- don’t need an on-site server (huge money saver)
- have virtually no maintenance costs (no server = no maintenance)
- enjoy greater flexibility (you can log in remotely from anywhere)
But today, I wanted to discuss 2 other important advantages that SaaS software application testing tools have over more traditional server-based alternatives – namely, leanness and integration.
These two concepts are really 2 sides of the same coin. But their unique advantages manifest in slightly different ways.
Lean Software Test Management Tools via SaaS
Lean is a concept borrowed from the manufacturing world – and it describes a product’s or process’ ability to perform everything you need with minimal parts and maintenance (or in our case, coding).
You see, the vast majority of software products on the market come fully loaded with bells & whistles, most of which you’ll never need. MS Word is a perfect example of this. The product is truly a workhorse in many regards. But it’s a huge installation that consumes a tremendous number of resources.
How often do you run macros? Or when was the last time you needed to make footnotes with Turabian (a citation style that’s so obscure that Microsoft’s spellcheck doesn’t recognize the name even though it comes preinstalled with Word)?
You probably use these features very infrequently (if at all), but they still take up hard disk space and processing power.
Contrast this with Google Docs. It’s light, lean, and incredibly powerful. If you ever need an additional feature not already included in their streamlined Web platform, you can just install the appropriate add-on.
This is the beauty of lean. This is the beauty of software application testing tools released through a SaaS model. All the features you need are readily available, but only when you need them. When you’re not using them, they don’t take up space on your desktop or server. The maintenance and resources are 100% on our end.
3rd Party Integration with SaaS Software Test Management Tools
The other piece of the puzzle is integration – i.e. the ability for your software application testing tools to play nicely with whatever 3rd party trackers or automation features you want to use.
When these extra features come pre-installed with a software testing platform, you benefit from the convenience, to be sure. But I don’t think this added benefit makes up for the potential loss in quality.
And here’s why.
To provide you with a comprehensive software application testing platform, a company must either build the trackers and automation from scratch, or they must license commercial versions. But here’s the problem with both approaches:
Problem 1. Building these extra tools from scratch is a monumental feat. How likely is it that a company specializing in software application test management tools is also the best in the business at creating bug trackers and automation tools?
Not very likely. And thus, these custom-made add-ons are usually not as robust as their commercial counterparts.
Problem 2. Licensing quality bug trackers and automation tools is expensive. Consequently, the preinstalled versions are usually not the crème de la crème. It’s simply not cost-effective for manufacturers of software test management tools to shell out big bucks to license features that you, the user, may not even use.
In other words, you get a pretty decent overall package, but you’ll almost never get the best bug tracking or automation tools on the market.
So how do we get around this? Simple.
We’ve built our SaaS software application testing tools with integration in mind.
Rather than compete directly with the best trackers on the market, we’ve focused our resources on integrating these trackers with our SaaS software application testing platform.
And rather than force you to relearn a whole new set of add-ons, this integration allows you to continue using whatever bug trackers and automation tools you’re already using.
The end result?
We let companies like Bugzilla and Mantis focus on what they do best (i.e. creating outstanding bug trackers), while we continue to focus on what we do best (i.e. creating outstanding software testing management tools that integrate with these trackers).
The same goes for automation tools. Total integration.
SaaS Software Testing Management Is Not for Everyone
I’ll be the first to admit that our SaaS approach to software testing is not for everyone (read my earlier post about common SaaS fears).
And there’s always going to be that 1% of testers whose needs are so unique that they must have everything built from scratch (and by 1%, I’m talking about the CIA, MI6, and other clandestine organizations).
But for the other 99%, our approach to lean, integrated SaaS software testing continues to offer the best of multiple worlds, including access to the best automation tools and bug trackers on the market.