Author: Jeff Pigatto, Vice President and Global Head, Salesforce Practice, Saggezza
This blog, co-written with Sivakumar Anna, VP – Quality Services at Infostretch, draws on their joint experience optimizing Salesforce environments.
There are numerous reasons for Salesforce’s global position as the CRM platform of choice, but one of the most fundal is its ability to support the sales cycle at the speeds that digital dictates.
And while it is acknowledged as endlessly customizable, enterprises can tailor the “vanilla” Salesforce offering to better deliver growth, engagement and insights. Furthermore, Salesforce maps well to digital transformation objectives and optimization strategies such as faster delivery cycles and continuous improvement.
There is, however, one catch. In a world where the increasing demands of digital business together with custom Salesforce configurations, integrations and workflows create a challenging testing environment, companies need to make certain that they have the tools in place to do the job of testing right.
Complex digital ecosystems require high levels of test automation
A typical modern Salesforce implementation involves frequent code deployments, extraordinarily complex code management and versioning, faster regression cycles and a computing environment that is liable to change on a frequent basis. Considering manual test methods are now seen as slow, expensive and error-prone, there is an obvious case for increased test automation for Salesforce.
Most prudent enterprises are aware that test automation can reduce testing time and effort by more than 50 percent. In effect, this common wisdom translates into faster cycles and much reduced costs, resulting in an organization that is better able to handle and respond to change. However, automating testing to a satisfactory degree also presents significant pain points for organizations.
Finding time now to save time later is often the biggest obstacle to overcome. Automation can require a certain amount of resource upfront and is often well worth the effort. The caveat is that it is always easy to fit into a busy digital engineering team’s delivery schedule.
A digital engineering partner can accelerate test automation coverage. We specialize in Salesforce environments and have access to comprehensive end-to-end test automation expertise. In addition, our business relationship with Infostretch has seen both companies develop their own test automation tools to help customers get the job done quicker.
Now that we have set the scene, this blog will aim to demystify the steps involved in integrating test automation with Salesforce.
Why integrate Salesforce testing?
The benefits of automated testing are easy to quantify in terms of time saved and productivity gained, but what else will enterprises gain from integrated testing?
The selling point of Salesforce test automation is that it not only enables teams to check that configuration and code is functional, but also to confirm – quickly – if the entire system is working as intended.
That can mean two things. Firstly, does the system’s initial build meet the agreed acceptance criteria and, secondly, does the system meet the real needs of the business? In many cases, these are not always the same.
On a fundamental level, by integrating testing into a cycle of continuous improvement, enterprises can catch bugs much earlier on in the overall lifecycle … and that means they are a whole lot easier to fix.
Best practices for effective Salesforce testing
We use a set of common tools to achieve desired testing outcomes. These resources include Selenium, Assure Click and QTP, and integrating these tools allows us to cover unit, system, UAT, production and regression testing. As well as checking code is functional, Salesforce test automation helps organizations create functional flows based on the status of test cases, verify the working condition and behavior of the system, while also checking the functionality of time-based events.
With that in mind, it is worth thinking about these best practice tips to help maximize ROI from 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.
- Construct and test user roles using workflows.
Tooling up for Salesforce automation
Testing has been a quality requirement for many years, but teams that are new to test automation should look for the following features in any tool they select:
- Specialist Salesforce understanding.
- Supports integration.
- Generates reports automatically.
In fact, enterprises who already conduct some degree of test automation may be familiar with widely used Salesforce test automation tools like ACCELQ, HP Unified Functional Testing, Cucumber, Force.com IDE, Change Sets, Ant Force migration tool, Workday and, finally, Selenium.
As we are in the process of pulling back the curtain on the wonders of test automation, we will spend a few minutes discussing the latter tool in some detail.
Automation testing with Selenium
For hassle-free, cross-platform testing, Selenium has become indispensable.
As digital footprints grow, enterprises demand more from the test and QE (Quality Engineering) practices. On the flip side, automated testing on a device-by-device basis, while delivering the all-important real-world understanding of how users experience the app, also requires considerable time, complexity and experience. By contrast, Selenium-based test automation in Salesforce can reduce automation complexity and speed cycle time.
To learn more about using Selenium for end-to-end test automation, look at Infostretch’s Selenium-based testing automation and how we use both automation and open-source test frameworks to save our customers time, improve agility and maximize the impact of automation.
However, Selenium testing also has its challenges.
For example, despite the popularity of Selenium WebDriver, it offers bare-bones support for test automation and can require additional helper utilities to supplement its base capabilities. Compared with WebdriverIO (another open-source automation testing tool), the Selenium version does not have built-in support for shadow DOM, which would need to be integrated separately.
Unleashing the power of Salesforce with test automation
Nothing remains static in the modern digital enterprise and business agility is a key determiner of success.
Regular software updates from Salesforce and its partner apps combined with the ever-changing infrastructure and app landscape within enterprises have meant that testing has a crucial role to play in continuously improving the user experience. Testing has had to automate and evolve to deliver insights fast and support growth.
Ultimately, defining and implementing intelligent test automation for Salesforce leads to better engagement and faster sales cycles, a digital optimization solution that we can all get behind.
Infostretch and Saggezza’s test automation and Salesforce experience is substantial. Together, we put it to work for our customers, developing intelligent test automation solutions that cut test times and increase business agility.
To find out how test automation can assure high performance and increased ROI in your organization’s Salesforce environment, contact us today!
As Saggezza’s Salesforce Practice lead, Jeff Pigatto oversees business development, drives customer success, and nurtures the company’s Salesforce alliance partnership to further support clients leveraging the Salesforce Customer Success Platform. Pigatto received an MBA from The George Washington University School of Business, a master’s from The George Washington University School of International Affairs, and a bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of Iowa.
Sivakumar Anna is the Senior Director of Enterprise QA at Infostretch. He has more than 20 years of experience developing and managing QA strategies for Fortune 500 companies. In nine years with Infostretch, He has been instrumental in leading strategic enterprise engagements, which have resulted in significant value for clients such as The Body Shop and Minted.com. Before joining Infostretch, Anna excelled as a technical project manager for both eBay and Cognizant.
Saggezza is a proven technology and consulting partner that delivers personalized, high-value solutions to accelerate business growth.