Low-code development was born of necessity. Software developers are projected to be the fourth fastest-growing profession, with 409,500 additional jobs expected by 2030. With people leaving the workforce in record numbers, that skill gap will grow. One solution has been to look to non-developers and provide them with low-code tools to create applications independently. Salesforce and other low-code platforms made it possible to create business applications without years of coding experience. This not only reduces developer workload but also brings users with business knowledge into the development process earlier.
While this helps you get your development projects off the ground, it creates a new problem: you’re releasing new software faster than testing can keep up. Low-code Salesforce development has helped organizations bridge the developer skills gap, but to get the most out of your Salesforce applications, you need comprehensive test coverage. Without proper testing in place, defects make it into production, where they are more complicated and expensive to fix. Your low-code developers spend more and more time fixing problems — and less time coming up with valuable new features.
Although testing was long considered the realm of professional developers and test engineers, low-code tools can also provide solutions to the testing skill gap.
What is Low-Code Salesforce?
The Salesforce platform brings technology and business processes together. No longer a simple Customer Relationship Management platform, it helps organizations track progress, make decisions, and predict optimal outcomes. But to get the most out of the platform, organizations need to be able to translate their business needs into software and application features. However, the developer skill gap means that organizations can’t keep up with their business users’ demands.
The easiest solution is to eliminate the development middleman. Low-code platforms that use simple interfaces and user-friendly features bring more people into feature development.
Low-code Salesforce allows users to tackle a wide range of tasks previously accessible only to experienced developers. Some of the more popular options include:
While these tools have been great for connecting business experts closer to technology, they have some limitations. Organizations should be aware of common challenges in low-code Salesforce to address them proactively.
Common Problems Low-Coders Face in Salesforce
While Salesforce is secure and user-friendly, low-code developers can still find themselves in difficulty. The Salesforce ecosystem is so comprehensive that it can be difficult to predict what effect a change will have in all instances. Security can also be an issue, especially with applications that move data from across platforms. Common problem areas for low-code Salesforce developers involve customizations, testing, and complexity.
One of the best parts of Salesforce is that you can customize business processes to meet your business’s specific needs. However, customization and configuration should be strategic. “Out of the box” functionality is easier to test and maintain, with direct support from Salesforce. Low-code customizations need to work across all your integrations and environments. Each customization increases the complexity of your ecosystem.
Customizations and new features should be planned, rather than ad hoc. One of the benefits of low-code development is that it shortens the turnaround time between business users demanding a feature and developers delivering it. This means people don’t have to DIY it. Permissions should be set to prevent users from making changes freely and without reason. This is especially true when the applications are for business-critical processes. Automatic testing and code reviews can help ensure more stable customizations.
Lack of Testing
Modern software development requires continuous testing. The software industry has largely embraced Agile principles like smaller, more frequent releases. This includes Salesforce, which comes out with frequent upgrades. That means your applications will require regular regression testing, or they’ll fall out of date. You also need to test across all platforms and environments. Without frequent, comprehensive end-to-end testing, your business-critical applications will be unstable and in need of constant fixes.
With so much to test, it is impossible to achieve high Salesforce test coverage through manual testing alone. Using a tool to automate testing is the best solution to this issue. However, again we deal with a shortage of developers to create and maintain the many automated test scripts needed.
Low-code Salesforce testing solutions can bridge the gap. Keyword-driven testing tools can support low-code developers and keep up with the pace of their work.
Unfortunately, many current solutions to Salesforce test automation are not nearly as user-friendly as the platform itself. They require a developer’s expertise. If testing requires constant input from a professional developer, this quickly defeats the purpose of going low-code for application development.
Tools for test automation need to be just as easy to use as Salesforce. With a keyword-driven low-code program, low-code developers can understand and even have a hand in creating the testing scenarios that verify the efficacy of their programs. This shortens the feedback loop between testing and development and eliminates the testing bottleneck. It also empowers more people to take on some of the complexities of Salesforce testing. Bringing testing into the low-code world aligns low-coders with the best practices of experienced developers for secure, scalable, and practical solutions.
While low-code Salesforce is a great option for many enterprises, it's not a comprehensive one. The need for testing and quality control remains. By adding a low-code testing automation tool to their stack, enterprises can improve development and support the next generation of coders.