Over $40 billion. This is the size of the global software testing market. It’s not surprising – we all know proper QA testing is a vital part of any IT project. There is nothing more detrimental to a company’s reputation than a product hitting the market full of errors or a platform being rolled out internally with poor user experience. Preventing these brand-damaging disasters is a passion of every quality assurance team especially for Salesforce projects given the flexibility and configurability of the platform. Having a solid test process to check new functionality, deployment issues, or run regression ahead of the triannual Salesforce Releases is key. In a fast-paced environment with high customer expectations, innovative ways to make the testing process more efficient should be on everyone’s radar.
What is the difference between automated testing and manual testing?
There are two main approaches to quality assurance: manual and automated. Each has its advantages and disadvantages with most companies starting with manual and then introducing some level of automation depending on scope, budget, and complexity.
Manual testing is performed by a QA tester or engineer who checks a variety of test cases for usability and functionality in accordance with an overarching strategy. While it doesn’t require any scripting knowledge, it should include regular stakeholder feedback on all stages of the software development lifecycle (SDLC). In automated testing, the process is carried out by a program, code, or script, and predefined test scenarios are processed by a framework using special automation tools.
Automated QA testing is the best choice if you need repetitive and time-consuming tasks like regression testing, for multi-layered iterative releases or for apps with extensive roadmaps and releases. Another popular use case is load testing as hiring thousands of testers would be expensive and impractical. It is also indispensable for performance assessment through stress testing and spike testing.
Manual methods are perfect for when your team needs exploratory testing when the experience and intuition of a QA tester are of utmost value. The human factor is also necessary for UI and UX tests. Conducting manual tests is also the only way to run ad-hoc tests that don’t have any detailed plan or formal structure. They can only rely on the tester’s knowledge and skill to discover hidden errors or obstacles waiting for future users.
Some businesses only require manual testing due to their smaller sizes but for larger enterprises and sophisticated ISVs with complex products, a combination of manual and automated QA testing is the best approach. However, usually, you should set aside a longer time frame and a bigger budget for automated testing.
What are the benefits of manual testing?
The biggest advantage of manual testing is the human adaptive abilities, intuition, and exploration. No automation or AI can replace the expertise and the ability to observe and evaluate user-friendly aspects through replication of individual behaviour. Human testers are also more creative and can think outside the box, which is especially needed during corner tests based on business use cases.
The initial investment in manual testing is relatively low as advanced programming skills are not required and it is easy to obtain entry-level testers to complement senior resources with QA expertise and product knowledge. Setting up manual testing is pretty quick and straightforward and Salesforce fully supports the typical environment model (development, staging and production). Manual testing is also essential for UAT (user acceptance testing) and complex, functional end-to-end scenarios that involve integration to backend systems. It is very flexible and products can be tweaked on the go, which is especially needed at the early stages of SDLC — design reviews, requirement analysis, business analysis — and helps to avoid costly rework when the code is already in development.
Why should you manage your testing data in one platform?
Manual test management for Salesforce can be challenging especially if you have a large team with many QA engineers and business analysts. Even if you don’t conduct exploratory testing and you have implemented a structure of testing checklists, requirement test case mapping, test plans, or other disparate tools you often still don’t have the full picture of the entire QA process. Managing communication between all stakeholders is also a common problem. In the end, test processes can become very slow and ineffective.
Managing tests in a single platform is a game-changer, allowing smooth synchronization of all of these processes, enabling better collaboration and providing a single source of truth to boost productivity. Comprehensive, Jira compatible management solutions such as Zephyr or Xray, have been a part of the testing landscape for a while now, however, none of them are native to Salesforce and therefore cannot offer a seamless experience.
Streamline your QA testing process with TesterX
VRP has accumulated vast experience in QA testing and we know the issues that can emerge during this process. To help ourselves, we developed TesterX – a native Salesforce app to seamlessly manage all manual test and QA activities. Created by testers for testers, it covers the end-to-end manual Quality Assurance and test cycle from a single platform in a clear, transparent, and secure workflow.
We have now made this app freely available for everyone on the AppExchange. You gain full control over access, integration, updates, tracking, document sharing, communication, and permissions management. You will see instant results, as the productivity of your team increases with the central source of test cycles, workflows, and requirements. Project management is supported through monitoring tools, quick test coverage insight, traceability matrix, and version control. TesterX also makes collaboration easier through its integration with Chatter and API to connect with tools such as JIRA. Due to being a native Salesforce application, it guarantees reliability, security and is easily adjustable to your business needs. You’re welcome!
The value of manual testing is undeniable but any innovation that can drive its efficiency will make the life of QA engineers, business analysts, or project managers easier. During our 11 years dedicated exclusively to Salesforce we have delivered over 1000 successful projects and developed over 100 apps. If you want to make your manual QA testing process instantly more efficient and drive product development, download TesterX now. You can get it for FREE on the Salesforce AppExchange and it can be easily installed and customized.
Get in touch if you want to learn more about how to streamline and unify the entire testing lifecycle into one robust platform, by requesting a demo.
Head of QA – EMEA
About the Author
Marek is the Head of QA for the EMEA region based in our Krakow office. A Quality Assurance Specialist with 13 years of experience, he has deep knowledge of integrating manual and automated testing in a continuously integrated environment.