Testing Salesforce: 5 Quick Wins from Better Testing Practices

Salesforce testing

What is Salesforce testing?

Salesforce Testing is a crucial aspect of Salesforce administration and development that all Salesforce professionals must incorporate into their work. Irrespective of their area of expertise, be it an architect designing a complex integration, a marketer sending out a drip campaign, or an admin rolling out minor changes to a page layout, it is imperative to test their design enhancements against the original requirements in their environment. This process can uncover potential errors, flaws, or areas for improvement, thereby avoiding potential mishaps.

Just as you wouldn’t serve spaghetti without tasting it first, you shouldn’t release a Salesforce enhancement without performing testing at each stage. Given the high degree of customization and complexity of the Salesforce ecosystem, ensuring that enhancements and feature updates do not crash or compromise other elements of your Salesforce environment is essential to avoid causing substantial heartache to both you and your users.

Let’s get right down to it

Salesforce testing is a critical process that must not be overlooked by Salesforce specialists. Salesforce testing methodologies should be incorporated into all aspects of the ecosystem to ensure that enhancements and feature updates are robust and do not cause any unintended complications. It’s vital to test enhancements at each stage of the development process to avoid any future errors or mishaps that may arise.

Salesforce Testing is key to smooth and efficient project deployment. This is especially true with automated functional testing, where things you may not have considered during a build pop up due to the amount of integrated and connected features within Salesforce.

Salesforce Testing Roundtable

Proper Salesforce testing brings these unknowns to the surface, giving you the ability to fix and perfect a new functionality before deploying it into production.

In this post, we will review two phases of Salesforce testing, as well as offer up five quick wins you can achieve to make your deployment a success.

Salesforce Testing Types 

To identify what to test and where to locate efficiencies within your Salesforce testing plan, it’s important to understand the kinds of testing needed for effective Salesforce releases.

To identify what to test and where to locate efficiencies within your Salesforce testing plan, it’s important to understand the kinds of testing are needed for effective Salesforce releases.

Unit Testing

Unit Testing is a staple of software development in any language or platform and has to be done on each unit of code in a single component. In Salesforce development, Unit Testing is usually performed by Apex Developers for things like Visualforce or Lightning Components.  Unit Tests are done at the coding level, checking to make sure it works. 

Each unit test should be isolated from others to ensure that no error affects other units. This is achieved by creating mock data and minimizing external dependencies. These tests validate whether the code behaves as expected, following the specifications and logic defined by the developer.

Salesforce enforces a minimum code coverage requirement, which ensures that a certain percentage of your code is tested to identify potential issues and reduce bugs.

What is the code coverage required for deployment?

Before deploying your code or package for the Lightning Platform AppExchange, there is one requirement: a minimum of 75% of Apex code must pass tests. Moreover, each trigger must have a certain amount of coverage. Despite code coverage being important for deployment, it is not recommended to write tests simply to meet this requirement. Instead, focus on testing the common use cases in your app. This should include not only positive and negative test cases, but bulk and single-record processing test cases.


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Salesforce Functional Testing

The first phase of software testing that takes place post-development is functional testing. This involves a thorough review of each new feature to check for bugs and ensure that the new functionality works as intended from start to finish. In addition, the tester also confirms that the new development aligns with the existing features and doesn’t have any negative impacts on the existing org.

How it works in practice

Let’s take the example of an unorthodox Sales VP who wants a customized Salesforce app tailored to the specific needs and processes of his team. To meet this requirement, it’s essential to ensure that the more complicated elements of the build, such as Process Builder, Validation Rules, or Apex classes, work as intended.

Moreover, it’s crucial to ensure that they remain invisible to external users and don’t harm any other existing Sales processes in the org. Conducting functional Salesforce testing in a UAT Sandbox can help ensure that the new app operates as planned while preserving the existing architecture and security model.

Given the number of deployments and testing stages involved, it’s helpful to use a tool that facilitates test management. One such tool is Panaya ForeSight for Salesforce, which provides the ability to structure Salesforce testing and deployments, enabling you to identify any significant issues early on in the testing cycle, rather than after deployment.

By leveraging these tools and techniques, you can ensure that your Salesforce app works seamlessly with your existing org, reducing the risk of any adverse impact on your business operations.

Salesforce UAT Testing

Salesforce testing involves two crucial stages, namely Salesforce Functional Testing and Salesforce UAT Testing. Functional testing is the initial phase where a tester verifies if the Salesforce design works as intended. Once this phase is complete, it’s time for User Acceptance Testing. Here, the tester uses the new functionality in a real-world business scenario to ensure that the user is seeing only the elements they need to see.

How it works in practice

For instance, the Sales VP can be used to test the design against and verify that it meets the needs of his team. By running a sample of end-users through the new build, testers can confirm that no design elements have been overlooked.

Additionally, UAT clarifies requirements that weren’t clear in the initial design, making it the best strategic tool that a release team can have to ensure that system changes are palatable and sanctioned by the intended audience.

Ultimately, the primary goal of Salesforce Functional and UAT testing is to ensure that new development works correctly in any business situation. By following a meticulous Salesforce testing process, businesses can create a Salesforce solution that delivers on their objectives and meets the needs of all users.

Regression testing

Regression testing is the most comprehensive system test, and many command servers and DevOps pipelines often require regression tests. A regression test is a standard test you can run to see if anything has inadvertently broken something–it’s designed to check that a bug fix you just released did not create a new bug. Regression testing ensures changes are not affecting any existing features and can be automated. Regression tests are usually handled by a QA team.

Regression testing often involves a suite of tests that are automated to ensure that they can be executed quickly and consistently whenever there are changes. Maintaining a version control system for all Salesforce customizations will allow businesses to track changes and easily perform regression testing by comparing different versions.

Salesforce provides sandbox environments to mimic your production environment. These allow for thorough regression testing without affecting your live system.

System testing/E2E testing

System testing and E2E testing are critical in orgs with many managed packages or APIs. If you want to check an external API, an automation in Marketing Cloud, or that a PDF generator is performing after a new release, you need to run a system test or do End-to-End testing to test technical processes from start to finish. A few different people can perform E2E testing, but usually a Salesforce Expert, an external consultant or a system owner of an API-connected solution perform these tests. 

There are several aspects of system testing. Performance testing assesses how well the Salesforce application performs under different loads, identifying bottlenecks, response times, and resource concerns.

Compatibility testing verifies that the Salesforce application works seamlessly across different browsers, operating systems, and devices.

Scalability Testing evaluates how well the application scales to accommodate increased user loads or growing data volumes. It helps ensure that the application remains responsive as user and data demands increase.

5 Quick Wins You Can Achieve When You Implement Testing on Salesforce:

Win #1: Get End User Buy-In and Adoption Before You Go Live

There is nothing more painful than expending resources on a build only to have users refuse to utilize your new design. One way you can avoid that situation is by designing for and involving your stakeholders in your development and Salesforce testing process.

Paying careful attention to your end users’ needs, and even having them act as testers, shows them your design is meant to make their lives easier. Allowing end users to voice their thoughts and suggestions will create a sense of trust in your build. Ensuring that your design is serving the people who need it most.

Stakeholder involvement in UAT is a critical diplomatic step. As such, testing on influential voices in departments affected by your new rollout will create goodwill and positive anticipation during your change management process.

Tip: Install the free “Salesforce Adoption Dashboards” Managed Package to monitor use of your org after a deployment.

Salesforce Adoption Dashboards

Win #2: Fix Problems Early

Deployments are actually a part of Salesforce functional testing, and if code doesn’t get test coverage in the change set, you will have to fix it. So, as you’re progressing through your project, you don’t want to find that work you completed weeks ago doesn’t function as expected.

Deploying and testing regularly prevents this, allowing you to confirm that your development works properly throughout the build. Once you have deployed to the relevant sandbox, you can then let your users get on with UAT testing in confidence.

Risk-based testing is a particularly crucial part of your testing process. Minimize testing efforts by identifying what needs to be tested based on risk levels, and save resources and time by not testing unnecessary things.

Solutions like Panaya ForeSight identify what is going to break or be affected by your planned change, and NEEDS to be tested. The ForeSight solution achieves this through impact analysis, which can pinpoint exactly where in your code or declarative objects something will break, allowing you to add these specific, predetermined risks to your Salesforce testing plan. Increase accuracy in your testing provided by full visibility, and no longer spend resources testing things that are not at risk of breaking.


Win #3: Use Feedback from UAT on Your Release Roadmap

One of the greatest challenges in Salesforce Development is avoiding “Mission Creep.” Mission Creep happens when stakeholders stack new requirements onto your design and deployment, obscuring the original project and creating potential delays.

Continuous Testing allows you to head Mission Creep off at the pass, while incorporating feedback from your users into a Phase II or future release. Rolling user feedback into your Release Roadmap will show that you’re in touch with the needs of your company and honoring your mission of continuous improvement, while ensuring your deployment stays on track.

Salesforce Testing Diagram

Win #4: Use Testing Tools to Streamline Your Process

There are loads of different Salesforce testing tools that you can use to help you through the testing process. For example, a tool that helps you manage testing, such as Panaya ForeSight for Salesforce, is vital for giving structure to your testing process, assigning tasks, providing visibility into testing scope and making it easy to manage throughout a project.

ForeSight, specifically, allows you to import your test repository and predicts which tests are appropriate to execute for each new change. It identifies your test script gaps, automates test execution assignments, and streamlines your collaboration between developers, testers and users with real-time synchronization.

Based on risk-based testing, the ForeSight solution provides you with insights into Salesforce testing scope and estimation before you even begin a project. The impact analysis tool can tell you what exactly will break, easily adds components in your scope to your test plans, identifies and automatically assigns test scripts from your repository, and creates a test flow easily managed by different stakeholders in your organization.

For setting up repeated UI-focused unit tests, tasks and running cross-browser testing, utilize an open source tool like Selenium. Selenium mimics a user’s actions within a browser and allows testing automation, and even Salesforce itself uses Selenium in their development process. Finally, consider setting up a custom object in your Salesforce Org to monitor your test planning and future projects–having a central repository for your design work and testing will allow for easier reporting and identification of future issues.

Opportunities stage Impact

Win #5: Make Future Feature Releases Even Easier

Establishing solid test criteria and practices up front will enforce best practices in your development team. It will also condition your testing end users to provide consistent, actionable feedback.

Developing a rhythm to design and testing creates a base-level team understanding of what goes into a feature release. It teaches both end users and design teams what to expect.

Good testing and development practices, such as User Acceptance Testing, Performance Testing, and Code Reviews, allows teams tasked with Salesforce development to operate with greater efficiency. Thanks in large part to knowing which protocols their work must follow.

Achieving Successful Salesforce Deployments with Panaya ForeSight

Panaya’s risk-based testing solution can significantly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of UAT and functional testing for Salesforce deployments. By implementing best practices and leveraging this testing tool, organizations can ensure seamless rollouts, minimize bugs, and gain user acceptance.

How our test management works:

  • Panaya pulls in metadata from your Salesforce org. Panaya connects directly to your org and quickly extracts your metadata for easier analysis, as monitoring metadata changes through Salesforce setup or even third-party testing tools can be very cumbersome and incomplete.
  • AI-powered change analysis. Panaya Foresight can return results regarding downstream impacts within seconds. This will help you understand what’s going to be impacted and what will be the highest priority for Salesforce testing.  
  • Collaborative testing. This slick feature exists to help test managers and business users connect, giving test managers the ability to quickly see results in real-time. Collaborative testing reduces overhead in a testing process and centralizes the process by giving users a clear insight into what needs to be done and helps organize testing.

Furthermore, you can bulk upload existing test scripts into Panaya if you already have some written, which allows Panaya to adjust to existing test scripts. Panya can also create multiple steps in Salesforce testing so that granular testing and handoffs to other users can be done.

  • Automated documentation. Rigorous testing documentation can require a lot of overhead, so automating takes out many steps, including writing lengthy documentation. Panaya foresight compiles all Salesforce testing and makes it easier to use for analysis or to reuse for training, and documentation can be exported as PDFs. It can also be used as a tool for feedback on how business users are really working today
  • Smart Defect Management. This feature allows for defect reproduction to make it easier to address bugs. Business users’ defects can be really hard to dissect to solve, so Panaya keeps track of that for you. Panaya recorder lets users record their screen and log their acceptance status, which gets rid of bureaucracy in Stesting and allows QA resources to review breakage or user behavior without pestering the end-user. No more bothering business users to figure out what went wrong. 

Prioritizing testing is crucial to achieving frictionless Salesforce deployments, and Panaya ForeSight can help organizations achieve this goal.

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