Cloud Testing Providers — What Features should you Expect?

Last week, we took a high-level look at Cloud Testing — sometimes referred to as QAaaS (Quality Assurance as a Service). Software development companies are now able to leverage these kinds of services to perform QA in the Cloud, with cost savings and additional flexibility as the result. It is the latest in the trend of IT functions migrating to a Cloud-based service model.

If your firm hopes to use a Cloud Testing service on its next development project, knowing what features are typically offered by a QAaaS provider helps. Let’s take a closer look at what you should expect.

Some QAaaS Services are Similar to Standard Software Testing

Most of the functionality supported by a Cloud-based testing provider mimics that of any regular QA shop. You should expect the firm to offer a full range of testing services: Regression, Performance, Functional, Stress, Load, and more. Both automated and manual QA needs to be supported.

Your QA engineers need access to Cloud-based applications for the creation of test cases, plans, and any other associated documentation. The system you choose needs to be flexible enough to work with a variety of software development methodologies; most notably Waterfall and Agile. All members of your team need to be able to access the Cloud Testing system using different devices (desktops, tablets, and smartphones) from a variety of locations.

Support for mobile device testing is another desired feature, especially if your company focuses on development for the iOS and Android platforms. In these scenarios, the ability to handle a virtualized “smartphone test farm” or even a Cloud-based mobile device lab is definitely important. You also need to be able to easily test web applications on a mobile footprint.

Performance Testing is Vital when using a Cloud Service

As we stated in last week’s article, if you are using a Cloud-based service to test an application slated for a Cloud host, it is important to match the testing and production environments as closely as possible. You don’t want a scenario to happen where your load tests pass on your Cloud Test provider, but fail once your application is released to the public and goes viral. Ensure your production servers — virtualized or not — are highly scalable to handle any traffic unable to be properly modeled in QA.

Researching Cloud Testing Providers

Many different companies are now offering Cloud Testing services. This includes everything from industry giants like IBM to a whole host of smaller providers. Make sure to go with a firm whose offering supports your own shop’s methodology and toolset.

This article from InfoQ takes a closer look at Cloud Computing in general with a focus on the practice of QAaaS. It also provides a convenient list of Cloud Testing providers along with information on what services they offer.

Ultimately, Cloud Testing offers companies the same flexibility and potential cost savings achieved by leveraging other Cloud-based services like SaaS, IaaS, and DBaaS. If your organization is already benefiting from the Cloud, moving your software testing role to a QAaaS provider might make perfect sense.

Stay tuned to future posts on the Betica Blog as we analyze other aspects of the evolving world of software development.

Cloud Testing — Another QA Innovation

As more technology companies continue migrating systems to Cloud-based servers, it makes sense for the Quality Assurance role to also head to the Cloud. There are significant advantages to be derived from Cloud Testing, with many of those (going green, cost savings, additional flexibility, etc.) also gained by moving applications and databases out of on-premise data centers.

Companies looking to implement QA in the Cloud enjoy additional capabilities; most notably testing an application’s scalability by simulating load testing more easily compared to using their own servers.

The article provides a high-level overview of Cloud Testing — a growing trend in the world of QA.

A Simple Definition of Cloud Testing

In its broadest meaning, Cloud Testing simply means using a Cloud-based server to perform software testing. This includes nearly all QA functions, including functional testing, performance and load testing, acceptance testing, and more. Leveraging a Cloud-based infrastructure provides costs savings, as noted earlier, but also offers access to unlimited data storage as well as the improved scalability to handle more complex testing scenarios.

When your organization already embraces other third-party Cloud-based technologies, Cloud Testing is a smart tactical move. Service providers are now making “QAaaS” (Quality Assurance as a Service) offerings available, adding another acronym to the many others (SaaS, IaaS, DBaaS, etc.) already in this technology industry sector. If you already run your own private Cloud infrastructure, implementing a Cloud Testing solution is a relatively simple process.

Special Considerations when performing QA in the Cloud

Development and QA managers need to be aware of a few considerations when using Cloud Testing. With load and performance testing, try to ensure the environment is similar to the one used for production; using the same Cloud infrastructure vendor is smart for this reason. This is important for the test results to be a true indicator of an application’s real life performance.

Security concerns remain a major reason some enterprises continue to stay away from the Cloud. This applies to both hosting and testing applications on Cloud-based servers. Frankly, the risk is similar for any web-based application. Make sure to use proper data encryption and secure access control to mitigate any security issues.

Pay special attention to also test any external web services and APIs used by the application. Sometimes these extra dependencies are forgotten about in a Cloud Testing scenario. Once again, this speaks to the need to ensure your Cloud-based production and QA environments are essentially identical.

These same points need to be considered when using a Cloud-based testing service for an application not slated to run in the Cloud. Especially ensure the similarity of the production and QA environments used for performance and stress testing. The advantages of Cloud Testing go out the window if the results aren’t accurate.

Ultimately, using the Cloud for QA is a worthy consideration whether or not your company’s application is Cloud-based. The extra cost savings could make for extra profits at the end of the year.

Keep tuned to the Betica Blog for additional information and insights from the QA and software development worlds.