Learn

A complete guide to automated Salesforce testing

Salesforce is a world-renowned customer relationship management (CRM) platform that can improve customer relationships, increase sales, and promote a more productive work environment.Salesforce testing is critical to ensure that processes run smoothly. It ensures the functionality of Salesforce applications, fortifies system stability, and eliminates unexpected glitches that can stall business operations. It’s like a safety net for your Salesforce software.

 

To start, let’s define Salesforce testing.

Author:

Guest Contributors

Date: Jan. 22, 2024

What is Salesforce testing?

Salesforce testing is a process that ensures the reliability, performance, and security of your Salesforce CRM application. It involves testing various application components—such as Apex classes, triggers, visual interfaces, integrations, and workflows—to validate that they all function as intended.

Much like car manufacturers test vehicles before they hit the market, Salesforce testing ensures that your applications work correctly and efficiently. It aims to identify and rectify any bugs or inconsistencies in the system, prevent unexpected application behavior, and provide a seamless experience to end users.

Is Salesforce testing manual or automated?

Salesforce testing can be either manual or automated – or both.

In manual testing, humans test the functions and features of the Salesforce application. This is often done in the early stages of development or as part of exploratory or user acceptance testing (UAT).

Automated testing, on the other hand, uses scripts and tools to test the application. Once the scripts are developed, these tests can be run repeatedly and provide faster, more efficient testing coverage. It’s like having a robot test a car on a predefined route at a specified speed. Automated testing is beneficial when the same tests must be run multiple times, or for large, complex applications where manual testing can become laborious and error-prone.

What skills are required for a Salesforce tester?

A Salesforce tester needs a combination of technical and analytical skills, along with a good understanding of business processes. Here are some essential skills that a Salesforce tester should possess:

  1. Knowledge of Salesforce:  The tester needs to understand the platform comprehensively, including its capabilities and limitations. This includes an understanding of Salesforce objects, workflows, validation rules, and security settings.
  2. Experience with testing tools and techniques:  Familiarity with manual and automated testing techniques is essential. A Salesforce tester should be adept at using tools like Salesforce DX for automated testing and Performance Test Suite for performance testing.
  3. Analytical and problem-solving skills:  Salesforce testing often involves diagnosing complex issues and finding their root causes. Good analytical and problem-solving skills are essential to decipher problems and devise solutions.
  4. Knowledge of business processes:  Understanding the business processes the Salesforce application intends to support can help the tester understand the context and significance of each test they perform.
  5. Communication skills:  A Salesforce tester must often liaise with developers, business analysts, and end users. Clear and concise communication skills are crucial to discuss issues, provide feedback, and report on the testing process.

 

Let’s further examine the different types of Salesforce testing.

Types of Salesforce testing

Understanding the different types of testing better equips us to explore Salesforce’s built-in frameworks for unit testing and test automation.

Unit testing

Unit testing is akin to individually testing each cog in a machine prior to assembly. It isolates an application’s individual parts, such as classes and methods. For example, if you’ve developed a new Apex class to manage customer data, it must be tested separately to ensure that it behaves as expected.

Functional testing

Functional testing verifies that an application’s features work as they should. In Salesforce, this might include checking workflows, email services, and user interfaces. For instance, if you have a workflow that updates a field when a new record is created, you’d perform functional testing to ensure that this action is working correctly.

Integration testing

Integration testing tests different system parts as they’re working together. If Salesforce were a space shuttle, integration testing would involve testing components like the engines, navigation systems, and life support to see if they are working well together. If you have an e-commerce store integrated with Salesforce, for example, integration testing involves checking that customer orders are syncing correctly with Salesforce.

If Salesforce were a space shuttle, integration testing would involve testing if the various components, like the engines, navigation systems, and life support, are working well together.

Regression testing

Regression testing is all about ensuring that adding new features hasn’t broken existing functionality. For example, if a custom Salesforce field is altered, regression testing would verify that this change does not impact any existing functionality.

User acceptance testing (UAT)

User acceptance testing is the final testing step prior to release, where potential users test the system to validate that it meets their needs and expectations. Think of UAT like a dress rehearsal before a play, ensuring that everything goes off without a hitch when the curtains rise. If you have a new Salesforce app, you’d have potential users try it out and provide feedback to ensure that it’s user-friendly and serves their needs.

Salesforce test automation

Automated testing in Salesforce saves time, reduces human error, and enhances test coverage. Automation allows for rapid, repeatable tests and ensures that every line of code is tested thoroughly. This speed means that feedback is available to developers immediately, facilitating a more agile development approach. You can run automated tests as often as you need, at any time of the day, ensuring that any issues or regressions are identified and addressed promptly.

Automated testing in Salesforce saves time, significantly reduces human error, and enhances test coverage.

Step-by-step guide to basic testing in Salesforce

  1. Define the test scenario: Identify what you want to test. It could be a new feature, an updated workflow, or a tweaked Salesforce configuration. The defined scenario should include inputs, actions, and expected outcomes.
  2. Create test data: Prepare data specifically for the tests to be performed. It’s advised to isolate this data from your business data to prevent any changes from affecting your records. Salesforce allows you to do this using the @isTest(SeeAllData=false) annotation.
  3. Write the test method:  The next step involves creating the test method. Each test method is an independent unit and should include the @isTest annotation. It should mirror the scenario and use system methods to validate the outcomes.
  4. Run the test:  Salesforce provides a dedicated UI to run tests. This allows developers to select specific tests to run or execute all tests simultaneously.
  5. Review test results: Salesforce provides detailed test results that allow developers to identify and rectify any issues. A test is deemed passed only if all system asserts are true.

 

Performance and security testing in Salesforce

Apart from functionality, an application’s performance and security are paramount.

Performance testing ensures that your Salesforce application is robust enough to handle real-world loads. One of the primary advantages of this testing is identifying bottlenecks and performance issues before they impact end-users, ensuring that your Salesforce implementation runs smoothly under various loads. It helps you gauge the scalability of your system, so you can proactively make the necessary adjustments as your user base or data volumes grow.

Security testing, on the other hand, identifies potential vulnerabilities that could expose sensitive data. These tests include checking for vulnerabilities to unauthorized access, server breaches, and malicious activity. By continuously identifying and addressing potential threats, Salesforce security testing not only preserves the platform’s robustness but also protects your organization’s reputation, which can be critically damaged in the event of a security lapse.

Best practices for Salesforce testing

  1. Write tests for every Apex class and trigger: Salesforce mandates a minimum of 75% code coverage, but aiming for 100% is a good practice to ensure that all use cases are covered.
  2. Isolate test data: Always use test-specific data that is separate from your organization’s data. This keeps your actual records safe from any unintended changes.
  3. Leverage test automation tools: Improve your efficiency and accuracy by automating your tests whenever possible. Automation tools like Tricentis enable frequent test execution, ensuring that issues are identified and rectified sooner.
  4. Keep tests small and focused: Each test should be concise and focused on a single piece of functionality. This makes it easier to identify and fix issues when a test fails.
  5. Run regression tests after changes: It’s critical to ensure that changes or new features do not adversely affect existing functionality. Always run regression tests after implementing changes.

 

Salesforce testing is vital to build robust and efficient Salesforce applications. By understanding and implementing the various tests and adhering to best practices, you can ensure that your Salesforce applications deliver outstanding performance and reliability. Remember, good testing practices lead to stable applications, and stable applications lead to successful businesses. Happy testing!

This post was written by Juan Reyes. As an entrepreneur, skilled engineer, Juan pursues sustainable self-growth, embodying leadership, wit, and passion. With over 15 years of experience in the tech industry, Juan has had the opportunity to work with some of the most prominent players in mobile development, web development, and e-commerce in Japan and the US.

Author:

Guest Contributors

Date: Jan. 22, 2024