Salesforce Lightning Testing: 4 ways Lightning will affect your Salesforce testing

Published by Laura Ashley, January 19, 2017
Product, Salesforce, Thought Leadership

As the Lightning Experience gains traction among Salesforce customers, many more organizations are starting to look at the new UI and consider how and when to make the move.

But what do testers need to plan for in the new Lightning UI? What’s going to change and what impact will this have on your testing? Whatever your test strategy, it’s important to understand the changes which are coming in and start planning for them.

Read on for 4 things you need to know about Salesforce Lightning testing.

1: Related lists have moved

In Classic, related lists occupy the lower half of the record detail page. Quick links at the top give a fast way of navigating down the page and a hovering view of the lists.

In Lightning, this has changed. Related lists are now a separate tab on the detail page, meaning that the user has to click to navigate between details and lists.

This has an impact on testing since additional clicks may be needed in Lightning to complete the same process. (On the plus side this may bring about faster loadtimes, although this this is still a work in progress.)

Related lists in Classic

Image shows the appearance of Related Lists in Salesforce Classic UI.

Related lists in Lightning

Image shows the appearance of Related Lists in Salesforce Lightning UI.

2: Edit screens become overlays

In Lightning, record edit screens become an overlay on top of the original screen. This is a change from Classic, where edit screens are separate pages that can be accessed by an independent URL. This has an impact on the navigation path for manual or automated testing.

It also provides a challenge for implementations in Salesforce Classic which use Custom Buttons to pre-populate defined fields by accessing the field IDs, a method known as ‘URL hacking’. (If you’re not familiar with this topic, check out Salesforce Ben’s article for a great intro). For more information about Lightning alternatives to URL hacking, try Keith McRae’s article or Michael White’s Dreamforce presentation.

Editing in Classic

Image shows a standard Edit screen in Salesforce Classic UI.

Editing in Lightning

3: Lookups have changed

In Classic, a lookup field comes with a popup dialog box for finding the right record. In Lightning this has become a dropdown menu, with overlays for searching.

There’s also a new quick link for creating a new record, which provides a different overlay of the full edit screen for that object.

Lookup fields in Classic

Lookup fields in Lightning

4: Lightning uses Aura open source framework

This change could be a headache for any organizations with coded test automation.

The new Lightning UI is built on the Aura open source framework, which is different from Classic’s standard HTML. This creates a compatibility risk for coded test automation. Coded tests are generally hooked into the underlying architecture of the platform being tested, which means that they will work for Salesforce Classic testing but not for Salesforce Lightning testing.

If this change affects you…

Image shows Marvin the robot pointing at a 'Don't Panic' message.

…Don’t panic! there’s still time to make a plan.

One option is to completely rebuild your test automation to do Salesforce Lightning testing. If you are planning to do this, make sure that you have the extra resources you need for the rebuild. They will also need time to learn how best to structure their tests in the new framework.

In addition, note that your maintenance effort will double if you are planning to run and maintain both test suites. This is a likely scenario for many, since most organizations will be planning to dual-run Classic and Lightning for a defined period. Make sure that you have a plan for creating and maintaining the two test suites.

Another alternative is to invest in a testing solution with an upgrade path. Here at Provar this is something we’ve been working on for some time. Our upgrade path will help testers run the same tests in Classic and in Lightning, without the need for a second test suite.

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