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Test Automation for Salesforce: How to Evaluate a Tool

September 29, 2022
   /   
by 
Sohaib Zaidi

Over the years, Salesforce has evolved from a simple Customer Relationship Management application to an enterprise-wide strategic platform that handles CRM, CPQ, fulfillment, billing and much more. If you’re overwhelmed by the number of tools on the market to support automated testing for Salesforce, this blog is for you.

Most enterprises understand how important it is to thoroughly test their Salesforce org, and automating Salesforce testing widely known to be the most effective way to enhance the risk coverage, speed, and efficiency of your Salesforce testing. However, a test automation strategy is only as good as the tool used to deploy it, and finding the right Salesforce test automation tool is challenging because there are so many options on the market. With that in mind, this blog will provide concrete steps to help you evaluate a Salesforce test automation tool. 

Choose your Salesforce automation evaluation team

Salesforce apps touch the most critical departments of an organization, primarily marketing and sales teams. These applications usually integrate with 3rd party accounting, ERP, and E-commerce software, so if Salesforce applications fail, the issues will have a widespread impact across many critical departments and workflows.  

Identifying the right stakeholders is a critical part of the test tool evaluation. Each department should have feedback about how they use Salesforce and share what they require in an automation tool, both on the user and application development sides. Here are the key stakeholders to consider, and what they typically desire in a Salesforce test automation tool.  

Salesforce users
  • Salesforce is designed for sales and marketing professionals, who request frequent changes and customizations to their Salesforce apps, like adding a field to a lead form, or updating approvals and price quotes. Each of these changes require testing before deployment. 
  • On-the-ground Salesforce users are a critical component of functional testing because they know their processes best. However, these users usually lack the technical skills to write test cases. 
  • For day-to-day users, it’s vital that the test automation tool you choose doesn’t require coding. Specifically, you should look for automation platforms that offer record-and-playback functionality, along with easy-to-digest reports on which processes and tests need attention. 
Salesforce developers
  • Developers can use the Lightning App Builder to develop custom apps for their complex business processes. When new apps are launched, existing configurations need to be regression tested to ensure they still work.
  • Salesforce can be integrated with Salesforce’s AppExchange and other business software. Developers need to run integration test suites across their entire Salesforce ecosystem when new changes are deployed. 
  • For developers, it’s important that your Salesforce test automation tool provides fast feedback for DevOps. Additionally, the tool should be able to handle complex integration testing, and provide test results in an efficient manner. 
Salesforce admins
  • As the people in charge of Salesforce customizations and platform maintenance, these team members ensure your customizations stay intact during Salesforce’s seasonal releases. These employees must also ensure that small day-to-day changes don’t break processes and integrations.  
  • These stakeholders are usually non-technical, and develop their company’s long-term Salesforce goals
  • For Salesforce admins, it’s important to choose a tool that quickly enhances risk coverage, ensuring there’s no Salesforce downtime. Additionally, it’s vital that their tool is no-code, as they’re typically not technically trained, and the tool provides clear traceability in case something does go wrong.  
Business owners/Operations managers
  • As the link between development teams and Salesforce users, these employees are responsible for creating Salesforce user stories and managing process documentation. 
  • For business owners, it’s vital that their automation tool provides complete visibility into the QA process. Specifically, they want to be able to quickly see which tests have been performed by who, and be able to quickly track progress and communicate on broken tests. These employees also demand that their tool provides release confidence and ensures processes won’t break in production.

Determine your Salesforce use cases for testing

The most prominent use cases for Salesforce customers include:

  • Seasonal releases: Salesforce updates bring hundreds of new features during their Winter, Spring and Summer releases. Each of these releases must be regression tested thoroughly to ensure business continuity is not impacted. 
  • Custom developments: No two Salesforce environments are the same, as they each have unique integrations with outside applications. These custom integrations need to be thoroughly tested with each Salesforce update. Salesforce does not provide support for customizations, so each enterprise has to regression test their applications (and integrations) on a weekly/daily basis to make sure existing customizations have not been negatively impacted.
  • Business process changes: Sales and marketing teams often request changes to their Salesforce environment to improve productivity or enhance a workflow. Each of these changes affect the backend functionality of Salesforce, and must be tested to ensure they don’t cause any issues down the line. 

Your organization should identify which use cases are most important, and then ensure their tool can deliver on the desired use case.

Make sure the tool can handle the complexity of Salesforce testing

Salesforce is a complex application to test because its interface, applications, and forms are made up of dynamic objects such as shadow DOMs, iFrames, and Flexipages. These objects are also present in custom-developed Salesforce apps. The objects are written in Xpath, CSS, or Javascript language, so they’re practically impossible to locate on a web interface. Therefore, you should choose a Salesforce automation tool that can intelligently recognize these objects, unlike Selenium or other open-source tools.

Additionally, it’s important that your tool can capture the metadata of a Salesforce web interface, to better isolate the dynamic elements of your application for testing. 

Vet the tool’s customer support

Business leaders are wise to ensure their test automation tool provides the customer support their organization needs, whether it be a dedicated support team, or an on-call option for round-the-clock assistance. Typically, you can receive this support through a trial license, and we definitely encourage you to try out different tools–and interact with support–before making a purchase decision. 

In addition to direct interaction with the tool’s support team, it’s wise to look at reviews on third party sites like G2, where you can see what other users say about the tool, and the tool’s support team. 

Read Opkey’s blog, How to test Salesforce applications faster. 

Conclusion 

With so many stakeholders involved, and with so many options available, choosing a Salesforce test automation tool is a daunting task. To make an informed decision, we encourage you to

  • Thoughtfully choose your evaluation team, and weigh each stakeholder’s needs, with regards to what they desire in a tool.
  • Determine the primary use cases for Salesforce test automation, and ensure your tool delivers on those use cases.
  • Ensure your tool has Salesforce-specific testing capabilities, that can handle the complexity of Salesforce testing.
  • Screen the tool’s customer support, and research the tool using third party review sites. 
Salesforce test automation
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