By Sivakumar Anna and Jeff Pigatto
There are various reasons why Salesforce appears to stand head and shoulders above other CRM platforms on the world stage, but chief among them is its ability to support an organization’s sales cycle in a way that’s dependable and endlessly customizable. The off-the-shelf Salesforce offering serves businesses well in its own right, but the fact that it can be tailored to organizations with different needs to deliver better growth, engagement, and insights makes it an invaluable asset. Furthermore, Salesforce maps well to digital transformation objectives such as faster delivery cycles and continuous improvement. So far so good.
However, the mounting pressure to digitalize, not least thanks to the pandemic, combined with the seemingly endless potential of Salesforce configurations, integrations, and workflows, has created an incredibly challenging testing environment that many businesses are struggling to master.
More Complexity Requires More Test Automation
A typical modern Salesforce implementation involves frequent code deployments, extraordinarily complex code management and versioning, fast regression cycles, and a frequently changing computing environment. Considering too that manual test methods are widely understood to be slow, expensive, and error-prone, there is an obvious case for increased test automation within Salesforce.
Most enterprises are already aware that test automation can slash testing time and effort significantly. This translates into faster cycles, much-reduced costs, and results in an organization that is better able to handle and respond to change. The beauty of Salesforce test automation is that it not only enables teams to check that configuration and code are functional but also to confirm – quickly – if the system is working as intended.
Best Practices For Salesforce Test Automation
Before getting started with a Salesforce test automation initiative, it’s worth bearing in mind these hard-won best practice tips to help you maximize the results from your test automation efforts.
- Run tests as real user profiles.
- Prepare test data to validate the report’s functionality.
- Include functional, UI, regression, and system integration testing in your methodology.
- Pay special attention to the dynamic nature of visual force pages since all the elements of a webpage may not load simultaneously.
- Use tools like Selenium and HP Unified Functional Testing, both of which have been specifically designed with Salesforce in mind.
- Consider which tests include positive and negative flows, with an eye on identifying any potential choke points.
Creating The Building Blocks For Salesforce Automation
There are many tools out there that claim to aid automation, but businesses should single out the tools that support Salesforce integration and boast specialist Salesforce understanding, and they should be Lightning-ready. Ideally, the tools you choose should be code-free, flexible, smart, and capable of generating automated reports. Enterprises that already conduct test automation in other environments may already be familiar with some of the key contenders like ACCELQ, HP Unified Functional Testing, Cucumber, Force.com IDE, Change Sets, Ant Force migration tool, Workday, and, finally, Selenium.
Priming The Test Automation Toolset
For a practical perspective on how some of these tools can be applied, let’s take a more in-depth look at Selenium. Selenium-based test automation in Salesforce can actively reduce automation complexity and speed cycle time. However, Selenium testing has its challenges. For example, despite the popularity of Selenium WebDriver, it offers bare-bones support for test automation and often requires additional helper utilities to supplement its base capabilities.
Because Salesforce occupies such a central position within the enterprises that deploy it, it is critical to test and keep testing the environment. Nothing remains static in the modern digital enterprise and nowhere is this truer than in Salesforce with its regular software updates from Salesforce and its partner apps. Although setting up Salesforce test automation is challenging, the payoff is significant. From a technical perspective, moving from manual to automated testing quickly reduces testing time, while improving results. However, the biggest payoff is for the business itself, where the faster sales cycles and improved customer engagement that test automation can bring very quickly translate into an improved bottom line for your entire business.
About The Author
Sivakumar Anna is Vice President, Quality Services, at Infostretch (www.Infostretch.com), a Silicon Valley digital engineering professional services company. He has more than 20 years of experience developing and managing QA strategies for Fortune 500 companies.
Jeff Pigatto is Vice President and Global Head, Salesforce Practice at Saggezza (www.Saggezza.com), a Salesforce partner and digital technology services company. He has more than 20 years of Business and IT experience in consulting, financial services, and Cloud solutions.