Kitten Explorer Image by Dim Hou from PixabayCopado has launched Copado Explorer, extending its testing platform with a tool that will help automate testing for Salesforce development teams. Copado Explorer automates much of the administration of the testing process and provides seamless integration in the CI.CD pipeline. It ensures that testing is collaborative and a continuous part of the wider process.

With up to 40% of software projects still experiencing cost overruns or delays, according to recent reports, despite Agile and other tools, Copado believes its solution can assist.

Esko Hannula, Senior Vice President of Product Management at Copado (image credit - LinkedIn)
Esko Hannula, Senior Vice President of Product Management at Copado

Esko Hannula, Senior Vice President of Product Management at Copado, “Release quality is a leading driver of risk, cost and speed within the software development life cycle. Copado Explorer makes it easy to automate the manual testing process, drastically reducing the time and effort typically required in traditional testing methods and improving both release velocity and quality. This launch not only underscores Copado’s commitment to innovation, but also sets a new benchmark in facilitating streamlined, effective, and collaborative software testing.”

Before Copado Explorer

David Brooks, Senior Vice President of Evengelism at Copado
David Brooks, Senior Vice President of Evengelism at Copado

Enterprise Times spoke to David Brooks (no relation), SVP Evangelism at Copado, about the new product. I asked Brooks what the new product was, how it is different from the rest of the Copado testing suite and what differentiates it. He first explained life before Copado Explore.

Brooks answered, “There are other exploratory testing products, but what we’ve done is added a couple of extra features and packaged it in a way that makes manual testing incredibly easy. Of course, you can do manual testing without a tool, especially user acceptance testing. But the challenge with that is, first of all, you have to assign test tasks to your business users. Then you have to set up accounts for them in a new sandbox environment where they don’t usually have an account and get them to log in and set their password and all that.

“Then, they have to learn about the new product. What is this new feature? Then, they have to report if they find any bugs or findings. How do they do that? If you look at traditional manual testing scenarios, they put together spreadsheets, attach the screen capture or put it in a Slack post or whatever.”

How Copado Explorer works

Brooks continued, “What we’ve done is we’ve made it incredibly easy to assign a testing task to someone. The credentials are automatically managed. The tester simply goes to the assignment, reads what the definition of this thing is, they clicks on a button that logs them into the account. As they are doing it, there is a recording going on in the background. Yes, we’ve had recorders in the past, but the recorder is silently watching you do your work.

“They get to the point where there is an issue. They can click on the little recording floating window, circle on the screen using a drawing tool to show where the issue is and add a note that says here’s what I was expecting. Here’s what I got. Then, you simply push a button to post a bug. It’s that simple. What the developer gets is a video of what was tested, a set of screenshots for each of the individual pages, the annotations and notes, and all of that from all of the different findings associated with the same user story. Everything is in a relational database so that everything is together.”

Brooks then explained that the developer can look at a feature and go through all the issues associated with it all together or one by one.

Where the magic happens

While the above is impressive, Explorer goes a step further. As the platform gathers these user journeys, Copado Explorer captures these as test scripts for automated testing. It allows the developer to use the automated test script once their work is complete before asking the user to repeat or continue testing. It also creates a library of automated test scripts for regression testing. This makes regression testing simpler and much faster, compressing the release cycle while maintaining quality and ensuring that manual testing is reserved for urgent or new functionality.

Brooks explained why this is different, adding, “That automated test resembles what we had with our recorder before. We’ve made it super simple to take that automated test and put it into a generative AI tool that then turns it into a robust parameterized test that you can inject different data sets into.”

He added, “The thing that blew me away was to see the generative AI tool, take the captured script from the session and turn it into an actually fully-fledged parameterized test that’s suitable for regression. That was an aha! moment for me when I saw the demo.”

What about the data

This opened up the question of where the test data comes from and how the generative AI determines what to use for data. At the moment, the tester has to go in and fill in the range of data for the testing parameters.

In the future, Brooks sees the tool capturing data from an extensive exploratory testing session that tests the edge cases. The AI will then be able to use those tests to identify the range of data and inject it into the parameters automatically.

How effective is Copado Explorer

Brooks estimates that Copado Explorer will allow organisations to do manual testing about 25% of the time using Copado Explorer within the wide Coapdo DevOps platform. Importantly, as part of the Copado DevOps platform, Copado Explorer automates even more of the end-to-end DevOps process, increasing efficiency and productivity and improving quality. It means that testers without a technical background are able to use the tool easily.

Pricing and availability

Copado Explorer is available now, and Brooks shared the pricing.

Base Package is $42K per year, which includes:

  • Explorer Product
  • 5 Users
  • 60K minutes of testing (5K per month)
  • Testing Copilot (GenAI)
  • Unlimited Parallel Robots

Available Addons:

  • Additional Users $2,500 per year
  • Additional 12K Minutes of testing/year @ $6,000

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

For DevOps teams in the Salesforce ecosystem, this could be a game-changer. As Diego Lo Giudice, Vice President Principal Analyst at Forrester, said in ‘The 12 Must-Dos For Achieving Continuous Software Testing’ (June 2023), “Leaders need to focus on democratizing tester responsibilities. It’s important to give testers and developers a basis for adapting to this new world of testing more easily. Testing technologies need to upgrade significantly and infuse AI to keep up.”

Copado Explorer is the kind of upgrade envisaged by Lo Giudice. Many teams cut UAT and especially regression testing, or sometimes even eliminate it from their testing processes in the interest of getting updates released. Copado Explorer should, if embedded properly, allow developers to improve unit testing and also initiate regression testing for more changes without putting onerous delays in the DevOps process.

What will be interesting to see is how organisations adopt the true quantitative benefits the new solution delivers. As Copado develops the generative AI capabilities around the platform it will be fascinating to see how effective the next generation of this platform is.


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