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Cloud-based Application Testing: Features & Types

Apr 15, 2020
7 min read

Gone are the days that cloud computing was considered a technological breakthrough. In recent years, cloud computing has managed to become a promising option by organizations to not only reduce costs but also to position their services and offerings competitively. Cloud computing has completely transformed how day-to-day business operations are conducted, like how technology is consumed and services are delivered.

According to Forbes, the investment in cloud computing is forecasted to increase from $67 billion in 2015 to a massive $162B in 2020. To put it simply, the demand for cloud computing is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 19%.

Since the advent of cloud computing, software testing has also become an essential part of the business cycle. Until recently, companies had depended on their in-house resources for cloud application testing in software testing processes. However, with the introduction of distributed and component-based applications, organizations faced a resultant increase in the cost of in-house maintenance alongside a delay in products and services.

Soon enough, outsourcing the testing of cloud applications to QA testers emerged as a cost-effective method of testing cloud systems for both enterprise and small-scale applications. There is no doubt about the fact that the widespread popularity of cloud computing also made testing cloud systems a vital business function.

In this article, we are going to discuss everything about testing cloud systems. However, to fully understand these, you should understand the concept of cloud app testing and why it is so important.

What Is Cloud Testing And Why Is It Needed?

Cloud testing, also known as cloud-based testing, is a form of software testing that assesses the performance, security, scalability, and reliability of Web applications on a QA tester’s cloud computing environment.

Cloud infrastructure testing environments can easily and quickly be provisioned to eliminate the need for shared environments for test teams. This helps in eliminating the possibility of any cloud-related delays in schedule. Also, testing in the cloud helps teams that may be geographically dispersed to test applications in a shared environment at any time of the day. Furthermore, testers can scale their applications’ workloads easily against thousands or millions of concurrent users to help identify issues in performance before their web application can go live.

In comparison to the traditional in-house testing environment, cloud testing offers its users reduced delivery times, flexibility, and pay-per-use costs. The technologies and test processes that are used to conduct functional tests for cloud-based applications aren’t very different from traditional on-premises applications. However, third-party testers are aware of the non-functional risks that revolve around cloud systems, and this knowledge is critical to success.

For instance, if cloud testing is going to take production data into account, then the appropriate data integrity and security procedures and processes will need to be validated before functional testing begins. That being said, the four major benefits of testing cloud systems include:

Dynamic Testing Environments

Traditionally, organizations invest in software/hardware infrastructures for testing. This usually does not match the requirements of rapidly changing environments making it very challenging for organizations to keep up. Therefore, cloud testing is an effective solution because it can easily replicate the target customer’s environment and find defects in the early stages of the cycle.

Easily Customizable

Using a cloud system to test applications is advantageous for organizations because they can use it to emulate customer-centric environments. Cloud testing teams can easily use a large variety of permutations and combinations as test scenarios such as different configurations, browsers, operating systems, etc. As a result, they can make customizations to save cost and time.


This is probably one of the most attractive traits of cloud testing systems because computing resources could be increased or decreased wherever it may seem necessary. This feature is widely used by organizations that have rapidly changing business environments.

Low Cost

A challenge of rapidly changing business environments is seen when organizations have to invest in in-house infrastructure even when their servers aren’t going to be in use all the time. If this is the case, companies will have to bear unnecessary overheads like license renewal. Therefore, the transition to cloud testing can save huge costs for the organization.

Cloud Testing Types

Testing in the cloud can be done in both new-age and traditional methods. Since cloud systems and cloud testing are equally massive domains, let’s break down how both of these work together. Let’s begin with the types of cloud testing based on why they are used:

  • Testing the Whole Cloud
    In this category of test, the cloud is viewed as an entity on its own and what features it offers. The tests here are designed according to these two elements.
  • Testing Elements Within the Cloud
    Here, the internal features of the cloud are assessed, and tests are carried out accordingly.
  • Testing Across Clouds
    These tests are carried out on the different kinds of clouds, such as private, public, and hybrid clouds, depending on test specifications.
  • SaaS Testing the Cloud
    Software as a Service Testing performs tests based on the requirements of the cloud via function and non-functional test.

In addition to these, cloud testing is performed in 3 different types of environments. This includes:

  • 01
    A public or private environment where the applications deployed inside the cloud need to be validated in terms of quality.
  • 02
    A hybrid environment where the applications need to be validated in terms of quality
  • 03
    A cloud-based test environment where the applications need to be validated in terms of quality.

Furthermore, cloud testing is not simply limited to ensuring that the functional requirements of applications are met, but they also place a strong emphasis on non-functional testing as well. With that said, let’s deep dive into SaaS testing:

Functional Testing

Functional testing is implemented in order to make sure the software offering provides all the services that its users are paying for. Simply put, this type of cloud testing ensures that the requirements of the business are being met. For a more comprehensive understanding of tools available for this purpose, you can explore some of the top cloud testing tools commonly used in the industry. Some basic functional tests include:

System Verification Testing

This type of cloud testing ensures whether various modules of a particular function are performing as they were intended to. The main aim of this test is to make sure whether functions are behaving as they were expected to.

Acceptance Testing

This type of functional test hands over the cloud-based application over to the users in order to make sure whether it meets their specific requirements.

Interoperability Testing

Cloud-based applications are required to offer the flexibility to not only work without resulting in issues on many different platforms but should also seamlessly move around cloud infrastructures. The interoperability tests the offerings on this particular feature.

Non-Functional Testing

Non-functional tests are meant to mainly focus on the entire web application’s ability to meet its desired requirements. This type of cloud testing may include the following:

Performance Testing

Response times need to be verified in order to ensure that everything in the application remains intact even though many requests need to be satisfied simultaneously. Another very important factor to test here is network latency.

Also, when there is a reduction of user load, the application needs to decommission resources for workload balancing. Therefore, stress and load testing also need to be performed on the cloud in order to make sure it optimally responds to an increase or decrease in traffic or requests.

Want to Learn More About Our Performance Testing Services?
Find out what’s included and how to start working with us.

Security Testing

Since a lot of vital information is available on the cloud at all times, it is necessary to make sure all sensitive information is protected against unauthorized access. When cloud applications are being tested, the privacy of users should also be guaranteed.

Multi-tenancy Testing

In this type of cloud testing, the cloud is used by multiple users in a single instance. This helps in determining whether the offering provides sufficient access and security control of data.

Availability Testing

Here, the cloud vendor/supervisor makes sure whether the cloud remains available 24/7. Also, while there may be multiple mission-critical functions working simultaneously, the administrator will have to make sure that the customers don’t experience any adverse impacts.

Effective Ways of Testing Cloud Applications

Online-Based Application Tests on a Cloud

Online application supervisors/vendors perform these tests in order to check the functions and performance of their cloud-based services. This is usually done with the help of Functional Testing, and online applications are connected with a legacy system. These tests can determine the quality of the connection between the application and the legacy system is validated.

Cloud-Based Application Tests on a Cloud

These types of tests help determine the quality of cloud-based applications with respect to different types of clouds.

Cloud Oriented or SaaS Testing

These tests are typically performed by SaaS or Cloud vendors. The primary objective of these tests is to assess the quality of individual service functions that are offered in SaaS or cloud programs. The tests that are performed in this environment provide validation for system, unit, security, function, and integration functions. The most effective method of doing this is with the help of regression testing, scalability evaluation, and performance testing

Cloud Testing In PFLB

PFLB is one of the pioneer software testing service providers in the industry. Since its inception, the company has been providing software testing services to over 500 companies across all domains, from finance and healthcare to retail and technology.

Cloud computing is an essential tool for companies that wish to survive in an increasingly competitive environment. A majority of the organizations are already leaning towards adopting cloud testing solutions because of their reduced costs, scalability, and flexibility. Visit our website to learn more about our cloud load testing solutions for websites and enterprise apps. 

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