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Friday, August 29, 2014

Apex Unit Tests - 4 Random Successful Implementation Tips

Any experienced developer will tell you that Apex Unit Tests are critical to the success of any implementation. This is especially critical in complex environments where we have multiple lines of business using the system. Imagine if you have 10 completely different business units using the same objects with different record types, workflow rules, visualforce pages, batch processes, triggers, etc.

Here are some random thoughts on how you can get the most of out your Unit Tests. These have helped me in the past.

  1. Build is not complete without Apex Unit Tests
  • Unit tests should be completed as functional code is delivered. A story or task should not be considered complete until the accompanying unit tests are built. As yourself "Can I deploy this functionality to production successfully? Does it have code coverage?". SFDC will stop you without sufficient code coverage.
  1. Apex Unit Tests without system asserts are worthless for support and maintenance
  • Unit tests need to have system.assert() to be of any practical value. If a unit test executes solely for the purpose of code coverage than it is not doing its true job, which is to guarantee system behavior. The developer who changes this code may think everything is fine because your unit test did not fail, but his change actually broke the runtime code. 
  1. Deployment between sandboxes must pass all unit tests
  • The Salesforce platform only requires unit test coverage for production deployment. If you bake this into your deployment processes you will ensure success in a large enterprise SDLC that has multiple environments.
  1. If you have complex workflows, validation rule logic or Roll-Up Summary Fields (RUS) build some Apex Unit Tests to validate it even if there is not Apex Code.
  • You can use unit tests to validate your "clicks not code" functionality if it is significantly complex. For example if you have RUS fields that have complex filters and get used across several objects for logic. Putting Apex Unit tests in place can help ensure future changes to these items will not corrupt your data.