Good customer experience has never been more critical. With the Corona Crisis continuing to shape the way business is done, more and more businesses depend on quality user experiences to stay competitive. Particularly for the delivery of products and services that take place online.
Many businesses using Microsoft Dynamics 365 use the Customer Engagement (CE) application to manage their customer relationships. This application and others integrated with it serve as the foundation for delivering good customer experiences and it is therefore crucial that businesses are confident in their applications’ performance.
Testing is key in this respect. Particularly because Microsoft regularly releases new updates affecting the Dynamics 365 application. This introduces a risk to processes, particularly those that are custom built, and they must therefore be tested on a regular basis.
In addition, as developers build and release new code for the Dynamics 365 applications, existing code must be tested too. Regression testing, however, is extremely time-consuming when performed manually. Automated regression testing should therefore be considered as a means to delivering quality at speed.
The question is how testers can match the pace of development, if automation in and of itself takes considerable time to set up and maintain?
In this blog post, we outline a solution to this problem that involves using Leapwork's no-code test automation platform for Dynamics 365 to test continuously.
To create a CI/CD pipeline that assures quality delivery at speed, the following four components must be in place. Since automation is fundamental to CI/CD, these components rely on automation tools and little-to-no human intervention.
The first component of the CI/CD pipeline is versioning. To be able to develop on multiple versions at a time, you need a tool that can manage different versions simultaneously.
Second, once versions are submitted and merged, you will need to be able to build and release those versions automatically.
Third, you’ll need to automate your testing. There are several approaches to this, which we’ll further define in the next section.
Finally, you will need multiple environments for your application. You will need a development environment for the build, a test environment for testing, and a production environment for deployment.
Combined, these components of automated checks will help secure the quality and speed of delivery cycles.
Automated testing is, as we’ve established, key to CI/CD and to confidence in business-critical processes running on Dynamics 365, as well as the larger IT ecosystem.
But when it comes to testing Dynamics 365, QA teams might find that not all automation tools offer capabilities that will let them test at speed. Firstly, many tools rely on coding, and second, they are built for specific technologies, making them difficult to integrate across platforms.
Let’s take a closer look at why these capabilities are crucial for continuous testing.
First of all, code-based solutions become a barrier to efficient Dynamics 365 testing.
Examples of such tools include Selenium, EasyRepro and FakeXrm. Although popular for testing Dynamics 365, they all require coding. Even if the code-based tool is relatively easy to understand, it won’t necessarily match the coding used in the Microsoft Power Platform, the foundation on which the Dynamics 365 applications are built, and so it will only add additional complexity.
On the whole, your business shouldn’t rely on your team’s coding skills, as this will cause dependencies on developers and slow down the release cycle. Rather, teams should be able to set up, maintain, and scale automation solutions with ease.
A no-code testing platform, such as Leapwork, will let teams flow through bottlenecks and move with speed and agility.
Selenium, EasyRepro, and FakeXrm can be considered as ‘siloed’ testing tools that only offer testing functionality within a certain technology or testing type, meaning they are not ideal for end-to-end testing.
Selenium, for example, is a UI testing tool that only works for web automation, meaning if there was a need to test across desktop, virtual machines or legacy systems, another tool would be required for this purpose. This prohibits end-to-end testing.
End-to-end testing is a key indicator for the performance of business critical processes, and teams using fragmented solutions will without doubt find themselves struggling to maintain such complex constellations.
Even Microsoft’s own low-code solution, the Power Apps Test Framework, offers limited capabilities in this regard, and will only add complexity to the already-complex technical infrastructure of most IT ecosystems.
With Leapwork’s no-code automation platform, enterprises can automate and test all Dynamics 365 web applications, as well as other applications within the enterprises’ wider IT landscape. Leapwork also intetrages with your existing CI/CD pipeline.
With visual building blocks, teams can create automation flows—from complex, end-to-end processes to data-driven cross-technology tests—with ease.