What is Salesforce Testing? A Complete Guide (With Test Cases and Tools)

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Salesforce is a game-changer in the business world, revolutionizing how organizations manage customer relationships and drive growth. As businesses increasingly adopt Salesforce as their go-to CRM platform, the need for robust Salesforce testing to fully unlock its capabilities also rises. However, Salesforce testing is quite complex, especially in terms of data management.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of Salesforce testing, common challenges, best practices, and recommend several Salesforce testing solutions to help you achieve great results.

What is Salesforce?

Established since 1999, Salesforce is one of the earliest and most well-known cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) platforms that helps businesses manage their customer interactions, sales processes, marketing campaigns, and so much more. What makes Salesforce stand out is its comprehensive range of services that accommodates different CRM requirements on a unified platform, benefiting both the companies and customers. With one single solution, businesses are equipped with every feature they need to level up their sales and marketing activity. 

Salesforce also prioritizes data security and offers granular permissions to protect sensitive information without hindering access for authorized users. All of these brought Salesforce to become the global CRM leader, with about 150,000 companies across different industries using Salesforce tools to streamline all business functions into a single source of truth, including major companies such as Spotify, Amazon Web Services, and the U.S. Bank.

What is Salesforce Testing?

Salesforce testing is the process of evaluating the functionality, quality, and performance of Salesforce applications or customizations. It involves testing Salesforce workflows, triggers, validation rules, custom objects, reports, and integrations, to ensure they all work as intended and meet the business requirements.

Why Do We Need Salesforce Testing?

Salesforce is a highly versatile and comprehensive platform, enabling businesses to easily customize it for their specific requirements. It provides a wide variety of tools, resources, as well as a vast ecosystem of third-party integrations on the AppExchange marketplace to help businesses tailor the platform to their needs. In such a complex system, conflicts can easily arise. For example:

  • When upgrading Salesforce to a newer version, it can conflict with the existing customizations
  • New external systems, APIs, and integrations may clash with already installed integrations
  • New data validation rules can be too strict or inconsistent with existing data, causing issues with data entry and updates
  • Heavy data processing can impact performance
  • Customizations that modify user access controls can lead to security issues

With thorough testing, the QA team can pinpoint areas of conflict and resolve quickly before release, mitigating negative impact of bugs to the bottom line. In addition to the benefits of checking the customizations, Salesforce testing brings the same benefits as conducting general software testing, including:

  • Ensure system reliability and stability
  • Minimize risk of system failures, data loss, or performance issues
  • Maintain data integrity in the system
  • Improve user experience by identifying and eliminating friction
  • Ensure compliance and security

Types Of Salesforce Testing

When performing Salesforce testing, just like any other type of testing, there are 2 major approaches:

  • Manual Testing: Testers evaluate the interactions between Salesforce modules and integrations by manually interacting with them, without the help from automated testing tools or test scripts. 
  • Automated TestingTesters leverage automation frameworks or adopt automation testing tools to execute Salesforce test scripts automatically, at scale

Read More: Katalon vs Selenium: A Complete Guide

When To Use Manual Salesforce Testing?

Manual testing in Salesforce is great when:

  • Exploring the application for potential issues while simultaneously learning about the inner workings of the system (also known as exploratory testing)
  • Adapting and testing different scenarios on-the-spot with no previous planning
  • Testing one-off, non-repetitive scenarios that would be counter-productive to automate
  • Testing scenarios that require human judgment or subjective evaluation (i.e. testing if the content and designs have been properly localized)

When To Use Automated Salesforce Testing?

Although useful, manual testing still consumes considerable time and effort. Human errors are more likely to occur during manual testing, and therefore scaling businesses usually adopt automated Salesforce testing to improve efficiency. Once automated testing scripts are prepared, fewer personnel are needed to monitor the system, enabling more frequent test execution. Automated Salesforce testing is great when:

  • Performing regression testing to check if any bugs were introduced due to Salesforce updates, which happen seasonally
  • Performing data-driven testing for various input values, data sets, and data scenarios in the system
  • Scaling the Salesforce system to a level that manual testing can accommodate
  • Testing repeated, mundane test scenarios
  • Integrating the testing activities into existing CI/CD pipelines that demand automation

Levels Of Salesforce Testing

There are 3 major levels of Salesforce testing from the lowest-level to highest-level: unit testing, integration testing, and UI testing.

  • Unit TestingSalesforce unit testing primarily focuses on testing Apex classes, triggers, or Visualforce pages individually to ensure that each individual piece of code produces the expected results. Salesforce has its own testing framework called Apex Testing Framework that allows developers to write assertions for Apex code’s behavior. These tests can be executed straight within the Salesforce Developer Console.
  • Integration Testing: Salesforce integration testing verifies the interactions between different Salesforce components or with external systems to ensure that the integrated components work together as expected. Testers usually use frameworks like Salesforce-provided Test.loadData or Test.setMock to simulate these interactions.
  • UI TestingSalesforce UI testing examines the application from the end-user perspective, validating the overall functionality and visual elements. At this level, testers have to interact with front-end elements such as buttons, forms, or dropdowns like a user would. Usually they’ll perform it manually, but they can also leverage visual testing tools to enhance the results.

Read More: Unit Testing vs Functional Testing: A Comparison

Challenges Of Salesforce Testing 

Constant Updates

Salesforce follows a seasonal update schedule that occurs 3 times a year (Spring, Summer, Winter) to introduce new features or bug fixes to the Salesforce platform. For example, recently they announced the Lightning Experience, a modern and user-friendly interface offering an enhanced user interface, improved performance, and a range of productivity features. Salesforce has been encouraging users to transition from the Classic Experience to Lightning.

For testers, this frequency of updates requires them to constantly adapt and execute automated tests to validate that the existing functionality of the application continues to work as expected.

Overcoming data complexity and data volume challenges

Consider a real-life example of a company that uses Salesforce for managing customer data. The company has thousands of customer records, each with various connected objects like contacts, opportunities, and activities. Testing scenarios that involve data-dependent functionalities is quite complex due to the sheer volume of the data. 

Addressing Salesforce customization and configuration issues

Salesforce is highly customizable, providing multiple options for creating a page. Testing these different variations is crucial since they impact the performance of your application to end users. A very comprehensive testing tool is required to handle the abrupt customizations done by the customers.

Addressing Salesforce customization and configuration issues

Dynamic Elements

Dynamic elements such as pop-ups, dynamic menus, or conditional visibility of fields can pose significant challenges in testing Salesforce applications because they don’t have fixed identifiers or locators, making it difficult to locate and interact with them during testing. Traditional testing approaches that rely on static locators may fail when the element's attributes or properties change. 

Dynamic elements also lead to timeout issues in testing. For instance, when a tester performs an action that should make a dynamic element appear, like clicking a button to open a pop-up window, the test script should pause and confirm that the system responds and the dynamic element is visible before continuing with other actions or checks. This wait period fluctuates depending on many external factors, so testers must establish proper timeout settings to address this.

Salesforce Testing Best Practices

Implementing test data management strategies

  • Analysis of data is crucial for effective management of test data
  • Data setup should mirror the production environment and may require creation or modification of data. 
  • Clear guidelines should be formulated to determine when Salesforce test data can be cleaned up. 
  • Sensitive data must be identified and protected during testing to ensure user privacy. 
  • Automation can be used to create and compare test data, exposing any errors related to data. 
  • Maintaining a central repository of test data to save effort and costs

Conducting regression testing during Salesforce updates and enhancements

  • Define approach to regression testing, considering coverage, automation, environments, and performance reporting. 
  • Consider Salesforce lightning vs. classic interfaces. 
  • Select test cases based on core functionality, new features, sensitivity to environment, and previous defects. 
  • Update regression suite regularly to keep up with system changes. 
  • Run regression tests frequently, especially after adding new Salesforce functionality
  • Automate regression tests for efficiency, particularly for larger businesses and integrations. Choose an automation tool tailored to testing strategy's needs.

Monitoring and analyzing Salesforce test metrics for continuous improvement

  • Define relevant test metrics aligned with testing goals (test coverage, defect density, execution results, cycle time, etc.)
  • Establish a tracking mechanism to consistently record metrics. A spreadsheet should be good for starters, but as the team scales you’ll want more dedicated systems.
  • Regularly collect and analyze data from test runs to identify trends and areas for improvement. 
  • Identify improvement opportunities (recurring issues, low test coverage, and testing process inefficiencies)
  • Take actionable steps based on previous analysis
  • Monitor the impact of changes on metrics.

Sample Salesforce Test Cases

User Interface (UI) Testing:

a. Verify that all buttons, links, and menus are functioning correctly.

b. Validate the alignment and visibility of UI elements across different browsers and devices.

c. Test the responsiveness of the UI by resizing the browser window or accessing the application on mobile devices.

Functional Testing:

a. Create a new record and verify that it is saved correctly in the database.

b. Perform a search operation and validate that the expected results are displayed.

c. Test the functionality of various data entry fields, such as text fields, dropdowns, and checkboxes.

Integration Testing:

a. Test the integration between Salesforce and external systems, such as an ERP or marketing automation platform, by verifying data synchronization and exchange.

b. Validate the data flow between different Salesforce modules, such as leads being converted to contacts.

c. Test the integration of Salesforce with third-party APIs for data retrieval or external system updates.

Security Testing:

a. Verify that user authentication are working as expected.

b. Test the handling of sensitive data, such as ensuring encryption for confidential information.

c. Perform vulnerability testing to address any security loopholes

Workflow and Automation Testing:

a. Test the functionality of workflow rules and validate that the desired automated actions are triggered.

b. Verify that automated actions are executed correctly.

c. Test the functionality of process builders by simulating different scenarios.

Mobile App Testing:

a. Install and test the Salesforce mobile app on different devices and operating systems.

b. Validate the synchronization of data between the mobile app and the Salesforce web application.

c. Test the performance and responsiveness of the mobile app under different network conditions.


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Katalon - Leading Salesforce Testing Tool

Katalon is a comprehensive quality management platform supporting all stages of Salesforce testing - from test planning, creation, management, execution, maintenance, to reporting, all in one place. It significantly simplifies the process of Salesforce testing, enabling QA teams to quickly get started then streamline their testing efforts with ease.

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  • Katalon supports web, API, desktop, mobile testing across a wide variety of browsers, environments, and OS, allowing you to increase test coverage and test more scenarios in each sprint without any compromises to quality
  • Katalon has libraries of built-in keywords (which are essentially code snippets) that can be drag-and-dropped to construct automation test scripts. These test scripts can be scheduled to run at specific times, such as after Salesforce updates. Some of these Salesforce keywords include:
    • Lead process 
    • Case management
    • Integrations from external applications
    • CPQ and quote management
    • Order management
    • Salesforce Lightning web component
    • Salesforce community
    • Salesforce data import wizard
    • Salesforce reports and dashboards
  • If you want a higher level of customization, Katalon has a full-code mode - a Groovy script editor - so that you can freely edit test scripts and scale your testing framework.
  • API testing and Integration testing supported to help you test interactions with quote providers or 3rd-party vendors in Salesforce.
  • TestOps - Katalon’s centralized test management system - provides clear visibility over test cases, suites, collections, and more. TestOps also supports manual test case management.
  • GPT-powered test case generation to help you quickly create manual Salesforce test cases and monitor their status 
  • Smart Test Reporting for informed decision-making and future references


Start Salesforce Testing With Katalon Now