SaaS application testing: Top challenges, tools and testing approach

Did you know that SaaS (software as a service) had a revenue of 232.3 billion USD in 2024? As the SaaS model evolves, so does SaaS application testing, adjusting to the convenience of cloud computing delivery. While most SaaS apps are web-based, QA teams encounter challenges that demand technical expertise and interpersonal skills to improve quality. Let's explore SaaS testing further!

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What is SaaS application testing?

Software as a service (SaaS) testing means testing software applications that are part of the SaaS model. Instead of installing software on personal computers or servers, SaaS applications are stored in the cloud and accessed online. SaaS testing includes a variety of tests that mimic real-world use to check the application's functionality, performance, and user experience. Effective SaaS testing can find errors, weaknesses, and other issues that might affect how well the application works and its security.

Types of SaaS application testing

During software-as-a-service (SaaS) testing, different tests ensure the application's reliability, efficiency, and security. Let's examine the SaaS testing approach in more detail.


Functional testing

Functional testing is a key part of SaaS testing that checks if a SaaS application works as it should for users. This type of testing looks at the application's requirements and ensures all features and functions operate as expected. Functional testing includes methods like unit testing, integration testing, system testing, and user acceptance testing. By doing functional testing on SaaS applications, developers can find bugs, confirm the application's functionality, and ensure it meets user needs.

Performance testing

Performance testing checks how well a SaaS application works under different stress levels. The goal is to see how much load the application can handle, find areas that slow down the system, and see how many users the system can support at the same time while keeping good response times. Performance testing can help find problems like downtime, data transfer issues, and reliability problems when the system is under stress. By performing performance testing, SaaS development teams can ensure their software responds quickly and efficiently to user requests, providing a great user experience and keeping users happy with the application.

Compatibility testing

Compatibility testing checks whether a SaaS application works well with different hardware, web browsers, mobile operating systems, and devices. The goal is to ensure the software can run smoothly with all the other setups it might face in the real world. Compatibility testing helps development teams find and fix issues before the application is released to users. This testing also ensures new features work well with the existing software and hardware configurations.

API testing

API testing is a way to test a SaaS application's APIs, which enable different software components to communicate. This testing checks the API's data input and output to make sure it functions as expected. API testing uses various methods, such as:

  • GET
  • POST
  • PUT, and 
  • DELETE requests.

It also checks for error messages or unexpected outcomes that might happen when the software is in use. By doing API testing, teams can find the API's strengths and weaknesses and ensure different software components work well with the SaaS application. This helps identify and fix API issues before they cause costly problems.

Accessibility testing

Accessibility testing checks whether people with disabilities can use a software application. The aim is to ensure the SaaS application is user-friendly for everyone, including people with physical, auditory, visual, neurological, or cognitive disabilities. Accessibility testing includes:

  • Testing navigation with just a keyboard.
  • Using screen readers.
  • Adjusting color settings for high contrast.
  • Trying assistive technologies.

Doing this testing can boost user satisfaction and enhance the product's reputation because it shows a commitment to diversity and inclusion and that the company cares about its users.

Infrastructure safety testing

Infrastructure safety testing evaluates the security of a SaaS platform's underlying infrastructure. This type of testing aims to ensure that the network, servers, databases, and other infrastructure components are secure and protected against external and internal threats. Infrastructure safety testing usually involves performing vulnerability scans and penetration testing to identify and address security weaknesses. It can also include testing the disaster recovery and business continuity plans to ensure the SaaS platform can withstand unexpected events and operate without interruption.

SaaS testing: manual or automated

The decision between manual and automated testing for SaaS applications is a common challenge for software development teams. Manual testing offers a higher degree of human intuition and troubleshooting, allowing for identifying bugs that can be difficult to catch in automated testing.
On the other hand, automated testing offers a faster and more consistent approach, making it ideal for repetitive and predictable test cases. Ultimately, the choice between manual and automated testing for SaaS applications largely depends on the development team's goals, timelines, and available resources.

SaaS testing benefits

Let's go through some key benefits of SaaS testing.

Improved functionality

SaaS testing ensures the application meets functionality requirements, improving usability and user satisfaction and boosting retention rates. End-to-end functional testing examines individual features and overall workflows, while user acceptance testing checks if the application meets user needs.

Early issue detection

Identifying potential issues early helps minimize costs, negative impacts on performance and security, and potential business loss. Early discovery of vulnerabilities allows efficient addressing and prevents significant problems later on.

Enhanced security

SaaS testing safeguards the application against cyber-attacks, data breaches, and unauthorized access. Security testing assesses vulnerabilities and threats, ensuring compliance with standards like GDPR and HIPAA.

Improved performance

Performance and scalability testing improve the application's performance under various scenarios and loads. Load testing identifies the application's limits, while performance testing ensures optimal performance, resulting in better user experience and less downtime.


Testing for compatibility ensures the application works across different systems and devices, broadening its usability and customer base. This includes testing on various hardware, platforms, browsers, and operating systems.

SaaS testing challenges

SaaS testing poses several challenges due to the unique characteristics of cloud-based applications. Some of the challenges faced by SaaS testers are:

  • Network and connectivity challenges: Simulating different network and connectivity conditions is challenging because SaaS applications run in a remote environment.
  • Access to backend infrastructure and logs: SaaS applications are hosted on the cloud, which makes it challenging to gain access to the backend infrastructure, database, and server logs, making it difficult to isolate issues when they occur.
  • Concurrency and data isolation: SaaS applications are typically multi-tenant, meaning they are shared by many users, which creates challenges for concurrency and data isolation.
  • Integration testing challenges: SaaS applications are often integrated with multiple third-party applications, including the underlying Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud provider, which increases testing complexity.
  • Environment parity: Continuous delivery and deployment to production environments present challenges in maintaining reliable environment parity with testing environments.
  • Automated testing challenges: SaaS applications continuously evolve, making automated testing challenging. This requires constant test suite updates to keep up with changes in the environment and application functionality.
  • Data privacy and security: Data privacy and security challenges are more complex due to the shared infrastructure and multi-tenant nature of cloud-based applications. Isolating data and providing secure access control mechanisms requires additional testing measures to ensure compliance and security.

Choosing SaaS testing tools

When choosing SaaS testing tools, there are a few important factors to consider:

  • Understand the testing needs: Determine the type and scope of the testing. Consider factors such as performance testing, load testing, and functional testing.
  • Evaluate the platform's compatibility: Ensure that the testing tool can integrate with the SaaS platform that is being tested.
  • Check the tool's usability: Determine whether the tool is user-friendly and has a clear interface to avoid confusing the testing team.
  • Look for tools with comprehensive reports: Tools that provide detailed reports can help keep track of the test results and analyze the performance of the SaaS platform.
  • Consider the pricing model: Evaluate the tool's pricing model and determine if it fits the organization's budget.

How can Global App Testing assist you with SaaS testing?

Explore Global App Testing for exceptional crowdtesting services! With a global network of over 90,000 testers and coverage in 190+ countries, we find bugs and defects on real devices. Trusted by top companies like Meta, Google, and, we offer reliable testing solutions with quick turnaround times of 6-48 hours.

Key features:

  • Different testing platforms: Testing is conducted across websites, web applications, mobile applications (iOS and Android), and other platforms.
  • Bug reproduction: Offers validation and detailed reports on existing bugs to streamline the fixing process.
  • Usability feedback: Collects user insights to guide enhancements in user experience.
  • Localization testing: Tests app performance for various international markets to ensure local relevance and compliance.


The Global App Testing platform provides:

  • Detailed bug reports: Our easy-to-use platform offers comprehensive bug reports, test case results, and qualitative insights.

Various Testing Types:

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  • Web app testing: Confirms high-quality web application functionality.
  • Mobile app testing: Verifies mobile app performance across devices.
  • Accessibility testing: Ensures apps are usable by all, including those with disabilities.
  • Functional testing: Confirms critical features work as intended.
  • Exploratory testing: Conducts quick, flexible testing to uncover issues.
  • Regression testing: Validates previous fixes and changes for consistency.


  • API integration: Integrates your CI with our API, CLI, and Webhooks.
  • Project management tools: Integrate with popular tools such as Jira, GitHub, and TestRail to streamline testing processes and manage tasks efficiently.


Are you interested in learning more? Sign up, and schedule a call with our specialist today!

We can help you drive SaaS app testing as a key initiative aligned to your business goals

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How does SaaS testing differ from traditional software testing?

SaaS testing focuses on cloud-based applications and often includes testing the application's performance and compatibility across different devices and environments. In contrast, traditional software testing typically involves software installed on specific hardware.

What are the best SaaS testing practices?

Best practices include:

  • Using automation and manual testing tools.
  • Performing regular security assessments.
  • Conducting load and performance testing.
  • Employing experienced testers who understand SaaS-specific challenges.
How often should SaaS applications be tested?

SaaS applications should be tested regularly, especially after updates or changes, to ensure continuous quality, performance, and security. Continuous testing as part of the development cycle is recommended.

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