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How SAP ABAP developers can spend less time testing and more time developing

Author:

Jonathan Boswell

Product Marketing Director

Organizations everywhere know this truth—modernizing enterprise technologies like SAP is the key to surviving an increasingly digital business climate. Rapid software updates are crucial to ensuring organizations stay competitive and secure. It is imperative then that software release processes do not hinder innovation or expose companies to unnecessary productivity, security, financial, or other risks.

Changes to an organization’s SAP environment require lots of testing, which is often performed manually. Unit testing, which validates the smallest functional part of software, is often the first line of defense in the release cycle to catch defects. For developers, however, unit testing ends up being a “tedious, error-prone, and time-consuming” process, and takes time and resources away from fulfilling other business critical tasks.

CTOs and leaders are looking for way to answer the question, “How can my developers spend less time testing, and more time developing?”

The answer? Automated unit testing.

Why automating unit testing should be an enterprise priority

Think of software development like a group of people working together on a group paper or presentation. Some people may use spell check and be sure to edit any photos included. Others may simply put their ideas down on a slide or a page, without checking to make sure their material is formatted correctly. The quality of the overall project depends on the quality of each contribution, and will suffer if people follow different (or don’t have) standards of quality.

This is the same for developers working on SAP projects. Every ABAP developer has their own style and level of skill, and they may not all follow the same approaches to code quality—some may not be testing at all. Leaders need a way to make sure their team’s code meets minimum internal quality requirements, or else the entire project is at risk.

Automated ABAP unit testing can solve both the tedium of unit testing and the need to ensure consistent quality across development teams. The alternative is to keep putting business at risk due to issues with custom ABAP code.

Not all testing tools are created equally

Some ABAP testing tools are restricted to certain SAP environments, only offer limited integrations, or can’t perform tests in your native SAP environment. Others may also have small levels of automation, but don’t completely eliminate manual work. And to top it all off, some tools can be difficult to deploy and are not user friendly, further hindering both quality and speed.

A smarter solution

Tricentis LiveCompare is not your average change intelligence tool. It provides SAP teams with AI-powered analytics and insights that significantly reduce the risk, time, and cost of delivering and supporting changes to SAP systems. As a part of these capabilities, LiveCompare can run SAP’s own ABAP unit tests and performs a series of validations against ABAP quality rules.

LiveCompare includes Continuous Developer Impact Analysis (DIA), which automates a variety of quality checks for developers. Whenever a developer submits submits updated ABAP code, LiveCompare gives them these insights within 30 minutes:

  • Code comparisons that link directly to the specified code change so the developer can see the before/after comparison.
  • Impact alerts give developers insight into how widely their change will impact the broader SAP landscape. They list all the people and places in the SAP landscape that will be impacted by the code change, including how frequently each impacted object is used and who the main users of those objects are. Naturally, changes that impact many frequently- used features carry greater risks, but the complexity of SAP environments makes it difficult for developers to otherwise know how “dangerous” their change may be.
  • Unit test results summarize the results of the automatically executed ABAP unit tests. Developers can view the results of each unit test to diagnose any failures.
  • Code quality checks summarize the results of the automatically executed ABAP code quality checks. These are a set of customizable rules that ensure the developer’s code meets recognized quality standards, including SAP HANA compatibility.

The following diagram shows sample DIA results. These include links to code comparisons, impact alerts, unit test results, and code quality checks.

 

By automating these tasks across all your development teams, LiveCompare improves the quality of your custom code across the board. It identifies and resolves defects before developer changes reach QA, where they are 10 times more expensive to fix, or production where they are 30 times more expensive to resolve. That figure does not include the potential disruption and downtime defects may cause.The result? Developer Impact Analysis from LiveCompare speeds up SAP release times, while increasing quality and lowering risk.

See for yourself

You can check out Developer Impact Analysis and all LiveCompare’s other features for yourself by scheduling a demo with one of our experts.

Author:

Jonathan Boswell