The acronym TaaS stands for Testing-as-a-Service, a service delivery model where software testing and validation is provided by an entity other than the developer themselves. Typically delivered within a cloud-computing environment, developers interact with the service through endpoints driven by an API or a browser-based web console.
What services does Testing-as-a-Service provide?
Depending on the project’s scope, TaaS providers can employ almost two dozen general types of testing, along with proprietary methodologies, to ensure that software is ready to perform as expected before launching it for general use.
Installation testing – Does the software install on its intended devices as expected?
Compatibility testing – Does the software perform as expected on specified devices, operating systems, application versions?
Black-box testing – The tester is only aware of the inputs and the outputs, but not how the software arrives at those outputs.
Sanity testing – Should testing continue? Often used when other phases of testing repeatedly fail.
Smoke testing – Does the software work with minimal attempts to operate it?
Regression testing – Following major code changes, have old defects re-appeared, or existing features been degraded?
Acceptance testing – Typically performed by the customer in their own operating environments, prior to the software being deployed to users.
Alpha testing – Simulated or actual use by potential users of the software or an internal team.
Beta testing – Use by a limited group of testers or end users to gather information on how the software works in a near-real-world environment.
Functional testing – Verifies a specific action or function of the application’s underlying code.
Non-functional testing – Verifies elements of the software (scalability, overall performance, etc.) not related to the basic functionality of the application.
Continuous testing – Automated tests as part of the software delivery pipeline to gain immediate feedback.
Destructive testing – Attempts made to overtax the operating limits of the software to determine potential points of failure.
Performance testing – How quickly does the software complete its expected functions? How stable is the application in varying operating conditions and environments?
Usability testing – How easy or intuitive is the software to use? Does the user interface perform as expected?
Accessibility testing – Does the software meet usability requirements established to ensure equal access for all users regardless of physical ability?
Security testing – How effective is the software at protecting the user’s information from unauthorized monitoring or use?
Internationalization & localization testing – Will the software operate in the specified countries, taking into account languages, currency, units of measure, and other factors determined by locale?
Development testing – Application of multiple testing strategies to seek out defects as the project progresses.
A/B testing – A controlled experiment to determine is a proposed change works better than the current approach.
Concurrent testing – How stable is the software when certain processes take place at the same time?
Storage testing – Does the software store data files in the correct locations?
Conformance testing or type testing – Does the software meet recognized standards for the coding language in which it was written.
Output comparison testing – Sometimes referred to as golden master testing, does the software’s output match the project specification’s requirements.
Property testing – Verifies behavior of a wide range of inputs and outputs.
VCR testing – Using facsimiles of an external component the software must interact with to identify expected behaviors once the software is launched.
What are the benefits of Testing-as-a-Service?
Lower overhead costs – The developer has access to a highly specialized workforce when needed, and avoids the ongoing costs of staff whose time may not be 100% utilized, depending on the project’s life cycle stage.
Lower equipment costs – Testing-as-a-Service decreases or eliminates entirely the significant costs associated with building out testing facilities, including computer systems, devices, specialized measurement equipment, and software.
Speed to market – Testing can take place iteratively throughout development without having to pull resources from the development of the software itself.
Focus – By outsourcing its testing, a developer’s resources can be focused on new product development, innovation and support of existing products, sales, and marketing.
Certified Expertise – Reputable Testing-as-a-Service providers keep current with swiftly changing technologies, operating systems, security threats and vulnerabilities, industry certifications, and testing tools.
Other meanings for TaaS
Like many other acronyms within the Anything-as-a-Service model (XaaS), TaaS has several meaning which vary by industry.
Transportation-as-a-Service – Also known as Mobility-as-a-Service (MasS), Transportation-as-a-Service moves transportation of people away from the tradition two-tier model of personal and public transportation. Instead, the system connects trains, buses, ride-, bike-, and scooter-sharing, and other modes to provide a door-to-door service offering.
Training-as-a-Service – Typically found in the workplace, Training-as-a-Service provides job onboarding and instruction related to the workplace in general, or to the worker’s specific position. Instructional materials, assessments, progress and reporting are packaged and delivered through a device-agnostic web interface, and often incorporate a learning management system.
Translation-as-a-Service – Language translation and localization for manuals, marketing materials, websites, and more is requested and delivered through an API or web interface.
Technology-as-a-Service – Hardware, software, connectivity, and support services are requested, fulfilled, and serviced through a single unified system. Typically set up as a subscription model, the approach allows organizations to scale requirements as needed.
Tools-as-a-Service – Specific sets of software tools are packaged and delivered on an as-needed or time-delineated basis. Because the tools in question are typically web applications, updates and patches are incorporated on a rolling basis.