Definition: Quality Assurance (QA), more fully Software Quality Assurance (SQA), is a set of policies applied to every stage of the software engineering process that are meant to ensure high-quality production methods. Quality assurance is in place to ensure that all updates, product launches, and patches are rolled out to exact standards and with no service disruption.
SQA is distinguished from Software Quality Control (SQC) in that the former concerns implementation of production methods that tend toward a resultant quality product while the latter refers to an actual end-of-the-line inspection of the products themselves.
Ecommerce software is extremely complex and difficult to build, support, and QA-test, making in-house systems an expensive and logistically-challenging endeavor. SaaS ecommerce platforms enable businesses to outsource the software development, maintenance, and QA processes associated with running an online store.
Some of the most important benefits of using SaaS for ecommerce and other businesses include:
Elimination of not only the need to develop and run QA on new software but also of the need to install applications on in-house computer systems. This alleviates a great burden for IT personnel and may allow for a reduction in the number IT staff members hired.
Cost savings accrue since software is not purchased but only "rented," therefore requiring less in-house hardware.
Quality and security are generally enhanced since software-related tasks are relegated to experienced experts with intensive "niche knowledge" in their field and who are focused solely on the single task of keeping the SaaS platform continuously functioning at optimal levels.
QA is generally conducted by establishing protocols that aim at conforming software products to any one of numerous preexisting standards/models, the ones most commonly adhered to being:
Both manufacturing and maintenance aspects of QA processes are continually honed and adjusted by software development corporations to more efficiently and more completely meet all specifications involved in their chosen standard/model. To accomplish this goal, QA experts minutely define and rigorously enforce QA processes. They then probe for systemic weaknesses and implementation failures and correct them. Production staff training and randomized auditing are also important tools utilized in QA.
Some areas covered by QA in most QA programs include:
Software Design and Development Method
Source Code Control and Code Review
Software Configuration Management
Requirements Development and Management
Estimation and Testing
Release Management and Product Integration.