IT ecosystems of today’s enterprises are complex constellations. With technologies ranging from local desktop applications to virtual machines and cloud services, modern systems are often built of tens or hundreds of applications that, combined, serve as the vital organs for business-critical processes.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is one such system that some of the largest enterprises in the world rely on for various processes across the organization, including sales, marketing, and finance.
Challenges in testing Dynamics 365
To ensure the vitality of a businesses’ Dynamics 365 applications and the applications it is integrated with, testing is fundamental. It assures quality and reduces the risk of critical bugs.
Another trait of modern enterprises is the need for speed and ability to adapt to market changes.
Manual testing and most automation frameworks, however, prohibit speed and agility, putting QA managers in the undesirable position of having to choose between quality and speed. This challenge was one of the findings in Capgemini’s 2020 report on continuous testing.
While agile development methodologies and DevOps have become the standard for software development in all industries, transitioning from 'traditional' testing towards continuous testing remains a top challenge for DevOps teams, according to the report.
To overcome these barriers, a strategic approach to test automation as well as the incorporation of the right tools, fit for the business’ needs, is necessary.
How to overcome challenges in Dynamics 365 testing with the right tool
In this blog post, we outline three factors that QA teams must consider at the beginning of their automation journey to achieve success with automation. In addition to these factors, we recommend our guide with best practices for building maintainable and scalable test automation.
By following these guidelines, QA teams can overcome the most common challenges and ensure that their efforts provide a return on their investment in both time and resources.
1. Consider the business’ wider IT landscape
An automation journey often starts with a Google search for an automation framework for a specific application or technology. Sometimes testers will select an existing framework, other times teams will be put together to develop their own frameworks.
Selenium is an example of an existing framework often used for testing Dynamics 365, because it is built for web applications, and therefore compatible with Dynamics 365’s web applications. Another framework is Microsoft’s own, the Power Apps Test Framework.
Although popular choices, both these frameworks have limitations; they are incompatible with the remaining IT landscape. For teams wanting to test end-to-end, they simply won’t suffice.
Instead, QA teams should look for a test automation tool that offers the functionality of Selenium for Dynamics 365 web applications, and, in addition, lets teams test outside Dynamics 365, across integrations and any applications, whether they are legacy systems, virtual, in the cloud, or on desktop.
In summary, the tool should cross off the following points on your checklist:
- Compatible with your Dynamics 365
- Compatible with your wider IT landscape:
- Web applications
- Desktop applications
- Mobile applications
- Virtual machines
- Legacy systems
- Cloud platforms
2. Consider the ease of use
Adopting a new tool is rarely a straight path to success. Most tools take time to learn and some resistance and frustration amongst team members is bound to happen, if the tool isn’t as intuitive as they’d hoped.
There are, however, a number of things that will steer teams towards successful adoption. These include an intuitive user interface, structured onboarding and training, and readily available support for fast resolution.
Very few Dynamics 365 testing tools offer short learning curves. Most are either code-based or low-code, meaning they’ll require developers to write, or at least read, code for automation.
A no-code automation tool that uses an intuitive, visual interface, on the other hand, removes unnecessary complexity from automation, and lets teams collaborate easily and build automation fast. Perhaps most importantly, maintenance and scaling of tests becomes feasible, because it doesn’t require developers or testers to search through lines and lines of code every time a change is required.
On this checklist, the Dynamics 365 testing tool should therefore provide:
- A clear onboarding plan
- A learning center or training resources
- Access to support
3. Consider scaling your automation efforts from testing into production
You’ve read this article because you’re looking for a Dynamics 365 testing tool, but before your team can invest in a tool, you have to convince a financial manager or CFO that the tool will give you a return on the investment.
The two points above will help ensure this. Cross-technology compatibility will allow you to scale testing across the IT landscape, and no-code will make that scaling faster and less resource heavy.
But there’s another opportunity for scaling and maximizing that ROI, and that is process automation.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) bears many similarities to test automation, and for businesses already working with automated testing, the leap into RPA isn’t big. It all comes down to minimizing the time people have to spend on repetitive, tedious work, and maximizing accuracy and speed.
You can learn more about RPA and the differences and similarities between test automation tools and RPA tools in this blog post.
If you’ve verified that a test works, you’ve already done the groundwork for setting up an automated process. In other words, today’s automated tests are tomorrow’s automated processes.
On this checklist we can therefore add:
- Test automation capabilities
- RPA capabilities
The only difference, from a practical perspective, is that it happens in a production environment, rather than a test environment.
This requires a test automation tool that is robust and secure, and built for enterprises.
LEAPWORK: A no-code Dynamics 365 test automation tool built for enterprises
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’s no-code solution has a visual and intuitive user interface that makes it easy to learn. LEAPWORK also offers a complete learning center with extensive tutorials, as well as expert support.
This makes it easy to get started with test and process automation, letting teams benefit from higher productivity, lower risk and reduced costs, fast.
Learn more about LEAPWORK’s automation capabilities for Dynamics 365 in our on-demand webinar to see LEAPWORK in action and get your questions answered by an automation specialist.