9 Salesforce Testing Strategies to Bulletproof Your Org

By Paula Americo

Welcome, Salesforce Trailblazers! Let’s explore the vital element that weaves the fabric of your success with Salesforce – rigorous testing. We all know that feeling when everything clicks seamlessly within Salesforce, but behind that magic lies thorough testing. In this blog post, we’re delving into the role of testing in safeguarding the functionality and reliability of your Salesforce implementation. 

Whether you’re a seasoned admin, a developer fine-tuning code, or a business leader relying on Salesforce to drive operations, understanding the why and how of robust testing is critical to ensuring a resilient and efficient Salesforce environment. Join us on this exploration as we highlight the tests needed to power your Salesforce testing experience. 

Planning Your Salesforce Testing Strategy

In the dynamic realm of Salesforce, success isn’t just about the code; it’s about a careful testing strategy that ensures your platform is strong. Crafting a robust plan for Salesforce testing is the linchpin in this journey. Involving stakeholders in this strategic testing process adds a layer of real-world insight and user-centric precision. Check out the four basic steps to creating a successful testing strategy:

  1. Understand Your Requirements:
    Clearly understand the business requirements for the Salesforce implementation.
    Identify key functionalities and features that need testing.
  2. Define Your Test Objectives:
    Clearly define the objectives of your testing effort.
    Determine what you want to achieve through testing, such as validating specific functionalities, ensuring data integrity, or assessing system performance.
  3. Identify Your Test Scope:
    Define the scope of your testing efforts.
    Specify which Salesforce modules, features, and integrations will be tested.
  4. Create a Test Plan:
    Develop a comprehensive test plan that outlines the testing approach, resources, schedule, and deliverables.
    Include details on test environments, data requirements, and testing tools.

Now that we’ve set the stage for success, let’s jump into the diverse types of testing that will be the cornerstone of your Salesforce strategy.

Types of Salesforce Testing

1. Unit Testing

Apex testing for unit tests in Salesforce involves systematically evaluating individual units or components of Apex code to ensure accuracy, reliability, and functionality. The term “unit” here refers to the smallest testable part of the code, typically a method within a class. The primary objective of Apex unit testing is to verify that each code unit performs as expected in isolation. Developers create test classes containing methods that specifically target and assess the functionality of these individual units. These tests simulate various scenarios and conditions to confirm that the code behaves appropriately. The testing framework in Salesforce provides tools like assertions to validate expected outcomes, allowing developers to catch and address potential issues early in the development process. 

Code coverage, a critical metric in Salesforce development, measures the percentage of code executed during tests. Ensuring adequate code coverage is essential, and developers often strive to meet or exceed predefined thresholds. 

Let’s create a simple Apex class for an email utility that checks whether an email address is valid according to a basic set of criteria:

// EmailUtility.cls

public class EmailUtility {
    public static Boolean isValidEmail(String email) {
        // Basic email validation method
        // This is a simplified example and may not cover all edge cases
        return email != null && email.contains('@') && email.contains('.');

Now, let’s create a unit test for this class:

// EmailUtilityTest.cls

public class EmailUtilityTest {

    static void testIsValidEmail() {
        // Arrange
        String validEmail = '';
        String invalidEmail = '';

        // Act
        Boolean isValidValidEmail = EmailUtility.isValidEmail(validEmail);
        Boolean isValidInvalidEmail = EmailUtility.isValidEmail(invalidEmail);

        // Assert
        System.assertEquals(true, isValidValidEmail, 'Valid email should return true');
        System.assertEquals(false, isValidInvalidEmail, 'Invalid email should return false');

So, how do you write effective and efficient unit tests? 

  • First, focus on clear test method names that convey the purpose of each test. 
  • Leveraging meaningful assertions provides a robust mechanism to validate expected outcomes. 
  • Efficiency is critical to maintaining a streamlined development process; therefore, design tests that run quickly by minimizing unnecessary operations and adhering to the arrange-act-assert pattern. 
  • Regularly updating tests as code evolves ensures that your testing suite remains aligned with the ever-changing landscape of your Salesforce application. 

Next, let’s explore the crucial role of smoke testing – providing a robust foundation for Salesforce testing. 

READ MORE: Salesforce Testing Strategy – A Quick Guide for Leaders

2. Smoke Testing

Smoke testing involves executing a set of quick, high-level tests to verify that the fundamental functionalities of a Salesforce instance are working after changes or updates. Picture it as a quick check to ensure there’s no metaphorical fire burning before diving into more comprehensive testing. 

This process is particularly crucial when implementing changes to a Salesforce instance, providing a rapid yet effective assessment of overall system health. Smoke testing acts as a gatekeeper, preventing the progression to more intricate testing phases if fundamental functionalities are compromised. Let’s explore an example of a smoke test for a simple web application:

Smoke Test Scenario: User Authentication

Objective: Verify the basic functionality of user authentication in a web application.

Preconditions: The web application build is deployed and accessible. 


  • Access the Login Page:
    1. Open a web browser.
    2. Enter the URL of the application’s login page.
  • Login with Valid Credentials:
    1. Enter a valid username and password.
    2. Click the “login” button.
  • Verify Success Login:
    1. Confirm that the application allows access after entering valid credentials.
    2. Check that the user is redirected to the home/dashboard page.
  • Logout Functionality:
    1. Locate the “Logout” or “Sign Out” option.
    2. Click on the logout option.
  • Verify Logout:
    1. Ensure the application redirects to the login page after logout.
    2. Attempt to access a restricted page; confirm access is denied.
  • Login with Invalid Credentials:
    1. Return to the login page.
    2. Enter an invalid username or password.
    3. Click the “Login” button.
  • Verify Error Handling:
    1. Confirm that the application displays an appropriate error message for invalid login attempts.
    2. Ensure the user is not logged in with incorrect credentials.

Postconditions: The application’s basic authentication functionality has been verified. Once essential functionalities pass the smoke test gate, integration testing takes center stage, delving into the comprehensive assessment of how various components collaborate within the Salesforce ecosystem.

3. Integration Testing

Integration testing assumes a crucial role as the stage where the seamless collaboration between Salesforce and external systems is put to the test. Integration testing is designed to validate that different components within the Salesforce ecosystem and external systems work harmoniously to fulfill business processes. When it comes to testing Salesforce integrations with external systems, adopting effective strategies is paramount. 

Start by meticulously defining test scenarios that cover various integration points and potential data scenarios. Implement a robust data setup to mimic real-world conditions, ensuring accurate data flow simulation between systems. Utilize testing tools that facilitate the creation of realistic testing environments, allowing for thorough validation of integration points. Automate repetitive and complex integration tests to streamline testing and catch potential issues early on. As we navigate the intricacies of Salesforce testing, the strategies employed in integration testing pave the way for the next phase: system testing. 

READ MORE: How to Perform Automated Integration Testing in Salesforce

4. System Testing

System testing is a crucial step in Salesforce development, serving as a final check to verify the application’s functionality. Developing effective strategies for system testing involves creating and executing thorough end-to-end test scenarios that cover the entire Salesforce platform. These scenarios should include diverse user journeys to test the application’s functionality thoroughly.

During the execution phase, real-world simulations of user interactions and data transactions are performed to assess the resilience of the Salesforce application. Identifying and addressing issues during system testing requires a careful approach, focusing on anomalies and a systematic troubleshooting process. 

Collaboration among developers, testers, and stakeholders is essential for comprehensive issue resolution, ensuring the emergence of a reliable Salesforce application. Stay tuned for insights into user acceptance testing, where the Salesforce ecosystem undergoes testing from end-users’ perspective to ensure its capabilities meet their needs.

5. User Acceptance Testing (UAT)

UAT is the keystone in the Salesforce development lifecycle, ensuring end-users’ satisfaction. In this critical phase, end-users take the reins, evaluating the application against their expectations and needs. Using test scripts is one way to conduct structured and organized UAT. In the context of UAT, test scripts refer to detailed instructions or steps designed to guide users through the testing process. Test scripts in UAT usually include the following elements:

  1. Test Steps: Detailed instructions outlining the specific actions the user should perform during the testing process. These steps are often written in a clear and concise manner to ensure accurate execution.
  2. Expected Results: For each test step, there is an expected outcome or result that the user should observe if the system functions correctly. This helps assess whether the actual system behavior aligns with the expected behavior.
  3. Data Requirements: Information about any specific data or conditions that are necessary for the successful execution of the test script. This may include pre-existing data in the system, specific configurations, or any other relevant details.
  4. Acceptance Criteria: Criteria that define whether the system has passed or failed the UAT. These criteria are often based on the business requirements and user expectations.
  5. Test Environment Information: Details about the test environment, including the version of the software being tested, any specific configurations, and other relevant information.

By embracing these tips and fostering collaboration, Salesforce projects can confidently navigate UAT, ensuring user satisfaction and the overall success of the implementation.

6. The End of the Testing Road

Not quite! Having laid the groundwork with fundamental Salesforce tests, it’s time to navigate the terrain of more specific and nuanced assessments. While basic tests like unit, integration, and system testing form the cornerstone of quality assurance, the evolving landscape of Salesforce development necessitates a deeper dive. Enter more specific tests tailored to the platform’s intricacies. As we journey from the general to the particular, these targeted tests become vital, addressing the unique challenges and constraints in complex Salesforce implementations. 

7. Performance Testing

In the dynamic landscape of Salesforce development, assessing and optimizing the performance of applications is paramount to delivering a seamless user experience. Performance testing is pivotal in this process, employing various tools and techniques to evaluate the system’s responsiveness, scalability, and overall efficiency. Utilizing performance testing tools allows developers to simulate multiple scenarios and stress test the Salesforce application under different conditions. 

One of these tools is Salesforce Performance Assistant, which empowers you to pinpoint and address performance concerns. As you assess the scalability of your Salesforce instance, Performance Assistant offers guidance, imparting scalability principles, assisting in the formulation of testing strategies and plans, and analyzing performance results to recommend optimization strategies for your solution. For more information about Salesforce Performance Assistant, check out this article!

READ MORE: Introducing Salesforce Performance Assistant: Develop and Test for Future Scalability

Performance testing helps identify potential bottlenecks that may hinder optimal performance. By fine-tuning queries, optimizing code, and streamlining processes, developers can enhance the performance of Salesforce applications, ensuring they meet the demands of users and scale effectively in real-world scenarios. At this point in the testing process, it’s time to turn our attention to the world of security testing, ensuring that these solutions also stand firm against potential vulnerabilities and threats.

8. Security Testing

As organizations increasingly rely on Salesforce applications to handle sensitive data and critical business processes, ensuring robust security becomes a top priority. Checking for security issues is crucial to finding and fixing common weaknesses that could risk the safety of Salesforce applications. During the testing phase, implementing security best practices involves scrutinizing authentication mechanisms, data encryption, and authorization processes. 

Developers can enhance user and stakeholder confidence by actively evaluating and strengthening the security of Salesforce applications, protecting against potential threats, and maintaining the platform’s trustworthiness. With the increasing need for smooth and reliable Salesforce applications, the discussion turns to the role of test automation in speeding up testing, cutting down on manual work, and adapting quickly to changing business needs.

9. Automation in Salesforce Testing

Using automated tools is vital in Salesforce development because they make testing faster, reduce the need for manual work, and increase accuracy. However, challenges include handling changing data, frequent updates, and platform customizations. Overcoming these hurdles is crucial for effective automated testing in the Salesforce environment. Creating and keeping organized, automated test sets is essential to enhance efficiency. 

These sets make testing more reliable and help quickly adapt to changing business needs. When dealing with the complexities of Salesforce development, it’s crucial to use test automation tools to create solid and error-free applications.

Provar Automation simplifies test automation in Salesforce by offering an intuitive platform that doesn’t require extensive coding expertise. With a user-friendly interface, Automation enables testers to quickly design and execute complex test scenarios, reducing the learning curve associated with automation tools. Its drag-and-drop functionality and pre-built components streamline the test creation process, allowing teams to automate Salesforce testing efficiently without grappling with intricate scripting. 

Automation’s adaptability to frequent Salesforce updates ensures that testing remains reliable and up-to-date, making it an accessible and powerful solution for organizations aiming to simplify their test automation processes.

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


Effective testing is crucial for building solid and reliable Salesforce applications. Whether using manual methods or automated tools like Provar Automation, the focus on maintaining the integrity of Salesforce applications is essential. A comprehensive testing strategy is necessary as organizations aim for top-notch user experience and data security. The ever-changing Salesforce ecosystem requires adaptability and diligence in testing approaches.

By adopting a practical method that blends rigorous testing practices with advanced tools, organizations can confidently advance their Salesforce solutions to meet the evolving needs of users and stakeholders. Testing isn’t a one-time task; it’s an ongoing commitment to excellence in the dynamic field of Salesforce development.

The Author

Paula Americo

Paula is an Instructional Designer and the Education Content Lead at Provar.

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