Transitioning From Manual to Automated Testing in Dynamics 365

Anna Thorsen

Automation Expert

Are you testing your Dynamics 365 applications manually, and unable to reach high test coverage? Your team may have dabbled in Selenium and found it a nightmare to get it to work. So what solutions exist for teams who are moving from manual to automated, and most importantly, what's the easiest and fastest option? 

In this article, we’ll explore the areas for consideration when making the move from manual to automated testing and before choosing a Dynamics 365 test automation solution.

Why move from manual to automated Dynamics 365 testing?

Many companies rely on manual testing for quality assurance. However, this approach has drawbacks. Manual testing can lead to human errors, inconsistencies, and incomplete coverage, as it’s time-consuming and may not keep up with scaling applications or frequent updates.

While manual testing has its place, a balanced strategy involves automating suitable tests. Repetitive, stable, time-consuming, and critical tests are good candidates for automation, and automating these tests will speed up the testing process and reduce errors.

There are many avenues when venturing down the automation route. But which option you choose will impact your ability to test efficiently, without compromising quality.

Automation framework or vendor?

An automation framework can be costly because, generally speaking, it requires someone with programming knowledge to build. This makes it difficult to match the pace of development, and takes time away from testing. Additionally, it’s difficult to scale because frameworks are usually built for one application type, such as the Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations app.

Learn more: Test Automation Frameworks: Why They Fail

Using Selenium is a seemingly good starting point, because it’s free and start-up costs are low. But those who have chosen that route know that it brings its own challenges further down the road. 

First of all, because it requires a lot of coding experience to create tests. Dynamics products are almost always customized, and can be difficult to automate with Selenium scripts. For example, getting Selenium WebDriver to find the right element in Dynamics 365 would require the tester to spend time scripting a locator strategy. 

Secondly, it requires a lot of work and experience to maintain. As UIs change with Microsoft updates, the test script will need to be updated, and in a coded framework like Selenium, that can be a daunting task.

Read more: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Automated Testing Using Selenium

Codeless automation enables a level of agility that scripted frameworks don’t. You can alleviate testers or developers from writing and maintaining Selenium scripts, build out automation much quicker, and see greater efficiency gains.

Key points to consider when choosing a Dynamics 365 automation tool

To excel in an ever-competitive marketplace, the way you test your system must be maintainable, easy to use, and scalable.

Below, we’ve listed six characteristics to look for in an automation tool.

  • Ease of use. How suitable is this tool for the team using it? If you’re looking for a tool for your testing team, and they don’t have the time or the experience to build maintainable and scalable scripted test cases, search for a solution that is quick and easy to use, regardless of level of testing and coding experience.
  • Reusability of tests. How quickly can your automation approach create reusable test components such as logging in or migrating data? With reusable tests that can be updated from one local place across your test suite, your team can reduce the maintenance workload and automate even faster.
  • Quick identification of errors. How quickly can you identify errors in your test cases? Do you have to go through lines of code to find them, or can they be visually presented through a video log or dashboard?
  • Cross-application/technology support. Are you using your Dynamics 365 application across technologies and operating systems, and does it interact with non-Dynamics 365 applications such as Salesforce or SAP? Many business-critical processes involve multiple applications, and siloed automation approaches will keep you from testing end-to-end. Automation that uses the same approach no-matter the application or technology is faster than building test cases with different tools and programming languages.
  • Supports DevOps. Can the tool integrate with different agile planning tools like Azure or Jira? With DevOps tool integrations, you’ll make it easier for people to collaborate, and protect against the risk of a poor quality or delayed product.
  • Reporting. Can you get an overview of trends and reporting of your automation projects? Making sense of the vast amounts of information will make it easier to evaluate the outcome of your projects.

Why choose codeless Dynamics 365 automation?

Codeless automation helps teams build and maintain test automation so that coverage can be increased. This increases the quality of software and helps businesses better prepare for Service Updates and Proactive Quality Updates to Dynamics 365.

Leapwork’s test automation solution for Dynamics 365 is completely code free and brings a number of benefits:

  • Built for the many, not the few. Leapwork doesn’t require programming knowledge. This means the people who know the processes and systems the best can automate despite having no programming experience
  • Automate end-to-end. Leapwork works across technologies so you can cover entire business processes end-to-end - regardless of whether you’re testing processes within your Dynamics 365 application or across Dynamics 365 and other business applications. 
  • Made to be reusable. Reusable test cases and test case components, visual debugging and advanced analytics make automation easy to maintain with every update, for a more agile delivery pipeline.
  • Made for DevOps. Leapwork is made specifically with DevOps in mind. Remove silos, collaborate easily, and integrate directly into your CI/CD pipeline with plugins to Jenkins, Bamboo, Azure DevOps, and more.

Learn more about building quality automation for every Dynamics update in our on-demand webinar, or access our guide to automating Dynamics 365 testing:

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