Why Salesforce Integration is Critical for Test Automation

Why Salesforce Integration is Critical for Test Automation

This blog is co-written with Jeff Pigatto, Vice President and Global Head, Salesforce Practice at Apexon as they draw on their joint experience optimizing Salesforce environments.  

One of the fundamental reasons for Salesforce’s global position as the CRM platform of choice is its ability to support the sales cycle at the speeds that digital dictates.  

Endlessly customizable, enterprises can tailor the “vanilla” Salesforce offering to better deliver growth, engagement and insights. Furthermore, Salesforce maps well to digital transformation objectives such as faster delivery cycles and continuous improvement.  

The catch? The increasing demands of digital business together with custom Salesforce configurations, integrations and workflows all create a challenging testing environment.  

Complex digital ecosystems require high levels of test automation 

A typical modern Salesforce implementation involves frequent code deployments, extraordinarily complex code management and versioning, faster regression cycles and a frequently changing computing environment. Considering manual test methods are now seen as slow, expensive and error-prone, there is an obvious case for increased test automation for Salesforce.  

Most enterprises are aware that test automation can slash testing time and effort by more than 50 percent. This translates into faster cycles, much reduced costs and results in an organization that is better able to handle and respond to change. However, automating testing to a satisfactory degree also presents challenges for organizations.  

Finding time in the short term to save time in the long term is often the biggest obstacle to overcome. Automation can require a certain amount of resource upfront, which is well worth the effort, but not always easy to fit into a busy digital engineering team’s delivery schedule.  

A digital engineering partner like Apexon can accelerate test automation coverage. Apexon and Apexon (an Apexon company) specialize in Salesforce environments and have access to comprehensive end-to-end test automation expertise. In addition, both have developed their own test automation tools to help our customers get the job done quicker.  

Now that we have set the scene, this blog will aim to demystify the steps involved in integrating test automation with Salesforce.  

Why integrate Salesforce testing? 

We have touched on the benefits of automated testing in terms of time saved and productivity gained, but what else will enterprises gain from integrated testing?  

The beauty of Salesforce test automation is that it not only enables teams to check that configuration and code is functional, but also to confirm – quickly – if the system as a whole is working as intended.  

That can mean two things. Firstly, does the system’s initial build meet the agreed acceptance criteria and, secondly, does the system meet the real needs of the business? For the record, these are not always the same.  

On a fundamental level, by integrating testing into a cycle of continuous improvement, enterprises catch bugs much earlier on in the lifecycle … when they are a whole lot easier to fix.  

Best practices for effective Salesforce testing 

Common tools that we use to achieve desired outcomes include Selenium, Assure Click and QTP – integrating these tools allow us to cover unit, system, UAT, production and regression testing. As well as checking code is functional, Salesforce test automation helps organizations create functional flows based on the status of test cases, verify the working condition and behavior of the system, and check the functionality of time-based events.  

Before getting started, it is worth bearing in mind these best practice tips to help maximize ROI from test automation efforts.  

  • Run tests as real user profiles. 
  • Prepare test data to validate the report’s functionality.
  • Include functional, UI, regression and system integration testing in your methodology. 
  • Pay special attention to the dynamic nature of visual force pages since all the elements of a webpage may not load simultaneously.
  • Use tools like Selenium and HP Unified Functional Testing, both of which have been specifically designed with Salesforce in mind. 
  • Consider which tests include positive and negative flows, with an eye on identifying any potential choke points. 
  • Construct and test user roles using workflows.  

Tooling up for Salesforce automation

While testing has been a quality requirement for many years, teams that are new to test automation should look for the following features in any tool they select: 

  • Code-free.  
  • Flexible. 
  • Smart. 
  • Specialist Salesforce understanding.  
  • Supports integration.  
  • Generates reports automatically.  
  • Lightning-ready.  

In fact, enterprises who already conduct some degree of test automation may be familiar with widely used Salesforce test automation tools like ACCELQ, HP Unified Functional Testing, Cucumber, Force.com IDE, Change Sets, Ant Force migration tool, Workday and, finally, Selenium.  

As we are in the process of demystifying the wonders of test automation, we will spend a few minutes discussing the latter tool in some detail. 

Automation testing with Selenium 

For hassle-free, cross-platform testing, Selenium has become indispensable.  

As their digital footprints grow, enterprises demand more from the test and QE (Quality Engineering) practices. Automated testing on a device-by-device basis, while delivering the all-important real-world understanding of how users experience the app, also requires considerable time, complexity and experience. By contrast, Selenium-based test automation in Salesforce can reduce automation complexity and speed cycle time.  

To learn more about using Selenium for end-to-end test automation, look at Apexon’s Selenium-based testing automation and how we use both automation and open-source test frameworks to save our customers time, improve agility and maximize the impact of automation. 

Harnessing WebdriverIO

However, Selenium testing has its challenges. For example, despite the popularity of Selenium WebDriver, it offers bare-bones support for test automation and often requires additional helper utilities to supplement its base capabilities. Compared with Webdriver IO, another open-source automation testing tool, the Selenium version does not have built-in support for shadow DOM, which would need to be integrated separately.   

WebdriverIO is a modern, JavaScript-based test framework and provides a great deal of functionality that is not available in Selenium, including page objects as first-class citizens and native shadow DOM traversal. Despite these capabilities, it should be noted that WebdriverIO still requires a substantial and ongoing amount of engineering investment.   

Unleashing the power of Salesforce with test automation 

Nothing remains static in the modern digital enterprise and business agility is a key determiner of success.  

Regular software updates from Salesforce and its partner apps combined with the ever-changing infrastructure and app landscape within enterprises have meant that testing has a crucial role to play in continuously improving the user experience. Testing has had to automate and evolve to deliver insights fast and support growth. Defining and implementing intelligent test automation for Salesforce leads to better engagement and faster sales cycles.  

Apexon and Apexon’s test automation and Salesforce experience is substantial. Together, we put it to work for our customers, developing intelligent test automation solutions that cut test times and increase business agility.  

To start your Salesforce test automation journey, get in touch using the form below.  

Interested in our Quality Engineering Services?

Contact Apexon +1 408-727-1100

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