Agile Testing of Power Apps in the Power Platform

Jon Manderville
July 7, 2023


Power Apps, a crucial component of Microsoft’s Power Platform, has revolutionized how we build and deploy applications in businesses, empowering even non-technical users to create effective business applications. However, as the complexity of these apps grows, so does the need for rigorous testing. In this context, Agile Testing is vital in ensuring the delivery of high-quality, reliable applications.

The Need for Agile Testing in Power Apps

Agile Testing is a software testing practice that follows the principles of agile software development. It is iterative, flexible, and seamlessly integrated with the development process, making it particularly well-suited for the dynamic environment of Power Apps.

In the agile methodology, testing is performed continuously throughout the development process. It can be done by individuals or taken on as a team concern.  The approach of designing and executing testing as soon as new features are ready allows for the early detection of issues and bugs, making it easier to deliver a reliable and high-quality app. 

More importantly, it unlocks the ability to experiment with new features to determine if an approach is suited or should be changed. This “fail fast” mentality prevails in the Agile delivery mindset and complements the rapid delivery and testing of products built using Power Apps. 

Preparation for Agile Testing

Developing an Agile Testing Strategy

An Agile Testing strategy begins with clearly understanding the application’s objectives. It is one of the first steps someone should take when taking on a Power Platform testing role. It may mean reading user stories, talking to the developer(s), reading the requirements set out of the app but during this process, a person entrusted with testing a Power App will gain an understanding of key functionalities that need testing. They will create test cases designed around these functionalities to ensure coverage and consider the highest risk aspects of the solution to focus upon.

Creating a Testing Environment

Testing environments play an essential role in creating accurate test results. The Power Platform provides facilities to create a dedicated environment for testing, which can mirror the production environment closely, helping identify any potential issues before deployment.

When you have environments set up, you can use “Solutions” (a power platform concept of a package of apps, flows, data and more) to package up a build iteration and ship it to an environment for testing. 

How To Plan Testing In an Agile Approach

Iteration or Sprint Planning

Each user story’s acceptance criteria are clearly defined in this stage of an Agile delivery cycle (be it a day, a week or up to four weeks in general). Test cases are identified during planning to ensure these acceptance criteria are met, aligning testing efforts with user requirements.

Exploratory Testing

Exploratory testing is often an early part of validating any new feature(s) built using Power Apps. Tests can be planned (sometimes using a mind map if traceability is needed) and executed. Exploratory testing encourages creativity and spontaneity, allowing testers to investigate areas of the application that predefined test cases might not cover. This type of testing can often unearth issues that might have otherwise been overlooked.

The simplest way to execute this testing is to share the app with the Test team and allow them to play it and note their observations. You can also allow them to create a Solution and import the Published app version into their Environment. 

Automated Testing in Agile Power Apps Development

Automated testing plays a key role in Agile development. By automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks, teams can focus more on complex application features and exploratory testing. Tools within the Power Platform, like the Test Studio, enable efficient automation of test cases.

A new tool within the Power Apps suite has just been released, which makes this easier than It has been to date.  Edit any app. Click on the advanced features in the left navigation bar to see a “Tests” tool. 

Using this tool, you can record screen actions when playing an app. Look for outcomes using ‘Assertions’ and test whether the components and/or screens behave as expected. 

Using the tool, you can organise these ‘recordings’ or test cases into Themes or ‘Feature’ packs. 

This means that now, you can implement test cases that you run when a new feature is released to assure yourself that a Power App remains working as expected. 

If you’d like to learn more about the Test suite in Power Apps or Power Apps development and delivery practice in general, why not check out the live stream recording on this topic

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