Salesforce has become one of the most widely used SaaS applications in the business world, with more than 150,000 companies worldwide depending on it. The platform can be customized in countless ways, and it integrates with the hundreds of other software programs that organizations rely on to run their businesses.
Implementing Salesforce isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it solution, though, because it’s constantly evolving.
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The platform itself changes thanks to regular updates and seasonal releases. In addition, users often tweak their own customization (s) over time to meet changing needs and the introduction of new software and systems. Without careful monitoring and testing, organizations could experience sudden, unexpected errors that ripple throughout the company, affecting every team, app, workflow and data source that is relying on the platform.
The obvious way to prevent problems is by regression testing to confirm that recent changes haven’t adversely affected functionality and features. That’s no easy feat when the implementation changes frequently, and even a seemingly minor change can have unintended consequences. It would take enormous resources to accomplish, but adding the necessary headcount to the QA team isn’t a realistic solution for many organizations working within the constraints of tighter budgets.
So, what is the answer?
Obstacles to automation
Many organizations recognize the importance of automating testing, but that awareness hasn’t yet translated into widespread adoption. The 2021-22 World Quality Report from Capgemini, which is based on interviews with 1,750 senior IT managers, estimates that only 15% to 20% of tests are automated on average. That’s not significantly higher than in previous surveys. In addition, less than half of those interviewed, only 46%, said they are maximizing test automation. An even fewer number, 44%, said they’re integrating tests as automatic quality gates in the CI/CD pipeline. These results correspond to results from the 2022 Leapwork Risk Radar Report, which found that only 42% of companies are using some form of testing automation.
One might reasonably wonder why more organizations haven’t adopted test automation and implemented it as a triggered condition of the CI/CD coding process. The answer, in a word, is complexity. The vast majority of test automation solutions on the market today are simply too complicated for the average business user. It generally takes proper coding skills to use test automation software, even if it’s billed as “low code.” As a result, only those with enough programming knowledge to decipher and create code are equipped to collaborate on testing. And, in most cases, they’ll still need help from IT to set up the system, low-code claims notwithstanding. Those obstacles combine to slow down the process.
There’s an additional hurdle to overcome: Salesforce constantly changes its HTML structures, which further complicates the whole process of reading, writing and validating various kinds of data. Making sure the new HTML structures don’t invalidate the tests requires constant vigilance. Consequently, automated testing turns into a time-consuming, manual process. Maintenance becomes especially onerous with testing platforms that require coding. Trying to execute automated testing on a large scale, in a growing operation, becomes logistically impossible.
Automating testing without code
By providing testers and everyday business users with a visual, no-code test automation platform that is easy to use, automation can be adopted and scaled across entire teams and tech stacks. Intelligent field recognition and related technologies have the potential to simplify the process of taking data from a source such as an SAP client or green screen and validating it against, say, a Salesforce page in a web browser.
As one respondent to the Capgemini survey observed: “AI helps us to see what’s changing with each rev so we can figure out what to test and build the test suite that this implies.”
Setting tests up in a flow-chart model with a point-and-click interface makes the process easy and intuitive for business users as well as coders and testers. It’s still possible to set tests up using code, if that’s preferable, but it should no longer be relied upon as the primary means of automating tests.
No-code platforms also enable business and technical colleagues to collaborate on the design, implementation, maintenance and continual scaling of the test automation process.
That’s a big advantage because now, the experts in the affected business processes can make the testing process more relevant to real-life applications.
While continuous testing for customization and integration of Salesforce may seem daunting, it isn’t impossible. By adopting a no-code platform, an organization can involve stakeholders without coding skills in the test-automation process. Ultimately, that democratic process results in a more reliable Salesforce implementation that enhances value for the entire organization.