Last Updated on May 31, 2022 by Rakesh Gupta
One of the best parts of Salesforce is its out-of-the-box features that can be easily tailored to meet the specific needs of your business. But while it may be easy to update a new sales process or create a custom layer of code in Salesforce, the real challenge is making sure your customizations do not break over time as you continue to build and expand the complexity of your Salesforce Org. To ensure business continuity, you need a robust testing plan in place so that you can continue to build, innovate and experiment without fear of failure. Smart testing in Salesforce is your insurance policy and your key to innovation and operational savings.
The Challenges of Salesforce Testing
Innovations in software development have allowed development teams to deliver code like never before, but speed to market can often create great potential for breakage. Fast delivery also requires stringent yet efficient testing to ensure that the business processes being developed maintain their integrity as innovation projects are released, but finding that balance between speed and clean testing is often tricky if done manually.
There can be a lot of uncertainty about change impact and test coverage, as trying to understand the potential ripple effects of the work you’re about to release can feel next to impossible. Additionally, User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is complex and manual–UAT needs to be done by business end-users who still have to do their everyday job. Progress and defect tracking after UAT are also challenging, with devs and admins asking themselves: do we have visibility into how people are handling testing, and how do we speed up?
More Salesforce practices want to make their testing more comprehensive, but they’re finding that the costs associated with expanding their testing programs are linear–the cost to test is directly correlated with the amount of work you’re putting out.
Salesforce Testing Is More Than Software Testing
Salesforce as a solution is all about the business it belongs to and it is critical to its functioning–any disruption to business continuity is unacceptable.
There are multiple dependencies for every Salesforce process that runs because each Salesforce component is really connected to many other components and breakage can therefore happen even with small changes. Salesforce testing also requires a strong and precise understanding of business processes–it’s not just checking for where bugs fire in code. Business users are essential to validate your changes, and understanding how business users act in their environments requires verification and testing before release.
When you’re introducing changes, you need testing to have confidence that you can change a production system without unintended consequences. No matter what, you cannot compromise the integrity of the org.
Salesforce Testing Types
To identify what to test and where to locate efficiencies within your testing plan, it’s important to understand the kinds of testing needed for effective Salesforce releases.
Unit Testing is a staple of software development in any language or platform and has to be done on each unit of code in a single component. Unit Tests are done at the developer level, checking to make sure it works.
Functional tests check the code against the system as a whole, ensuring that the system is operating in the way you would expect in the later use of the application. Functional tests are usually performed by a QA team.
User Acceptance Testing (UAT)
UAT is performed by business end-users who can define the process and method that the new code is supposed to represent. UAT is done in the development stage in a sandbox.
A regression test is a standard test you can run to see if anything has inadvertently broken something. A regression test ensures changes are not affecting any existing features and can be automated. Regression tests are usually handled by a QA team.
System Testing/E2E Testing
System and E2E testing are critical in orgs with many managed packages or APIs. A few different kinds of people can perform E2E testing, but usually, a Salesforce Expert, an external consultant, or a system owner of an API-connected solution performs these tests.
Salesforce Testing Best Practices
Testing can feel like a chore, but with planning and the right tools, it doesn’t have to feel impossible. Here are a few best practices that will make your release testing go much better.
- Start testing early in the development lifecycle: For Apex classes especially, plan your testing as you build. Build a test class alongside your code and ensure your class can pass at the 75% coverage mark. Developers should unit test the code they have developed as they work at their requirements to validate their code is working as intended.
- Prepare your functional test cases from the start: Within your projects, layout who is responsible for what test, what testing you plan to involve, and what manual steps need to be done. Create a detailed test plan that covers features and scenarios, roles and responsibilities, and a defect management plan.
- Never compromise UAT testing: UAT is a critical connection between the business and the developers working on a Salesforce build. Developers can sometimes be blinded to the realities of other people’s work, so focusing on integrity in the UAT process can help you put your end-users front and center.
- Use testing tools to streamline your process: While identifying and acquiring testing tools is often a management challenge instead of a technical challenge, automatic invocation of testing in your automation pipeline helps. Think about lean management principles when you do find your defect and leverage automation where possible.
Try Panaya for the Sweet Spot of Smart Testing
Determining what to test to minimize breakage in production is a critical part of establishing your Salesforce testing strategy, but identifying what to test and how to create that plan doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
With Panaya Foresight’s End-to-End Test Management solution designed specifically for Salesforce, you can determine what to test to minimize breakage and so much more.
Panaya Foresight lets you view and manage your tests in a single platform, create assets, assign testers, generate data sets, and receive reporting on your test. Quickly identify what changes in your deployment have the highest risk of breakage to focus your test efforts on preventing them, and automatically generate documentation of your business processes.
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