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Salesforce testing

5 best practices to un-bottleneck your Salesforce testing and update process

As the largest cloud-based CRM provider, Salesforce comes with comprehensive out-of-the-box usability while also accommodating high levels of customization, integration, and flexibility for their 150,000 strong customer base. In fact, the Salesforce ecosystem is 5 times larger than the platform itself and includes an extensive partner network and an app marketplace with 4,000 apps. These features allow Salesforce users to integrate into almost any systems landscape and create unlimited customized apps. 

Ensuring your Salesforce instance achieves optimal performance requires a Salesforce-specific testing strategy. Whether committing custom code or trying to keep pace with Salesforce’s releases and patches, keeping the CRM platform up to date comes with a substantial software testing burden that grows larger with every update.

When done right, testing can serve as a huge value-add to your organization. Here are 5 best practices to optimize your Salesforce testing strategy:

1. Understand how Salesforce is being used

The ‘secret sauce’ to any successful digital transformation or overall business innovation is alignment between business users and technical resources. As a business scales and grows, connection points between these two groups become siloed. Business users and developers must create business processes that encourage and maintain communication about any new use cases or overall Salesforce needs.

Understanding which processes are the most business critical will allow testing teams to streamline their testing strategy — because after all, 100% test coverage is impossible, impractical, and unnecessary. A use-based approach to Salesforce testing will allow development teams to create the most effective solution for the biggest problems, and help them prioritize test cases to deliver high-performing projects on time.

2. Simplify end-to-end testing

The average Salesforce instance includes dozens of API integrations that connect it to end-to-end business practices spanning from ERP to customer-facing software. As these applications evolve in parallel, each integration point becomes another possible point of failure.

Testing strategies can compound this problem. On average, organizations use over 30 different systems for development and testing. To boot, end-to-end testing is one of the slowest types of testing and doesn’t facilitate the immediate feedback that DevOps-driven teams depend on.

As end-to-end testing becomes more difficult for enterprises, it also becomes more important. If something breaks in a complex landscape, it will cause a ripple effect of breakage. Pinpointing the failure is like finding a needle in the haystack — a costly, mundane, time-consuming process through which the business must continue to operate.

Prioritization is the key to simplifying end-to-end business process testing. It isn’t practical for QA teams to create end-to-end tests for every possible workflow within the application.

Teams must identify:

  • The most common workflows
  • The most business-critical workflows

These workflows should get priority in your Salesforce test automation strategy.

3. Align regression testing to business risk

Regression testing often creates a bottleneck in Salesforce testing, as your library of regression tests grows with each Salesforce release. The rate of Salesforce updates makes it impossible for many testing teams to perform their entire regression suite without delaying the release. The good news is that they don’t have to. This is because:

  • Regression suites are bloated and ineffective. Our research found that 60% of tests in the average regression suite are redundant, and they only cover 40% of the company’s actual business risk.
  • A small number of tests cover the majority of risk. When you understand which tests align with your greatest risks, you can cover 80% of risk with just 20% of your current testing effort.

When you can’t test everything, test what’s most important. How do you know what to test? Gather up your Salesforce admins, developers, testers, and users to assign risk levels to your organization’s Salesforce processes and capabilities.

4. Gain visibility into user-driven changes

In a traditional workflow, if a business user with no coding ability faces a business problem, they must put in a request and hope that their issue is important enough to the business to resolve.

Low/no-code platforms have drastically disrupted this way of working to improve agility, reduce maintenance, and decrease cost.

Salesforce’s no-code platform is a key differentiator, allowing business users to create their own customizations. This allows for a faster migration or adoption to the platform for new users and allows businesses to quickly realize their ROI. However, allowing customizations without certain guardrails recasts a valuable tool as a risk to performance and efficiency. Be on the lookout for these potential hiccups:

  • Too many users: The more users you have creating customizations, the more likely unintended consequences can become. When breaks happen, their source is difficult to trace.
  • Poor documentation: User-driven changes are often poorly documented and under-communicated to the technical team. Therefore, the technical team can’t update the test suites accordingly, and issues won’t reveal themselves until they break in production.
  • Test suite overload: The more customizations there are, the larger the library of test suites will become. Though the ability for business users to customize on their own reduces the Dev team’s workload, this often shifts the bottleneck to testing.

Technical teams and business teams using the same platform for entirely different processes is a tricky endeavor. To make gains in efficiency and performance, the right hand must know what the left hand is doing.

Documentation and impact analysis can keep business and technical teams in sync. With record-and–playback tools, business users can document business process changes that need to be tested and alert testers to those changes. An impact analysis tool can further pinpoint where changes have been made, what processes they’re likely to affect, and which tests will cover those changes and processes.

5. Enable business users to contribute to testing with the right tools

Truthfully, most organizations that embrace the principles of agility and innovation on the development side of things fail to extend these values to their Salesforce testing strategies.

A low/no-code testing solution pairs perfectly with Salesforce’s no-code capability and closes the loop on user-driven customizations. With a low/no-code testing tool, business users can participate in testing, lessening the burden on your technical testing team and enabling a continuous testing cycle.

Rather than creating test automation scripts, Tricentis’ model-based test automation allows users to scan an application’s UI or APIs to create a business-readable automation model. These models can be combined and reused across your test suite. If the application changes, you can update the module once, and that change is synchronized across all your impacted test cases, saving you hours of manual effort.

This allows for faster feedback loops and a time to value four times faster than coding. More broadly, it truly removes the testing bottleneck, rather than shifting it to a different phase of your lifecycle.

Bringing Salesforce testing into the future

Salesforce will continue evolving to pave the way for innovation and integration. Gone are the days when one platform could support the entirety of business needs and processes. The tools and methodologies that will garner success in the world of tomorrow are those that break down silos and facilitate cross-platform collaboration.

At scale, the smallest inefficiency can spin out of control and cost your business crucial advantages in the marketplace. The latest generation of tools allows for speed without sacrificing quality or growth. Therefore, the biggest challenge facing today’s enterprise organizations isn’t capability—it’s clarity.

As you seek to pour fuel on your processes with advanced technology like automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, don’t neglect the low-hanging fruit: aligning to your strategy, insights into the process, and collaboration at the deepest level.