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Testing Salesforce Basics: The Essential Guide

Written by
Team Copado
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Salesforce is a well-known cloud-based CRM platform that provides a large number of inbuilt features that enable companies to scale, configure, and customize their systems in the way that best supports their specific business needs.

Because Salesforce CRM has such a high level of flexibility, it requires ongoing testing and maintenance to identify issues early in the software development lifecycle so that they can be fixed and ensure all systems remain functional.

Software would not have flaws in a perfect world. But the reality is that mistakes are made, and applications are used in unanticipated ways. This essential guide will outline everything you need to get started testing Salesforce — basics you need to know and how to ensure testing keeps pace with development. 

Why is Salesforce Testing Important?

Salesforce testing is required to improve software quality. With testing, your QA teams will be able to find issues early in the development process, when bugs are less expensive to fix, and before deploying them into production.

During each development cycle, you should complete testing to guarantee that your system supports all critical business operations and that post customizations and configurations, your system is working as expected. 

Salesforce testing basics are essential because they:

  • Detect issues and bugs early in the software development life cycle
  • Confirm functionality of Salesforce configurations and code
  • Ensure the stability of the system
  • Check that custom workflows are working
  • Validate inbound and outbound integrations
  • Improve both employee and customer experience

[Learn how modern teams test Salesforce with Copado’s 2022 State of Salesforce Testing Report]

Overview of Salesforce Testing

Salesforce testing will involve checking configurations and customizations of features in vanilla SDFC, as well as the complete functionality of your platform. In general, your QA team should perform testing whenever coding is changed.

Testing in a sandbox environment will allow your QA team to test built-in functionalities and any changes made in coding to identify bugs and areas of improvement. 

Your QA team should test the following changes in a sandbox environment before releasing them into production:

  • Changes made to page layouts
  • Changes made to the user interface
  • Changes in integrations
  • Changes made to API endpoints
  • All custom coding, new features, and critical updates


Small-scale Salesforce testing can be done manually by your QA team, but as your organization grows and test cases become more complex, teams need additional tools to get the job done. Automated testing solutions, like Copado Robotic Testing, simplify test creation, execution, and maintenance so you can increase your Salesforce test coverage and software quality.

Types of Salesforce Testing

Depending on the requirements of your system, your QA team should perform several kinds of Salesforce testing. The following test types have been provided below for your consideration to plan for appropriate test activities:

  • Unit Testing: Unit tests are essential components of every software development project. Salesforce developers will perform unit testing during your development phases. You should cover 75% of your code with unit testing to deploy code into production. Those test cases should have passed.
  • System Testing: System testing involves testing a complete system from start to end, including new changes and existing features. System testing will ensure that your whole system performs and is reliable.
  • UAT Testing: In user acceptance testing, system users (or end-users) will test Salesforce to confirm an application is operational and functions according to business requirements. This kind of testing will help identify critical issues that may affect a live system and is carried out in a production-like environment. 
  • Production Testing: Production testing is carried out by QA testing teams and end-users once code has been pushed to production. Testing in the production environment is similar to testing in the sandbox. Production testing usually involves multiple end-users. This testing ensures that all configurations and changes have been successfully implemented in production. 
  • Regression Testing: Regression testing may involve both manual and automated tests. After introducing new Salesforce features, it is used to check if changes to source code, structure, or data have resulted in broken functionality. Full regression testing is time-consuming. Without automated tools, it can be impossible for QA teams to keep up with endless new releases and updates.
  • Functional Testing: Functional testing ensures that features function as intended according to technical specifications. This test, which developers or end-users can do, examines each function of the software by providing input and comparing the output to functional requirements. Functional testing and UAT can be combined in small projects.
  • Integration Testing: Integration tests are required if your code interacts with anything that isn't native to your Salesforce org. When you add third-party modules to the system, this form of Salesforce testing can reveal issues. 

Testing Salesforce Basics to Get You Started

The suggestions below will assist you in creating a testing plan that is specific to your company's needs and will help ensure the functionality and stability of your system. 

These Salesforce testing basics will facilitate better test coverage and optimize your testing processes:

Develop a Testing Strategy

Developing an effective testing strategy will structure your project and help save valuable time. A testing strategy should define appropriate roles, responsibilities, and what features will be tested. 

Before getting started, consider the time and resources you’ll need to devote to testing in a sandbox environment. This will likely include organizing a QA team with the necessary experience and knowledge of testing methods best suited for your project. 

Use the Best Testing Methods

Using the best Salesforce testing methods and strategies should expand test coverage, deliver high test accuracy, and reduce costs involved in spotting issues later in development phases when issues become more complex and expensive to fix. 

Your QA team should be prepared to start testing early in the SDLC and perform all necessary tests to improve outcomes. Your test methods should:

  • Perform required unit, UI, UAT, integration, functional, regression, and system testing.
  • Use a flexible testing framework.
  • Test on a needs-driven basis.
  • Share test cases with the development and stakeholders before implementation.
  • Focus on validating customized coding vs. just Salesforce built-in functionality.
  • Enable you to accept software releases and patches within smaller time frames. 

[Leverage quality-driven testing in Salesforce]

Use Automated Testing Tools

When you’re working in a complex testing environment that involves custom coding, you should use automated testing tools. Regardless of complexity, use automated testing when more than one developer is working on your Salesforce org. 

These tools will take some effort to learn, but they will help you deliver high-quality code. A Salesforce testing solution like Copado Robotic Testing can make it easy to handle complex test projects. It will check for bugs, expand your testing window, and allow automated testing to occur automatically any time your codebase changes.

Setup and Manage Sandbox Environments 

You'll need to construct one or more sandboxes to test your Salesforce org. To ensure reliable re-execution of tests, you'll also need to refresh and reset the configuration. This process can be time-consuming, so it's recommended to use the command-line interface (CLI) or tooling API to create and manage sandboxes.

You can use Salesforce CLI to authorize, create, and clone sandbox environments. It will also enable you to create and manage your development and testing environments programmatically and automate your continuous integration processes. 

[See how test automation drives business value]

Salesforce Testing Challenges

Salesforce testing is necessary to isolate issues in earlier phases of the SDLC and reduce development time. However, testing in a complex Salesforce environment with multiple systems can be time-consuming and difficult. 

During the Salesforce testing process, you will encounter several testing challenges, such as:

  • Testing customized coding instead of just testing Salesforce in-built functionality
  • Developers create custom objects that aren't recognized by certain testing solutions. Possibilities are virtually limitless, making each test scenario extremely complex.
  • Salesforce releases seasonal updates that include new features, increasing the need for regular regression testing. 
  • Any downtime for mission-critical applications like CPQ is costly.
  • Manual testing in SFDC can be complicated and time-consuming.
  • You may not be able to test adequately without automated testing tools.
  • Staying up to date with both Salesforce and your testing solution.

[Learn more about Salesforce CPQ testing challenges]

Contact Copado Today

Overall, Salesforce testing is similar to testing other software applications. The main difference lies in how flexible and customizable Salesforce is; that results in a more complex testing environment. We hope you've better understood Salesforce testing basics and identified areas where your QA teams can improve. 

While Salesforce testing may appear difficult, low-code automation solutions such as Copado Robotic Testing can make the process easier. It will help you avoid time-consuming manual testing, hone in on important testing areas, and involve more team members in the process. 

With the Salesforce CRM platform, there’s currently an ongoing need, across the board, to incorporate both manual and automated testing earlier in development to avoid poor quality software releases. 

Unfortunately, many companies overlook the importance of regularly testing their Salesforce org, leading to increased risks of reputation damage and other unexpected expenses. Low-code, automated test solutions will play a major role in improving Salesforce test coverage, making the Salesforce testing process easier for everyone. Organizations that use Copado Robotic Testing can achieve 34x more coverage and test 10x faster.



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