Unlocking Efficiency: Best Practices for D365 Test Automation

As per the research conducted by the tech review platform Techjury, 60% of surveyed companies have already experienced a good Return on Investment (ROI) in automated testing despite the possible challenges associated with this complex project. How have these organizations managed to become successful in automating their testing routines, and how can their practices be translated into the context of Microsoft D365 test automation? Read this article to find answers to these questions.

Understand the capabilities and limitations of test automation

To ensure the success of your test automation project, start by learning more about automation itself while paying attention to its real potential and limitations. This knowledge will guide your strategy towards more effective solutions.

When building your test automation strategy, remember that:

  • Your organization will not be able to replace manual testing completely with automation;
  • Automated test execution is easier than manual, but switching to automation and completing some of its ongoing tasks, like test script maintenance, requires certain effort;
  • Your software will not be bug-free by default when you adopt automation, as it depends on the effectiveness of test scripts, which in most cases testers still have to create manually;
  • You will hardly be able to cover 100% of test cases with automation.

Study Microsoft Dynamics 365 Functionality

A better understanding of the tested software is necessary for the success of automated testing, as it helps more effectively identify areas for automation and determine the types of tests you will need to perform.

For instance, it is crucial to realize that functional regression testing, offered by the majority of tools dedicated to D365 test automation, is not sufficient. You will also need to conduct performance testing.

Additionally, learn the frequency of updates released for Microsoft Dynamics 365, as they will determine your regression testing schedule.

Note that if your organization is still in the process of implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365, it may be a good idea to refrain from customizing the ERP and CRM applications, as this will increase the need for testing in the future.

Select the Right Test Automation Tool

There is no one-size-fits-all testing solution that proves ideal in every business scenario, as the proper choice should be based on the specific requirements of an organization.

In many cases, companies relying on Microsoft Dynamics 365 can safely adopt dedicated proprietary solutions like Executive Automats, already optimized for testing this software. Some key features of Executive Automats that can facilitate D365 test automation in your organization include:

  • Support for both functional testing and performance testing;
  • Rapid installation;
  • No-code interface for fast script generation;
  • Automated report generation;
  • Support for test script maintenance.

The simplified process of testing and test case maintenance with such a tool helps achieve ROI faster despite the need for an initial investment.

However, if your company is seeking a flexible solution adaptable to the automation of other software products and can afford to employ professional developers to maintain a complex testing infrastructure, you may consider alternative open-source tools like Selenium.

Effective Test Scripts and their Maintenance

As mentioned earlier, test automation itself does not determine the quality of the testing procedure. It is the effectiveness of your test scripts that is responsible for it.

To get the most out of test automation, it is necessary to create reusable test cases, reducing the need for building more test cases. Simultaneously, test reusability and a data-driven approach can significantly simplify test script maintenance.

Below are some best practices for building effective test scripts that are also easy to maintain:

  • Use the modular structure of test scripts by breaking them down into smaller components focused on a specific feature;
  • Parameterize test data using external data sources;
  • Avoid hardcoding static values;
  • Implement error-handling mechanisms;
  • Regularly review and refactor test scripts;
  • Maintain detailed documentation for test scripts covering expected outcomes and configurations required for testing;
  • Deploy a consistent naming convention and use comments.

Leverage Test Automation Capabilities

Some companies, especially those transitioning from manual testing to automated testing, tend to adopt the same testing approach their manual testers used previously. This is a wrong strategy, as it can potentially deprive organizations of numerous benefits offered by test automation.

For instance, with a tool for automated testing, you can schedule testing tasks for night hours and weekends since the presence of developers is not required during the automated testing process.

Another practice you should consider is the implementation of parallel execution of test scripts, which can considerably reduce the overall testing time. Additionally, test scripts designed for parallel execution tend to be more manageable, requiring updates for a smaller number of environments.

Other useful features of D365 test automation to consider include:

  • Integration into continuous integration (CI) pipelines for rapid feedback;
  • Testing larger data sets to achieve scalability;
  • Effective load simulation for performance testing;
  • Integration with continuous monitoring tools for real-time information on application health and test results.

Key to effective D365 test automation

Automation itself can accelerate testing processes in your organization, but it cannot guarantee effectiveness. To achieve success in test automation, it is necessary to follow D365 test automation best practices, which start from understanding test automation and the tested software better, focusing on all possible components of testing, including test script generation and maintenance.