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Expert advice: How to decide whether to use Testing as a Service

What exactly is Testing as a Service? What kind of testing is best suited to this approach, and who's likely to benefit from it?

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Testing as a Service (TaaS) is a form of outsourcing that uses a service model to provide quality service, compliance or user-experience testing by third parties for your applications. Many companies offer this type of service across a range of different platforms. For instance, you can find TaaS providers that test websites or mobile applications.

TaaS providers use a scaling model where you can upload a simple test script, which is something anyone unfamiliar with your product should be able to do to pinpoint potential issues. TaaS services are great for repeatable tasks, but often not as good for anything involving real innovation.

If you provide any sort of product to end users, you could benefit from such a service. It's often useful to have a lot of users hitting your systems before a full-scale deployment or upgrade. That way, you can ensure that the new code can handle the load. In addition, you can make sure the new features are something anyone can understand.

Finally, the approach can also be useful for ongoing assessment, making sure that everything continues to work as it should work. After all, if something's going wrong, it's always better to find that out before your end users do.

This was first published in October 2013

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