable frameworks, processes and strategies for reutilisation
• Extensive network of digital SME partners bringing further experience/capability