How to Test Your Salesforce Org to Mitigate Major Risks

By Sydnie Mulcahy

Branded content with Provar

With Salesforce consistently updating its platform, there are many changes that occur throughout the year. This means that companies in the Salesforce ecosystem must conduct regular tests to identify issues before they become a problem.

You should be testing your Salesforce environment to mitigate risk, as there are various areas where tests can help maintain quality within Salesforce, but choosing how to do it is just as vital.

Different Types of Tests in Salesforce

Companies can choose between manual testing, where testers go through the system manually using strategies like spreadsheets to track errors, or automated testing, which involves using software tools to build tests, automate the testing process, and with the most effective tools, optimize for the future. 

Manual testing can be useful for companies that are just starting with testing or for those with smaller systems. However, it can be time-consuming, inefficient for larger systems, and difficult to scale.

Automated testing is much faster and more efficient for larger enterprises. It is often more reliable since it removes the potential for human error.

READ MORE: 5 Signs It’s Time to Transition to Automated Testing

What Makes Salesforce So Difficult to Test?

Salesforce’s many features and flexibility makes it the perfect platform to host custom applications, but testing each layer to ensure these apps continue functioning correctly can be a mammoth job.

Salesforce testing differs from web testing in a variety of ways. First, you must take into account the number of Salesforce releases per year (three), which leads to multiple platform changes. Salesforce also has a complicated document object model (DOM), meaning any testing strategy must be resilient in the face of complexity. The custom implementation of the Shadow DOM by Salesforce only exacerbates this, as well as complex nested frames and a brittle XPath. 

Furthermore, a testing strategy must be able to tackle Salesforce’s nuanced environment strategy with sandboxes, and it must be able to work within development that is defined and deployed with metadata.

A good testing strategy will take all of these factors into consideration while understanding that there is no one-size-fits-all approach, which underlines the importance of doing your testing research before deciding on a solution.

How to Test to Mitigate Risk

Today, two primary automated testing approaches stand out: test automation solutions with robotic test building capabilities (also known as Robotic Process Automation, or RPA), and those with metadata-driven test building capabilities.

Understanding the intricacies between robotic and metadata-driven test building capabilities and deciding which is the right choice for your organization is essential in mitigating risk.

Robotic Tests

Robotic tests take menial, time-consuming tasks off a tester’s hands, leaving them with more bandwidth to take on complex tasks or initiatives that require a human touch. But the same can also be said of other kinds of automated testing – and other kinds may not have as many drawbacks.

Here are some areas where robotic test capabilities may put your Salesforce environment at risk:

  • Dependency on user interface (UI): Many robotic testing tools depend heavily on the UI to perform tasks, making them highly susceptible to breakage when changes are made in UI elements or layouts within Salesforce.
  • Complexity: Designing and maintaining robotic tests can be daunting, as the multifaceted nature of such applications requires coding knowledge, making them intricate to create and manage.
  • Maintenance Overhead: As Salesforce evolves, automation scripts must be consistently updated to ensure they align. For organizations with limited resources, the maintenance overhead can be a considerable drawback.
  • Data Security: Given that RPA robots interact directly with sensitive Salesforce data, any breaches or vulnerabilities in the automation process can expose sensitive data, putting organizations at risk.
  • Scalability Challenges: While robotic testing inherently offers scalability, managing a substantial number of robots can introduce complexities which must be carefully addressed to maintain a smooth testing process.

Metadata-Driven Tests

Metadata-driven test building capabilities alleviate these challenges. They employ stable locators for elements found by leveraging Salesforce’s metadata model. The solution then understands the location of elements and automatically updates its locators when Salesforce’s metadata changes, leaving tests with fewer opportunities to break.

Here are some reasons why tests built using the information found within Salesforce’s metadata are more resilient than tests governed by robotic capabilities:

  • Change Management: As Salesforce environments are subject to frequent updates, these tools can automatically adjust and update test cases accordingly, eliminating the painstaking process of identifying and modifying to accommodate changes.
  • Ease of Use: These tools are designed to be user-friendly and accessible to Salesforce Admins and testers with minimal coding experience, unlike their robotic counterparts.
  • Reusability: The reusable components within these tools make it easier to maintain and scale the test suite as the Salesforce instance evolves.
  • Time to Value: The combination of change management, ease of use, and reusability leads to a rapid time to value, enabling faster delivery of high-quality applications to the market.
  • Native Integration: These tools are designed to work directly within the Salesforce ecosystem, allowing organizations to leverage Salesforce-specific features and components during testing.
  • Native Reporting: Many metadata-driven testing tools offer built-in reporting and analytics features, providing insights into test coverage, highlighting areas for improvement, and offering a comprehensive view of the testing process.

A Resilient, Intuitive, End-to-End Testing Approach

If you are looking for a test automation solution for your Salesforce environment that is built to withstand any situation and rise alongside innovation, Provar Automation stands out. Unlike other test automation solutions that rely on robotic capabilities, Provar Automation takes a metadata-centric approach, making it the industry’s most resilient, reliable choice for Salesforce testing.

Ultimately, the decision in choosing a test automation solution should align with your specific testing needs, team expertise, and Salesforce environment complexity. Either way, testing your Salesforce environment is essential to mitigate risk, and with the right test automation choice, your testing efforts can lead to the delivery of the highest quality Salesforce applications to your end users.

To learn more about why you should be testing your Salesforce environment, and how you should be doing it to mitigate risk, chat with a Provar expert today!

The Author

Sydnie Mulcahy

Sydnie is the Content Lead at Provar.

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