We have a product that integrates with several-dozen third party applications. Our developers and testers sign up for free trial accounts with the third-parties so that we can validate that the integration workflow our users would go through will work properly after deployments are made. Some of the third-parties have very short free-trial periods, of up to 7 days.

Our QA team spends a considerable amount of time managing test credentials for these third-parties. Every week, a new set of free trial accounts need to be created in order to test the integration workflows.

We've considered the following options:

  • Contact the third parties and reach out to them and see if they'd grant us a permanent free-trial account for testing purposes.
  • Pay for the smallest plan every month to avoid needing to manage rotating the credentials.
  • Automate the process of refreshing the credentials.

I'm sure this is a common issue faced by many businesses with the amount of app marketplaces and integration opportunities that exist today. What's the best way to manage these third-party test credentials that minimizes maintenance and manual effort?

Note that I'm not talking about test credentials for our app. This is test credentials for third-party apps that our app integrates with.

  • 1
    Have you reached out to the vendors yet? You've said that it's something you've considered. If you have, what did the vendors say? I'm also curious if you are paying for these integrations or if this is an integration where your customer would be paying for both services.
    – Thomas Owens
    Commented May 10 at 20:09
  • We haven't reached out to the vendors yet. We're compiling a list of all of them and then plan to sort them by lowest cost and shortest trial (the ones that would have the biggest benefit). To answer your second question, who pays depends on the vendor, but I believe for most of them, it's the customer who pays for service A (the third-party) and service B (our service) and benefits from both services sharing data. To test it, we need credentials with all of the third-parties. Hope this helps clarify. Commented May 13 at 1:57
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    I'm not sure this question can be answered until after you've contacted the vendors. In my experience, most vendors offer developer licenses to people integrating with their product, so it becomes a problem of credential management. If they don't, it becomes a problem of risk and cost management.
    – Thomas Owens
    Commented May 13 at 11:02

1 Answer 1


I agree with Thomas Owens, contacting the vendors seems like the clear first step.

I'm adding this as an answer because, from a legal/ethical perspective, I think the answer to the question about managing "free-trial credentials" and constantly creating new free trial accounts is:

Don't do that.

It seems, to me, like a clear abuse of the free trials and could be putting you in violation of their license agreements, etc. It may be painful in the short term to stop work to get agreements or licenses with the vendors in place, but that's a small price to pay compared to potential lawsuits.

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