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How to Scale Functional Testing in Salesforce

Anna Thorsen

Anna Thorsen

When a business uses Salesforce, the software has to be scalable too. But often, the ability to scale customizations, configurations, and Salesforce-based applications is hindered by the inability to scale testing.

This can have a toppling effect on your business - on the productivity and operational efficiency of employees, and on the continuity of your business overall.

How can you avoid these negative consequences by scaling your testing? This post will give you answers on how to look for the right solution for your team and the business.

Before we begin, it’s important to note that scaling testing is not the same as scalability testing. In this blog, we refer to scaling functional testing, not performance testing.

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Productivity and operational efficiency bottlenecks in testing

The risk of disrupting business continuity

How to scale testing in Salesforce

Productivity and operational efficiency bottlenecks in testing

There are two elements to this problem - one arises from manual testing and the other from code-based automation.

Manual testing, without the support of automation, can quickly become an inefficient use of resources when a test suite grows. It leads to more human error and increases the chance of a bug reaching production. This results in more time spent fixing bugs that could have been found earlier, than on value-creating tasks like exploratory testing.

Test automation, specifically code-based, is difficult to scale. It requires highly technical resources with coding skills to build and maintain. In turn, this prevents those with testing expertise - QA people and business users - from contributing to test automation.

In both cases, QA and product verification can become slow and difficult, and the development lifecycle is slowed down.

The risk of disrupting business continuity

Firstly, what is business continuity? It’s the ability for your organization to function with as little disruption as possible.

The continuity of your business is put at risk every time a change is introduced to Salesforce. For example, with every Seasonal Release or configuration.

When you are put under such a strict timeline for pushing a release, there is no guarantee that the system will be properly tested with a manual approach.

In practice, testers often take a risk-based approach to testing, only looking at the important features and skipping the rest. This leaves gaps in test coverage. In the worst case, this approach can lead to downtime and stop employees from doing their job.

This creates a far from an ideal environment for scaling testing initiatives. It takes time away from value-creating tasks because of the time spent “keeping the engine running.”

How to scale testing in Salesforce

Salesforce is not the easiest CRM system for building test automation. For most, Salesforce is tested manually due to the constantly changing UI and the complex HTML structure. But in order to truly consider scaling testing initiatives, testing has to be automated.

For some - this prospect is daunting. How can you scale testing in Salesforce when most options for automation aren’t suitable?

Read about a major US manufacturer that scaled their major releases from 11 per year to 10 per month.

Scope the requirements

Finding a reliable solution for scaling your testing initiatives for increased test coverage starts here - uncovering and understanding the requirements you need for your automation solution. We’ll list these below:

Identify automation cases

First, do you have enough repetitive cases to justify introducing automation? If you are a small-sized business with only a few test cases, automation may not be a good investment. If this is not the case, identify the test cases for automation and keep a log of these tests (e.g., filling forms, creating a lead, logging in). Highlight test cases that are the most challenging. This may come in handy if you are going to demo a test automation vendor’s product. Characteristics of test cases for automation include:

  • Predictable and repetitive
  • Data-intensive (e.g., moving large quantities of data from A to B)
  • It’s a critical, complex feature
  • Goes beyond Salesforce (e.g., integrates with SAP)
  • Simple but time-consuming

Test case design

There are best practices for building test automation depending on the solution you choose. At Leapwork (a no-code automation platform), these include building isolated flows, building reusable tests, creating naming conventions, and parameterizing your tests. If these are new concepts to you, you can learn more about them in our guide to building scalable and maintainable test automation.

Testing frequency

You can run more test execution cycles if you have the right automation setup and the right tool. The end goal is to achieve continuous testing where you always have an up-to-date quality status on all builds.

The available resources

Who contributes to testing, and who would be involved in building and maintaining automation? Are they highly specialized resources like Quality Engineers, or are they predominantly QA and business users? The easier a solution is to onboard, the quicker you will see results. Leapwork’s visual, no-code automation builder enables business users and QA to build and maintain automation.

Scaling beyond your team

If scaling testing in your team is a problem, there is a good chance it is happening elsewhere in the organization. Are there other practical applications of an automation solution beyond your department? Be aware that an automation solution may need to work across technologies. For example, with integrations between Salesforce and SAP.

The return of investment (ROI)

Does the cost of automation outweigh the benefit? To determine this, stick with tangible measurements that have quantifiable outcomes on productivity and cost.

Learn more about calculating the ROI of test automation.

So what options exist for teams that do not have developer resources available, or the time to spend maintaining test automation? And is there a solution that can reliability automate the heavy DOM structure of Salesforce?

The short answer is yes. To see this kind of test automation in action, watch our on-demand webinar on automating salesforce testing without coding. This webinar covers how to bring test automation to your organization, and shows examples of real-life workflows covering the basics of Salesforce automation.

webinar how to automate salesforce testing without coding