How to Deliver Your Salesforce Spring Release on Time

Anna Thorsen

Automation Expert

To the seasoned application manager in Salesforce, you’ll be all too familiar with the stressors that come with testing a Salesforce Release

Unlike other Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications, Salesforce Release updates are mandatory. About three months before they are pushed to a production environment, they’re released to a sandbox environment where it is tested for critical errors. 

So what can you do to ensure that your Salesforce Spring Release is tested on time?

In this post, we’ll be outlining the challenges that come with testing Salesforce Releases manually and with test automation, and what solutions exist that don’t require heavy maintenance or expensive developer resources.

The Salesforce seasonal release schedule

There are three major Salesforce Releases a year, each offering new and improved features. The exact release dates are made available at least a year in advance, however, you can expect them to happen within a particular month:

The dates are loosely defined as not all businesses using Salesforce have the same release schedule. However, they are rolled out over several weeks. 

In the case of Salesforce seasonal releases, they are tested in a sandbox environment for 4-6 weeks before they are pushed to production. 

Cloud consultancy, Galvin Tech, has a quick guide available on how to determine your Salesforce Instance and your Salesforce Release Schedule. 

As we briefly mentioned above, Salesforce Releases are not optional. This is a major difference from other CRM systems like Dynamics365 where you can skip at least one major release. 

This adds pressure to those responsible for testing the system because they are under a tight deadline.

Why Salesforce Releases are tested 

Salesforce is a complex application with seasonal releases and customizations for unique workflows used by business users. 

Salesforce Cloud, for example, is essential for enabling Sales teams to get customers. It is, for many, a mission-critical application for generating revenue. If the stability of Salesforce Cloud is at risk, then the ability for the business to continue its operations is also at risk. 

If the tap is turned off, the consequences can be disastrous. 

That’s why Salesforce is tested. Whenever a change is introduced, testers make sure that the change is not interfering with the continued stability of the application. This step is crucial because whenever a new feature is released, it can cause bugs to surface. Testing these releases ensures that the majority of bugs are found before they make it to a production environment. 

The term used for this type of testing is regression testing, and this process is still performed manually by a lot of businesses. 

Related reading: The best practices for regression testing Salesforce at speed

What’s preventing you from testing Salesforce Releases on time?

Regression testing your Salesforce system because of a seasonal Salesforce Release puts an immense burden on your testing team. A typical regression suite can take days to run through manually. And when you only have a matter of weeks to find and resolve issues, and implement new features, the pressure is on. 

There are a number of methods used to test Salesforce Releases, but not all of them are efficient. We’ll dive into those below:

Manual testing

Manual testing can be carried out by a dedicated testing team for Salesforce or a Quality Assurance (QA) team. 

While it can often be the only option for testers without the technical ability to automate testing, manual testing is very slow, it requires lots of resources, and it’s repetitive. This makes it difficult and costly to scale. 

When we carry out a long and repetitive task like manual regression testing, we miss important steps. In the process, critical bugs can be missed and make their way to a production environment.

Manual testing creates more bugs

A risk-based approach to testing

When you’re under pressure to test your release in a limited time frame, testers are forced to prioritize and carry out risk-based testing. And while it is effective for covering your components most prone to breaking, it does not guarantee that the system will be risk-free. 

In practice, testers will focus on the most important features, and the rest will be ignored. At a time where businesses are moving towards continuous testing, this manual approach leaves glaring holes in test coverage.

This is far from an ideal scenario for application managers who are responsible for the delivery of high-quality application improvements. They’re accountable for the quality of the system. So much so, that errors in production that lead to system downtime, it’s their head on the line.

That’s where test automation comes in.

Test automation for Salesforce

While some test automation tools offer the promise of more efficient testing, many require heavy maintenance and don’t offer an easier solution for automating the heavy DOM structures in Salesforce. 

Salesforce is notoriously difficult to automate because of its complex and ever-changing UI. Many of the tools designed for Salesforce still struggle with its complicated HTML structures. 

And for those who have used test automation in Salesforce, you will be familiar with the maintenance burden that code-based test automation puts on developers. Because their primary responsibility is the development of new features, they are not readily available for building automation. This exact scenario, in many cases, forces teams to revert back to a manual approach.

Related reading: Can you automate Salesforce tests using Selenium?

So what options exist for teams that do not have developer resources available, nor the time to spend maintaining test automation? And is there a solution that can reliability automate the heavy DOM structure of Salesforce, effortlessly?

The short answer is yes. Read on to find out more, or download our factsheet on finding an agile solution for testing Salesforce.  

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How to improve software delivery performance in Salesforce

  • Find a tool that can easily automate the constantly changing HTML structure reliability
  • Make it possible for business people and QA specialists to collaborate and contribute towards automation, without having to program
  • Don’t get lost in the trap of test automation tools with heavy maintenance. Troubleshooting and debugging automation should be as easy as possible
  • Don’t spend all your time building automated tests! The longer you spend building automation, the less productive your testing is, and the lower the ROI will be
  • Find a tool that fits with your existing technology ecosystem. Cross-technology support will enable you to build end-to-end tests, making testing scalable across your enterprise landscape. 

A test automation solution that doesn’t require heavy maintenance

Salesforce is a complex platform, but automating it doesn’t have to be. With Leapwork’s no-code platform for test automation, it’s easier to set up and maintain tests in Salesforce. 

  • Leapwork has a robust way to work with Salesforce’s dynamic UIs, heavy DOM, and complex HTML structure. Robust locator strategies reliably locate dynamic elements in the Salesforce UI. This means Leapwork tests aren’t flakey, and maintenance is kept to a minimum. When it is required, Leapwork’s visual debugging and video reports show exactly what is broken, where and why.
  • Business users and QA specialists can use Leapwork to automate Salesforce without needing to code. This makes it easier for the people who understand Salesforce to apply their knowledge.
  • It takes less time for business users and QA specialists to become productive with Leapwork than with any other platform on the market.
  • Use the same visual approach to automate across all enterprise applications. A cross-technology smart recorder makes it straightforward to build tests and validate data across systems such as Salesforce, SAP, Oracle, and green screens.

Want to learn more about testing your Salesforce Spring Release on time? Read our short factsheet to learn everything you need to know to prepare for your future releases.

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