Salesforce Products Integration Testing

Salesforce has helped thousands of customers reduce the risk, cost, and project timelines associated with traditional enterprise software along with taking full advantage of its innovative integration capabilities. It optimizes the integration efforts and lets businesses take full advantage of existing IT investments, at minimal work and expense. According to one of the recent studies, “application integration accounts for nearly 35 percent of the total cost of design, development, and maintenance in a typical enterprise—regardless of whether the company is small, medium, or large.” Salesforce unique multitenant architecture in which all users and applications share a single, common infrastructure and code base that is centrally maintained—is the key to creating integrations with minimum impact“.

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Integration means having data from all systems readily accessible, being able to integrate external Webservices, and connecting business processes across departments, applications, and partners. Integration makes it possible to monitor business performance in real time, dramatically increase productivity, and end IT bottlenecks. By getting all of the benefits of integration without the complexity, businesses can focus on how integration benefits their core competencies and frees IT resources to create business value.

SF leverages a variety oftechnologies and an extensive partner ecosystem to provide five approaches to integration

  • Native desktop connectors
  • AppExchange integration strategy
  • Native ERP connectors
  • Middleware integration
  • Integration via programming languages

These 5 paths provide different integration approaches depending upon the complexity and the nature of the business problem. Salesforce is evolving its capabilities day by day. There are many companies who are providing next generation state of the art solutions to connect to any platform/technology that exist today. This market place connect of our development is pushing the Salesforce for the future successes.

Salesforce provides several types of integration based upon the business strategy and existing technology platform. These include Mashups, Application integration and Data integration/cleansing activities. Applications integration is one of the primary goals for the organizations. However, there are always known difficulties and challenges associated with the traditional efforts between proprietary systems. In contrast to the standard approach, Salesforce provides better, easier options for integration with Web services, enterprise applications, desktop applications, and other applications such as CTI telephony solutions. It offers a set of integration technologies that reduce integration complexity, and reduce time to value for customers. Its real core competency is its ability to cost-effectively manage huge volumes of information and transactions.

Salesforce integration means having data from all systems readily accessible, being able to integrate external Web services, and connecting business processes across departments, applications, and partners in one place. Integration makes it possible to monitor business performance in real time, dramatically increase productivity, and end IT bottlenecks. By getting all of the benefits of integration without the complexity, businesses can focus on how integration benefits their core competencies and frees IT resources to create business value. For customers that means the end of broken integrations, intricate technology dependencies, and vendor locks in. For partners who want to become part of the on-demand ecosystem, it means that they can develop, package, and deploy a single version of their integration solution to all Salesforce.com customers.

To determine how to best approach any integration project, it is important to first fully understand business needs and options, particularly how the recent evolution of Web services may be relevant to the project and the organization in general. Although each enterprise integration project seems as unique and particular as the systems and businesses involved, in reality almost all use cases can be designed by considering the four areas: Business process, data model, connectivity and the existing set of technologies.

With the flexibility that comes in Salesforce for the integration of the platforms and applications, it is critical to understand the importance of the integration testing. How to ensure that the data flows through different systems in the way that is meaningful and without defects? Salesforce applications are evolving at a faster rate. These systems are not discrete and are built on a complex and interconnected set of components that include several technologies, developers, deployment topologies and organizations. Developers must deliver high quality products while limiting their testing expenses and shortening the timeframes. In this challenging environment, a combination of automated integration testing tools and environments can enable test team to improve software quality and keep up with the rate of change. There are several ways to achieve the quality:

Some of those are

  • Incremental integration testing.
  • Employ test virtualization where real components are replaced by virtual applications to simulate integration efforts.
  • Use continuous system level test using continuous integration methodologies.
  • Adopt agile framework wherever possible.
  • Plan for effective data management in the environments.
  • Reduce end to end testing by focusing on the individual components first and then enhance the same automated test cases to cover for end to end integration.
  • Test earlier and test more frequently via automation.
  • Avoid the big bang and use the iterative approach using automation tools.

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