SAP Testing Best Practices
Let’s discuss about the best software testing practices in present industry
Nowadays, there is a sharp rise in the complexity of testing, especially for businesses relying on large Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. While ERP systems guarantee smooth testing workflows in daily operations, there are several challenges one needs to overcome, such as implementing these ERP systems effectively with SAP — the most advanced ERP solution.
Using SAP as an ERP solution requires additional configurations for different modules to retrieve desired results. Hence, these overhead changes need individualized as well as integrative testing. The testing is to ensure that the functionalities remain intact across various business modules.
Before jumping into SAP testing and its best practices, let us briefly explore ERP systems and SAP and how they work.
ERP, known as Enterprise Resource Planning, is an absolute software solution in the ever-changing IT world. It offers a range of features for managing the myriad of business processes across multiple units, including sales, marketing, production, development, CRM, HR, etc. allowing data and available resources sharing.
The leading ERP solution in the market today is the SAP system. Organizations use SAP to seamlessly manage their business processes, information flow, data and solutions, thereby cutting the unnecessary operational expenses. But first, one needs to understand the characteristics of these activities to ensure that their testing is performed successfully before delivering.
In SAP testing, the multiple units functioning across a business gets tested. Developers usually modify the basic modules as per the customization needs of a particular client company. Therefore, the developers need to make sure that the amalgamation of the modules work well when the changes are done, and here comes the role of SAP testing.
Customers are likely to reject a module without proper testing. Constant updates also bind us to add new tests regularly. Any organization that adopts SAP as its software testing solution must have a regular and reliable testing procedure.
Thus, the problem statement here boils down to the following:
‘How to effectively test large ERP software with inherent SAP testing challenges with or without test automation?’
The Best Practices in SAP Testing
The biggest SAP testing challenges from time to time have been with test data and environment.
Moreover, according to NIST, an average testing team spends at least 30% of their effort setting up their testing environments instead of working on the actual testing, resulting in project delays by 74%.
Any medium-sized or multinational enterprise may face a couple of common SAP testing challenges. The following are considered to be the best testing practices in the SAP landscape:
- Efficient Production-like Testing Data
- Usage of Self-Reliant Tools and Methods
- Test & Document the Updates
- Involvement of SAP SMEs in Business Processes
- Repeat and Reuse Tasks
We will now take a detailed look at each of the testing practices presented here. A SAP based project needs a perfect roadmap or building blocks when it comes to testing and release. We will also discuss a few example scenarios where these testing practices could apply.
Efficient Production-like Testing Data
The optimal approach for any SAP transformation project is to use production-like data for testing purposes. The data volume can depend upon the customer requirements — manual or integration testing.
It allows the required data volume — depth and breadth and supports realistic infrastructure metrics. This practice is highly beneficial to have the performance testing that your customer asked for.
It might be troublesome to fit test data from the past 15 to 20 years into the SAP framework. The variety of the dataset, or the number of datasets that the system can handle, can cause problems. It would be cumbersome to find a valid combination of test data from the heavy chunk of data volume currently available.
Usage of Self-Reliant Tools and Methods
The best practice before beginning to test is to trace and review the requirements related to development, both technical and functional. All the test data should be compliant with security policies, masked, with an unchanged testing value.
It is beneficial to have a dummy test environment similar to the actual production site. The codebase with the database systems should function in an integrated fashion allowing integration pipelines and deployments.
Identifying the types of business processes for testing is one of the issues itself. Often bits of untested codebase or features are pushed into production, where it may fail.
Test & Document the Updates
With changes in the software modules, regular updates in the tests, mappings, and documentation are also necessary. As the saying goes, ‘ from the tiny acorn grows the mighty oak ‘ a small change may result in a cascade of failures.
As discussed in the above measure, using industry-accepted SAP testing tools and frameworks lets you have a catalogue of testing scripts with version control. The main idea is to validate each end-to-end scenario in an organized fashion.
Not providing detailed information about the new customizations is a common mistake committed when creating a test document. The other scenarios related to this testing challenge can be less or no involvement of the QA team, non-standard document templates, little or less understanding of SAP principles, or cluttered documents without version control with irregular updates.
Involvement of SAP SMEs in Business Processes
Involving SAP subject-matter experts into the team is highly recommended. It will ensure prioritized testing on the test cases holding a higher value. The transformational success of your business is guaranteed by the people working in your production environment. They are focal who address the transactions and operations daily.
Thus, it is of utmost importance to understand the business processes and imbibe the SAP testing principles. Workshops, seminars, knowledge transfer sessions, or the involvement of an SAP expert is a must in this area.
Due to strict deadlines, you may end up performing some tests here and there, which results in new errors now and then. These errors now need to be fixed and ultimately goes into the hands of the testing team. The tester or the QA analysts are the only ones who are left to identify the bug fix. It is often the case that they have no clue of the SAP transformation and processes.
Repeat and Reuse Tasks
Tracking the issues and recording the actions taken to correct past tests is a testing practice covered already. If the lessons learned are not recorded, one might start the process again for the test cases already tested.
We need to establish a well-defined, reusable testing pattern with focused scripts. The testing modules should repeat easily with a verified list of tasks. With this testing practice, the reliability of your development goes up, and automation tasks become much easier.
With 35% of large companies’ IT budgets spent solely on testing, there is a dire need for more test automation. You might not know if you can reuse the test cases that are present already. You might see some tests that come up repeatedly and can be reused as a test batch.
Solution With Tricentis Tosca
Today, thriving in the ever-transforming digital space is a challenge in itself. Delivering rich customer experiences, handling business risks simultaneously is a part of daily life. Thus, continuous testing and automation play a crucial role in these high-performing businesses.
With time, the traditional testing methods are somewhere falling short of the Lean and Agile mindset. The development cycles have reduced, with each cycle releasing a part of the solution at the end of a week or two. Therefore, the old testing tools and techniques have also failed to deliver as per the DevOps demands.
Now let us introduce the industry’s most accepted software testing platform, Tricentis Tosca. It helps you to overcome the traditional testing challenges in addition to the few discussed above. Tricentis, along with Tosca, is equipped with integrated software testing solutions that manage test cases at a reduced cost in the most effective way.
Tricentis picks up the manual tests and converts them into automated ones with just a few clicks. Now your tests can run continuously resulting in high performance and risk coverage by as much as 70%. Tosca utilizes the Model-driven test automation approach, along with risk-based testing and service virtualization, to deliver valuable end-to-end tests desirable by enterprises.
On the hunt for the perfect testing tool, we arrive at Tricentis Tosca. It takes care of everything that you can think of!
- Scanning across old tests, legacy code, or controls, Tosca Test suite will generate manual, automated, or even exploratory tests.
- Covering your business risks while maintaining your test data design and simulating missing systems is a known characteristic of Tosca to leverage.
- Plug into your continuous integration pipeline or your enterprise environment to test across browsers seamlessly as well as mobile APIs, with the power of Java, SAP, Salesforce etc., the capabilities of Tricentis are a lot more.
Summing up, wherever you are on your SAP journey, you can always start benefiting from test automation with Tricentis and take the benefits with you.
Thanks for reading till the end! Hope it helps… 👩💻
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