Salesforce is a popular customer relationship management (CRM) application and ecosystem that has grown rapidly in market share and maturity over the last ten years or so. Salesforce’s CRM offering and its accompanying customer service, marketing automation, and application development features has made it an incredibly popular choice for enterprise level organisations.
As with any complex, integrated solution like a Salesforce, quality assurance and software testing is important. We will take a moment to explain how Salesforce testing works and five key best practices for successful Salesforce testing.
An Overview of Salesforce Testing
Salesforce testing is a combination of both configuration testing of the administration module and customisation performed in the code. Test engineers test both the admin module where all the configurations are made for the website and the website to make sure changes made in the admin module reflect on the website correctly.
As a general rule of thumb, any of the following changes should be tested in the Sandbox environment before releasing to the Production environment as this will identify potential errors, flaws, or areas of improvement.
- Changes in integrations
- Minor changes to the website layout
- Addition of new API endpoints
- New campaign(s) published by Marketing
We have a good understanding of when to test in the Sandbox environment, but it’s also important to understand why we should test in the Salesforce’s Sandbox environment.
Learn more about Salesforce via their training site Trailhead.
Why is Salesforce testing done in the Sandbox environment?
Before we explain this, let’s just be clear on what a sandbox environment is.
Sandboxes are environments isolated from production. This is done so that development and testing can be done in an isolated environment without impacting the production environment.
In a project there can be multiple sandbox environments, for example Salesforce offers a Developer Sandbox, a Developer Pro Sandbox, a Partial Copy Sandbox and a Full Sandbox.
The Full Sandbox is intended specifically for testing. It allows test engineers to fully test the application with all the bells and whistles intended for release.
This means that when testers undertake Salesforce testing, they can do any research needed for their testing, they can also create different types of test data or campaigns for testing to verify how the application behaves once published.
On the Salesforce platform, unit, functional, system, integration, UAT, Production and regression tests can be performed. Load tests play a vital role for a successful release in Salesforce testing
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Salesforce Testing Best Practices
We have identified when to test and where to test, now we will explain some best practices for how to go about Salesforce testing effectively. Some of this tips are specifc to Salesforce while other are tips that are helpful for software testing in general.
1. Effective Test Strategy and Test Planning
Proper test strategy and test planning plays a very important role in successful Salesforce testing, as many components and businesses critical processes are involved in the process. During this process you must define what your high-level objectives are, who all of your stakeholders are, and their responsibilities. You should also document the different phases of testing, the different tooling which you are going to use, as well as the exit criteria of the test.
Implementing a successful test strategy for Salesforce can help businesses to identify the bottlenecks or defects, and streamline their operations. Proper planning is always an important first step.
2. Integrating Test Environment
Having an integrated test environment is a key in any testing project, especially in complex systems like eCommerce applications. In Salesforce, there are many other systems integrated into the platform like microservices from various payment providers, fulfilment partners, delivery partners, and more.
To satisfactorily test business-critical functions, these systems should be integrated so that proper integration testing that can be performed in real-time scenarios like on production.
Doing integration testing properly is typically expensive when done at the right phase of development. However, it will be much more expensive to fix any defects if they are discovered at a later stage, such as in production.
3. Automated Test Scripts
Automating business processes, like a check out and order fulfillment flow, in Salesforce saves lots of time when testing. However, be sure to stay on top of test flakiness.
Using test automation tools like Selenium, Provar, Leap Work, UFT & Cypress, automated functional testing can be performed.
Salesforce supports several types of API endpoints which also can be exposed for automation testing. API endpoints can be automated by using tools like Postman, REST-Assured & Soap UI.
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4. Fix Problems Early
We’ve all heard of the idea of “shifting testing to the left”, or in other words, testing earlier in the development lifecycle. This concept still holds true for Salesforce testing.
The early detection of problems and the implementation of fixes for those problems at early stages in development saves lots of effort, cost, and minimises complexity. Early detection and resolution also has the added benefits of reducing business risk, improving application security, and boosting the overall quality of the application.
Regular smaller deployments and the testing of these deployments prevents many of these from occurring and allows testers to confirm that recently developed code works correctly.
5. Involve Your Stakeholders in UAT Testing
Stakeholders should always be involved in User Acceptance Testing (UAT) so they can be shown that has been designed and how it works, all while providing their feedback and suggestions for future releases. It is actually one of the reasons why Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) is so popular.
Involving them in the testing process helps test engineers find any issues in the business process, helping to ensure the application meets the requirements and to verify that the developed code meets their expectations.
Many delays and issues arrive in the development process when the business-side and the development-side are not in alignment. Avoid this miscommunication and foster dialogue between stakeholders.
If you have gotten this far and already discovered some tips to help you improve your Salesforce testing practices, that’s great, we are glad to have helped.
For some readers of this article, however, the prospect of testing on Salesforce may still feel too daunting. Nothing to feel bad about. Software development and software testing are hard, especially if you are learning how to do it outside of your core domain of expertise.
Fortunately, software testing is our domain of expertise. Need some help with automated or manual testing? spriteCloud has got you covered. Review our services and get in touch with us via a contact form for more information on pricing and scheduling.