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Salesforce Continuous Testing: What, Why, How?

Anna Thorsen

Anna Thorsen

Salesforce is a multi-experience development platform relied upon by many internal teams, from marketing and sales to service and commerce. It is highly customizable and integrates with external applications like SAP, and requires frequent testing.

With pressure on businesses to release faster, agile practices are becoming widely adopted by Salesforce application managers and QA teams. But with the pressure to release faster, there are more opportunities for something to go wrong.

Continuous testing is one way businesses are able to ramp up ability to detect errors quickly. To be able to do so, certain test activities have to be automated. However, automation isn’t straightforward in Salesforce, with dynamic elements and shadow DOMs making it difficult to identify elements in UI test automation.

Learn more about the challenges of automated Salesforce testing

In this post, we’ll cover what Salesforce continuous testing is, why it’s needed, the pitfalls of continuously testing Salesforce, and how to find the right solution for continuous testing in Salesforce.

whitepaper searching for a salesforce continuous testing tool cover

What is Salesforce continuous testing?

Salesforce testing is the process of completing automated tests in a software development pipeline to get immediate feedback on risks in Salesforce releases, customizations, configurations and integrations.

In short, it’s about:

But most importantly, continuous testing is not possible without test automation.

Why is Salesforce continuous testing needed?

Changes in Salesforce make it easier and more efficient for marketing, sales, service and commerce to perform their jobs. Because Salesforce is relied upon by businesses for some of their most important business processes, any change has to be high quality, well crafted and delivered in a short sprint.

To be able to build as often as possible, teams need an infrastructure capable of running frequent builds. But without the infrastructure and tools to support frequent builds, teams get stuck in testing.

This is particularly true in Salesforce where automating testing of the UI can become a struggle. So what burdens do testers and developers normally face when continuously testing (i.e. using test automation) in Salesforce?

The pitfalls of continuous testing in Salesforce

Agile production has introduced the concept of continuous delivery - the ability to get changes into production quickly, with few errors, efficiently. But continuous delivery can only work if the most time-consuming activity - testing - moves at an equally fast pace.

To be able to test earlier, more often, and throughout Salesforce, you have to overcome these common automation challenges.

Salesforce is unlike other applications

Teams are likely to struggle with implementing test automation in Salesforce because it is not a traditional software development environment.

Customizations and the frequency of changes are higher than most applications. There are:

  1. Integrations. Changes to connected applications like SAP can disrupt business processes
  2. Updates. Salesforce clients have 3x yearly mandatory seasonal releases. There is a short time frame until they are released to a live environment
  3. Customizations and configurations. These can happen across segments from marketing and sales, to service modules, and require business users for user acceptance testing

All of these changes require testing before they are re-released. As a rule of thumb, the larger the enterprise, the more testing required, the more regression cycles there will be, and the longer the fulfillment time of user requests. This is a big impediment for businesses.

Code-based automation solutions are hard to use

Most open-sourced and commercial test automation solutions require coding skills. But the developers with these skills do not invest their time in developing automated tests because it provides little value from their perspective. They are instead driven to deliver features by a set date.

This instead means QA resources are expected to build tests. However, QA resources with coding experience are few and far between. This is a flawed approach because every UI change also changes the automation, making it unstable and requiring constant maintenance.

The maintenance required of code-based automation solutions makes tests very unreliable and flaky. It’s a costly time sink, time that testers don’t have as they are often manually testing on the side. As a result, businesses are often forced to continue manually testing and drop their automation initiatives. This increases the chance of costly bugs entering a live production environment.

But there are other solutions that exist that don’t require heavy maintenance or coding experience. We’ll uncover this solution in the next section.

What you should look for in a Salesforce continuous testing tool

While your organization has unique needs, there are guiding features to look for in a continuous testing tool for Salesforce. From locator strategies and full cross-technology support to scalability and ease of use, we’ll explain these fundamentals below.

Cross-technology support. Salesforce integrates with lots of applications, and these integrations need to work flawlessly. Using the same tool to test across your system architecture is key to creating a functional system architecture that you can rely on.

Scalability. As your system grows, so too will your need to test it. While it is possible to manually test 20 cases, testing thousands isn’t possible. A code-based solution for test automation is also challenging to scale as maintaining the code is an insurmountable task.

Ease of use. Look for easy-to-use, easy-to-learn, and low-maintenance tools. For example, if you are lacking programmers to build automation for your regression suite, a no-code tool can be a suitable alternative. Codeless tools make automation accessible to a bigger group of people, whether your testing team consists of business users or QA managers.

To learn more about the solutions that enable easy, scalable, cross-technology automation, get our whitepaper on searching for a continuous testing tool for Salesforce.

whitepaper searching for a salesforce continuous testing tool