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When Should You Use Automated Testing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?

Posted by Alanna Friedberg on Aug 3, 2021 9:30:00 AM

Automated-Testing-in-Microsoft-Dynamics-365-Business-CentralApplication testing is one of the most powerful and underutilized tools in a developer’s arsenal. Too often, the pressure to get something built and implemented quickly overrides concerns about quality. As a result, it may seem easier to bypass the testing stage and go straight to deployment. Unfortunately, making that decision often leads to situations where your customers uncover bugs in your solutions before your developers do.

You can avoid that scenario by using automated testing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. Microsoft provides you with every tool necessary to conduct efficient, thorough automated testing of your business solutions before releasing them to production.

What is Automated Testing in Dynamics 365?

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform combines the capabilities of a customer relationship management (CRM) solution and enterprise resource management (ERP). In addition, developers can access AI-based tools and other applications to create enterprise-level tools and application suites that meet the needs of various business areas.

Automated testing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central involves running test scripts that check the functionality of your Business Central 365 app, using a specific code framework against a database. In addition to testing the functionality of a business app, you can check to ensure you get the response expected when you:

  • Expand an app to include an external integration
  • Attempt to print output from a resource
  • Make web service calls
  • Navigate to specific web pages

The great thing about running automated tests in Dynamics 365 Business Central is that you can run them as many times as you need. Taking a test-driven approach to application development helps save time, cut down on errors, and result in cleaner code. In addition, making automated tests a best practice in your Dynamics 365 Business Central application development increases confidence in the quality of code you put into your production environment.

When Should You Use Automated Testing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Business?

Ideally, you should create automatic tests for any process you would usually test manually. Even the slightest change to an application can have ripple effects throughout an organization. Even something as simple as adding a new button to a business application can have big impacts.

No matter how insignificant it may seem, any new code or updates to existing code should be put through automated testing to ensure it behaves exactly as intended, regardless of the actions of a user. With automated testing, you can mimic behaviors that might produce an adverse result and develop a solution before that code goes through a production release.   

Another example of when you might want to use automated testing is if the website's layout changes. For example, if you had a Dynamics 365 Business app built designed to access and download information from that page, then you should write tests to confirm that your tool still functions as intended after making adjustments to account for the website updates.

While Dynamics 365 Business Central comes with test scripts, you can expand their functionality as needed. In addition, Microsoft provides you with libraries you can leverage to make your automated tests faster and more efficient.

Essential Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Testing Features

Let’s take a closer look at some essential Dynamics 365 Business Central features.

  • Test Codeunits and Methods— With Dynamics 365, developers write tests as methods of AL code to use for a specific purpose and designed to exhibit different behaviors based on the anticipated outcome.
  • Test Runner Codeunits — The components are designed to manage the execution of test codeunits. Test runner codeunits also integrate with other frameworks designed for test management, reporting, and execution. Integrating with a test management framework enables you to automate your tests and let them run independently.
  • Test Pages — Test pages mimic the functionality of pages but do not have a UI available on a client computer. You can use AL to simulate the way users would interact with your pages in production.
  • UI Handlers — UI handlers mimic the actions of a user for tests that require that type of input to run. For example, if you wrote code that displayed a specific question, you’d write a UI handler to return the reply expected from a user.

What Are the Benefits of Automated Testing in Dynamics 365?

Incorporating automated testing into your Business Central app development process can:

  • Make it easier to test future releases of a codebase
  • Reduces the number of errors that make it to production
  • Streamlines the process of updating applications
  • Cuts down on the time it takes to validate your code

If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of automatic testing within the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central platform, contact IES for more info. We can show you how to leverage the Dynamics 365 platform to improve your development workflow.

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Topics: Business Central