How a UK Healthcare Nonprofit Has Success Using Provar in DevOps End-to-End Deployment and Release Management
One UK healthcare nonprofit has one mission: to beat cancer. For the past 120 years, it has funded scientists, doctors, and nurses to help beat cancer sooner and provides the most up-to-date cancer information to the public. The company’s vision for a better future is to bring about a world where everybody can lead longer, better lives, free from the fear of cancer. The company’s goals to achieve this include harnessing the power of discovery, accelerating progress for everyone, and working together to bring hope.
About the Company
The company featured in this case study is one of the world’s leading charity organizations focusing on cancer research. The company actively tries to eradicate over 250 types of cancer through fundraising and ongoing research. The gravity and scope of work makes for an incredible amount of data – around 17 million records – and this data is essential for focusing fundraising efforts, managing events, targeting supporters and donors, and more. Customer relationship management (CRM) technology helps the company manage this data. Until recently, the company used Siebel CRM, which they implemented in 2009. After over a decade of growth, the team realized it was time to expand so they could utilize their wealth of data more effectively to meet stakeholder expectations. They decided to move to Salesforce to support their data-first approach.
The team selected Salesforce because it checked all the boxes for their engineering team, stakeholders, and end users. Their main goal was to move away from the complicated processes they had built over the past decade. They had created many customizations that had become more difficult to manage, and their original CRM did not support many of the newer supplemental platforms they wanted to integrate to help process data. To help ease the critical transition to Salesforce, the team brought on Atos as an implementation partner. Atos is experienced in helping customers mitigate the Salesforce transition and would offer insight and training throughout the process.
It was Atos that recommended the company look into a few Salesforce automation tools to support their existing testing strategy. The company prides itself on having a well-established QA team that practices modern testing (e.g., continuous testing, shift left, and putting automation first in all processes), so the team knew an automation tool built specifically for Salesforce was critical. They explored three different tools: Cypress to automate some features and functionalities, which they were already using in some capacity for their existing donor websites; a Playwright and Selenium driver combo, which brought up immediate hesitation as they had used Selenium in the past and had already evolved past it; and Provar.
Challenges: Finding an Automation Tool that Fit into an Existing Framework, Supported Many Integrations, and Shortened the Learning Curve
“What we found was that we could use an open source framework, but it would be a ton of maintenance to keep it up to date, and we wanted to simplify the test automation process for our engineers and the end users. It was also time-consuming to build a framework from scratch and maintain, and because Salesforce was new for us, there was a learning curve and we needed to train ourselves on it. Automating in Salesforce using open source tools also has its own learning curve. During our research, most advised Provar Automation.”– Quality Assurance Manager
“We were clear on three things when we began looking for a tool. One was shift left; we wanted to do testing as early as possible to eliminate any after effects when moving testing to the left. Second was continuous testing. We support modern DevOps practices, CI/CD, and reducing the cost of deployment to production. Third was a tool that promoted greater collaboration with our developers. Our QA practice is such that quality is a responsibility of the project team as a whole, and everyone needs to be able to understand test cases and run them with little or no coding experience.”– Quality Assurance Manager
Choosing Provar for Salesforce Test Automation
When researching Provar Automation, the team placed great emphasis on the demos built by Provar as part of the evaluation process. They went through six different demos with the Provar team to answer their many questions, and the team felt that Provar was very helpful and provided them with a lot of confidence. They documented all pros and cons of each tool they were looking into with detail.
“Provar Automation really stood out in the demos. It fit all the criteria we were looking for, it is specifically built for Salesforce automation, and it has incredible ease of use and learning, particularly in how quickly you can implement the platform and start using it. The Provar team quickly understood our requirements and what we needed from a toolset perspective and we were able to speak with existing Provar Automation clients, who provided great feedback. Coupled with the University of Provar’s offerings, which would be used to train our engineers, we were sold.”– Quality Assurance Manager
The final step in the process was the team asking Atos to use Provar Automation under a set of core parameters so they could make an informed decision. These parameters included compatibility, ease of scripting, execution time, and overall maintainability. Provar Automation scored strong in all four areas, and the decision was made.
Onboarding and Implementing in Three Weeks Time
As a short learning curve was one of the most important elements in the team’s test automation tool selection, the onboarding and implementation process were vital to success. Their engineering team, while familiar with test automation, were new to both Salesforce and Provar Automation and leaned on Atos to help implement a new workflow.
“We were able to implement Provar Automation in three weeks time, and by the fourth week, the full implementation was complete and we were able to begin using the solution.”– Quality Assurance Manager
The University of Provar training greatly impacted the engineering team’s learning curve in a positive way, reducing the time they needed to take to learn the tool. The company’s engineers began to utilize the University of Provar offerings on day one. Until the company received its own licenses, the Provar team provided the team with test licenses to explore alongside the training. Additionally, the Provar team automated six of the company’s test cases for them so they could understand the breadth of their test packages.
“Having the Provar team automate six of our test cases gave us great insight into best practices to follow and provided us with demos to use in the future. It was a big help.”– Quality Assurance Manager
The team also signed up for an onsite training package, but due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, they were unable to collaborate with the Provar team in person. Instead, the team and Provar connected for a virtual training session, which helped their team further navigate the solution with ease.
Experiencing Maintenance Reduction and Looking Ahead
Now, the team has over one hundred test scripts in their regression suite, made possible by Provar Automation’s simple, intuitive test building capabilities. A big focus is ensuring their regression suite supports their CI/CD process, and Provar Automation helps the team to optimize test case organization and execution time to meet their 30-minute target. In the future, they plan to automatically run thousands of tests across multiple Sandboxes and at every stage of deployment. They will use the results, provided automatically, to guide their deployment strategy in real time.
“In the last six months, I’ve noticed how well Provar Automation ensures best practices with test maintenance, which was something I prioritized at the beginning of our search. We used to allocate 20% of the time in every sprint just to account for maintenance. With Provar Automation, that maintenance is greatly reduced. Now we just have three engineers working on this. We still optimize, but so much of the work that we have done in the past is now handled by Provar Automation. That, and the fact that it seamlessly integrates with all of our tools, helped our end-to-end deployment and release management process immensely.”– Quality Assurance Manager
Key Success Metrics
- Created over one hundred test scripts using Provar Automation’s intuitive test building capabilities in less than 8 months
- Reduced maintenance manpower during sprints from 20 people to 3 (an 85% decrease)
- Fully implemented Provar Automation in under four weeks, starting from no Salesforce and Provar Automation experience to successfully building out and automatically running tests
To learn more about how Provar’s solutions can meet your team at all stages of the quality journey, or to share your company’s success story, connect with us today.